Doug Wicklund, Senior Curator at the National Firearms Museum, provides NRAblog with a brief history on a true rarity on loan from Mr. Ellis Joubert.
The Isaiah Jennings All-Metal Breechloading Flintlock Rifle
One of the most unusual repeating firearms ever to be manufactured in the United States was Isaiah Jennings’ repeating flintlock rifle of 1821.
Built with a detachable skeleton-type shoulder stock as well as a removable 21-inch octagonal barrel, the Jennings rifle
was capable of firing twelve shots without reloading. This multi-shot arm was loaded with a dozen superimposed bullets
and alternating powder charges, each placed one on top on another down the bore, and was fitted with twelve individual touchholes, each also being equipped with a swivel cover.
In firing, the first charge towards the barrel was discharged first, and then the movable lockplate was pulled back to the next swivel cover position. The .44 caliber and reduced powder space in this rifle may have meant it was intended to utilize
hollowed-out projectiles with the powder charge placed inside the bullet itself.
This intriguing transitional rifle, bridging technology from muzzleloading arms to cartridge repeaters, bears serial number 1.