BEAULIEU WIND RIFLE, third type (lower armament), Second Empire. 28079

BEAULIEU WIND RIFLE, third type (lower armament), Second Empire. 28079

Barrel: Rifled with four deep 0.4mm rifling, rotating from right to left at 0.75mm pitch. It does not have a saber generator at the base of the handlebars. Graduated sight from 10 to 40 with slider (the slider is missing), fixed on the thunder and the sight folding to the rear because mounted upside down as is sometimes the case. Breech: the breech box is pierced vertically, from side to side, with a square section tunnel in which are provided, on the right and left, two guide projections and, in front, a groove for the striking catch. The breech itself, of square section, slides in the tunnel, it provides both the hammer and shutter functions, its curved and squared front part acts as a hammer crest and receives the action of the spring through a groove -trigger, a flat or protruding tab depending on the cartridge used (protruding pin or submerged priming) is pinned on the front face. The rear face is cut with two safety catches to arm it. On the rifle it is longer than on the spear gun. Frame: Also in one piece, but with a classic regulation shaped stock, hot stamped with the number “84”. Trim: single-band mouthpiece-hood, carrying the upper leaf, and classic regulation-shaped butt plate, always in brass. Iron guard carrying the lower leaf at the front in an open hook which protects the cocking curvature of the breech and also allows the weapon to be supported with the thumb without releasing the reins. The trigger guard is formed by the spring. The brass butt plate. For this carbine, an adaptable bladed weapon was not planned, clearly contemporary with the "rifle-lance", and with a more classic external appearance, is certainly the one which was tested in certain cavalry corps. Weapon length: 1,140 m. Barrel length: 0.710 (flush with the receiver). Caliber: 9mm. Weight: 2.8 kg.

Second Empire.
Very good condition, slight oxidation of the steel parts, period joints on the stock and the mount (that of the stock was hot marked "M" which is certainly the results of the multiple tests of the time.

This rifle is identical in all respects to the example kept in the Saint-Etienne Museum.

