French Rifle Book

Announcing the pre-release of

Chassepot to FAMAS:
French Military Rifles
1866 - 2016

by Ian McCollum

of Forgotten Weapons


Chassepot to FAMAS is a reference guide for historians, shooters, and arms collectors alike, detailing the progression of French military rifles from the first paper-cartridge Chassepot rifles in 1866 through the FAMAS - the last military rifle to be made in France. The first English-language book to cover its subject, the work includes all major models of French rifles:

  • Chassepot
  • Gras
  • Kropatschek
  • Lebel
  • Berthier
  • RSC
  • MAS-36
  • MAS-40/44/49/56
  • FR-F1/2

Each chapter includes a history of the rifle’s development and its intended use, along with variations, production numbers, markings, disassembly and mechanical operation, bayonets, and its history of actual field and combat use. French arms have played a unique role in firearms development, often leading the way for others to follow, and always unique. Coupled with outstanding color photography, Chassepot to FAMAS is not just a valuable reference tool but also a beautiful book worthy of any discerning library.

Ian McCollum is the founder, editor, and presenter of Forgotten Weapons, a decade-old online web site and video archive dedicated to preserving firearms history. His work with firearms includes a particular speciality in French arms which has led him to a deep interest in collecting these weapons. It is his hope that Chassepot to FAMAS will lay the groundwork for a new level of appreciation and respect for these arms.

Design Contest

Talented and inspired designers, we are looking for you to participate in our contest to design the cover of our upcoming book! Click here for details and instructions for entry.



Stay up to date with developments at and be the first to know when Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles 1866 - 2016 by Ian McCollum is officially released! We will also keep you informed of developments with the Design Contest, voting, and prizes. Most importantly, we won't share your personal information with any outside company!


Behind the Scenes Look
into Production of
Chassepot to FAMAS