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Smoke pole shooter, bullet caster, milsurp accumulator and Finn collector.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Grüetzi! I recently won this fine specimen at auction and had thought I'd share it and ask a few questions. The bore is absolutely mint and possibly unfired. Judging by the condition of the case hardening, this rifle was tucked away someplace environmentally stable and forgotten. I am curious if anyone can provide info regarding Francotte being comissioned to produce these (there is a Federal acceptance mark at the breach) and what the marked brass disk on the comb signifies? I assume based on the brass plate on the stock that this ended up as a Schützenfest prize rifle or something similar. The Wikipedia article on these quotes from "Hand- und Faustfeuerwaffen..." and says that while 14,000 were produced and accepted they were not issued to troops, why? They would have taken the compression bullet introduced at the same time and also the Buholzer replacement. Thanks in advance and enjoy!



edited to reflect the fact that this is NOT an 1863!
 

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Smoke pole shooter, bullet caster, milsurp accumulator and Finn collector.
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How long is the barrel? It sure looks like a M1856/59 which would explain the date on the plate.
The barrel length is 91.5cm measured with a rod running from the bottom of the breach to the muzzle. I think you're absolutely spot on with the Jagergewehr 1856/59 ID! The rearmost barrel band is the big tell, the 1863 looks much more like a Peabody in that regard. This rifle is my first foray into Swiss issued muzzle loaders so I'm not terribly well educated on the subject. Would my rifle be more scarce than an 1863? I understand in both cases they were converted into Milbank-Amslers later on and thus rather scarce even compared to the 1851s. It's interesting that the only photo I can find online is in the Wikipedia article and features a converted rifle with brass rather than steel barrel bands.
 

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The easiest way to tell the 1856/59 Jaeger rifles from the 1863 infantry is by the placement of the rear sling swivel. The 1856/59 swivel is on the buttstock and the 1863 is on the triggerguard. When stacked together the difference in barrel length is noticeable.
Very few examples of either model escaped the Milbank-Amsler conversion, I think mine survived untouched due to a badly warped stock, making it unfit for conversion. Even though the infantry rifle was more common I have seen more Jaeger rifles surviving as muzzle loaders, no clue why. (And not many of them either)
BlackPowderBurner, your rifle most likely survived because it became a privately owned example. It is stunningly beautiful and I am very jealous!
 
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