Francotte model 1865

The rifle in question is indeed the Rifle Model 1865 of the Danish Shooter’s Association, and a very well preserved one judging from the fine photos. Just to avoid misunderstandings: The model designation “Model 1865” has been given to this weapon in more recent time by Danish collectors; it is not an original designation.

The Danish Shooter’s Association was created in 1861. That year the Danish gun maker and director of the Army Arsenal, Georg Christensen, created a standard muzzle loading rifle for the Association based on the Minie system (by collectors later designated Model 1861).

One of the purposes of the Association was to prepare the members for military duty, hence the bayonet. Not having any facilities in Denmark for producing the rifle it was ordered from Francotte in Liege. Only a very limited number (estimated at about 165) was produced, as the Association had problems finding sufficient funds. They were supplemented by surplus rifles from the Army and Enfield rifles donated by Danes in Great Britain.

During a visit to Liege in 1866 Georg Christensen realised that a less expensive rifle could be made by using as many parts as possible from Francotte’s running production of British military rifles. The result was the Model 1865 (some collectors use the designation 1865(66)).

It is not known how many rifles of this new model were produced, but it was probably limited as well, as the Danish Army adopted the breech loading Remington Rolling Block rifle in 1867.

The work of the Shooter’s Association was supported by the Danish ministry of internal or domestic affairs, who bought a number of rifles and donated them as prizes for the competitions. The silver plate on the stock with the inscription:

Indenrigs

Ministeriet

1872

shows that your rifle was donated by the ministry in 1872.

You may read about the rifle and the bayonet in this article: Erik Troldhuus: ”Vore skytteforeningsgeværer 2. del Model 1865(66)” that was published in Våbenhistorisk Tidsskrift (the journal of the Danish Armsand Armour society) vol. 31, issue 7, October 1998.

Yours sincerely,

Bjørn Nielsen

Many thanks to Bjørn for these very interested informations.

En voila un autre mais qui ne possède pas la plaquette Danoise !

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