The Rifle Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Cornish McManus cast bullets that are a little too small for the rifle's bore?

2. John Waynewright often complains that Cornish McManus is too what?

3. What type of shot is Cornish McManus?

4. What major world event transpires while Cornish McManus builds his "sweet" rifle?

5. Who built the rifle discussed in the novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. The cover image of several common editions of the book shows a left-handed flintlock rifle. Does the book describe the rifle as being left-handed?

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

4. Do you think that John Waynewright would have valued Cornish McManus's "sweet" rifle?

5. Most gunsmiths would test their barrels early in the manufacturing process, to avoid wasting time finishing faulty barrels. Cornish McManus does not test his barrel until the entire gun is finished. Why?

6. Cornish McManus is astounded when his "sweet" rifle puts three balls into one ragged hole at thirty paces (about 75 feet) while shooting from a solid rest. By today's accuracy standards is McManus' rifle's performance astounding?

7. Describe the initial organization of McRary's Rangers.

8. How long does Cornish McManus own his "sweet" rifle before he sells it?

9. What was the leading cause of death among American Revolutionary War soldiers?

10. Does the "sweet" rifle have a will of its own?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel openly mocks Tim Harrow's personal philosophy that draws from firearms and American history, the United States Constitution, and Christianity. Do you think that these sources of information are suitable for mockery?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the process of loading a muzzle-loading rifle. Describe why John Byam loaded the rifle the way that he did.

Essay Topic 3

Why does the novel "need" to have the accidental discharge come from an old muzzle-loading, black powder rifle? Wouldn't the novel work just as well with an AK-47 hanging above Kline's mantel? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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