Signed "G B" Unknown, Rowan County, North Carolina, ca 1805
There are 3 known rifles signed similarly "G B". This example is the most artistically develeoped; the other two are iron mounted and less decorative. GB probably learned his trade in Virginia or North Carolina possibly from Jacob Crider. A restocked rifle by J Painter in Botetourt County Virginia is signed "SOB * JD" in silver has the exact same muzzle engravings as the GB rifle. The "O" in the SOB * JD signature appears with rays engraved inside as if it were the sun. Ben Dowling has surmized the signature is that of James Duffle of Lynchburg, VA. James' father's name was Barnabas; therefor the signature stands for "Son of Barnabas * James Duffle". An interesting concept but one that may eventually indentify "GB". Also, a signed J Crider rifle (for sale on this website) has identical architecture, and upper and lower plates to the patchbox indicating a close relationship.
The rifle has been converted to percussion using the original lock and having a patent breech added to the barrel rather than the usual drum and nipple. This is the only change made to this well-used but well cared-for rifle. The rifled barrel is 43.5 inches and about .40 cal. The patchbox lid release is a button located on the upper plate of the patchbox like rifles of a similar period in North Carolina. The condition and rarity of this example will insure its value.
Other areas of manufacture are Botetourt County, Virginia. The faceted comb, butt stock arcitecture, forestock escutcheons that serve as the head of the barrel wedges, and upper and lower plates of patchbox extend past the edge of the butt plate are features of Botetourt rifle. Rowan County rfiles have the elongated cheekpiece, patchbox lid release button on the upper plate of the patchbox, and simplistic rococco design of the upper and lower plates of the patchbox similar to the GB rifle.