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November 20th, 2018

History of Firearms Covered in Online Video Series

Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.

Flintlock mechanism
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January 15th, 2015

What Would SHOT Show Have Been Like in 1855?

Story by T. Logan Metesh for NRABlog.com
Since beginning in 1979, SHOT Show has become one of the premier firearms industry event of the year. As I was packing up amazing and historic guns from the NRA Museums for SHOT Show, I was led down a path of historical whimsy — what would SHOT Show have been like 160 years ago in 1855?

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Treeby NRA Museum Antique RifleAll of the today’s household names in firearms would have been in attendance: Remington, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and others. Some of them were already well established; others were on the edge of greatness. Eliphalet Remington (right) would have been there. Already a well-known and respected businessman, he would have been representing the company he founded 39 years before in 1816.

Samuel Colt would have been in very good spirits. He had just renamed his company — Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company — and had broken ground on a new factory that would open the following year in 1856. His revolver patent was also set to expire in 1856. Colt had recently fired Rollin White, a trivial matter at the time, but it would come back to haunt him.

Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson would have been there, too. At this point, the now-venerable firearms company had only been a partnership for three years. They would likely have been joined by one of their investors, Oliver Winchester, and showcasing their lever-action “Volcanic” arms.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Very shortly, Winchester would buy Volcanic, Rollin White would patent a bored-through cylinder that Colt had rejected, and Smith and Wesson would form Smith & Wesson Revolver Company utilizing White’s new patent.

As you can see, many of the technologies we consider antiquated were, at the time, revolutionary. Some of the designs we take for granted today were in their infancy in 1855.

Other lesser-known (and less successful) gunmakers hoping to capitalize on their new products would have been there as well. After all, there’s no better place to unveil new designs than at SHOT Show!

Thomas Wright Gardener Treeby (often known as T.W. Treeby) would likely have been at SHOT Show displaying his new 14-shot, .54 caliber chain rifle. Designed in 1854 and patented in 1855, these rifles were made in an attempt to create a successful repeating rifle design. The British military tested the gun with a 30-round chain, but the idea never caught on.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

Rare, Antique Firearms on ForgottenWeapons.com
See the Treeby Chain Gun and other rare firearms on ForgottenWeapons.com. It is believed that only two Treeby Chain rifles were ever made. The 14 chain-linked “chambers” rotated into place via a sprocket (like on a bicycle), and each had a separate percussion cap. Watch this ForgottenWeapons.com video to see how it worked.

Treeby NRA Museum Antique Rifle

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August 29th, 2010

Teams from 24 Nations at World Muzzle-Loading Championships

The 2010 World Muzzle-Loading Championships were held August 15-22 in Fervenca, Portugal. 383 competitors, representing 24 countries, vied for top honors with original and replica black powder firearms. Over 30 events for rifles, pistols, and shotguns were conducted at the World Championships, with arms ranging from the matchlocks of the 16th century to the percussion target arms of the 19th century. Original and replica arms compete in separate categories within the mens’ and women’s divisions.

Germany Dominates Event, But Americans Fare Well
Overall, shooters from the powerful European teams (particularly Germany) dominated the medal lists this year, but there were some good showings by Americans. CLICK HERE for MLAIC World Championships results and Medal Counts.

Betty Peloquin Muzzle-loading world championshipThe U.S. International Muzzle-Loading Team captured the Bronze Medal in the Grand Prix de Versailles, the combined smoothbore and rifle-musket Aggregate. There were many strong individual performances by Americans. Betty Peloquin from Florida swept to victory in the original division of the “Walkyrie” ladies’ 100-meter prone rifle match. Shooting a percussion target rifle made over 150 years ago, Peloquin posted a 95 score for a decisive 3-point victory. New Yorker Shannon Boyce won the Silver Medal in the replica division of the “Whitworth” prone percussion rifle event. Tim Thorne, of Maryland, conned his nearly 200-year-old flintlock rifle to a Bronze medal in the original division of the “Pennsylvania” 50 meter offhand flintlock rifle match.

The next World Muzzle-Loading Championships will be held in August 2012 in Pforzheim, Germany. The World Championships are organized by the Muzzle Loaders Associations International Committee (MLAIC).

Betty Peloquin Muzzle-loading world championship

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