Ethiopian Oddities – Single Shot French Mle 1878 Marine

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Among all the standard rifles that are coming into the US from Ethiopia through InterOrdnance, there are a handful of really unusual oddballs, and we are going to look at several of them. We have the first one today; a single shot adaptation of a French Mle 1878 Marine Kropatschek. Only a small number of these rifles were originally made, part of a contract for the French Navy made by Steyr in Austria. As originally built, the rifle has a 7-round tubular magazine inside the handguard.

This example, however, has been fitted to a stock with no space for a magazine tube. The stock is inletted to fit the rifle’s elevator mechanism, but the elevator goes nowhere, and the system is capable of single shot use only. Why was this done? Perhaps the magazine tube was damaged at some point, and there were no replacement parts available? This is certainly a rare pattern of rifle, and spares would not be likely on hand for an Ethiopian armorer…

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