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“L’Africain” revolver from the Manufacture Française d’Armes et Cycles de Saint-Étienne

At the beginning of the 20th century, the arms industry was flourishing. Innovations, technical discoveries and new markets ensured comfortable prosperity for the various manufacturers. It was in this context that a highly symbolic establishment, La Manufacture Française d’Armes et Cycles de Saint-Étienne, would experience a considerable commercial development. Offering a considerable choice of material, the armament part holds an important place in its catalogs with classic but also more exotic models, such as the one we are interested in.

The finest hour of this commercial institution, the word institution not being overused, is between 1885 and the beginning of WWI. Two people are at the origin of what collectors respectfully call “La Manu”(TN: French nickname for La Manufacture Française des Armes et Cycles de Saint-Étienne). Pierre Blachon and Étienne Mimard met in 1883, the first oversaw the Manufacture d’Armes de Chasse et de Tir, the second was a young engineer. These two enthusiasts would acquire this commercial entity and implement an unparalleled commercial policy, offering a wide range of armaments, accessories and various supplies. This establishment would also be a precursor in terms of communication, developing catalogs full of references, illustrations and developing what is now called marketing (TN: in English in the text…) and which was more modestly called trading at the time. The company reached its peak in 1912 with 10,000 m² of estate buildings and 1,500 employees.

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    Julien Lucot

    Julien Lucot is an enlightened gun lover and a French shooter who has written numerous articles in the French firearms magazines. Enthusiastic and open-minded, his thirst for discovery is matched only by his joy of sharing.

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