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Dreyse Model 1835 Needlefire Breechloading Pistol

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Johann Nicolaus Dreyse, later promoted to the aristocracy as Nicolaus von Dreyse, designed the first mainstream military breechloading rifle. His rifle was adopted by Prussia and changed military history, but this was not his only work. Dreyse also endeavored to sell guns commercially, both rifles and handguns. This is an example of one of his first, the Model 1835. It is a single shot breechloader, with the chamber consisting of a rotating tumbler. The firing mechanism is identical in concept to that of his Model 1841 rifle, just scaled down for the smaller pistol. The piece uses a power charge of just 6 grains, but its breechloading action was quite advanced for the 1830s!

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