German Trail rifle around 1864

System opened for loading

The unknown designer has equipped his weapon with a cartridge chamber (chamber lock) that can be swiveled around the vertical axis and opens to the right. The axis of rotation is led up through the housing cover and ends in a simple V-rear sight without any distance setting. An angular housing block forms the rear part of the system; in it the firing device, consisting of coil spring and conventional firing pin, is stored. The clamping head, which is difficult to handle because it is too small, is located on its top. A safety device is not available. The 70 mm long and 36 mm wide chamber block contains the hole for the slightly conical (14.6 mm> 11.6 mm) cartridge chamber without a transition cone. It is not known what type of shoulderless central fire cartridge it was. To remove the sleeve, the block has a small side cutout. The extractor should normally be stored here, but there is no fastening option. The shooter had to use a separate pull-out hook if necessary. The care and maintenance of the system also proved to be disadvantageous. Removing the chamber or replacing the firing pin was only possible after complete disassembly and after loosening 10 screws. In addition to the trigger, three operating elements would have to be used to load and fire the weapon:

  • The opening tongue protruding into the trigger guard, which released a lock, whereby the locking block swung automatically into the loading position by spring force.
  • The chamber handle with which the breech was pivoted into the firing position after loading the cartridge. The opening spring was tensioned and the pawl snapped into place.
  • The tension button that had to be pulled back to tension the firing pin.

As the bayonet wart shows, the rifle was intended for military use and, with a total length of 1195 mm, it is still 40 mm shorter than the Prussian needle fire rifle M / 65. The fittings are made entirely of iron. The WTS experimental rifle (inv. No. 04764) represents an interesting alternative to the ignition needle system that was dominant in Germany at the time. On the other hand, due to the shortcomings mentioned, the weapon was too immature to stand up to other constructions.

Total length: 1195 mm
Barrel length: 717 mm
Caliber: 10.5 mm
Rifling: 4 right turning

Breech disassembled.

Article from the magazine “DWJ”

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