A needle gun is a firearm that has a needle-like firing pin, which can pass through the paper cartridge case to strike a percussion cap at the bullet base. A needle gun with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves ("rifling") cut into the barrel walls is also called needle rifle.
1 Pauly needle gun
2 Dreyse needle gun
3 Doersch and von Baumgarten needle gun
4 Carl needle gun
Pauly needle gun
A diagram of a needle-gun cartridge, showing the paper cartridge case, the sabot, and acorn-shaped bullet.
The first experimental needle gun was designed by Jean Samuel Pauly, a
In Paris in 1808, in association with French gunsmith François
Prélat, Pauly created the first fully self-contained cartridges:
the cartridges incorporated a copper base with integrated mercury
fulminate primer powder (the major innovation of Pauly), a round
bullet and either brass or paper casing. The cartridge was
loaded through the breech and fired with a needle. The
needle-activated central-fire breech-loading gun became a major
feature of firearms thereafter. The corresponding firearm was also
developed by Pauly. Pauly made an improved version which was
protected by a patent on 29 September 1812. The cartridge was
further improved by the French gunsmith
Dreyse mechanism, model 1865.
The first mass-produced needle gun was invented by the German gunsmith
Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse, who, beginning in 1824, had conducted
multiple experiments, and in 1836 produced the first viable breech
loading gun model using a complete cartridge.
The early Dreyse needle guns were smooth-bore. Later Dreyse guns
adopted by the Prussian army were rifles using self-contained
combustible cartridges holding oblong lead balls held in a
From 1848 onwards the new weapon was gradually introduced into
Prussian service. The Dreyse rifle became widely used during the
The comparison of Dreyse and
^ a b c James Smyth Wallace (4 June 2008). Chemical Analysis of Firearms, Ammunition, and Gunshot Residue. CRC Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4200-6966-2. Retrieved 11 December 2011. ^ http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/HistoryTechnology/pdf_hi/SSHT-0011.pdf. ^ Roger Pauly (October 2004). Firearms: the life story of a technology. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-313-32796-4. Retrieved 11 December 2011. ^ W. Y. Carman (19 March 2004). A History of Firearms: From Earliest Times to 1914. Courier Dover Publications. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-486-43390-5. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
John Walter. The German Rifle pages 20–46 Arms & Armour Press/London 1979 External links
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Needle-Gun". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p.