A breakthrough so important that it alters the course of an industry is rare indeed. But it happened in 1871, when Gilbert H. Harrington invented the top-breaking, shell-ejecting revolver. For the first time, handgunners had a firearm that was not only durable and accurate, but easy to load and unload as well.
To produce his invention, Harrington teamed up with William A. Richardson. The two men gave their names to a firm that would soon become synonymous with high-quality, technically superior revolvers and shotguns. Harrington & Richardson's reputation for excellence became established so firmly, so quickly, that in 1880 the firm was named sole North American licensee for England's Anson & Deely double-barrel hammerless shotgun.