This is a page under construction and material will be added as it becomes availible. That material will be divided into two catagories. The first catagory will be guns which like the muzzle loader took loose powder and ball or bullet. The second catagory will be guns which took a specific cartridge an example being the needlefire guns. 

    First we will start out with a look at the developments of Mr. Beatus Béringer. This System fits into the first catagory. We have a contemporary book which refers to his developments. The book of Illustrious Mechanics by Edward Foucaud of 1846 is reproduced here.

The following article first appeared in the Sept. 1985 issue of The black powder Report.

The following images of Béringer guns are found in the 2nd Vol. of Jaroslav Lugs book Hand-Feuerwaffen from 1956.

The first look at a gun that fits into the second catagory is a Needle Fire made by Dreyse and is a Faucet Breech System. It is referred to as a Salon or Parlor rifle by some but frankly I can not imagine firing this rifle indoors with even a modest black powder charge. The cartridge was loaded bullet up into the hole in the breech when it was open. Upon closing the cartridge was indexed in line with the bore. The needle is fragile and the breech could not be opened until the bolt was moved back in the receiver which pulled the needle out of the Faucet Breech. If the action was forced open without withdrawing the bolt, the needle would be bent or sheered completely. 

A cross section drawing of the Dreyse Needle Fire System the upper one in the cocked position and the lower one in the fired position.


A drawing of the Needle Fire Bolt and it’s component parts.


Two Needle Fire cartridges, a Shot Cartridge on the left and a Bulleted round on the right showing the primer at the base of the wad above the powder charge. The Needle would penetrate the Powder Charge to strike the primer.

Click HERE to go to a page about another Faucet Breech Needle Fire rifle made by Johann Leonhard Gerstmayr of Memmingen.