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TAB Episode 27: The Curtis Rifle – The First Repeating Bullpup

In this very special episode Matt examines what is probably the first repeating bullpup rifle – the Curtis. Designed by a British inventor, William Joseph Curtis, in 1866 it predates all other known bullpups.

The design never left prototype stage but gain notoriety in 1895 when it was used by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to defend against a lawsuit over pump action shotguns – Matt explains this fascinating story in the video.

The Curtis Rifle is not only the first repeating bullpup, but it is also an early example of a striker fired weapon, uses an advanced drum magazine and even has a folding stock – all patented in 1866!

In this episode Matt discusses early bullpup designs, the Winchester vs Francis Bannerman court case and the intriguing Curtis Rifle itself. Using contemporary news reports, engineering and patent drawings and illustrations Matt explains the history of a firearm that was well ahead of its time!

Our thanks to the wonderful Cody Firearms Museum for allowing us to handle and film the Curtis!

Check out our website for an accompanying article on the Curtis Rifle

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