Needle Gun(redirected from Dreyse Rifle)
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a breech-loading rifle. When the needle gun was fired, a needle pierced the bottom of a paper cartridge and ignited the explosive and fuze of the percussion shell. The first needle gun with a rifled bore was the Prussian rifle created by J.N. Dreyse in 1840, which increased the rate of fire five times and had the tactical advantage that the soldier could load the rifle while in a prone position. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, in which the needle gun proved its superiority, A.A. Chassepot in France developed a new needle gun of better design and greater accuracy than the Dreyse rifle. The Karle rifle in Russia was very similar to the Chassepot rifle. By the late 19th century needle guns were replaced everywhere by more advanced rifles with a spring firing pin placed in the breechblock.