Research Press

Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Associated History

Main Menu

19thC Riflemen

Research Press

William Ellis Metford (1824-1899)

W. E. MetfordG.T. Teasdale-Bucknell in his book "Experts on Guns & Shooting" (1900) referred to William Metford as the 'father of the match rifle' and 'the father of modern rifle-boring.'

William Metford worked closely with the Bristol gunmaker George Gibbs, the manufacturer of the Gibbs-Metford muzzle loading match rifle and the later Farquarson-Metford breech loading rifle.

The photograph to the right is from 1878.

  • The 2000 yard Competitions - In 1865 the NRA instigated the first of two competitions held at the extreme range of 2000 yards. The rifle designed by William Metford and manufactured by George Gibbs was the only successful one.
  • Metford & Bullet Alloys - W.E. Metford's correspondence with Sir H. Halford provide a fascinating insight into the experimentation conducted by these gentlemen in the pursuit of accuracy.
  • Obituary: William Ellis Metford - (Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume 140, 1900, UK).
  • Memoir of William Ellis Metford - This Memoir was privately printed in May, 1900. It was written by H. Brunel, C.E. and Major the Hon. T.F. Fremantle.
  • Metford: Bibliography - Documents within the Research Press archive

Memoir of William Ellis Metford

This Memoir was privately printed in May, 1900. It was written by W.E. Metford's friend and contemporary Henry Brunel, C.E. and Major the Hon. T.F. Fremantle (later Lord Cottesloe). Metford's work, whether in India or at home, was worthy of wider appreciation than it received, and he left in the world of those interested in rifle-work a gap which there is none to fill.

Read more: Memoir of William Ellis Metford