Rifles of 1892 – 1916

Harry M Pope

Harry M. Pope was a noted competitor in Schuetzen matches in the New England and New York areas in the 1890s. He had developed a rifling system that was very accurate. Pope began making barrels and accessories in a small shop in Hartford. Pope was a victim of his own success, he became popular and struggled to keep up with demand. At the same time, Stevens decided to get very serious about target shooting, and Pope was brought in-house at Stevens. Pope was hired, and Stevens bought his equipment, too. He moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, to work at Stevens in 1901.

Pope numbered his barrels, and when he left Hartford, the numbering was at about 400. When he left Stevens, the numbering was at 1237. Stevens continued to make Stevens-Pope barrels with the last being numbered 1964.

As noted earlier, the 44 action was not sufficiently strong for smokeless powder loads, and Pope is credited with developing the 44 ½ action, which was much stronger in 1903. Stevens would also re-barrel customers’ guns made by other manufacturers with a Stevens-Pope barrel and rebore a barrel to the Stevens-Pope system.


Pope developed accessories as well, including: bullet molds, powder measures, lube pumps, and machine rests.