Charlotte Manufactured Rifles

The Washington Post of June 16, 1901, carries an article by William Hugh Robarts entitled "Our National Weapon-Rise and Development of the American Rifle" which reads:
"The rifle became so popular in the South that a factory for making the hunting rifle was established at Charlotte, N. C., about 1740. The founders came from Leman's Rifle Factory at Lancaster, Pa., which is in existence to this day. The arm turned out there was unquestionably the best, because the most carefully constructed, rifle then made in America.
"'General Washington's favorite weapon was the rifle,' says George W. Park Custer, in a most interesting little personal memorandum printed by Mr. Custer for private distribution. 'He (Washington) received a fine English ducking gun as a gift from some British admirers but up to his death he preferred to use the rifle and was a good shot. His was presented to him in 1787 by Maj. Nicholas who was his chief at every battle of the Revolution but one, and he was absent then because he was wounded. The rifle was made in Charlotte, N. C. It is four feet in length of the barrel, and the entire piece is handsomely mounted with silver. The lock is beautiful work. I have known the General to kill a deer at 150 yards with this rifle.'
"This same Charlotte rifle-making firm in 1777 presented General Washington with the finest and undoubtedly the first pair of rifle pistols ever made in America. They had twelve inch barrels carrying four ounce balls and would shoot with the accuracy of a rifle at fifty or sixty feet. They saved the General's life at Germantown but that story, though a most interesting one, does not belong here."

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