The Rifle Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How long does it take Cornish McManus to manufacture the barrel of his "sweet" rifle?
(a) Two years
(b) Four hours
(c) He doesn't manufacture it--he buys it
(d) Six months

2. How much powder does Cornish McManus use when he shoots his "sweet" rifle?
(a) 217 grains
(b) A handful
(c) The amount that normally would be used for a .40 caliber rifle.
(d) The amount that normally would be used for a .50 caliber rifle.

3. Who built the rifle discussed in the novel?
(a) Cornish McManus
(b) John Waynewright
(c) Joe Manton
(d) John Byam

4. What material does Cornish McManus use to build the butt plate, the patch box, the keys, and the cap of this "sweet" rifle?
(a) Steel
(b) Brass
(c) Curly maple
(d) Wood

5. Why does Tim Harrow stop in a small town in Missouri?
(a) His vehicle's fuel pump stops working
(b) His vehicle runs out of fuel
(c) He wants to do a little shooting on the town range
(d) He's meeting a gun smuggler

Short Answer Questions

1. What tall tale does Tim Harrow make up about the "sweet" rifle that, unbeknownst to him, is actually true?

2. What material does Cornish McManus use to brown the exterior surface of a barrel?

3. How many rifling grooves does Cornish McManus cut in the barrel of his "sweet" rifle?

4. During the Revolutionary war period, rifles that were very accurate were described by what adjective?

5. How long does it take McNary's Rangers to travel from Philadelphia to New York?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how life in the American army forces is presented in the novel.

2. Cornish McManus is a superb gunsmith with great vision and skill. Describe his shooting ability.

3. Why does it take Cornish McManus so long to build the "sweet" rifle?

4. What does John Byam use the "sweet" rifle for?

5. The cover image of several common editions of the book shows a highly-engraved flintlock rifle. Does the book describe the rifle as being engraved?

6. Is the "sweet" rifle evil?

7. In order to fire properly, the following things must be true: "the powder is dry and in good shape" (p. 16); "the flint is clean and with a new sharp edge" (p. 16); "the frizzen is wiped dry" (p. 16); "the spring on the hammer is strong" (p. 16); "the flint [slams] hard against the frizzen" (p. 16); "the powder is positioned correctly in the pan" (p. 17). Explain how all of these things happen to occur on Christmas Eve, 1993.

8. The "sweet" rifle shoots a .40 caliber ball; most rifles of the period shot a much, much larger ball. Does the small caliber of the "sweet" rifle reduce its killing capability?

9. Imagine you are the "sweet" rifle. Who would you rather be owned by--Cornish McManus or John Byam?

10. Why does John Byam offer so much wealth in exchange for Cornish McManus' "sweet" rifle?

(see the answer keys)

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