US Harper's Ferry Model 1803 .50 Caliber Rifle

  • Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The Harper's Ferry Model 1803 Rifle was the first rifle produced in the United States by an American armory. Based in part on several other weapons types (all imports), the Harper's Model 1803 was a rugged rifle. Initially of the Flintlock-Classification, it weighed around 9-pounds and had a 33-inch barrel length (quite short and light for the Era). It fired a .50 caliber shot (lead ball) and had an effective range of 175 to 200 yards. The weapons stock and design was more rounded than the traditional European model – making it easier to maintain control and grip during firing. Some 4,000 were produced. The initial model would last until 1820, when a more robust design was requested. Many of The Harper's Model were converted over to percussion and saw service well into American Civil War of the 1860s.