THE GUN FOR THE BOY
All through the foregoing chapters I have told you how to make things to shoot with from a sling to a crossbow, and now I want to tell you about a boy who made his own gun.
And you could make one too, and even easier than he did, for he lived a long time ago when tools were poor and scarce, but in these days of great machine shops it is cheaper and safer for you to buy a gun already made.
The Boy Who Made a Gun He was an American boy who lived at Ilion up in New York State just one hundred years ago (1817). His name was Eliphalet Remington, and while you may never have heard his first name before you will hear his last name wherever a gun is used, and this was the chap who wanted a gun so badly he vowed he'd make one.
You, of course, will wonder why he didn't go to a sporting goods store and buy one, even as you and I, but the answer is that the only guns which could be bought at that time came from Europe, and they were so all-fired costly he couldn't afford one, and so the only thing he could do was to make one, and this is the way he did it.
His father was a blacksmith as well as a farmer, and young Eliphalet, when he wasn't growing things on the farm, was making things in the shop. When the idea of making a gun hit him, it hit him hard and he worked at the forge until he had hammered the barrel of a rifle out of the best steel he could make, for there was no ready-made steel in those days.
When he had forged the barrel he walked to Utica, where he had it bored and rifled and a lock fitted to it; then during the next couple of months he fashioned a stock of black walnut, a slow and tiresome job for a boy, but he stuck to it and after much hard work he finally finished it and fitted it to the lock and at last he owned a gun.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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