The following video is brought to you courtesy of the Forgotten Weapons YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.
This video has been updated from its original form to remove a reference to an erroneous claim that it did not effectively obturate, and was thus fired from the hip. For a great video showing live fire of the Dreyse, check out CapAndBall:
Originally published May 27, 2015.
The Dreyse needle rifle (or zundnadelgewehr, which translates to needle firing rifle) was a major step forward in military rifle technology, although it did not remain at the forefront for very long (much like the Spencer repeating rifle in that regard). It used a paper cartridge with an integrated percussion cap primer, allowing the shooter to carry fully self-contained ammunition. It was a breech-loading bolt action, and the combination of these features gave it a much higher rate of fire than the muzzleloading rifles it replaced.