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!
Signed "JWR" James W Rhinehart, Hampshire County, now WV ca 1840
Signed in script “J*W*R*” (somewhat obscured by wear and damage) for James W Rhinehart who worked in Hampshire County now West Virginia. It is fully developed having all the bells and whistles. Typical acorn finial patchbox, silver oval ring cheekpiece inlay, capbox, silver forestock inlays, and a nice dry finish. 38 inch rifled barrel about 40 cal. Slight scorching to the stock near the rear ramrod pipe probably from setting to close to the fireplace or campfire. email me for more pictures.
available at $2,250
SOLD>>>Signed "H W" Possibly Henry Wetzel, Middlecreek Township, Snyder County, PA ca 1825
Henry Wetzel was the brother of Jonathan Wetzel both worked in Snyder County. The attribution to Henry is supported by the signed Johnathan Wetzel rifles known as they are similar in style and decorative details. This example is in near perfect condition, as found without restoration. It could be reconverted back to flintlock, however the surface color and quality of the metal on the lock and breech end of the barrel would be different. The curly maple is high quality with consistant curl throughout its length and decorated with 10 engraved coin silver inlays.
The 40.5 inch .40 cal barrel was not shortened when converted to percussion as is sometimes the case. An engraved brass wear plate and brass cheekpiece guard enhance the stock and the original iron ramrod tip is intact. A nice rifle with excellent curly maple and near perfect condition make s this rifle a good investment.
Unsigned Daniel Shaver, Augusta County, Virginia ca 1830
Arttribution of this rifle to the Shaver family is based on original research done by a collector from Augusta County. A small number of rifles by Daniel Shaver are known; most having similar patchboxes (with a mans head finial), curved cheekpiece, molding on front and rear extension of the trigger guard, and vine carving. Architecture on all of them relate to an earlier period.
A wonderful old original finish covers the curly maple stock which has 2 repairs using iron staples; one in front of the lock and the other near the double acorn escutcheon. The 46 inch .50 cal rifled barrel has a wide rear sight (and bone or antler front sight) related to the Grandstaffs, Spitzers, and Wells. 12 coin silver inlays decorate the stock along with nice fore stock molding. All mounts and the lock are original to the rifle as it remains in nice condition.
available at $3,195.00
Signed in script J Roop, Halifax, Dauphin County, PA ca 1810
Jacob Roop was born in Paxtang Township, Lancaster (now Dauphin) County in 1779. He was located in Halifax from 1806 until he moved to Centre County in 1821.
The patchbox on the rifle is the most successful style Jacob used. It appears on many of his rifles including one sold on this website a few years ago (listed under SOLD ITEMS near the bottom). This example has superb grain curly maple with a nice old patina. The lock was made and signed by Roop and was converted to percussion in the 1830's. The 43 inch rifled barrel is the original length. This is a nice rifle showing much use. I recently took it back in trade ; it is pictured and described under SOLD ITEMS along with a Roop fowler.
Available at $4,950.00
Unsigned Frederic Zorger, York, Pennsylvania ca 1800
Frederick Zorger was born in 1767 and worked in York as a gunsmmith from the time of the Revolution till the 1820's. This example has charachteristics of many of his rifles including the patchbox and engraving design, the sideplate, tappered tang of the rear ramrod pipe, and general architecture. This example is stocked in walnut which is more common in the York area than in most Pennsylvania schools. The beautifully engraved patchbox has his typical cockscomb finial with typical upper and lower plates. A silver 8 point star is inlaid into the cheekpiece.
An unusually large hole is present in front of the toe plate which was done in the period. At times you'll see a smaller hole in this area (not referring to a touch hole) that had spiritual connotations. A support bracket of some sort may have been designed for the owner which was inserted into the hole to stabilize the rifle. Though an interesting and original hole restoration could easily be done. Restoration to the forestock is nearly invisible. The barrel is 44 inches long with a large bore. This is a pleasing and artistic rifle in restored condition at an excellent price.
available at $3,450