Ferguson Breech-Loader

image for Ferguson Breech-Loader
This is one of three prototypes Patrick Ferguson had made in 1776. It is the same rifle Ferguson fired in a demonstration for George III. Ferguson gave the rifle to Frederic De Peyster, a New York loyalist militia officer. The Ferguson was one of the first breech loading rifles used in battle. It employed a breechlock - a vertical rising screw that was lowered by rotating the trigger guard. This opened the breech for loading. This improvement allowed the rifle to fire four to six shots per minute.
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Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Price of Freedom
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
ca 1776
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Ferguson, Patrick
associated person
De Peyster, Frederic
Egg, Durs
place made
United Kingdom
overall: 7 1/2 in x 49 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 125.73 cm x 6.35 cm
National Museum of American History
Object Name