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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on a book which will cover the Japanese use of imported weapons in the approximate time period 1850-1900. I hope that someone familiar with French weapons can help me understand what I am reading. One of the classic books on Japanese firearms history is the 1930s book "Militry Industries of Japan". The book mentions that Enfield rifles were converted to "Allumette" using machinery purchased in June of 1873. Unfortunately, the book does not discuss what an Allumette is. I am presuming it is a modification to a breech-loading system from the Enfields original percussion ignition system. Later in the book it mentions that the Allumettes were later converted to Sniders - again a breech-loading modification.

1886lebel mentioned to me that the the French word Allumette translates roughly to "match light" and that these rifles were related to the French Tabtiere rifle. Can someone please walk me through this Allumette and Tabtiere evolution? I know quite a bit about Japanese weapons, but nothing about French weapons and I really need some help here.

I beleive that a Tabtiere rifle has been reported with Japanese markings, but I do not have any photographs, much less photos of the elusive Allumette. Can any one on this forum help me with this? I am kind of lost. I have a lot of info on the Japanese use of U.S. and British weapons, but nothing on the use of French weapons, yet two different military missions were sent from France to Japan to asisst in the laters military deveolopment in the 1860s.

If any of you French weapons collectors have examples with Japanese markings, I would be happy to translate them for you.

Any help that you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Allumette

Dear Patrick;

The first one I had found, but as you read throught it there is not much there. Plus the rifle is clearly a Snider conversion of an Enfield rifle not an Allumette unless they were identical but done by the French????? I doubt it.

The second site is interesting, but it does not mention the Allumette and how it fits in. However, I think the relationship between the Frenchman, Francois-Eugene Schneider, and the American, Snider, may be a link that is more important than I realized previously. Hmmmmmm.....

Frank
 

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Frank,
To French native speakers the word allumette means "match".
The Littre dictionnary definition, " Brin de bois ou de chanvre soufre a un bout ou au deux bouts." in English, small stick of wood or hemp, with sulphur on one or both ends.
There are no French weapons or weapon system with such a name.
The influence of the French on the design of the Japanese armement of this era is indeniable. French missionsd went to Japan and Japanese missions went to the various French arsenal. I cannot locate my documentation on the subject but I will keep looking.
Here is alink whre the Chassepot was discussed.
http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=595
As far as the Tabatiere I must admit that I have never seen any with the Japanese marking.Approximately 342000 percussion rifles were transformed. Production of the tabatiere ceased in 1871 and they were removed of military service almost immediately and sold as surplus. By 1873 the French military industry was active in producing Chassepot and gearing itself on making Gras,
What is very interesting is the uncanny similarities between the French kropatschek 1884 ,third from the top and the repeating Murata rifles of much later vintage.
Best regards
Robert Olivier
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Allumette

Dear Oliver;

Thank you very much for your reply to my somewhat desperate call for information. This one really does have me confused. I would appreciate any additional information that you can turn up.

I do have some details of a Frech Chassepot that has been converted/update in Japan to a Murata configuration. Very interesting rifle.

Thanks again.

Frank
 
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