Thank you for your interest in my work. I specialize in flintlock longrifles and have a particular fondness for iron mounted, southern, longrifles; particularly the guns made in the region from Rockbridge County Virginia southwest into East Tennessee. I am currently concentrating on fancier rifles from this area, but am willing to discuss most any project.
The work I do take, I base on original guns without trying to make an exact copy of any particular weapon. I try to imagine myself in the place of a particular 18th or 19th century gunsmith and build a gun that he might have created. I feel that there should always be something of myself in everything that I make, consistent with the stylistic elements of the maker, shop, or region that I am trying to re-create.
In an effort to put myself in the shoes of the original gunsmiths, I use as many period tools and techniques as is practical. While I do use some power tools, I still use planes, chisels, knives, rasps, and files as my primary instruments in the creation of a longrifle. Most of my finishing is done in the 18th century manner using fine files and scrapers with very limited used of sandpaper and steel wool. This results in a somewhat rougher finish complete with tool marks consistent with the finish of the original products. That way, you get both the look and feel of an original longrifle. I usually start from a stock blank, hand inlet my barrels, and also hand forge all my iron mounts. The goal is to produce a rifle that looks and feels like it came out of an 18th or 19th century gun shop.
If you are looking for a completely custom longrifle, it is best that you come to me with some idea of what you want me to build. If you have a particular original gun in mind that is either well documented or that I can borrow, that is great! Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age by Joe Kindig or Rifles of Colonial America, Volumes I&II, by George Shumway are the best references for building a historically correct gun outside of having the original firearm to study.
As you consider what type of gun to have built, you should take into account the suitability of various styles for particular applications. It turns out that 18th century longrifles, particularly the pre-revolutionary guns, tend to be more compatible with the expectations of modern hunters and are very popular these days for large game. For a target rifle or small game rifle, you are going to probably want to look at an 19th century gun.
After you have a good idea what you want, then we will discuss the details. Assuming that the style of gun you have chosen is appropriate for your intended use, there may be some additional choices in barrel length, caliber, lock, mounts, decoration and the like; but these choices will be constrained by your choice of style. We will discuss all these issues along with your preferences with regard to trigger pull, drop, and cast off and how these may affect your other choices.
Once we have settled on the specifications for your longrifle, I will work up a quote for you. Since each gun is different, there is no set price. The price will depend on the cost of parts with the quality of the wood being the greatest variable. The typical parts set (including a stock blank, barrel, lock, triggers, butt piece and trigger guard) will run roughly $700-$1400. The cheapest gun I am willing to make is going to run around $2700. That would be a flintlock with an inexpensive piece of wood, cast mounts, no patchbox, and no decoration. A typical carved and engraved longrifle will cost $3200-$5000. An iron mounted gun with hand forged mounts will cost about $440 more than a gun using commercially a available brass castings. An aged gun will cost more than a gun finished as new. Basically, the more details, the more decoration, and the more hand work, the more the gun costs.
Before scheduling work on your longrifle, I require a deposit to cover the cost of parts and materials. The labor charge, sales tax (5.3% Virginia sales tax for guns delivered in Virginia) and any shipping will be due on the delivery of the weapon. You should plan on at least a year delivery time after a contract has been signed. The actual delivery date depends on the availability of parts, how much work I have, and unforeseen occurrences in my life. A custom barrel can add a year or more to the delivery time. I can tell you where you would stand in the list of projects when you ask for a quote. Because I don’t need the stress in my life, while I will get the rifle done as quickly as I can, I will not promise a specific delivery date.
To discuss a project and get a quote, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. I will follow up with a phone call. See FAQ for more information. View the Longrifle Portfolio for more high resolution images of my work.