O. P. Drissen & Cie

Details by RICKGUN

Here below are some information’s gathered in the Francis BALACE’s "L'armurerie liégeoise et la Guerre de Sécession 1861-1865" regarding the .577 caliber rifle supplied to the Ordnance Department by the Liège industry.

On July the 7th, 1861, John Pondir of Philadelphia was contracted by the Ordnance Department for the delivery of 10,000 rifles Minié .58 with their sword bayonets at the price of US$ 18,50 a piece. The weapons were to be delivered by lots of 1,000 as per November 1st. Pondir ordered the weapons in Liège, but due to the difficulties of mass production and transport, he had to ask for a delayed delivery.

On October 4th, 1862, he had delivered 11,372 rifles (of which 1,390 had been purchased on the open market).

The weapons were either "Chasseurs de Vincennes" carbines in the American caliber, or more likely Brazilian Minié .577 manufactured at Liège for the Don Pedro army (some among them were however used by a New York navy unit), that combined the characteristics of both the French carbines and the Enfield rifles.

Balace found two of these carbines:  one was used by the 6th and 7th Ohio Cavalry Rgt at the battles of Whitestone Hill and Killdeer Mountain. It was manufactured by P.J. Malherbe & Cie. The other one bears the name of L. Lambin & Cie.

The Ohio markings: during the fall of 1862, the lack of cavalry weapons forced General Ripley to supply the Ohio and Iowa states with 1,900 "French .58 Light Carbines" for the new cavalry units created by these states. The mark Ohio was burned into the stock with a heat iron stamp.

The DC and anchor stamp is found on export weapons but also on US made ones used by the US Navy (Colt rifles, Spencer Navy Model, Marine Enfield). This stamp could be that of some Navy yard, but certainly not that of a maker.

Number of war rifles presented to the proof house by O.P. Driessen:

1857: 917

1858: 1.598

1859: 937

1860: 3.718

1861: 4.820

1862: 14.427

1863: 12.221

1864: 595

1865: 346

1866: 152

1867: 393 - end of activity

This production is relatively modest compared to that of other makers.

Christian P.

Photos friendly authorized by "FINE ARMS"

DRISSEN or DRIESEN

This company named DRIESEN P and Co was active from 1845 to 1874.

It was operated from 1874 to 1900 by DRIESEN Ferdinand, 10 rue Forgeur, in Liege, who registered two patents in 1898 and 1899 for a rifle cartridg ejector and a revolver safety .

His stamp was letters FD in an lozenge under a crown.

The marking on this rifle is not very easy to read (an anchor of course) and is not corresponding to anything known.

The weapon in itself is a simple percussion rifle with nothing special.

GG

Many thanks to RICK for the photos.

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