Zeughaus Zurich

Swiss large caliber Milbank-Amsler breech loading rifle

Originally it was M.1777 French-made flintlock infantry musket, purchased in large quantities by Swiss cantonal militia. Later it was converted to M.1777/1842 smoothbore percussion musket, an then it was converted to rifled percussion musket M.1777/1842 T.59. The rifling was cut in the barrel and the new, modern style rear sights were added. Finally, the rifle was converted to breech loader M.1777/1842 T.59-67 in the late 1860-s. Swinging-block mechanism conversion was approved for the Swiss army issue in December 1863. Originally, the system was patented in the USA by Isaac Milbank, and later it was modified by Rudolf Amsler. Twenty gun makers took part in the Swiss army conversion program. The rifle does not display maker's markings on the breech mechanism. Swiss cantonal militia property markings are stamped on the barrel, in front of the rear sight, "ZZ." (in the shield) and the weapon number "ZZ. 6120" (Zeughaus Zurich). Several other Swiss markings and proofs are stamped on various metal parts and on the stock. The lock plate displays fading and difficult to identify crest in the shield (just in front of the hammer).

Many thanks to "COLLECTIBLEFIREARMS" for the pictures

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