The Harpers Ferry Breechloader

by
posted on April 25, 2017
425_a1f_legends-1.jpg

This noted gunsmith was born in Portland, Maine, in 1781. He worked in his father’s tannery from a young age and, as an adult, moved into woodworking. He also began tinkering with firearms, and by 1811, he had designed a new firearm and received a patent. 

In 1819, he signed a contract with the War Department to mass-produce 1,000 of his patented rifles, and he worked out of an old armory sawmill along the Shenandoah River in Harpers Ferry, W.V., to complete the contract. Commissioners from the Ordnance Department visited in 1826 to examine his machinery, and they were amazed at his mass-production innovations. 

An Army Ordnance writing states that he “had formed and adopted a system in the manufacture of small arms, entirely novel, and which, no doubt, may be attended with the most beneficial results in the country, especially if carried into effect on a large scale.” 

He continued working at Harpers Ferry until 1840, and passed away the following year, at the age of 60. 

Click here to learn more about this this inventor who created the first American firearm made with totally interchangeable parts. It’s just one of the many fascinating treasures on display at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.

Latest

Maloneyoversighthearing

The Armed Citizen® August 5, 2022

True stories of the right to keep and bear arms.

The U.S. House Voted to Punish Law-Abiding Americans

The proposed legislation didn’t work 30 years ago and, if history is any indicator, it wouldn’t this time.

War Hippies Are NRA Country

If you’re a proud American that supports our military and loves great music, you’ll want to know about a new country group and lifestyle brand, War Hippies.

When the News Becomes Propaganda

Most people think guns are used in a majority of violent crimes. This misunderstanding comes from mainstream-media misinformation.

NRA Using Silver Mountain Electronic Targets For High Power Championships At Camp Atterbury

Big news for High Power Rifle fans—the National Rifle Association will be using Silver Mountain Targets electronic target systems during the 2022 National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Ind.



Get the best of America's 1st Freedom delivered to your inbox.