KENTUCKY RIFLES AT AFFORDABLE PRICESThe rifles on this page are affordably priced for beginning collectors, decorators, material culture historians, or interested individuals seeking a representative example. The rifles may be plain, decorative but poorly or highly restored, or in need of restoration. They will be original Kentucky rifles (not reproductions) with some investment potential.
For beginning collectors, these rifles represent an entry level item at a modest investment. For many the first step in generating interest is owning and handling an object rather than viewing images. These rifles are perfect for those individuals. Email me for additional photos of each rifle. Feel free to make serious offers!
Unsigned Nicholas Beyer, Lebanon, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania ca 1820
Nicholas Beyer is probably the most prolific "Golden Age" gunsmith in Pennsylvania. He worked with John Philip Beck until Beck's death in 1811 and then developed a wonderful variety of decorative rifles using Pennsylvania Dutch motifs; carving boldly executed roccoco designs in his stocks, and engraving masterfully designed details in his patchboxes and inlays.
This example remains in wonderful original condition including an old brass repair to the wrist. Made without a patchbox to save money, the owner took excellent care of the rifle, "yes rifle"; the 43 inch full octagon .50 cal barrel is rifled. One can assume the owner was rather frugal but required a rifled barrel; the most expensive element of the gun. This is an opportunity to own a well executed example of Beyer's work which includes some carving. Amazingly the rifle was never converted to percussion; it remains in original flintlock condition.
Available at $3,995.00
Unsigned John Mewhirter, Chambersburg, Franklin County, PA ca 1835
John Mewhirter was one of the most artistic gunsmiths in the Franklin/Cumberland County region. His son John Jr. was equally talented in roccoco design, engraving, and carving. An variety of artistic creations in patchbox design, inlays, and carving were created by this father/son partnership.
This example, by John Jr. is restrained in decoration but in all aspects the rifle is executed in a masterfully meticulous manner. Wood to metal fit, incised carving, and architecture are impressive. The condition is almost "as new" with no restoration, replacements, or abuse. The 44.5 inch .45 cal barrel has a wonderful undisturbed patina as does the entire rifle. A rare opportunity to own a pristine Kentucky rifle.
Available at $2,450.00
Unsigned Gentleman's Target Rifle, Tennessee or Mississippi, ca 1850
This iron mounted target rifle has superior construction, excellent condition, and is singular in design and execution of its decoration. Every element is hand made, hand decorated, with no signature. Decorative details include a series of punched circles forming borders and circular silver inserts amoungst the punchwork borders. I believe this gunsmith trained under one of the masters of The Cumberland, the area of central Tennessee and southern Kentucky. He probably moved west to Nashville and later Memphis or south to Natchez. Taking a second look at the decoration you may notice a gambling or casino theme. According to family history the rifle was purchased in Memphis in the 1940's. Whatever this man's history he was a master gunsmith. The 38 & 1/2 inch .42 cal rifled barrel has a cast German silver patent breech with a decorative adjustable rear sight.
A peep sight with a hooded front sight was added later. The cheekpiece inlay is unusual as is the decorative toeplate. Ther triggerguard is a masterpiece of ironwork including several circular inlays of silver amoungst his punchwork boder decoration. Only the most advanced blacksmith could fabricate this trigger guard ending in such a masterful volute. The collector who steps up to this rifle will appreciate and enjoy it; it is superb. email me for more pictures.
Available at $3,250.00
Signed "J Roop" Jacob Roop, Halifax, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania ca 1810
Jacob Roop probably learned his trade in York from great master; possibly Samuel Grove. His signature during this earlier period is in script; it appears later in his carreer as small stamped block letters on the barrel. The 43 inch inch rifled barrel is the original length; about .45 cal. Beautiful curly maple of nice quality was used and there are no replacements; the surface has a glorious old patina. Of particular interest; the lock is marked "ROOP" made by Jacob and is original to the rifle. The patchbox is masterfully engraved as is the side plate. The rifle is in wonderful old condition with an in-period repair to a crack at the rear ramrod pipe; far exceeds the condition of most rifles of the period.
Available at $5,595.00