M1859/67 Spanish Berdan
GENERALLY: Adopted in late 1867, this rifle was a conversion of the 1859 rifled musket of Spanish manufacture, without changing the barrel or reducing it's bore. The conversion was painfully simple, consisting of simply cutting a through in the top of the barrel at the breach end into which the breach block would drop, and soldering a tandem pair of lugs on the top of the barrel just ahead of the opening to affix the breach block hinge. The block was attached only to the back of the hinge via a pivot pin and the hinge was attached to the barrel only by one cammed screw allowing the whole assembly to be easily lifted out by a half turn of the screw.
PHOTOS: The rifle shown is a Mo.1859/67 Fusil para Cazadores (Short Rifle) very similar to the infantry rifle. (for comparisons with other models, see below).
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: Bore is 15 mm, lifting type breach block ('a la Allin) which locks by a levered cam and the hammer falling across the lifting lever, also similar to Allin; block and hinge held in place by large single cammed screw in the center of the hinge; a half turn of the screw releases the block/hinge assembly completely. The original lock and hammer are retained with the hammer striking a diagonal sloping firing pin housed within and running downward through the breech block.
SPECIAL NOTES: The short rifle shown was converted from two patterns, the Mo. 1857 and the Mo 1857/59. The rifle shown is converted from the Mo. 1857/59 and technically should be referred to as a Mo. 1857/59/67 Fusil para Cazadores. The two patterns are similar but differ in regards to trigger guard bow, butt plate and in their rear sights. Further, the M1867 Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros (Artillery and Engineers carbine, actually a short rifle), was converted from the rifled engineer carbine of 1858, which itself was a variant of the Carabina Rayada para Cazadores Mo. 57/59 just mentioned above. An example of the M1867 Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros is pictured below.
The M1859/67 Spanish Berdan with Action open to permit loading
The M1859/67 Spanish Berdan showing barrel cut-out for breech block and the breech block hinge pins affixed to the top of the barrel:
The M1859/67 Spanish Berdan breech block/hinge removed from the barrel!
M1867 Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros Spanish Berdan as compared with the M1859/67 Fusil para Cazadores Spanish Berdan. The M1867 Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros is in the lower position in each of these photos.
The Crown proof and serial number appear on the lock in the M1867 Carabina para Artilleria e Ingenieros.
page built May 31, 1997
revised June 6, 1997
revised January 27, 1999
Updated: Nov 7, 2021