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H. Pieper Flobert-Warnant 32 Rimfire Rifle Review/Profile

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H. Pieper Flobert-Warnant 32 Rimfire Rifle Review Introduction, Left Side
H. Pieper Flobert-Warnant single-shot 32 rimfire rifle, left side.

H. Pieper Flobert-Warnant single-shot 32 rimfire rifle - left side of gun.

Photo © Russ Chastain
Way back in 1845 or so, an obscure French gunsmith named Auguste Flobert invented a single shot breech-loading rifle and a diminutive rimfire cartridge to go with it. The cartridge was to become known as the 22 BB cap, with the BB standing for bulleted-breech, and the rifle is simply known as the Flobert.

These rifles weren't particularly strong, nor did they need to be, as the BB cap that was their cartridge contains no powder and simply propels a .22-caliber round ball using the force produced by the cartridge's priming compound.

Over the years, the simple Flobert action was improved, with the most simple improvement being the addition of a separate extractor. Another version is known as the "Remington" system, because of its similarity in concept to early Remington single shot rifles. While that version at least provided a breech block to lock the cartridge into the rifle, it was still fairly weak.

The rifle which is the subject of this article is of the "Warnant system," which is called "the best and final improvement on the Flobert action" by Frank de Haas in his book "Single Shot Rifles and Actions." While other versions of the Flobert were imported into the United States, the Warnant is by far the most common.

The photo shows the left side of the rifle, which has a heavy octagon barrel and a walnut stock. The trigger guard is fairly ornately shaped, but doesn't feature any engraving, as some did. The checkering on the stock's pistol grip is simple and has no points; it is nothing more than a cross-hatch pattern of lines cut into the wood. The sights are low and fixed, although with some care and determination one might adjust windage by drifting one or the other of them in their dovetail notches.

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