A Very Rare Belgian 17MM Heurteloup Patent Self-Priming Under-Hammer Percussion Military Rifle (Koptipteur)
Lot 226
A Very Rare Belgian 17MM Heurteloup Patent Self-Priming Under-Hammer Percussion Military Rifle (Koptipteur)
Sold for £2,750 (US$ 4,400) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Very Rare Belgian 17MM Heurteloup Patent Self-Priming Under-Hammer Percussion Military Rifle (Koptipteur)
No. 128/1847, Dated 1838
With browned sighted barrel with bayonet lug beneath the muzzle, rifled with six grooves and retained by three spring-held barrel bands, the forward one pierced and also forming the ramrod-entry, dated octagonal breech struck with inspector's mark and carrying a folding-leaf back-sight calibrated to 250 metres, brass priming mechanism with toothed wheel, housed in front of the under-hammer and enclosed by a hinged brass plate carrying the rear sling loop, acting against a spring and secured in the closed position by a steel side-pin, figured full stock stamped with octagonal inspector's mark behind the barrel tang and on the right side of the butt, cheek-piece, brass trigger-guard and steel butt-plate, sling loops, original serial numbered ramrod, associated socket bayonet with blade of hollow triangular section, in original leather scabbard (some damage), and in fine condition overall (2)
92.2 cm. barrel

Footnotes

  • Probably one of an order of 2000 thought to have been manufactured in 1838 to arm the 1st Belgian Regiment of Infantry (Chasseurs à pied)

    In 1834 the distinguished French Urologist, Baron Charles Louis Stanislaus Heurteloup patented a gun in France and England which had a primer described as 'a small pipe or tube made of soft metal or other substance which may be easily divided, containing the priming'. This was housed in the butt of the gun and was automatically fed on to the nipple by a toothed wheel when the hammer was pulled back. The lock was the normal side-action type. In 1836 Heurteloup appears to have become aware of the previous Valdelion patent. After ensuring that it did not endanger his own patent, he promptly adopted its under-hammer action which he eulogised in a Mémoire sur les Fusils de Guerre, and gave his new gun the name Koptipeur (derived from the Greek words for to cut and strike). During 1837 improved models were patented in France and Scotland (the latter under the name of Thomas Theophilus Biggs). The following year a patent was taken out in Belgium in the name of J. Sigrist. Both were presumably agents of Heurteloup. Although the Koptipeur was rejected by the British Board of Ordnance after trails in 1837 it was adopted to a limited extent by the French and Belgian armies. For another example in the Royal Armouries, Leeds, see Howard L. Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World, 1965, pp. 50-51, pl. 308'; and W. Reid, 'The Fire-arms of Baron Heurteloup', J.A.A.S., vol. III (1959-61), pp. 58-81, pl. XIX A
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