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(To identify a Non-US issued / Black Powder Metallic Cartridge / Military / Rifle).
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Military Rifles in the Age of Transition
(Non-U.S.) Black Powder, Metallic Cartidge, Military Rifles
1865 to 1890
(A Research, Photo-Identification and Information Website since 1997)
M1842/59/67 Swiss Milbank-Amsler
(sometimes also referred to as: Amsler-Millbank)
GENERALLY: The M1842/59/67 Swiss Milbank-Amsler was a conversion of the huge percussion rifle M1842 (which had already been modified in 1859) to a breach loader by the simple expediant of fitting the Milbank-Amsler receiver system to the breech end of the barrel. The action employed in this, as well as the other Milbank-Amsler Swiss rifles, was originally patented in the US by Issac Milbank in 1866 and then adapted by Rudolph Amsler for use in the Milbank conversions.
The Milbank forward pivoting breach block is unique in that it is a two-piece block which rotates downward into a cam to lock at the time of firing but, when the hammer is retracted, the rear section of the block pivots forward out of the way of the cam allowing the main portion of the block to pivot forward toward the muzzle. Like the various Snider conversion, the American Allin Springfield and Belgian Tersson rifles, the spring loaded striker runs diagonally through the breach block. The M1842/59/67 has two spring retained bands and nose cap. The rear sight is unique being formed by an unusual "Y" or stirrup which is graduated to 750 paces. This "pumpkin roller" is chambered in an 18 x 25 cartridge it was in service strictly as a transitional arm.
PHOTO: The rifle shown is a M1842/59/67 Swiss Milbank-Amsler Infanteriegewehr conversion.
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: The Millbank-Amsler conversion action is easily identified by its very blockish, square two-part breech block. The M1842/59/67 by its very long length, (___ inches overall), huge calibre (18mm) and the "Y" or stirrup type rear sight, all combining to distinguish this rifle from anything else.
The photos here, directly above and directly below, are a comparison of the M1842/67 Swiss Milbank-Amsler with the M1777/1868 Belgian Terssen, also a conversion of an early 19th Century Muzzleloader. I don't have much information on the rifles from which they were converted, but would appreciate input from any knowledgeable reader.
Page first sketched April 15, 1999
Revised September 27, 1999
Updated: Nov 11, 2021