What are needle guns?
Bob Fuller — Vermillion, South Dakota.
A European invention, the needle gun got a lot of use (and publicity) during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. The name comes from the firing pin, long and slender like a needle. It pierced clear through the paper-encased cartridge to strike the primer. The .51 caliber gun was the father of all modern bolt-action rifles.
Americans made a few needle guns too, but these were soon replaced by rifles that fired metallic cartridges.
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