The Riflemen Index covers countries listed below, and includes brief information about those featured. Where more extensive biographic detail is available, follow the linked names; alternatively browse via the biography label.

Canada | England | Guernsey | Ireland | Scotland | USA | Wales


The men who pioneered the sport of target rifle shooting from the muzzle loading and into the black powder breech loading era.

Special Collections

Sir H. Halford (1828-1897)

"The country owes to him the debt which is due to a man who made the science of rifles, as well as the practice of rifle-shooting, the main pursuit of his life, who without thought of pecuniary advantage, laboured without ceasing to discover all that could be discovered about the infantry weapon and to bring that weapon to a state of perfection." The Times, 5 January 1897

The painting to the right is oil on canvas, by John Collier in 1896.

W.E. Metford (1824-1899)

G.T. Teasdale-Bucknell in his book "Experts on Guns & Shooting" (1900) referred to William Metford as the 'father of the match rifle' and 'the father of modern rifle-boring.'

William Metford worked closely with the Bristol gunmaker George Gibbs, the manufacturer of the Gibbs-Metford muzzle loading match rifle and the later Farquarson-Metford breech loading rifle.

The photograph to the right is from 1878.
  • The 2000 yard Competitions - In 1865 the NRA instigated the first of two competitions held at the extreme range of 2000 yards. The rifle designed by William Metford and manufactured by George Gibbs was the only successful one.
  • Metford & Bullet Alloys - W.E. Metford's correspondence with Sir H. Halford provide a fascinating insight into the experimentation conducted by these gentlemen in the pursuit of accuracy.
  • Obituary: William Ellis Metford - (Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume 140, 1900, UK)
  • Memoir of William Ellis Metford - This Memoir was privately printed in May, 1900. It was written by H. Brunel, C.E. and Major the Hon. T.F. Fremantle
  • Bibliography - Documents within the Research Press archive