Gun #14 – Left-handed, Iron Mounted, Southwest Virginia Longrifle

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, full length view, left side.


This is a fully iron mounted longrifle of the late flint period. Is is a left hand version of Gun #5, and has features found on Virginia longrifles from Rockbridge County into Southwest Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, but is of a style mostly of my own creation. It has a hand forged butt piece and guard made of recycled wrought iron, and the guard was completely forge welded. All the other mounts are hand made from steel sheet. The stock is entirely scraped and burnished and the rifle is generally finished in a workman like manner. The stock is stained with aqua fortis and finished in oil. The stock and metal parts have been lightly aged. I have fitted the hickory ramrod with a plain sheet steel ferrule on the breech end that accepts a hand turned wiper made for the rifle.

The technical details:

Stock: Hand picked Dunlap #4 Soft (Red) Maple. Please note that a piece of wood like this would normally cost at least $500 these days. I got it for $80 because I drove 2 hours one way and spent an hour picking through an entire stack of wood
Lock: Significantly reworked L&R Durrs Egg flintlock
Barrel: Rice 42″, 45 caliber, Southern Classic with a Chambers White Lightning liner
Trigger: Modified Davis double set triggers
Mounts: Hand forged wrought iron and steel sheet

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, full length, right side.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, full length view, bottom.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, full length view, top.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, half length view, left side.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, half length view, right side.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, half length view, bottom.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, half length view, top..

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, signature.

Left handed, iron mounted southwest VA flintlock rifle, lock.


Shown here are the hand forged wrought iron mounts in progress. Hand Forged Mounts-104


2 thoughts on “Gun #14 – Left-handed, Iron Mounted, Southwest Virginia Longrifle”

  1. Mark, I really like this style of rifle! I live in south-eastern Kentucky, just across the state line from Wise Co., Virginia, and have family ties from western North Carolina to Bean Station, Tennessee…SMR country for sure! I’d like to incorporate hand forged mounts into a build I’m planning, and would welcome any forging tips or pitfalls to be mindful of.

  2. The problem with iron mounts is doing the forge welds. The problems are two fold. First, they tend to burn up metal. So you have to leave a little extra thickness in your parts to account for that. My biggest problem is ending up with mounts that are too thin. The second problem is that the welds are thin and cool very rapidly, you need an anvil that is either in or right next to your fire. I have a gas forge and have constructed an anvil out of 1/4″ plate to use for welding trigger guards that sits right in front of the front port. There is a flat spot for the grip rail spur and an angled spot for the bow weld.

    I have sheet metal templates that I use to forge the blank for the bow. I can generally get an entire guard out of an 8″ piece of 1//2″ square wrought iron bar. I sometimes use 1/8″ x 1/2″ weldable steel bar for the grip rail and rear extension. You just have to practice. I make triggers guards so infrequently, that I usually have to make a throw away one just for practice. I hope this helps.

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