In July of 1855, T.W. Treeby of Great Britain patented his “stepping stone” in firearm technology: a repeating percussion rifle that employed a rotating chain of chambers. This .54-caliber, 14-shot design had other unique features as well, including a firing process that involved unbolting and levering the barrel off of and back onto the chambers.
While considered by the British military and tested with a larger 30-shot belt, the unusual Treeby never advanced beyond the prototype stage. Two other examples are known, but only this Treeby features a folding forward grip on the barrel’s underside.
The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo., and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, with donations gratefully accepted. For more information, visit www.nramuseum.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].