It has suffered considerably in modern times from the competition of other towns in this industry, especially since the introduction of the breech-loading rifle.
The number of field battalions was nearly doubled, two-thirds of the artillery received breech-loading rifled guns, the infantry had for some years had the breech-loading "needlegun," and steps were initiated to train an adequate number of staff officers to a uniform appreciation of strategical problems, based on Moltke's personal interpretation of Clausewitz's Vom Kriege.
Both overlooked the changes brought by the introduction of the longrange rifle (muzzleand breech-loading alike), which had rendered impossible the "case shot preparation" which had formed the basis of Napoleon's tactical system.
Lastly, to allow for the superior centering of the shot obtainable with the breech-loading system, Bashforth introduces a factor a, called the coefficient of steadiness.
One of his last essays dealt with the war of 1866 and the influence of the breech-loading rifle, and he died at Passy on the 24th of March 1869 only a year before the Franco-German War.