The Chassepot was the French answer to the Dreyse needle rifle, and also the only other needlefire rifle to see major military service. It was adopted in 1866 and served as a primary French infantry rifle until being replaced by the 1874 Gras rifle, which was basically a conversion of the Chassepot to use self-contained brass cartridges. The concept of a need rifle is that of a breech loading rifle using paper cartridges. A primer was set in the base of the cartridge (inside the paper), and upon firing the needle-like firing pin would pierce the paper cartridge and detonate the primer and powder charge. The system always had trouble with sealing the breech, but was still a significant improvement over muzzleloading rifles.
Category: Firearm Reviews Uploaded: 06/01/2015