Chobert patent ‘Fusil Lance Fusée de 25mm’ flare gun
Designed by one Chobert in Paris, converted from Mle1866/74 and Mle1874 Gras rifles by various companies including Sidarme c.1914~.
4 gauge/1″/26,5mm caliber Very flares, bolt action and break action, single shot.
At the start of WW1, the French army realized it was short on -among other things- flare guns. Signal flares were extremely important at a time where radio communication wasn’t as a widespread, and battlefields stretched over a thousand kilometer of blasted countryside.
To supplement the available stocks of signal pistols, but also to replace them with something with more range and strength, it was decided to modify large batches of the obsolete Mle1874 Gras rifle. The conversion consisted of sawing the barrel off at the receiver, attaching a break action one inch caliber break action barrel and forend instead, and modifying the bolt to reach inside it when closed. Racking the bolt handle back would open the gun, work the extractor and allow the gun to be loaded with a fresh flare.
The Chobert flare gun along with other stopgap designs were later replaced by the Mle1917 signal pistol, which on top of having a longer barrel than its early war predecessor could be fitted with a wire stock, making rifle conversions superfluous.
Soldiers with Drager rebreathers and signal guns.
Note that the Chobert design in 1914 would be unknowingly replicated in 1945 with the Sturmkampfgewehr light AT grenade launcher, made form the Kar98k.