We reached back to the Pre-Civil War Era for this week's edition of Curator's Corner. Straight from the Harpers Ferry Armory is a Hall Breech-Loading percussion rifle. But this isn't your regular breech-loader ... it's a Confederate conversion.
When the Union Army made their initial raids into the South, Harpers Ferry was a primary target. Confederate forces grabbed everything they could, including spare parts, and ran for cover. Upon reaching safety, they started piecing the parts together. But as every part did not have a compatible mate, some were assembled as conversions -- much like this rifle.
The Hall was initially produced during the muzzle loading age. To get past the time it takes to pack the powder and drop the ball, the Hall allowed the user to bypass the muzzle and load the chamber directly with a pivot at the end of the barrel. An innovation that led to some removing that section and using the chamber as a makeshift handgun. While it only gave you one shot, sometimes one shot is better than none.
For the full story on the Hall Breech-Loading Rifle, watch National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier tonight at 10:40pm eastern time on NRANews.com or listen on Sirius/XM Patriot satellite radio.