Throwback Thursday: Jacob's Double Rifle

Victorian England brought us more than fog and detective mysteries ... for example, this innovative and unusual gun.

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posted on May 30, 2024

It all started with British General John Jacobs, during the British occupation of India. "John Jacob had fought with the Scinda Irregular Horse, which was a detached unit of cavalry in the army of the East India Company," said Evan Brune, American Rifleman executive editor. "At the time, they were using smoothbore double-barreled shotguns, basically. And he thought that the best weapon that the Irregular Horse could use would be a double-barreled, large-bore rifle."

Jacobs went on to design a unique rifle, one that utilized both a new rifling design and a new projectile. "The gun was unique in the fact that it was a double rifle of the military caliber .577, but the neat thing about it was the rifling itself," said Phil Schreier, director of the NRA National Firearms Museum. "It took a bullet that had fins on it that actually threaded itself into the rifling of the gun, and this gave the gun an expanded range and amazing accuracy."

Find out more about the fascinating history of this "Old Gun" with American Rifleman TV

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