American longrifle, a copy of an original

When I first saw the original rifle, I had a strange feeling about it. It’s style did not fit the typical Pennsylvania made gun, nor a Southern made gun, tho’ it has elements that are found in guns from both regions. It has a Dutch flavor in the ‘inflated’ buttstock, round wrist and carving; in the triggerguard , buttplate and lock, Germanic influence. There is a hint of ‘Hudson River Valley’ in the odd sideplate.

This appears to be a very simple gun, perhaps made in a hurry. I would estimate it to be from about the time of the American Revolution, judging from the triggerguard and buttplate styling.

How did the original survive so well? So many working guns got used up and recycled. I have more questions than answers, yet feel so very fortunate that I had the original to study.

Photography by the very talented Jm Filipski

The buttstock has a patch, just like the original. Probably this was done at the time the rifle was built. I did the same, patching in a piece as close to the original size and placement as possible.

To enlarge a photo, just click on it.

There is a sliding wooden patchbox, with its endplate missing.

Note the extreme fullness of the stock when seen from above and below. This is very unusual. It’s quasi-military, a bit musket-like.

Take note of the underside of the cheekpiece, how flat it is…again, very unusual for a Pennsylvania made gun, or an American gun for that matter.

The patch is ‘nailed on’ with square wooden pegs, just as the original gun is.

I find this gun so very fascinating just because it raises more questions than it answers.

Barrel: Robert Hoyt, .54 cal, rifled.

Lock: R. E. Davis Colonial

Castings: patterns taken off original rifle

Trigger, sideplate, thimbles, nosecap, etc, made by T Curran

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About Tom Curran

Gunmaker, machinist, engraver, artist
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