Today in Rifle History

Historical Events

  • 1868-07-04 In New Zealand, Maori leader Te Kooti and 300 of his followers captured the schooner Rifleman and sailed for New Zealand; the fugitives landed at Whareongaonga six days later
  • 1871-11-24 National Rifle Association organized (NYC)
  • 1874-09-26 1st Grand International Rifle match held
  • 1875-06-07 California Rifle and Pistol Association founded
  • 1875-11-04 Massachusetts Rifle Association is founded in Boston
  • 1907-01-26 The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III is officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use.
  • 1914-04-24 A shipment of 35,000 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition are landed at Larne for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF, an Ulster loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland
  • 1914-07-26 Irish Volunteers unload a shipment of 1,500 rifles and 45,000 rounds of ammunition arrived from Germany aboard Erskine Childers' yacht the Asgard; British troops fire on jeering crowd on Bachelors Walk, Dublin, killing three citizens
  • 1916-04-09 The Libau sets sail from Germany with a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans; Captain Karl Spindler changes the name of the vessel to the Aud to avoid British detection
  • 1916-04-21 The Aud, carrying a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans in staging what would become the 1916 Rising, is captured by the British Navy and forced to sail towards Cork Harbour
  • 1916-04-22 Karl Spindler scuttles the Aud near Daunt's Rock, to prevent its cargo of 20,000 rifles destined for Irish republicans falling into enemy hands
  • 1926-10-19 John C Garand patents semi-automatic rifle
  • 1936-01-09 Semi-automatic rifles adopted by US army
  • 1972-10-14 North Irish Loyalist paramilitaries raid Headquarters of the 10 Ulster Defence Regiment in Belfast and stole rifles and ammunition
  • 1973-05-17 US performs 3 nuclear tests at Rifle Colorado
  • 1987-08-19 Hungerford Massacre: in England, Michael Ryan kills sixteen people with an assault rifle and then commits suicide.
  • 2007-12-05 Westroads Mall massacre: A gunman opens fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha, Nebraska mall, killing eight people before taking his own life.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1744-06-04 Patrick Ferguson, Scots army officer and rifle designer (d. 1780)
  • 1810-11-30 Oliver Fisher Winchester, rifle maker (Winchester)
  • 1840-02-05 Hiram Stevens Maxim, inventor (automatic single-barrel rifle)
  • 1901-10-02 [Ignatius] Roy [D] Campbell, South African poet (Flowering Rifle)
  • 1949-11-08 Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice Presidenf of the US National Rifle Association, born in Schenectady, New York

Famous Deaths

  • 1861-08-12 Eliphalet Remington, American inventor, designer of the Remington rifle (b. 1793)
  • 1899-10-20 Robert H "Bobby" Gunning, British colonel (60th Rifles), dies in battle
  • 1945-01-16 Dennis Donnini, British rifleman (Victoria Cross), dies in battle at 19
  • 1974-02-16 John Garand, Canadian rifle engineer and manufacturer (b. 1888)