History: Weapons That Won the West – Part 2

Reprinted from the February 1950 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

western rifles

Weapons That Won the West
By D. R. King, High River, Alta.

Jonathan Browning and the Winchesters

The year 1831 saw the very first repeating fire-arm to be manufactured in North America. Designed and hand-made by Jonathan Browning, it featured the same simplicity and ruggedness of construction which marks today’s models. His first successful repeater consisted of a Kentucky long rifle with a rectangular slot cut through laterally at the breech end. This was the first “breech loader”. A bar or slide of iron drilled with five holes passed through this slot. Each of the “holes” was loaded by hand and when the slide was pushed through and the holes lined up with the barrel and fired, it resulted in amazingly rapid shooting.’

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