Cornish McManus was attempting to make the perfect rifle. He was in his newly acquired gunsmithing business when he was working on it. He was keeping in mind to not only make it very aesthetically appeasing, but to make it have on point accuracy. It took him 2 years to complete the rifle, but after those 2 years he made one of the best rifles in the world.
Later in the book Cornish decided to sell the rifle to John Byam after he needed the money because he was going to marry Clara, his girlfriend. Byam also cherished the rifle and knew how good it was after he seen it shoot. Byam claimed he was going to hunt with the rifle, but later joined the Revolutionary War.
while fighting in the war John Byam tragically died of dirty water, which was a very common way of dying while fighting in the revolutionary war. Byam died with his rifle in hand and was buried along with 7 other. A female nurse seen the rifle in Byams and took it because she heard how goood of a rifle it, and she had 2 sons that were in the war that could use it. her 2 sons died in the war before she could even get a chance to give it to them, so the rifle ended up staying in a attic for around 200 years.
After being in the attic for 200 years, the rifle was finally discovered by the family that lived in the house. the rifle had been persevered from the hardening of the grease put on by John Byam. The rifle was sold to a pawn shop for $25, then was pawned off to Tim Harrow for $350. Tim was very into gun, and knew a lot about them. He also lived in an RV.
While Tim was driving his RV broke down, coincidentally right next to a garage. The garage was owned by Harvey Kline, an excellent mechanic. Harvey was often called Harv. After the RV was repaired Harv said it would cost $400. Tim lied and said that he couldn't afford it because he's stingy with his money. Tim offered to trade the rifle for the work Harv done, but Harv wanted more. Eventually Harv seen the Tim had an Elvis painting, and Harv loved Elvis so he agreed to trade.
At the end of "The Rifle" Harv hung the rifle up above the fireplace. It was Christmas Eve, and Harv was lighting the fire for his family. The fire wasn't doing so well though, so Harv tried moving the logs in the fire place to help the fire out. When Harv adjusted the logs one of them fell on the floor which created a ton of sparks, and ignited the gun powder in the rifle. After all these years the rifle was still loaded. the whole family was startled when it went off. The rifle ball went through the house and into another house, killing a boy next door named Richard.