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Patented Perfection


by NRA Staff

Sometimes a rifle tells the story of a man and a company. Elmer Ray Stahl worked as a gunsmith for the once renowned Adolph Otto Neidner Rifle Co. in Dowagiac, Mich. Neidner’s shop was legendary, with craftsmen like exemplary stockmaker Thomas Shelhamer coming on board in 1924. The business must have been popular with townsfolk, as Neidner was elected mayor in 1926.

One of Stahl’s innovative creations during his tenure was this Circassian walnut-stocked Springfield sporter that incorporated an automatic bolt locking mechanism that was patented on May 15, 1926, as well as an additional button safety mounted on the trigger guard. The original Springfield military safety is still functional. To round out the rifle, Stahl also equipped the rifle bolt’s cocking piece with a contoured rear aperture sight. Stahl’s son donated this fine .30-’06 rifle to the National Firearms Museum in 2010.

Just part of the history on daily exhibit at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., visitors can see nearly 3,000 guns in the galleries, which are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is always free (donations appreciated), and visitors can expect to enjoy a well-stocked museum store, offering a wide range of arms-related books, clothing and fraternal items. For more information, e-mail or call (703) 267-1600. View the online galleries at