Object Title

Percussion muzzle-loading military rifle - Neapolitan 32 inch, shortened

Percussion muzzle-loading military rifle - Neapolitan 32 inch, shortened



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The backaction lock is a copy of a French Model 1840 and has its marked step in contour of the face of the plate. It is held at the tail by hooking under a screw with two holes instead of a slot, and at the front by a lock screw entering from the right and held by a nearly triangular shaped rosette on the left side. The heavy rounded cock is also French in design. Stocked to 3.4 inches of the muzzle, the barrel retained by two heavily made reddish brass bands. The upper band has one broad strap, the underside being flared to act as a rod guide, and the band is held by a pinned spring from the rear. The lower band, which is also contoured to the barrel, has a stud on its left side for the upper sling loop. It is held by a spring ahead of the band. The two piece trigger guard is a straight copy of the French Model 1822 pattern, the bow and front finial being of reddish brass and a plate of iron, with finger grips. The lower sling loop was screwed through a reddish brass plate which is screwed into the underside of the butt just ahead of the toe. The buttplate, which is of yellowish brass, is a straight copy of the French Model 1822 design, and the trigger is a copy of the current French and Belgian design with a deeply curved finger piece. The left side of the butt has a recessed cheek rest. The ramrod has a cylindrical head with a rounded rear portion, and a torque hole near the rear, and a deeply cupped face. The barrel has heavy walls, and is formed octagonally for 4 inches from the breech. It is fitted with a patent chambered breech-piece with the tang integral. The foresight is a low iron blade on a shallow or low block brazed to the barrel. The backsight is peculiar to this type of Neapolitan arm. It is a long rectangular bed with flanged on each side protecting a long leaf hinged at the rear. The base of the hinge is formed as a large block which is deeply vee noticed. The leaf has a slide formed of two plates secured by a screw through their centre, lone plate being on either side of the leaf, on top and bottom. The slide and the top of the leaf are vee notched, and the leaf graduated to 1000 metres. It is rifled with 4 rectangular grooves making 1/3 turn in the length of the barrel.


Mass manufacture



BarrelLength24.5 in.
BarrelLength622 mm
OverallLength39.7 in.
OverallLength1010 mm
OverallWeight3.92 kg
OverallWeight8.6 lb oz


Serial Number None visible


17.5 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Model type
1857 MS in script
Left flat
Mta Rle ai Napoli