M1870 Belgian Comblain

The M1870 Belgian Comblain was a falling-block rifle invented by Hubert-Joseph Comblain of Liège, Belgium and produced in several variants known as the Brazilian, Chilean or Belgian Comblain.

M1870 Belgian Comblain
Chilean soldier during the War of the Pacific and his Comblain[1]
TypeService rifle
Place of originBelgium
Service history
Used byBelgian, Brazilian and Chilean armies
WarsWar of the Pacific
Production history
DesignerHubert-Joseph Comblain
Mass4.3 kg (without bayonet)
Length130 cm (without bayonet)

Cartridge11×50mm R Comblain
Cartridge weight40 gr
Rate of fire10 shots/min
Effective firing range300 m
Maximum firing range1300 m

W.W Greener wrote in Modern breechloaders: sporting and military in 1871 (page 214):

This rifle is called No.2, to distinguish it from the first Comblain, which is a modification of the Snider principle. The Comblain no 2 has the vertical sliding block and guard lever of the Sharp rifle; but the arrangement for exploding the cartridge is different.
The mechanism of the lock is fixed in the breech block, which consists of the ordinary main-spring acting upon a tumbler by a swivel. The tumbler and striker are made in one piece; the scear and trigger are also in one piece . By depressing the lever the breech block is brought down, the cartridge-case extracted and the rifle is cocked. A fresh cartridge being inserted, and the lever returned, the rifle is ready for firing.
Comblain Breech block.
The hinge screw can be removed without the aid of a turnscrew, which arrangement allows the breech block and lock to be taken out for the purpose of cleaning.
The breech arrangement is strong and simple. It is used by the Belgian volunteers, and has been severely tested both at Liege and Wimbledon.


  •   Belgium: M1882 Belgian Comblain
  •   Brazil: M1873 Brazilian Comblain and Brazilian Comblain Carbine Model 92
  •   Chile: M1874 Chilean Comblain