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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 03-29-2020, 03:49 PM
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Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background  
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Default Walter F. Roper and His Family Background

Previously I began a thread about Walter F. Roper and his writings about his inspiration to design the handgun stocks that bear his name and are so highly prized by collectors today, commanding exceptional prices in the market place.

The information below is excerpted from on-line sources freely available on the internet and are duly cited and quoted.

Walter Roper came from an engineering background. He approached the art of target shooting from an engineering point of view. Fortunately, Roper engaged a master craftsman to craft each pair of stocks.

“Walter F Roper is the eldest child of Charles Frederick Roper. He was born Feb 9, 1881 and educated at Worcester Academy and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He came became connected with the Draper Company in his father’s department and in the experimenting department. While attending MIT, he became a member of the Mechanical Engineering Society and Phi Beta Epilson fraternity. He is a Republican. Roper became married on June 3rd 1905.”

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity By Ellery Bicknell Crane.

“His father Charles Francis Roper was born in Manchester, N.H., on Dec. 10, 1847. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Roper of that city. His education was received in the schools of his native city, and he lived there until about 30 years ago, when he came to Hopedale and entered the employment of the Draper Co., in whose service he remained up to 10 years ago. In the meantime he has risen to prominence as an inventor of automatic appliances of so varied a nature that he had been placed in charge of the company's experimental department, It was the discontinuance of the experimental department which led to Mr. Roper severing his connection with the Draper Co., and the later establishment of the C.F. Roper Co., for which he built a factory which is in operation now turning out the later inventions of its projector. Many of the Roper machines are triumphs of simplicity that rank him as a genius in the designing of such devices, He invented the Roper propeller for motor boats, a very ingenious and practical appliance, besides numerous other attachments of automobiles, etc.”

Charles Roper


“The most highly evolved and developed single shot match target pistol produced in the U.S. from 1880 to 1940 was the H and R "U.S.R.A." Production began in 1928 or perhaps 1929 and ended in 1941 with about 3300 of the pistols produced. The factory records were destroyed in a fire and this pistol of constant evolution and change makes an interesting study. Officially it was the Harrington and Richardson Model 195 although it appears that the model number was never put on a pistol.

After about a year or so of production, in 1930, H and R hired Walter F. Roper, a talented mechanical engineer, designer of custom target grips and an expert pistol shot with many years experience in the firearms industry. For the last 10 years he had worked for Smith and Wesson. H and R wanted the Model 195 developed into the best single shot target pistol. This was an era when competitive pistol shooting in this country was largely conducted under the auspices of the United States Revolver ***'n (U.S.R.A.) Roper was provided with adequate funds to experiment and develop the pistol. This he did with a passion. Sometimes, only 5 or 10 pistols were produced with a certain feature. Sometimes only one!”
USRA Single Shot Pistols - Guns of Constant Evolution - by William K. McCarter, Past President


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Old 03-29-2020, 05:38 PM
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Interesting read.

There was mention of grandchildren in the article. Did Walter ever have any or are they likely from one of the other two siblings?

Wonder if there are any Ropers left in N.H ?
If so if they have any idea the prominence there ancestors have in the Gun and inventors world.
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Old 03-29-2020, 05:57 PM
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Sources disagree on his father's middle name: Frederick or Francis?
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:22 PM
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Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background Walter F. Roper and His Family Background  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Sources disagree on his father's middle name: Frederick or Francis?
Francis is the most referred to name that I see.
You might want to do some research and see what you come up with.
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