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Old January 15, 2014, 01:36 PM   #1
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Chassepot MLE 1866/74 over M80

Hi been doing research on this rifle. So far this is what I have: This rifle was originally a French Chassepot MLE 1866 11mm Needle fire. The Chassepot used a combustible paper cartridge holding a 11mm (.43 inch) round-headed cylindrical lead bullet that was wax paper patched. An inverted standard percussion cap was at the rear of the paper cartridge and hidden inside. It was fired by the Chassepot's needle (a sharply pointed firing pin) upon pressing the trigger. This was the standard French military arm until the creation of the Gras rifle (metallic cartridge) and was the primary arm used by the French in the Franco Prussian War (1870-71).

It was factory modified to accept the Gras 11x59R black powder metallic cartridge in 1874. It was further factory modified in 1880 to improve the breech to allow combustion gasses to vent to the side. I don't know if it was further modified.

This rifle was manufactured at the “Manufacture d’Armes de Chatellerault” in Chatellerault, France.

The rear ladder sight is missing as is the bayonet and the MA plug in the stock.

I have seen a few pictures of variations of this rifle, but none with brass fixtures and the bent bolt. It has proof marks all over it and the front sight is offset to the right.

Can anyone tell me anything more about this rifle, the bent bolt, model, proof marks? Value?
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Old January 15, 2014, 04:29 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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A few minutes assiduous Googling indicates you have a Foot Gendarmerie Carbine, made on the pattern of a short rifle. There were also a true carbine and an engineers' musketoon with brass fittings but styled differently.
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Old January 15, 2014, 06:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rshunter3

It has proof marks all over it and the front sight is offset to the right.

Don't forget, it's a French rifle - The front sight is offset to the right, to be able to hit targets moving left. .

(Welcome to TFL ! . )

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Old January 15, 2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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Jim, Thanks for the quick response. I appreciate your time and effort.

Petah, I appreciate your humor!
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Old February 2, 2014, 05:30 PM   #5
Chestnut Forge
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Speaking of Chassepots..Anyone know where I can get the washers/seals for the bolt? I have a rifle that I'd love to shoot.
Every gun I've been behind can out shoot me.
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