The Barrel Works was a weapons research and development project conducted by the United States Army in the early 1920s. It was based in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It was charged with improving upon the design of the barrels used by the US in the Great War. It was commanded by Irving Morrell.
In its early years, the Barrel Works generated a number of brilliant innovations that could have made the US the world's leading barrel designer. However, it was shut down in the early 1920s by General Hunter Liggett, Chief of the United States General Staff, as one of a number budget-cutting measures the Army was forced to take during the Sinclair Administration.
The Barrel Works was reopened after the outbreak of the Pacific War, with Morrell once again supervising development. However, he was there for only a few months before he was ordered to help pacify Houston in 1934. It would be 1943, at the height of the Second Great War, before the US Army authorized production of a barrel which was an improvement upon Morrell's first prototype design, and even that was only slightly better.