Rifle collectors and contemporary rifle builders have romanticized the gunshop at Christiansbrunn (or Christian's Spring) into something it never was. Offering a carefully researched analysis of the gunmaking trade in the Moravian communities of Bethlehem, Christiansbrunn, and Nazareth, this article shows that during the 1750s the gunstocker's activity contributed more to supporting mission work than it did to the General Economy. The gunstocker worked “on demand,” repairing or restocking the arms brought to him by Native Americans or a few friends of the community. Only in the 1760s, several years after the trade had moved to Christiansbrunn, did Moravian gunstockers begin to produce new rifles for sale to the general public. Gunmaking in Christiansbrunn was a modest affair, except in the mid-1770s when the American Revolution briefly transformed the gunshop into an ambitious arms factory. After the war, authorities allowed gunmaking activities in Christiansbrunn to decline and closed the shop in the late 1780s.

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