HC Deb 07 April 1864 vol 174 c536

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to the vast superiority of the Prussian Breech-loading Rifles in the Danish Campaign, as described in the Letter of The Times' Correspondent from Sönderborg?


, in reply, said, the arm in question was well known to the Ordnance Select Committee. There were two or three specimens of it in their possession, and some years ago it was tried at Woolwich. The arm was very efficient for a limited number of rounds, but after that the escape of gas was so great that the weapon would have been dangerous for use. It was possible that improvements had since been made in it. They had no reason, however, to suppose that the breech-loading rifles of the Prussian army was superior to the Westley Richards' rifles, of which a supply had been ordered, and which were to be issued to several regiments for the purpose of trial. There were a great number of difficult questions connected with the breech-loading rifles for the use of the army, and it had been deemed advisable, before the general adoption of any weapon, to have a thorough trial by regiments in all parts of our possessions.