top of page

M1870 Civil Guard Comblain Short Rifle
(Carabine Comblain de la Garde Civique Modèle 1870)

Please Note:  This site is best viewed on a desktop, laptop or tablet computer. We have made every effort to make this site friendly to cellphone users, but it's really designed to be viewed with a larger screen.  Thank you.

IMG_6161.JPG

M1870 Civil Guard Comblain Short Rifle(Carabine Comblain de la Garde Civique Modèle 1870)

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

  With the Prussians defeating both the Danish Duchies and Austria, King Leopold II of Belgum decided that it was time to modernize the rifles of the Belgium infantry.  This lead to the development and adoption of the Albini-Braendlin and the Terssen rifles, both a conversation of the old percussion muzzleloading rifles.  However this was always meant to be a stop gap and Belgium needed a more modern weapon for its army.  In 1867, a gunsmith named Joseph Comblain presented his breech loading rifle to the Belgium army, the Belgium Comblain.  

DEVELOPMENT

  In 1867, Jospeh Comblain developed a single shot breech loading rifle with a rugged dropping‑block, integrated striker.  The rifle was put through some tests in Aug of 1867, and it was able to survive the tests related to corrosion and firing speed.  

  This rugged dropping‑block design is the creation of Hubert‑Joseph Comblain of Liège, Belgium. It is seen with both a bronze and steel receiver, and may also be properly called a sliding‑block action.

  Comblain short rifles (Modèle 1870) and rifles (Modèle 1882 )  were only actively utilized by the home guard, the Garde Civique.  (The Garde Civique were small para‑military units raised in some of the larger cities of Belgium in the 19th century. One could call them "city‑militia".  The unit‑markings on their weapons which refer to their home town are distinctive individual letters.)  The only Comblains that were carried by the military (Belgian Army) were the different variations of 980 mm (39 inch) long carbines (Mousqueton Comblain Modèle 1871), the Models 1871, 1871/1883, 1871/1883 modifié and 1871/83/88).  All of these weapons, including the series of musketoons were replaced with the introduction of the Belgian Mauser M1889, first entering service in 1891.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

bottom of page