11 mm Needle Fire Chassepot


hope this is not too “off topic” to warrant removal…

got talking with someone yesterday, the upshot of which was the aquisition by myself of a “wall hanger”.

a quick search on the internet shows it to be based on what looks to have originally been a single shot bolt action 11 mm Needle Fire Chassepot Mle 1866.

can anyone tell me about this cartridge? (over and above what can be found on the “wiki” website, that is!)

the exterior of the firearm in question is in quite poor condition, yet the rifling is crisp and bright still, surprisingly!

if i can find enough information on the cartridge, eventually I’d like to look into the feasibility of restoring this piece into a working firearm again (excusing the pun… it’s a long shot, but you never know!)

the image below is of the breech of an example in far better condition than the one i have…


That is really a neat firearm and design. I hope someone here has information on its specific ammunition. I am guessing someone here will have a photo or 2 of its round as well as more detailed information then wiki. I am totally looking forward to learning more about it, myself :-)


one more thing, what does it mean “Needle Fire”?



WOW! Awesome JP! Even though I can not read your web site, it is amazing! I scrolled threw the first few articles you wrote just looking at the pictures and diagrams and learned a lot about a gun and cartridge I never knew before. Thanks! Some really great reference photos of a very interesting firearm and round. I did not realize it was such an old gun.



from my understanding, the way a needlefire worked was that upon pulling the trigger, the needle like firing pin moved forwards and pierced the paper wrapped blackpowder cartridge, passed through the powder charge and impacted onto the primer which was mounted on the base of the bullet.


Look at my post, Photo #15 or so, Dreyse needle gun, a sister gun to yours
iaaforum.org/forum2/viewtopic.ph … ght=#37316


looks very similar to the one i have, think the action is slightly different from what i can tell though…

jean pierre,

thanks for the link, but can you explain how the cartridge was constructed please, I’m afraid my ignorance of the french language is embarrasingly huge…