Book Review: The Dreyse Military Needle-Ignition System

Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another video book review on I’m Ian McCollum and the book that we are taking a look at today is the Dreyse Military needle ignition system by Guy and Leonard A-R-West brothers out of the UK This is the second in a trio of books that they are in the process of writing on antique military firearms. The first one was on the Chassepot We have a video about that book as well if you’re interested Now this one follows largely the same format as the Chassepot book. It is not just an academic History, it’s not just a collector’s guide. It is also a shooters guide kind of wraps all three of these sorts of subjects together so the book begins with basically a military history of the use of the Dreyse, the Dreyse of course was first developed in 1841 and Continued to see use amongst I think all the German states and principalities up until the franco-prussian war So 1840s through 1870s is really the time period we’re looking at here unlike the Chassepot the Dreyse went through some substantial Mechanical reconfiguration during its lifespan. So there are a bunch of different varieties and to to the unaccustomed observer You know picking up a random Dreyse and trying to identify what it is. Well, that’s a really daunting task There are a lot of variations things like rear sights Changed, you know multiple times on each model Plus there are a whole bunch of different models So it can be a really challenging Task to try and figure out anything about the Dreyse this is compounded by the fact that prior to the publication of this book There’s very little out there even on the internet if you don’t read German not a whole lot to work with so Like I said this starts with like a military history of the use of the Dreyse Which is fascinating to me, it goes into a fair amount of depth when the rifle was used properly when it wasn’t when it was pitted against muzzle loaders a lot of interesting detail about both the gun and how it’s, how people’s view of it changed over time, then it goes through a whole section on basically Specifications and details explaining each major model of the gun and that’s particularly valuable So the whole book by the way is illustrated with a mixture of photographs and hand colored paintings Which are really interesting done by the authors? so the this one this book has a bit more tabulated data in it than the Chassepot did which I like It still doesn’t have like major overarching tables of serial numbers and production dates But I can understand that being very difficult information to get what it does have is a lot of detailed technical Specifications on each individual model of the gun and that’s really cool. So After that, there is a there’s quite a bit by the way of like side by side pictures of different features, you know This is the model A this is the model B and how you can identify them What the pros and cons were of each change in the overall pattern of the rifle? after we get through that section there is a section on accessories and ancillary stuff, so training cartridges bayonets in particular identifying unit markings And then the West brothers are also avid shooters of these firearms. So there’s a substantial amount of information in here about how to actually load for these how you develop the cartridges how you build the cartridges And then what how the guns handle their they shot? They went out and shot something like half a dozen different patterns of Gracie and their impressions very significantly You know from the early rifles to the little short barrel cavalry carbines to the Beck conversions Which by the way that that system is also covered in here in some detail So overall you’re looking at about a hundred and sixty page book pretty heavily Illustrated with a lot of information in it both for the historian and for the practical enthusiasts I can’t think of any reason not to recommend this book. It has a lot of good information Doesn’t hurt that it’s the only source of this information, but it’s well put together. It’s I found it. Very interesting You don’t have to be a shooter to enjoy the book and you don’t have to be a historian to enjoy the book There’s a little bit of something for everybody So I have a link in the description text below to woodfield press or woodfield pub Woodfield the publisher where you can pick up a copy it is sold out of the UK and it is 45 pounds as of this Recording so a little bit on the pricey side perhaps for a paperback book but I think the quality of the information that’s certainly the time that went into it that the painting illustrations are really Interesting to me. I would have found a really good camera, but the paintings are very cool they give it a unique character and They’re able to be done in a way that they can really show these specific details that the author’s are trying to point out in the illustrations anyway Highly recommended great new book on the Dreyse hopefully you guys enjoyed the video. Thanks for watching

30 thoughts on “Book Review: The Dreyse Military Needle-Ignition System

  1. The painting vs. camera idea reminds me of birding when the Sibley and Peterson guides came out in the 2000s. Both were revolutionary in showing recognition markings and highlights of species, and each had their proponents – whether idealized paintings in the Sibley guide or photographs (with retouching) in the Peterson. The former seemed to win out for similar reasons as to here – showing the particulars you want to highlight is easier when you have full control over things. Though as a photographer, I also agree that there's usually an equipment or setup solution to any issue you can find when doing 'product photography'.

  2. Hey Ian, South African here, after the war, I'm hoping to have a say in our laws in our new state, pls come to our Boere state after the war and shoot some cool guns, I have a whole mental list of guns I want to be able to own

  3. Ordered my copy 2 weeks ago, and it hasn't come yet. Waiting on international shipping is sad.

    Ian, you should review Das Zundnadelgewehr…

  4. I have watched their videos here on youtube of them firing the Dreyse rifles and other rifles as well.

  5. Quick pronunciation tip: the letter "e" is pronounced "ee" in English and in English only. In other languages it's either "é" or something close to a "uh". In that case Dreyse would be pronounced something like "Drayzuh".

    Great video as usual though 🙂

  6. im hoping for ian to do a book review of his own book to (jokingly) shamelessly shill it and oversell it (if thats possible)

  7. Of course, if you haven't already pre-ordered Ian's book, you should!

  8. Do you have any plans for a Calico video? I love when you walk us through some of the more unusual mechanics, especially the G11 and AN94.

  9. Leonard & Guy West is always a fantastic source for 19th century firearms. They don't just repeat what others have picked up somewhere, they actually shoot the weapons they own themselves and do proper research. I do understand that the Dreyse is nearly impossible to find outside of mainland europe, because most of them were melted down in WW1. In europe the price range is between 2000 and 5000 €, unfortunately there are no repros of the Dreyse.

    And for me that probably means, that I, as an owner of a Dreyse M/41 and of several german language books about the Dreyse, have a reference now, just in case I again bounce into someone from the anglosaxon world that believes every negative myth about this game-changing firearm.

  10. Ian when can we expect your review of the upcoming book "Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles 1866-2016"?

  11. The Dreyse carbine was quite short and its look reminds me of a big 1600's horse pistol and matches with the crab tail pickelhaube in that respect, harkening back to the renaissance. Very cool that the brothers illustrated their own book.

  12. have you ever heard about VAHAN machine gun Ian?
    the gun is interesting its an assault rifle with blowback mechanism just like FAMAS

    im sorry if it's off topic

  13. JUST WATCHED GUNS OF THE SAFARI, on amazon prime,didn’t know you were branching out into this , fantastic stuff!!! Was surprised to see you on amazon

  14. So I was watching the H&K Gun Jesus video and my fiance walks in and goes, "So your getting a copy of Ian's book right?" Me: "Yeah I just needed to talk to you about what version I want." Her "Get the signed one." …. ….. keeper.

  15. So I have to ask…do you still maintain the Dreyse has to be fired from the hip because of gas blow back?

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