A simple algorithm is presented for finding rate1/nrandom-error-correcting convolutional codes. Good codes considerably longer than any now known are obtained. A discussion of a new distance measure for convolutional codes, called the free distance, is included. Free distance is particularly useful when considering decoding schemes, such as sequential decoding, which are not restricted to a fixed constraint length. It is shown how the above algorithm can be modified slightly to produce codes with known free distance. A comparison of probability of error with sequential decoding is made among the best known constructive codes of constraint length36.