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Today's Moment of Collector Zen... also the answer to the Whatziss.

I'm giving Og the win!  He didn't get it exactly right, but no one was likely to - I wouldn't have until a few months ago when we acquired the rifle.

It matches the form that Og described, of a Flobert-style parlor gun.  The difference being, this one, rather than firing what amounts to a cap-with-a-bb, fires a full up .58" Minie ball (the pic embiggens).

They're believed (I've not seen any documentary evidence yet) to have been made up for the French army as garrison training weapons.  Same principles apply as for parlor guns - shorter functional barrel, less range, etc., making them safer to fire on short ranges or perhaps even indoors.   They're sighted to 1000m however...

This one clearly had a bad storage life and was eaten by wood-loving insects/worms at some point.  The stock is still sound, just not pretty.

The steel for the gun came from the firm of Companie des forges de Chtillon, Gemmentry and Menses-Maisons, which is what the "CC" in the oval means, and was built under Minie's patent, and is a full-bore rifle.


percussion cap?  Odd hammer.  You have the most interesting collection. 

Does this one come with a bayonet?  If so be careful.
Yes, we do.  The curse and advantage of having no focus or discipline.  No bayonet on this one.
What is the "rod" that the hammer appears to strike?
I am going to take a guess.
The rod strikes the cap which will either set off a small amount of powder or just use the cap
primer for shooting the minie ball.
This is for inside shooting, so i guess it use just  the cap primer.
The part of the rifle behing the striker is to simulate a regular rifle in use and weight.
Dang! I missed by a mile and still took home the win? Y'all are too nice. And a very nice piece it is indeed!
 Actually, Og - you correctly deduced all the key pieces - you just couldn't reconcile scale. And we all know I play scale angles well.

JM - essentially correct. The rod contains a cup on the end which strikes a cap on a nipple at the breech end of the barrel. If you look at the piece, there are clearly two types of metal - the darker steel forward is the actual barrel, which is rifled and crowned in the way Minie specified, and the lighter colored, which essentially is just providing service rifle length.  The sights may well be just taken from service rifle stocks.
 I'm disappointed in Pogue.
I could claim I'm still sulking, but the fact is I was clueless on this one.  :-)
 Poor Pogue.  He can't lose for winning.  Or something like that.
But the "rod" goes 3/5th the way to the muzzle, it doesn't just stop at the chamber.  So if it is the nipple for the cap, what does the rest of the "rod" do?
 Phil - I think I understand your confusion.  First - click on the full-length picture of the rilfe.  That will enlarge it.  Or click here.

Then, for real clarity, we need a new picture that is a close up - so click here.

The rod goes all the way *to* the chamber.  In the picture you can see two distinct colors of metal.  The part on the left is *not* a part of the barrel.  The barrel (to the right) is screwed into it and held with a set-screw.  The purpose is to have a full length weapon, but a much shorter barrel for limited distance ranges (such as in urban garrisons).  Cheaper to make, and safely shoots a shorter range with a reduced charge - less danger of a sticker.