Henri Pieper, born in Westphalia, Germany in 1840 moved to Herstal, just outside Liege, Belgium in 1860 and by 1865 had founded H. Pieper et Cie, manufacturer of a wide selection of sporting guns and handguns.
Pieper is credited with being the first to mass-produce machine-made sporting guns in Liege and, although inexpensive, these guns were recognized for being of good quality. Many of his shotguns were designed with the North American market in mind and were usually referred to as “Americans.”
Similarities between Pieper’s shotguns and those of, say, Colt and Remington are due to Pieper imitating the American guns for commercial reasons and closely following American machining methods for economic reasons.
Following his death in 1905 the company changed its name to Anciens Etablissements Pieper, and remained in business until about 1950.
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