A Rare 18-Bore Percussion D.B. Irish Constabularly Carbine and Sword Bayonet, by W. J. King of Birmingham, Mid-19th Century
With browned twist sighted barrels with bayonet-bar on the right side at the muzzles, long tang grooved for sighting, signed border engraved back-action locks, figured half-stock (some old bruising), regulation brass mounts including trigger-guard with scrolled spur, sling loops, and original steel ramrod; together with its brass-hilted bayonet with leaf-shaped blade of flattened diamond section cut with a central fuller over each side of the forte, hilt with cross-guard, and ribbed swelling grip incorporating a sprung catch, in its leather scabbard (some damage) with brass chape (probably an old replacement), frog button, and leather frog, Birmingham proof marks. 46.8 cm barrels and 43.5 cm blade.
Probably one of 250 ordered by the Inspector General of Constabulary in Ireland. See Howard C. Blackmore, British Military Firearms 1650-1850, 1961, pp. 205-206, pl. 68.
The Prussian Dreyse needlefire rifle was a huge advanced in military firearms technology, and it was not long before other German states wanted it as well. The Dreyse rifle was a single shot bolt action rifle which fired a paper cartridge. It was called a needlefire rifle because the firing pin consisted of a needle which pierced the paper cartridge, igniting a primer located within the cartridge, thus discharging the round.
One of the German states which was interested in the Dreyse was the Duchy of Brunswick (
Braunschweig), who procured a number of rifles from Prussia in 1860. However, they would also created their own Dreyse design, a Dreyse bolt action pistol carbine for it’s famous cavalry forces. The carbine featured a pistol with a detachable buttstock and used the Dreyse action. With the stock attached, the carbine was around 26.5 inches in total length and weighed around 5 lbs. Thus it was a very light, compact, and handy carbine for use on horseback. Between 1861 and 1863 around 530 carbines and 100 pistol without buttstocks were produced by the Herberg Rifle Factory.