This book as the title says it is about a weapon, a rifle. Paulsen introduce us to Cornus McManus a gunsmith in the 1760's, very humble, very dedicated and in love with his fiancee. We learn about Cornus's life and what made him create such a tremendous gun. As the book moves along we follow the rifle's life trayectory. This book is a very short novel maybe around one-hundred pages but Paulsen did a wonderful job describing the weapon, describing the gunsmisth feeling towards the weapon. He goes into detail why the weapon is so unique, gives exact description about the accuracy of the gun.
Unfortunately Cornus had to sell his beloved rifle in order to afford getting married. John Byam is the next owner and carries the weapon into battle with the redcoats. Then the gun is passed down to generations being lost in an attic for years then rediscovered and sold in an antique store. All in all Harv, a mechanic, is the actual onwer of the rifle. Is Christmas eve 1994, and Harv has placed the rifle in fire place mantel. He is poking the fireplace and a spark ignites the rifle making it go off. The bullet goes out the window and hits the neighbor, Richard, who is fixing a light on the Christmas tree.
Personally I really like the book, to me was all about timing of life. How events occur because life, karma or whatever the individual believes in, has already been placed there for a certain cause.