Brass Napoleon Award French & Belgian Infantry arms of the American Civil War

RijekaFiume

Private
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Used to own a large bore French Dragoon Rifle (Fusil de Dragoon) as tag on it said.. It was all brass mounted and dated 67 which I assume was date of conversion. It was a shorter rifle.. comparable to a Model 1855 in length.. It had a Snyder like hinged breech and was a monstrous caliber.. I would say over .70 cal. What was that exactly? Unfortunately I sold it many years back .. It was my first period gun and memorable.

Those are the Tabatiere conversions that the French implemented in 1867 because the Chassepot production was not sufficient (and expensive) to equip all troops with it. And since they just watched Prussia demolish Austria with the Dryese in 1866, it was paramount to get as many breachloading rifle to the armed forces as fast as possible. Here are mine, 1857/67 Fusil, 1859/67 Carbine de Chasseur and a converted variant to smoothbore (built by me from parts). The bullet for mine is .732. See pic compare to .54

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OldReliable1862

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Location
Georgia
Thanks for making this thread, it's very helpful. I remember reading somewhere that a Union soldier remembered the Belgian rifle he had as being the worst he ever used. What problems were these rifles supposed to have suffered from?
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Thanks for making this thread, it's very helpful. I remember reading somewhere that a Union soldier remembered the Belgian rifle he had as being the worst he ever used. What problems were these rifles supposed to have suffered from?
A lot of it was that they weren’t American made and many were older than their users. Many had already seen hard use. The manufacturer quality wasn’t up to the same standards as US made but most had served in the premier armies of Europe.

In short much of it was prejudice.
 

Cannonman1

Private
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
It sounds as if you may have had, as shown above, a French Tabiatere, a very rare and desirable rifled conversion today!
J.
Rifle was a 3 band and bayonet lug for an angular bayonet.. Gun was longer than the carbine shown and it had the front sight on the band as the carbine has. It was not as long as a Rifled Musket but definitely longer than the carbine shown.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Does anyone have any information on what the French paper cartridges were like for their Minie, pillar breech, and Delvigne rifles were like? Did Americans use these cartridges or were they able to make US style cartridges for the rifles?
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
Does anyone have any information on what the French paper cartridges were like for their Minie, pillar breech, and Delvigne rifles were like? Did Americans use these cartridges or were they able to make US style cartridges for the rifles?
The only time the construction of the cartridge is important for the loading is if you load with the paper. (like with the smoothbore M1842 or the way the british did with their enfields)
Since the Americans did not do this with rifled firearms and only poured the powder and rammed the bullet it should not have been an issue.
 

RijekaFiume

Private
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Just won this beauty at Auction over the weekend. Belgian copy of a Mle1859 carbine de Chasseur by G. Schopen. I assume it is a copy of a 1859, I think some of the 1840s carbine variants looked the same except did not have steel barrel. Have not received it yet, just auction photos for now. With the bayonet and what appears to be original ramrod could not pass on this. I am guessing this one was part of one of the deliveries to the Union.
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Tin cup

Captain
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Location
Texas
Just won this beauty at Auction over the weekend. Belgian copy of a Mle1859 carbine de Chasseur by G. Schopen. I assume it is a copy of a 1859, I think some of the 1840s carbine variants looked the same except did not have steel barrel. Have not received it yet, just auction photos for now. With the bayonet and what appears to be original ramrod could not pass on this. I am guessing this one was part of one of the deliveries to the Union.
...
I always thought those were great looking weapons, but I can never get used to that screwed up looking hammer!:sick:

Kevin Dally
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
I always thought those were great looking weapons, but I can never get used to that screwed up looking hammer!:sick:

Kevin Dally
As a note to the hammer. W/ the French/Belgian arms one of the complaints from US troops was that a man could not use the sights until the hammer was at full cock making the drill order very important: "Ready (full cock) , aim... Said soldier said they had fewer issues of men forgetting to bring the weapon to full cock than they did w/ the smoothbores that the French & Belgian arms had replaced.
 

RijekaFiume

Private
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Well my Belgian Carbine De Chasseur came in. Beautiful condition except the fact that it has smooth bore. Still has it's original long range sight. Why would anyone bother to smoothbore a rifle and keep it otherwise in original form with long range sight and bayonet lug? Even more interesting, the barrel is very thick, much thicker then the rifled barrel on my French 1859/67 Carbine de Chasseur.

Makes me almost wonder if this thing was ever rifled in the first place as thick as that barrel is. The bayonet that came with the Belgian fits it perfectly but is too big for the French 1859/67 and loose on barrel.

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Love the French back action design.
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