History Of The Rifle Essay Research Paper

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History Of The Rifle Essay, Research Paper Throughout history humans have a natural sense to accomplish tasks. Most of these are to establish laws and order, and how do we keep this safe? This is the other natural human sense, the ability to be violent. Yes, warfare has been apart of history as well as government and travel have. Nothing has done more to change the way we make war more than the gun has. As Mark Twain put it They are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. – Advice to Youth speech, 4/15/1882 The rifle is one type of gun that has revolutionized the field of combat. The first mentioned of the use of rifled small arms is found in an edict of the Swiss government issued in 1563. The first such weapons were crude and were of little

value when used with the spherical bullets and cannonballs at the time(Encarta 1 of 9). This is a pretty hard concept, but think of it more aerodynamic, a baseball or a rocket? There were three reasons for the rare use of rifles during the ante-bellum. 1) The process of making holes in the bore of the gun (to allow rifling) was very costly at the time. (They all had to be made by hand)(Trinity1 of 4) 2) the rifles fired ball ammunition that could not fully feel the benefit of rifling.{though accuracy was improved a little)(Trinity2 of 4) 3)The ball ammunition was harder to load because it would get stuck on the cut holes.(Trinity3 of 4) The rifle saw its first real action during the American Revolutionary War but on a limited base. The three reasons above were the major drawbacks

at the time. A young inventor named Patrick Ferguson made the first practical rifle.(Encarta2 of 9) His breechlock was grooved to prevent the action s being jammed with powder.(Encarta3 of 9) The rifle could be fired six times a minute, a major advance in firepower for the time. But because of official conservatism not more than 200 of them were made.(Encarta4 of 9) Other rifles were acquired through trade with the German mercenaries which played a larger role as a part of there military.(Encarta4 of 9)- But rifles were not used to their full potential until the civil war. During the pre-Civil War and continuing on into the post was a great time of ideas and inventions that would revolutionize the way rifles were made and shot. First Simeon North, who ran a small scythe making

business, was requested by the government to make rifles on December 10, 1823; he received his first rifle contract, for 6000 rifles to be delivered in five years.(Encarta5 of9) In 1825 he devised a repeating rifle that could fire 10 rounds without reloading. The other major player in the invention trend was a man named Henri-Gustave Delvigne. He was a French army officer and inventor who designed innovative rifles and helped introduce the cylindrical bullet.(Encarta6 of 9) In 1826 he introduced the Delvigne rifle, the powder chamber was slightly narrower than the barrel. When the rifle ball was dropped down the barrel against the chamber, a few blows of the ramrod expanded the ball to fit the rifled grooves snugly.(Encarta) Although this system had several drawbacks (such as the

slow time to load) it performed well in Algeria and was used extensively. (Encarta 5 of 9) Delvigne began experimenting with elongated bullets as early as 1830.(Encarta 5 of 9) He designed a cylindro-conical bullet with a hollow base that would expand to fit the rifling grooves when fired.(Encarta 5 of 9) Although he did little to further develop the bullet, the basic idea (the idea of the elongated bullet) was adopted by the French inventor Claude-Etienne Minie in the widely used Minie ball.(Encarta 5 of 9) Then the spark to the powder keg to the rifle industry; the Civil War. There is nothing that better spurs American industry than a war; and the soldiers and officials noticed the rifle s effective and deadly potential. The model 1861-rifled musket was chosen as the principal