Rifles in History

Historical Events

  • 1868-07-04 Maori leader Te Kooti and 300 of his followers captured the schooner Rifleman in the Chatham Islands and sail for New Zealand; landing at Whareongaonga six days later
  • 1871-11-16 National Rifle Association is first chartered in the State of New York
  • 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 rifle officially introduced into British Military Service, 2nd 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 arrive from Germany aboard Erskine Childers' yacht the Asgard; British troops fire on jeering crowd on Bachelors Walk, Dublin, killing three citizens

GermanySS Libau Sets Sail

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
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The Libau, disguised as the Aud, to avoid British detection
The Libau, disguised as 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1963-03-11 US Defense Secretary Robert MacNamara orders the adoption by the US military of the M16 assault rifle, originally designed as the AR-15 by Eugene Stoner

Inventor Eugene Stoner
Inventor
Eugene Stoner
  • 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

Meeting of InterestMikhail Kalashnikov Meets Eugene Stoner

1990-05-16 Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov, the creators of the M16 rifle and the AK-47 rifle respectively, meet in Washington, D.C.
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The inventor of the AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov (right), meets the inventor of the M-16, Eugene Stoner (left)
The inventor of the AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov (right), meets the inventor of the M-16, Eugene Stoner (left)
  • 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.
  • 2018-04-22 Gunman opens fire at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee, killing four before James Shaw Jr. wrestled the rifle from the gunman's hands
  • 2018-05-07 Iran-Contra figure Oliver North announced as the new President of the US National Rifle Association

Famous Birthdays

  • 1744-06-04 Patrick Ferguson, Scottish army officer and rifle inventor (Ferguson flintlock rifle), born in Pitfours, Scotland (d. 1780)
  • 1804-10-05 Robert Parker Parrott, American inventor (developed the rifled cannon known as the Parrott gun), born in Lee, New Hampshire (d. 1877)
  • 1810-11-30 Oliver Winchester, American politician and rifle maker (Winchester Repeating Arms Company), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • 1840-02-05 Hiram Stevens Maxim, inventor (automatic single-barrel rifle)
  • 1901-10-02 Roy Campbell, South African poet (Flowering Rifle), born in Durban, South Africa (d. 1957)
  • 1949-11-08 Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice Presidenf of the US National Rifle Association, born in Schenectady, New York

Famous Deaths

  • 1780-10-07 Patrick Ferguson, Scottish army officer and rifle inventor (Ferguson flintlock rifle), dies in battle at 36
  • 1861-08-12 Eliphalet Remington, American firearms manufacturer (Remington Arms Co., L.L.C.), dies at 67
  • 1877-12-24 Robert Parker Parrott, American inventor (developed the rifled cannon known as the Parrott gun), dies at 73
  • 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)