Gun #8 – Carved Early Virginia Flintlock Longrifle

Carved Early Virginia flintlock longrifle

A Fantasy Virgina Longrifle

I made this very unusual flintlock chunk gun in 2005 for a friend.  There was no such thing as an early Virginia chunk gun.  Chunk guns were a product of the mid and late 19th century.  However, my friend wanted a chunk gun in a Hershel House early Virginia style.  As the project gave me an opportunity to try a few new things such as a captured patchbox and poured pewter nose piece, I gladly agreed to build this flintlock longrifle.

For those of you not familiar with chunk guns, a chunk gun is a traditional style longrifle with a particularly long and heavy barrel designed specifically for target shooting.  It may have a flintlock or percussion lock, but most were percussion. A chunk gun is shot over a log or “chunk” while laying on the ground.  They are shot at a target 60 yards away.   You take 10 shots and add up the distances between the center of the bullet holes and the center of the bulls-eye.  The shortest total distance wins.

This particular gun has a typical early Virginia profile and uses a butt piece and guard castings made off a Hershel House rifle.  The captured patchbox, side plate, poured pewter nose piece, and cheek side carving are based on Hershel House’s interpretation of an early Virginia rifle as documented in his video Building a Kentucky Rifle published by American Pioneer Video.  While Hershel normally uses a beaver tail around the tang,  I thought that an acanthus leaf/fleur de lise design went better with the raised carving behind the cheek piece.   I spent more time on the carving and engraving than I probably should have for such a utilitarian rifle.

As to the nuts and bolts, the rifle has an 1 1/8″,  straight, 44 inch long, 54 caliber Rice barrel.  A White Lightning liner is installed.  The lock is a Chambers Early Ketland with a pan bridle.   The set triggers are by Davis.  The stock is a piece of curly cherry.   The stock is entirely scraped and burnished and the rifle is generally finished in a workman like manner. The stock was stained with a lye solution and finished in oil.  I have applied a patina to the metal parts to simulate a good number of years of gentle use.

The technical details
Stock: Curly Cherry
Lock: Chambers Early Ketland
Barrel: Rice 44″, 54 caliber, 1 1/8″ straight with Chambers White Lightning liner
Trigger: Davis double set triggers
Mounts: Butt piece and guard cast from original Hershel House mounts, rest of mounts from brass sheet.

The Final Results

Carved Early Virginia Flintlock longrifle,  Full Left view

Carved Early Virginia Flintlock longrifle,  Half Right view

Carved Early Virginia Flintlock longrifle, Half Left view

Carved Early Virginia Flintlock longrifle, Half Top view

Carved Early Virginia Flintlock longrifle, Half Bottom view

Carved Early VA Chunk Gun, Tang

Carved Early VA Chunk Gun Lock

Carved Early VA Chunk Gun Patchbox

Carved Early VA Chunk Gun Cheek