In 1853, Friedrich Peyer im Hof, Heinrich Moser and Conrad Neher began what they thought would become a successful wagon factory above the Rhine Falls in Switzerland. Little did they know then, that their company would become one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of small arms. Just seven years after constructing an industrial plant for building the most sophisticated wagons and railway cars, the three ambitious owners undertook a more serious venture. In part to a challenge from Switzerland’s Federal Ministry of Defense, the Swiss Wagon Factory entered the competition to develop a state-of-the-art rifle with the hopes the Swiss Army would adopt it. Four years later, the award went to the Swiss Wagon Factory for its Prelaz-Burnand rifle. At this point, the Swiss Wagon Factory, with an order for 30,000 muzzle loading Prelaz-Burnand rifles in hand, changed the name of the company to the Swiss Industrial Company – Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft, known worldwide as SIG.