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!
SOLD SOLD Signed "J Sheetz" Jacob Sheetz, Hampshire County, West Virginia, ca 1850
This is a pleasing rifle that was used very little and well cared for. The 36 inch .45 cal deeply rifled barrel is signed "J Sheetz" in script. Jacob was a master engraver as seen on the patchbox and side plate. He was precise with wood to metal fit and choose a magnificent piece of curly maple for the stock. There are details that are specific to Hampshire County such as the acorn finial patchbox, style of double set triggers, and butt stock architecture.
The condition of this rifle is excellent; it has never been cleaned, polished, sanded, damaged, or neglected. It has been protected from harmful storage conditions and remeains almost new. Jacob's Hampshire County work is rare and his earlier work in Charlestown is more difficult to find. For excellent information on this maker visit http://hampshirecountylongrifles.blogspot.com/search?q=jacob+sheetz this rifle is pictured and described there as well.
Possibly George Grandstaff, Unsigned Shenandoah Valley Rifle, ca 1820
This rifle is in near perfect condition with no repairs, damage, losses, or replacements since its conversion to percussion; a rarity for any Kentucky rifle. As to a maker, there are details of a few southern gunsmiths worth noting. The patchbox finial and lid release is similar to those used by the Grandstaffs and Spitzers, starburst or sun ray engraving used by Jacob Young, and simple ringed cast brass ramrod pipes used by Scott in Floyd Co, Va. The barrel is 44.5 inches and has a large bore with an extended 2-screw engraved tang.
The gunsmith who made the rifle also converted the lock to percussion; he added some engraving to the lock in the same style. I have owned another rifle and a fowling piece by the same gunsmith; neither of which were signed. Beautiful curly maple is complemented by several engraved silver inlays and a beautifully engraved patchbox. Masterful engraving is present on most brass mounts, including trigger guard, butt plate, rear ramrod pipe, pierced 2-piece toe plate, and side plate. The design and execution of engraving elevate the rifle to an artistic level seen in very few Kentucky rifles.
Available at $6950.00