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Buyers Beware: The Nepalese Francotte Rifle [VIDEO]

Terril Hebert

The long-forgotten Nepalese caches have been opened and the guns found are being imported in quantity. Many of these rifles and muskets make great shooters. Others definitely do not.

The long-untouched palace caches in Nepal opened up in recent years and numerous elusive rifles have been found.

Brown Bess muskets, of American Revolution fame, Enfield muskets, like those carried by the Confederate Army, Brunswick-grooved bullet rifles and a number of breech-loading guns, like the Snider-Enfield, Martini-Henry and various Nepalese copies of the Martini are available through importers like International Military Antiques USA and Atlanta Cutlery.

Some have been cleaned up after spending more than a century in storage. Some are untouched and waiting for gun lovers to bring them back to life. But these rifles come in various conditions, whether they are cleaned or untouched.

Some are in various states of decay, and some were just made from the outset with questionable materials. The Francotte M1878 breech loader is one such rifle. It has been flagged as hazardous to shoot since the gun was first imported.

But how do you know the difference between a Francotte rifle and a higher quality Martini-Henry? Here is how:

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The Francotte rifle is an interesting piece coming from isolated land just out of reach of the British Empire. These cache rifles are a labor of love to work on and shoot.

Of course, any such antiques should be checked by a gunsmith before firing.

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Buyers Beware: The Nepalese Francotte Rifle [VIDEO]