The Founding Fathers ‘assault rifle’


Lee’s Note: Thanks Marion for a great refresher about one of the most mysterious weapons ever made.

Thomas Jefferson’s “Assault Rifle” with High Capacity Magazines

DATE:   June 14, 2014
TO:       USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

If you ever hear a gun control advocate say that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined and would not have allowed possession of “assault weapons” under the Second Amendment, tell them they don’t know much about American history.  L&C_GIRANDONI_VID

The Founding Fathers not only knew about assault weapons, some owned them. Thomas Jefferson bought assault weapons and sent them on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

In fact, these assault weapons were .46 caliber, military, magazine fed, rifles with high capacity magazines capable of firing 22 shots in 60 seconds.  They even came with four, 22 round speedloaders.

The Founding Fathers not only knew about assault weapons, they did not exclude them from the Second Amendment.

Read the article and watch the short video below for a demonstration of  Thomas Jefferson’s “Assault Rilfe”

One of the assault rifles that went on the Lewis and Clark expedition is owned by and is on display at the NRA’s National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.  View it here:  NRA’s Lewis & Clark Assault Rifle


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Alan Tannenbaum on

    They also knew what a militia was when they wrote the Second Amendment. Add that to your history lesson.

  2. Pingback: The Founding Fathers 'assault rifle' | The Gun Feed

  3. Keith Patterson on

    Yes they certainly knew what the militia was… was all able bodied CITIZENS of a certain age group….which means that they were talking about the majority of the male population. As in …” We the people…” and …” the right of the people”… to keep and bear arms. Here is a history lesson..”IT SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. Class dismissed.

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