Gibbs & Metford

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Source: Bristol Mercury – Monday 10 September 1888

The Talk of Bristol

Several months ago we mentioned in this column that the Small Arms Committee at the War Office, whose report had just been noticed, had adopted the Metford rifle (with some modification in the addition of a magazine on the Lee principle) as a special rifle for the British army. For the last 21 years – ever since Mr Wm. Ellis Metford, of Redland, brought it out as a muzzle loader – it has been the favourite weapon of the crack shots in the national rifle competitions, and from the time it was converted into a breechloader it has won its way to the very first rank, as will be readily seen by a reference to the reports of the shooting at Wimbledon. The superiority of its shallow system of rifling, with the use of hardened cylindrical bullets as against the Whitworth deep rifling with mechanically fitting bullets, was at once recognised, and Mr George Gibbs, of Corn street, who exclusively worked the patent for Mr Metford for twelve years, and has, of course, continued to make the Metford rifles, has made and sent thousands of the weapon from the Bristol gunmaker’s factory – the maker’s name being for years associated with the rifle, which was known to crack shots as the “Gibbs-Metford.” The patent has run out, but the local firm has still the large connection which the famous rifle brought it, so that Bristol is doubly associated with the officially-adopted weapon.