In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, George Washington scouted and approved the site of the Springfield Armory, after it was referred to him by General Henry Knox, his artillery chief.Although a small town at the time, Springfield, Massachusetts, offered obvious geographical advantages—it lay at the intersection of three rivers (including the major Connecticut River), and four major roads headed toward New York City, Boston, Albany, New York, and Montreal.
George Washington appointed David Ames (originally from Bridgewater, Massachusetts) as first superintendent of the armory.On January 25, 1787, thousands of Shays' Regulators marched on the Springfield Armory, hoping to seize its weaponry and force a change of government.The Springfield Armory was largely involved in the growth and influence of the Industrial Revolution.Much of this grew out of the military's fascination with interchangeable parts, which was based on the theory that it would be easier to simply replace firearm parts than make battlefield repairs.Numerous firearm models produced at the Springfield Armory from 1794 to 1968 were referred to as "Springfield rifles".
Local and colonial militia used the bluff on which the Springfield Armory would become located during the 17th century for militia training, particularly after the Attack on Springfield during King Philip's War.
The large drum turned two wheels: a friction wheel that followed the contours of the metal rifle pattern, and the cutting wheel that imitated the movements of the friction wheel to make an exact replica of the pattern in wood.
In the 1840s the old flintlock gave way to a percussion ignition system that increased the reliability and simplicity of longarms.
In 1777, patriot colonists established "The Arsenal at Springfield" to manufacture cartridges and gun carriages for the war effort.
During the Revolution, the arsenal stored muskets, cannon, and other weapons.
The Springfield Armory, located in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, was the primary center for the manufacture of United States military firearms from 1777 until its closing in 1968.