This rifle is no. 138 in "Rifles of Colonial America Volume II" by George Shumway and likely originates from the American South in the late 18th century following the American Revolution. It is noted as reflecting the greater variety and originality of the southern made American long rifles compared to the more tradition bound styles of Pennsylvania. Shumway wrote: "This long-barreled rifle has a rather straight stock, has good stock architecture, and has a long trigger-pull distance of 14 5/16 inches. The brass patch box is made from two layers of brass riveted together so that the upper layer forms designs in relief. The relief carving on the stock takes an unusual form behind the cheek-piece where plant forms that appear to be thistles are found. Additional carving is present in front of the cheek-piece and on the opposite side of the stock too. Other designs are carved in relief on top of the wrist. As part of the carving around the tang and under the cheek-piece are rows of little chips or dots, a detail exhibited by a number of other rifles in this section. On either side of the wrist at the termination of the lock and side-plate mouldings there are diminutive beaver-tails." The tapered barrel is unsigned and has traditional blade and notch sights. The imported English lock is marked "KETLAND" on the inside and has scroll and floral engraving on the plate. As noted by Shumway, the sideplate was a recycled part with the tail broken off. The stock has nice flame figure, raised molding along the ramrod channel, the noted thistle style raised relief carving on the left side of the butt behind the cheekpiece which has staples for a vent pick, and raised relief scroll craving at the entry pipe, barrel tang, and front of the comb.
Very good with dark brown on the visible areas of the lock and barrel, lighter silver-gray patina on the protected areas of the barrel, attractive aged patina on the brass furniture, some mild oxidation and pitting, distinct engraving and lock marking, deepened pan by the vent, worn but visible carving at the ramrod entry pipe, crisper carving on the remainder of the stock, a replacement forend cap screwed into a lug the bottom of the barrel, absent stock pins, and mild overall wear. Mechanically fine. This is definitely a very interesting and attractive southern American long rifle.
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