Object Title

Needlefire bolt-action rifle - Bijou rook and rabbit rifle

Needlefire bolt-action rifle - Bijou rook and rabbit rifle



Object Number



not known

Physical Description

The action is scrolled and border engraved, and on a ribbon on the left side, in old English letters, is W & J RIGBY and on the right side, DUBLIN.
The action is operated by half-cocking the centre hammer, when the lever on the right side (now missing) is turned upwards and around to unscrew the breech piece, which then allows the barrel to drop down in the conventional manner for loading. The barrel is then closed and held and held with the left hand while the lever is brought round to the right which screw-up the breech piece. The hammer is then full cocked for firing. A special combustible needle-fire cartridge was used. The needles were replaceable by screwing out a thumbscrew which runs transversely through the hammer nose, and upon which the needle pivots.
Two-piece stock, the fore-end retained by one slide with engraved oval iron escutcheons. The tip of the fore-end is finished with a slight curl. Chequered fore-end small, iron buttplate with tapering pointed tang with scroll engraving.
The full octagonal barrel is etched damascus in typical Rigby manner with the pattern very pronounced. Engraved between backsight and breech on top flat, in old English letters, 'Wm & Jno Rigby, Dublin'. A patent breech section has been fitted to the breech-end of the barrel to hold the threaded portion of the breech mechanism. Short bead foresight on low base dovetailed into barrel. Backsight is narrow bed with four platinum-lined flip-up leaves hinged along it, graduated for 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards. Multi-groove rifling.


BarrelLength24.09 inches
BarrelLength612 mm
OverallLength1029 mm


Serial Number 12199


0.4 in



John Rigby and W.N Norman's Patent No.899 of April 10, 1860 refers.
See XII.3386 for later, plainer, complete example of this system. The cartridge used in this weapon is described in the sme patent as the mechanism.