The Porter Rifle

Among the most imaginative and unusual approaches to creating a multiple shot firearm is P. W. Porter's invention, patented in July of 1851. The rifle (left) was automatically loaded when the leaver was operated rotating the vertical cylinder (turret) under the silver magazine which housed bullet, powder and primer. All three ingredients were "loaded" into the vertical cylinder in the proper proportions. 

Porter gave up on the elaborate mechanism in his later models and relied on hand loading of the vertical cylinder. The example in the Stewart Collection is the only known complete and engraved model. Engraved on the side of the silver magazine setting atop the rifle is a scene depicting the advantage one would have using a Porter rifle (above). On the top of the magazine (right) Porter had engraved the U.S. Capital building in Washington.