The First Rifled Gun
While a rifle is generally understood at the present time to mean a gun which shoots a cartridge—see the chapter on Ammunition—yet any gun which has grooves cut in the inside of the barrel is a rifle.
About 1498 a gunmaker of Leipsic, Germany, invented the rifle, that is, he was the first to cut spiral grooves in the barrel, the purpose of which is to give the bullet a rotary motion after it has left the barrel and so make it shoot straighter. Since the operation of cutting the grooves is called rifling it is easy to see how the rifle got its name.
Although guns with rifled barrels were made at various times for many years after rifling was invented, it was not until the Revolutionary War in 1776 that its use became at all popular. The rifle as it is made and used at the present time is explained in the next chapter.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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