Prolific inventor and mechanic Walter Hunt patented the repeating rifle in 1849. Hunt dubbed the gun the "Volitional Repeater" and later sold the rights to George Arrowsmith when he was unable to finance its production. The mechanics of the gun were then improved and the Jennings magazine rifle was born.
The repeating rifle is a single-barreled gun containing multiple rounds of ammunition. Rounds may loaded through an automatic or manual mechanism. The increased rate of fire made it a favorable upgrade over the single-shot breech-loaded rifle. The repeating version saw its first significant military combat use during the Civil War.