Patent Ri­fle Stock El­e­va­tor

Shooting Gazette - - Great guns -

Alexan­der Henry was of an in­ven­tive turn of mind and in 1861 he took out an ex­tremely use­ful patent for an ad­justable cheek-piece.

The year be­fore he had taken out his fa­mous ri­fling patent that trans­formed the ac­cu­racy of the muz­zle-load­ing ri­fle. This co­in­cided with the rapid growth of the Vol­un­teer Force in re­sponse to a per­ceived threat from French in­va­sion. Since skill with the ri­fle was the rai­son d’être of the Vol­un­teers, ri­fle com­pe­ti­tions took place most week­ends the length and breadth of the coun­try.

Henry ri­fles were used in many of these com­pe­ti­tions and to en­sure as great an ac­cu­racy as pos­si­ble, Alexan­der Henry thought about ev­ery even­tu­al­ity. The height of the cheek-piece was im­por­tant in a muz­zle-load­ing ri­fle as the bul­let drop at ex­treme range meant that the rear sight was con­sid­er­ably el­e­vated.

To en­sure the com­fort of the marks­man at these long ranges, Henry took out patent no. 1000 of April 22, 1861, for an ad­justable cheek-piece. It could be made of wood, leather-cov­ered metal or India rub­ber and was raised or low­ered with an in­ter­nal screw. Henry used high Vic­to­rian rhetoric in terming this cheek-piece “Henry’s Patent ri­fle Stock el­e­va­tor” and cheek-pieces are found en­graved as such.

Henry’s Patent Ri­fle Stock El­e­va­tor.

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