It was perhaps the most important firearm of its era. Tested and proved in the fiery crucible of the Civil War, the Henry Rifle became the forerunner of the famous line of Winchester Repeating Rifles that “Won the West.” To the amazed muzzleloader-armed Confederates who had to face this deadly “sixteen shooter,” it was “that damned Yankee rifle that was loaded on Sunday and fired all week.” As a key technological innovation firing modern metallic cartridges, the Henry Rifle helped dramatically change the nature of combat. Yet, although a rifle of the future, it was beset with a bewildering series of difficulties that impeded its widespread use. Here is the fascinating story from the frustrations of early sales efforts aimed at the government to the inspired purchase of the Henry Rifle by veteran soldiers who wanted the best weapon - no matter how high the cost.
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