The invention of rifling: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Nobody knows when rifling was invented
  • What is rifling?
  • The first rifling
  • Gunpowder leaves dirt in the bore
  • Minie Ball
  • Trapdoor Springfield development
  • Ballard rifling
  • Airgun rifling

Nobody knows when rifling was invented

I’ve been reading about guns for 56 years and the one subject that has always baffled the experts is rifling. When was it invented? By whom? What gave them the idea? One thing is certain — the Wiki piece on rifling is entirely fabricated. It says “Rifling was invented in Augsberg, Germany, at the end of the 15th century. It would be wonderful if that were true, but the fact is nobody knows where, when or why rifling came into being. To be fair to Wiki, I have read other accounts that claim people in the 1400s were thinking of spinning a ball for stability in flight because they knew the fletches on arrows stabilized them the same way. The truth is, though, no one knows for certain when rifling came into being. It is entirely possible it came from several locations around the same time. read more