KENTUCKY RIFLES AT AFFORDABLE PRICES The 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, Rockingham/Augusta Counties, VA ca 1835
The following information appears on Courtney Wilson's website www.penmarvarifles.com: "Little is written about the Shaver family of gunsmiths but both William (b. 1802) and Daniel (b. 1812) made some fine rifles in the percussion period 1830-60. The Shavers originated in Rockingham County and their riflemaking style, architecture and the folksy engraving and details were heavily influenced by Alexander McGilvray, Rockingham County’s most prolific rifle maker. The bulk of their work, however, was apparently done just south of Rockingham County in Augusta County on the road to Staunton, Virginia. To the best of my knowledge no signed rifles are known by this family"
This example is by far the best and most decorative example of their work. The deeply rifled barrel is 46.25 inches long about .50 cal. Though made in the percussion period this rifle exhibits much earlier architecture and style. None of the rifles known by William or Daniel were made in the flintlock period. The patchbox reflects and mans head with a pointed nose; a folkish and desirable detail. A crack in front of the lock and rear of the rear ramrod pipe are secured by iron staples; a thoughtful repair. This is one of the nicest rifles of this period in the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks to Courtney Wilson and Gordon Barlow for the information on the Shaver gunsmiths
Available at $3,250.00
Signed J Kline, Jacob Kline Sr. Capon Bridge, Hampshire County, (now) West Virginia ca 1840
Jacob Kline was a gunsmith in Hampshire County in the 1820's. He trained his son Jacob Jr who moved to Ohio. Jacobs work is very rare and desirable. His rifles follow the Hampshire County style with few exceptions. This example has an unusual but attractive sideplate not seen on other rifles from the area. He also engraved 4-petal flowers on his patchbox lid that may indicate some relationship with George Glaze.
The barrel length is now 39.5" and about .50 cal; a large bore for this period. A piece of wood has been restored at the toe, one restored between the lock and barrel tang, and a sliver on the forestock. The curly maple is a better grade and the surface contains great patina. This is a beautiful and rare example of the Hampshire County school.
available at $1,950.00
Signed "Rowe" Nathaniel Rowe, Emmitsburg, MD ca 1840
Nathaniel Rowe is a celebrated gunsmith from Emmitsburg who learned his trade from the great John Armstrong. He made a few flintlocks after his apprenticeship but he mostly worked in the percussion period. His attention to detail was on par with Armstrong. A similar example is currently listed on Guns International.
This example lived a hard life, was repaired and kept on going. The brass repairs around the original lock and to the left of the barrel tang serve to stablize old cracks. Over years of use the lock wiggled in the mortice and a screw or nail was placed at the rear of the lock (now missing) for stabilization which was not uncommon. The rifled barrel is signed in script, is 34+ inches and about .45 cal. The usual iron tip is dovetailed into the top extension of the butt plate. Some minor wood losses at the pins for barrel and rear ramrod pipe. Nice curly maple, a horn front sight, nice incised carving, and typically nice engraving make this another example of Rowe's fine workmanship.
Available at $1,950.00