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    Very Rare Limited Production Rifle Developed by Claude Etienne Minie to Demonstrate the Safety of His Revolutionary New Bullet. With Minie's development of his revolutionary expanding base bullet, along with those who immediately recognized its potential importance in revolutionizing infantry warfare, there were those, including many US Ordnance personnel, who believed the potential uncontrolled expansion of the base of the bullet would result in it jamming in barrels and causing them to burst. To refute those claims and demonstrate the safety of his new bullet Minie developed this almost 'Rube Goldberg' rifle. The principle of Minie's rifle being that with the 16 3/16" five groove rifled barrel set at the front of the gun, a considerable distance from the shooter, should a catastrophic malfunction occur, the shooter would be protected, to at least some degree, by the considerable distance between the butt plate and the barrel.

    The gun is 49 1/4" overall, with an 18 7/16" rod mounted on the side that strikes the percussion cap. The cap, in turn, goes on a side mounted nipple whose base is parallel to the barrel. There is an adjustable ladder sight, with a blade sight near the muzzle, on a 17 1/2" steel strap on the top of the stock, the front of the strap serving as the breech plug. In front of the sight on the afore-mentioned strap are the letters "C.C" struck within an oval, and the number "906" presumably a serial number. That same number appears on the barrel below the nipple housing, along with an oval cartouche with the name "MINIE" and several other small characters. The hammer, with a curved section at the front where it strikes the rear of the rod that strikes the nipple, is held by a large screw mounted below on the right side. A sturdy trigger guard is made as a single unit with the trigger guard plate, and sling swivels are mounted front and rear. The gun has an unmarked steel buttplate. The gun shows considerable wear and use overall with evidence of cleaning on the metal surfaces. There is a 2" crack on the left side of the butt stock angling upwards from the rear of the trigger guard, and two missing wood chips adjacent to the trigger guard. All readily restorable. Despite the obvious wear, the gun is quite sound with some staining but no rust or pitting.

    A most unusual and rare weapon, and particular interesting with respect to its relationship to firearms development, with Minie's bullet becoming the standard for military rifles throughout the world for the next 20 years.

    Estimate: $4,000 - up.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 495

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