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Sturgeon's House

Needle Guns and the USA


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Needle guns were very short lived even in Europe. They were around for quite a while, but really only saw heavy use by the Prussians from the Seven Weeks War and on into the Franco-Prussian War, when it was replaced in 1871 with the Mauser model 1871 (that used metallic cartridges). The French used the Chassepot only for a few years until they realized it could be upgraded to fire metallic cartridges (we did this with our Springfields).

 

Basically metallic cartridges took over before we "needed" to get ahold of needle guns. In 1860 the Spencer and the Henry rifles were designed and production soon started. While these were not in the hands of every soldier on the battlefield, in the years after the civil war the US got the Trapdoor (which we clung to for far too long, as guns like the Mauser 71/84 were exponentially better).

Remember that America was pretty insignificant on the global stage during the needle-fire era. The old Bismarck quote "The Americans are truly a lucky people. They are bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish" seems to apply here.

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The U.S. also had it's dabbling with oddities, like the Maynard tape, and the Moore teat-fire.  Like Alex mentioned by the time note was taken of the pinfire concept, U.S. designers had likely moved on.

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