GENERALLY: To begin with, all I had to go on was the following brief tantalizing information from: Rifles of the World by John Walter (see Bibliography).
"This interesting block action mechanism, unique to Brazil, was incorporated in gendarmerie musketoons (Mosquete do Policia) made in Liege in the late 1870's for issue in Bahia. An operating lever on the right side of the breech was pulled back to cock the hammer and then outward to swing the entire breech block laterally to the right . The spent case was extracted as the movement was completed."Then I received the following information!!!!
Subj: Information on Chuchú's Carbine
Date: 00-01-12 20:14:28 EST
From: email@example.com (Adler Homero Fonseca de Castro)
Dear Mr. Doyon
I recently exchanged correspondence with Mr. Brad Dixon, of New Zealand, which was writing an article on Comblain Cartridges. In his article, published in NZCCC [whatever this is :-)], (Ed Note: See Comblains for a copy of this excellent article!!!) he mentioned your site (I believe he found me through it) so I decided to go there and give a look (I lost the site address when my computer "died" some months ago).
In the site I found the information below, which I hadn't seen before, so I am writing this with some information on the weapon (I wrote a small paper on Chuchu's designs some time ago).
M187_ Brazilian "Chuchu:"
The model is not a M187_. The weapon was patented in England in 1886 (patent 3543, 12 of march - in a catalog of with British patents you can find the drawing of the breech mechanism). It was tested by the army in Brasil in the 19 of February of the same year, but not approved. In the National Historic Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, there still are three of the 6 weapons hand made after the trials with some improvements. The design, though good, was not so superior to the Comblain in service to justify its adoption. Even so, some improvements were made due to army officer's recommendations. In the Enfield Pattern Room (England) there is a hand made carbine, with these modifications.
Athanasio Chuchú continued to advertise his design and he got lucky in his home state, Bahia, the weapon being accepted for use of the State Police force. It was officially adopted in 1891, although the weapons only arrived in 1892, being distributed in 1893, so it is sometimes either called as Bahia Police's mosquetão (short carbine, with bayonet) model 1891 or model 1892. 900 weapons were made by Lambin et Theathe, of Liège, coincidently a factory that was represented in Bahia by Chuchú. These weapons were chambered for the short (11x42R) Comblain Cartridge, used in artillery Carbines (mosquetões).
According the State Governor Reports, it is clear that the 900 weapons bought were acquired for patriotic motives and soon they were considered obsolete, being replaced by German Commission Rifles (model 1888), Brazilian Comblains or Mausers 1894
Observation: the weapon is a "Mosquetão" (musketoon) not a "mosquete" (musket). The word mosquete in Brasil is only used for the large caliber weapons used in 15-17th centuries with a rest. The English word musket (the 18th-19th century version) is translated as "Espingarda".
PHOTO: I can send you a photo as a mail attachment, but those I have aren't very good - I am not a good photographer. In the Catalogue of the Exhibition: "Prestige de Lármuriere portugaise. la part de Liège", Liège, 1991 page 163, there is a very nice photo of a mosquetão, with the action opened.
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: The weapon's length is 1080 mm and its caliber is 11 mm. It is a lever action rifle (using the same barrel of the Comblain mosquetão),
FURTHER READINGS: I recommend the catalogue above, as it is the only published text I know that deals with this weapon. I have a copy of a digest of British patents showing the drawing I mentioned above, but I do not have its bibliographical reference. Note on this subject, I would also recommend the reading of Mr. Dixon's article in NZCCC, as it has summarized very nicely all models of Comblains extant.
I hope this is helpful for your site.
Page built May 31, 1999
Revised February 13, 2000