This rifle utilizes a rare form of rifling designed by the Swiss engineer and infantry officer Johannes Wild (1814-1894). Wild’s rifling system was able to achieve a high level of accuracy through an ideal combination of barrel profile, twist, wadding thickness, and caliber, and it also utilized a self-cleaning system through the use of water in the bore. A special small bottle, also designed by Wild, used a device that functions by pressing against the muzzle in order to release exactly the required amount of water down the bore. This use of "water injection" loosened leftover powder residue in the barrel from the previous shot in order to allow the next loaded ball to clean out the bore when the shot was fired. This allowed more than one-hundred shots to be fired without having to clean the bore; an unorthodox solution to a problem with previous rifles before Wild's invention. The rifle could be fired quickly in part due its ability to be easily loaded and fired without the use of grease. In early 1840s trials held in Baden and Hesse, Wild’s rifle was able to fire thirty rounds within fourteen minutes during the "speed shooting trial" with twenty-nine successful hits. The Grand Duchy of Baden (southwest corner of Germany next to Switzerland and France) together with the states of Hesse-Darmstadt and Wurttemberg adopted the Wild rifle for service in 1843. This example is "1843" dated (last digit faint) on the right of the buttstock and features a right side mounted bayonet bar for use with a sword bayonet, blade front and dovetail mounted fixed V notch rear sight. "KOENIG/WURTT. FABRIK" marked at the center of the lock, short for Koeniglich Wurttembergische Gewehrfabrik or Royal Wurttemberg Gun Factory. "40" behind a sunken oval proof marked on the top left flat of the breech end of the barrel and "OBERNDORF" marked on the top flat at the breech. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a ball pulling tool in the patchbox. Most of these were converted to the Minié system in the 1850s with five-groove rifling, which makes this a scarce example today in that it retains its original fourteen-groove Wild rifling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good, exhibiting mostly smooth brown patina with scattered light pitting and crisp lock markings. Stock is also very good with scattered scratches and dents and a mild chip at the left of the buttplate. Mechanically excellent.
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