In 1768 a gunsmith named Cornish McManus built a rifle of such accuracy that he knew he could never create another like it. He intended to keep and treasure his masterpiece, but with a new wife to provide for, he felt pressed to sell it. Soon the rifle was helping one John Byam become a legendary sharpshooter in the American Revolution. But when Byam succumbed to dysentery, the weapon was passed on to yet another owner, and then another and another, until the present day.

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