Headstamp Publishing has just announced the launch of their first Kickstarter campaign, serving as a pre-order mechanism for Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles, 1866 – 2016, authored by ARES Researcher Ian McCollum, who also runs the popular Forgotten Weapons YouTube channel. As Headstamp writes:
French small arms have played a unique role in global firearms development, often ahead of the curve and always unique. Supported by world-class color photography and printed to the highest standards, Chassepot to FAMAS is not just a valuable reference tool but also a beautiful book worthy of any discerning library.
ARES staff have had an early look at the text and images of the book, and we have found it to be an excellent reference work. Chassepot to FAMAS is deserving of a place on the bookshelf of any serious small arms researcher. ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones is a co-founder of Headstamp Publishing, and ARES works closely with the company.
The story of French rifles has often been one of temporary fire superiority; it has been marked by the introduction of weapons that have changed the nature of warfare, only to be quickly superseded by rival nations’ arms. The Chassepot and Lebel stand out in this way. It is not unreasonable to claim that the Chassepot all but ended the era of neat infantry formations facing-off against their counterparts across an open battlefield, but it was introduced towards the end of the paper cartridge period. Similarly, the Lebel incorporated revolutionary smokeless powder, but was otherwise based around dated design principles and was quickly outmatched. Mr. McCollum’s book tells the story of these important weapons, and their impacts, right up to the FAMAS which remains in service today. But it is also a tale of the interstitial rifles, those such as the Kropatschek, which was to be phased out of service almost as soon as it arrived, overtaken by the developments of the time.
The Kickstarter campaign is live. You can support the project and order a book here.
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