Benjamin Haviland, George P. Gunn and the “Morse” Air Pistol (1872 to c. 1881)

In this article, we will follow the life and career of one of the late 19th-century American airgun pioneers as well as that of his business partner. We will discover how his ingenious and unwaning passion helped to pioneer the way ahead for our airgun heritage with his earliest designs still commonly in use today. We may also discover why George Gunn’s repeating “Gem” style air rifle was, perhaps, never realised. It could be said that Haviland and Gunn’s, or perhaps just Gunn’s influence on spring airgun development could be considered so significant that they could be called the fathers of the modern spring airgun. After all, their designs are the basis of all break-barrel airguns and can still be seen in airguns that are made today. How’s that for a legacy?

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