Marshal François Achille Bazaine and 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at the end of the siege of Metz. This was one of the biggest French defeats in the Franco-Prussian War, where the French were armed with modern Chassepot... Read more ...
Major French defeat at Metz
Marshal François Achille Bazaine and 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at the end of the siege of Metz. This was one of the biggest French defeats in the Franco-Prussian War, where the French were armed with modern Chassepot needle guns and Prussians with their Dreyse needle guns.
After a series of French defeats in the opening phase of the war, nearly half of the French force were surrounded at Metz. The newly established French rescue force was crushed in a battle at Sedan, in which the French emperor Napoleon III surrendered to the Germans. This led to the founding of the Third French Republic.
After the German forces conquered Paris, the war ended with an overwhelming German victory and Germany was united under Prussian leadership.
No chatting right now.
(You must be logged in to the forum to chat.)
During the 1870s and 80s a widespread slaughter of the American bison decimated the herds to near extinction. The professional hunters used powerful single shot breech-loading rifles, most often in calibre .50, .45 or .44. The most legendary rifle used on the buffalo ranges was, perhaps next to the Springfield Model 1873 \'Trapdoor\' and the Remington rolling block, the legendary Sharps Model 1874.
Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 25 November 2007.
Click here to see my drawings of how the first models were loaded with the paper cartridge.
Find out more!
You can read more about the Norwegian chamber-loading 'kammerlader' rifles and other capping breech-loading rifles and carbines, as well as needle guns such as the Dreyse and Chassepot in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
Some counterfactual thoughts
As the chamber-loading rifles never saw any combat in its service timeframe, we actually have to imagine what had happened if it was used in the hands of soldiers in a war. If we look to other nations and their armies, Norway was far ahead of most others. One exception is Prussia which adopted von Dreyse’s 15.4 mm (.60”) needle-gun in 1841. The needle-gun, or Zündnadelgewehr as it was called in Prussia, fired a self-contained cartridge, while the chamber-loader had to be loaded with paper cartridge and loose caps. However, the needle-gun had its limitations.
In the rest of the world the muzzleloader was still extensively used. At the outbreak of the American Civil War 19 years after the adoption of the chamber-loader Norway had already improved their first chamber-loader and reduced the calibre. The Civil War was largely fought with muzzleloading rifle muskets. Would the outcome of the war have been different if one or both of the opposing parties had been armed with the Norwegian chamber-loader? Probably not. First of all, the Civil War was largely fought with outdated battle tactics from the time of the smoothbore musket. Secondly, the troops lacked marksman training.
However, an army that was trained both with the kammerlader rifle and more appropriate battle tactics would probably have had some impact in the wars that were fought with muzzleloaders. One example is the battle of Königsgrätz in 1866 when Bismarck's Prussians armed with von Dreyse's needle-guns completely overrand the Austrians that were armed with muzzleloaders.
It can be a bit difficult to get hold of a proper bullet mould for a kammerlader. I have made my own drawings and made a bullet mould that casts a replica of the Model 1855 bullet.
To the left: Paper cartridges. To the right: Bullets cast from a custom mould.
To the left: A good group shot with a M/1849/55/59 two band kammerlader. Right: Shooting a M/1849/55/59 two band kammerlader.