Claude Etienue Minie, a French inventor, born in Paris about 1805. At an early age he entered the army as a private soldier, and, after serving several campaigns in Algeria, reached the rank of captain. He now began to study improvements in firearms and projectiles; and on the supposition that he was from this cause losing his efficiency as a military officer, his dismissal was determined upon. Through the influence of the duke de Montpensier he was retained in the service, and gradually several of his improvements in rifle balls, cartridges, and gun barrels were adopted. In 1849 he was decorated with the cross of the legion of honor; in 1852 he was promoted to the rank of major on the retired list, and soon after was appointed chef du tir, or instructor in the use of firearms, at Vincennes. In 1858 he resigned this post, and was appointed by the Egyptian government to superintend a manufactory of arms and a school of gunnery at Cairo. The rifle bullet named after him is said to have been the invention of his friend and instructor, Capt. Delavigne. It consists of an elongated cylinder, conical in front and hollow behind, and fitted with a cap of thin iron, which by filling the grooves of the barrel as the hall is forced through, gives to the latter a precision and range of flight previously unknown to gunnery.
This was the first effectual introduction of the principle of expansion into the manufacture of firearms.