HISTORY: The Hundred Guards squadron occupies a special and very close place in the Emperor's entourage, it stands out, in all areas, compared to the other corps of the line and even compared to the Imperial Guard . Decisions concerning outfits, armament and services were often taken directly between the Emperor and Colonel Verly, Commander of the Squadron, and were not the subject of publications in the Official Military Journal. The French Army only really considered equipping itself with a breech-loading rifle around 1850, a real revolution which would profoundly modify the art of war. It was the Vincennes Commission which was responsible for testing the different types of weapons that were proposed (Lepage system, Aarcelin, Manceaux-Vieillard, Gastine-Renette, Clerville, needle test rifle). Alongside these systems, a test weapon was put into service at the Cent-gardes Squadron, this was the famous Treuille de Beaulieu system. Treuille de Beaulieu, assistant captain to the Director of the Precision Workshop, at the Central Depot of Paris, produces, with regulatory parts from weapons in service and 9 mm caliber barrels of various stripes provided by the Manufacture de Châtellerault, a Breech-loading Dragon carabiner which will be presented to Napoleon III on May 20, 1853. On January 24, 1854, Napoleon III having decided to create the Hundred Guards, did not wait for the firing tests requested on January 3, 1854 by the Artillery Committee on 10 Carabiners built at the Central Depot on the model presented by Treuille de Beaulieu. He orders the immediate production of 150 spear guns. He sent Captain Treuille de Beaulieu to Châtellerault to follow this production and appointed him Squadron Leader on February 14, 1854. One of the little-known aspects of Napoleon III is the interest he took in the development of the artillery of his time, ballistics and breech-loading weapons. The qualities of Treuille de Beaulieu will be quickly recognized by the Prince President, then Emperor, he becomes friends with the engineer and does not take long to share with him his views on the development of an entirely new weapon design. intended for the cavalry. In this field he was the instigator of numerous innovations, helped by the presence in the precision workshop of the Central Artillery Depot, Baron de Beaulieu, who was undoubtedly one of the most inventive and innovative geniuses. most fertile of this period. Seduced by the sobriety of the Flobert carbine, Louis Napoléon asked Treuille de Beaulieu whose qualities he recognized and who he knew to be competent, innovative, with a remarkable spirit of synthesis and who he also thought independent of the General Staff, to study a weapon which is inspired as much as possible by the latter. This transformation of a living room weapon into a war weapon seems easy in theory, but it is in truth a real challenge.
In 1851 the Emperor set the specifications for a portable weapon intended for the cavalry, he imposed: breech loading; a cartridge bearing its primer; opening of the breech and cocking by the same movement (You must be able to immediately fire the cartridge in place); be rigid to be able to receive a saber-bayonet the length of the cavalry saber (To be able to make a charge with the lance in exceptional cases). Thus began the History of the Treuille de Beaulieu system, which found its culmination with the creation of the “Lance Rifle Model 1854” known as the Cent-Gardes, presented on May 18, 1853 to the Emperor, it is a rifle conforming to the specifications charges of 1851...: Napoleon III, without waiting for additional tests, trusting his judgment and the first reports and wanting to innovate by equipping his personal guard that he was creating with a prestigious weapon, decided on January 24 1854 to have “150 Dragon Lance Rifles conforming to the Treuille de Beaulieu model” produced by the Manufacture Impériale de Châtellerault (the Cent-gardes Squadron was created on March 24, 1854 and the exact name was “Fusil-lance model 1854” known as later of the Hundred Guards. It took its name from a long slat fitted like a bayonet to make a spear which was very difficult to handle). On June 24, 1854, the first delivery of 30 spear guns was made available to the Emperor who wished to have them at the beginning of July. They will probably be put into service with the Cent-gardes during this period. The rest of the order will follow until December 24, 1855. On this date they are all taken care of by the Hundred Guards Squadron. On February 14, 1855, a ministerial order was given to Châtellerault following the instructions given personally by His Majesty to Mr. Treuille de Beaulieu, relating to the spearguns which remained there "Have them modified at the Central Depot and procedure to follow for their payment by the Ministry of the Household of the Emperor”. Indeed, parallel to this production desired by the Emperor, the experiments continue in accordance with the recommendations of the Artillery Committee. The 10 Carabiners were ready on May 30 and on December 12 the Vincennes Shooting School submitted a detailed report on the experiences. These weapons of the “2° Model” will be ready on December 16, 1856, but in May 1857 the Instruction to put them for testing is still not ready. The report on the manufacture and cost price of the 50 carabiners and 10 breech-loading cavalry pistols of the Treuille de Beaulieu system gives us the following information for the carabiner: “The CANON, made of iron, is forged on a pin ordinary and undergoes a first machining to appropriate the soul. Then it is hot tightened over the entire length, machined a second time, hot tightened again and machined a third time. The CYLINDER HEAD, in cast steel, is forged solid. It is not welded directly to the barrel, but to a solid piece of iron. Thus elongated, it is drilled, and only then welded to the barrel. It is the first of these welds which presented the most difficulties, due to the great thickness of the metal, not hot enough in the center, too much on the surface and which, after machining and packing, sometimes led to the appearance of defects in solder exposed. This technique required numerous tests on the quality of the steel and the process to follow and led to numerous rejects, resulting in slowdowns and expenses. The plates and fittings presented little difficulty. The mount presented problems with the very exact placement of the underguard. Furthermore, the brass escutcheon appears to lack the necessary stiffness.” The manufactured rifles are gradually delivered to the Squadron: a Note from the Central Artillery Depot dated April 17, 1855 specifies that it “carries out in its accounts 75 Fusils-Lances and 150 Gibernes copper fittings” on an Order of the Minister of January 16, 1855 (Arrears of expenditure of 1854)…
Another Note from the Emperor's Military Household dated July 1, 1855 specifies that the Hundred Guards Squadron received "during the year 1854." 75 Spearguns and 150 brass fittings for Gibernes. (these are the metal tubes for the interior of the Gibernes allowing the cartridges with exposed pins to be kept safe). On September 4, 1855, the President of the Committee presented the file and on September 15, the Minister passed notice of the orders given for the manufacture of 50 Carabiners and 10 Pistols (as well as 5,000 primers and 1,000 cartridges). He sent Treuille de Beaulieu to Châtellerault to install this production. On December 18, 1855, by ministerial order, a lance rifle was given to Mr. Artillery Squadron Leader FAVE for His Majesty's Arms Cabinet. On December 25, 1855, the lance rifles, ordered directly by the Emperor, were all taken care of by the Hundred Guards Squadron, but remained at the Central Depot until July 9, 1856 when they were kept at the disposal of the Squadron. On December 16, 1856, the Minister informed the Committee that the 60 weapons were ready and requested the promised instruction: this in May 1857 was still not ready, because the Committee needed the weapons and requested them from the Central Depot, where the Minister had them sent, on June 2, followed by the Manufacturing and Cost Price Report of the Manufacture. On March 4, 1862 (according to the author Christian Ariès), a Ministerial Order ordered to send to Châtellerault "A Lance rifle of the Cent-gardes presenting the type of this model, with the modifications which were made to it by the care of Mr Colonel Treuille de Beaulieu. The Director of the Manufacture needs it to have a similar one established for the Collection of the Manufacture and as a model for the spare parts requested by the Escadron des Cent-Gardes”. Their limited use and their robustness ensuring good conservation, there is no trace of any request for additional manufacturing or request for spare parts.
Price : 9 000,00 €
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Reference : 28079

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