France has always gone its own merry way in design– in cars, think of the Citroen; in guns– well, more seem unique than those of any other country (can “more” and “unique” coexist this way in a sentence?)
The first that comes to mind is the sliding breech Darne. I have had many. Carlos Martinez del Rio owns my last, a 30’s 16 bore, and I may yet get another.
And what about a Manufrance Ideal with lunette trigger guards?
Or the rotating breech Darne, with an opening mechanism a bit like some artillery guns or punt guns but on a light game action? (I have only seen pictures, this one from a Raymond Caranta article in an old Gun Digest, on the collection of Christian Ducros, the only postmodern gunmaker).
Recently Djamel, who runs the brilliant French gun and sport blog La Chasse et les Armes Fines, sent me the best yet, a combination of antique and what must have been cutting- edge modern: a hammer rotating breech Darne!