Patent Rifle Stock Elevator
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.