Claude-Étienne Minié

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Claude Etienne Minié (1804-1879).

Claude-Etienne Minié (February 13, 1804; Paris - December 14, 1879; Paris) was a French Army officer famous for solving the problem of designing a reliable muzzle-loading rifle by inventing the Minié ball in 1846, and the Minié rifle in 1849. He succeeded the pioneering work of Henri-Gustave Delvigne and Louis-Étienne de Thouvenin.

Minié served in a number of African campaigns with the Chasseurs, after which he was eventually promoted to captain. In 1826 he designed the Minié ball, a cylindrical bullet with a conical point. This projectile, combined with his rifle, resulted in a major improvement in firearm accuracy.

The French government rewarded Minié with some 20,000 francs and installed him as a member of the staff at the Vincennes military school. In 1858 he retired from the French Army with the rank of colonel, and later served as a military instructor for the khedive of Egypt and as a manager at the Remington Arms Company in the United States. His rifling technology proved critical to the increase in firearms accuracy seen during the American Civil War.

Minié balls.