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 William Shaver, Augusta County, VA ca 1830
William Shaver must have had a working relationship with Alexander McGilvray in Rockingham County, Virginia; many stylistic details are similar when comparing existing examples. Courtney Wilson, Gordon Barlow, Frank Sams and others have researched the Shaver riflemaking family to give us some insight. Visit https://penmarvarifles.com/kentucky-rifles/ for more information on the Shaver family and another example. This example is by far the most decorative known by William (or Daniel).
With minor restoration the condition is superb including the original surfaces. The barrel is 46 inches with a rifled .50 cal bore. The lock is original to the rifle as well as brass mounts. Interstingly the Shaver's created several filed moldings on the front and rear extensions of their trigger guards. The Shaver rifles are bold, sturdy, interesting, artful, and have the feel of an an earlier era.
Available at $3,950
Signed "JWR" John W Rinehart, Hampshire County, WV ca 1840
Here is a nice signed percussion rifle from Hampshire County, West Virginia. Signed “J W R” for John W Rhinehart. His typical acorn finial patchbox with spring friction lid and wonderful engraving. There are a couple minor wood restorations in the usual places. Barrel is 38 inches with a .45 cal rifled bore.
This example is above average for John's work in that it has silver inlays on the forestock, a silver ring cheekpiece inlay, and a capbox under the cheekpiece.
Available at $1,950
Signed F A Thornhill, Franklin, Kentucky or Rockingham County, VA ca 1840
Many characteristics of this rifle relate to Rockingham County, Virginia. The tight curl to the thrigger guard, narrow sideplate, and 4-petal flower patchbox. However, Thornhill is not listed as a Virginia gunsmith. There is a Samuel A Thornhill listed as a gunsmith in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky in Shelby Gallien's book Vol II. And a town outside Louisville is named Thornhill.
Pictured here as it came out of the family in southern West Virginia the rifle has some color added to the worn areas and looks much better. While not a fancy rifle it is all original down to the original ramrod and nicely signed. The barrel is 42.5 inches long with a .50 cal rifled bore.
Available at $1,995.00
Signed "H GIBBS LANCASTER" Lancaster, PA ca 1835
A classic late Lancater rifle by Henry Gibbs. The 39.5 inch .45 cal barrel is signed in a two line stamp so often used by Gibbs. An excellent grade of curly maple was used and has never been harshly cleaned or sanded. The original percussion lock is stamped "Drepperd Lancaster". Minor restoration includes a replaced fore end cap, some wood along the fore end, and a repaird crack under the lock. A Nicely engraved patchbox, beautiful curly maple, checkered wrist, and classic Lancaster architecture and details, makes this rifle an easy and affordable choice for your collection.
Available at $2,950.00