Shown here is a previously unpublished John Davidson longrifle. It was made for a farmer in Rockbridge county Virginia and is still in the family. While the rifle is the victim of a very poor restoration job many years ago, there is still considerable artistic merit to the gun.
The longrifle is mostly intact. The original nose piece is missing as is the trigger guard. The guard on the rifle now does not belong by any stretch of the imagination. It was just stuck on there so there would be a guard. Missing wood in the forearm and around the lock and tang was replaced with body putty, but the thimbles appear to be original as does the lock plate with a period conversion from flint to percussion. The best part of the longrifle is the butt stock. It has a typical John Davidson patchbox with some great engraving, and some unique floral cheek side carving.
Rather than further describe the longrifle, I will let the photographs speak for themselves. I do have to beg your indulgence for any deficiencies in the photographs. They were, by necessity, taken at the owners house, outside, on a sunny, windy day, in the partial shade of a large tree. It is amazing they turned out as well as they did.
PDF Data Sheet for John Davidson Rifle
Excel Data Sheet for John Davidson Rifle
Photos are Copyright 2011 Mark E. Elliott, All Rights Reserved, published with the permission of the owner. Please do not duplicate without permission.
Shown here is a an original signed Simon Lauck fowler. The distinctive signature S_____ Lauck is shown in the last photo. I had originally believed that this gun was mostly a restoration. However, after a careful and detailed examination of the disassembled gun under expert guidance, I have come to believe that this gun is mostly original and a good example of a product of the Simon Lauck shop.
At some some point this gun was shortened and apparently converted to percussion. Everything from the front thimble forward is a obvious restoration. The stock from the front thimble back appears to be original and unaltered except for the repair of a crack through the lock mortise. The lock appears to have been reconverted to flint, but I believe the lock plate is original to the gun because the lock screws fit the plate and the stock without any obvious modification. I believe that the gap along the bottom of the lock plate is due to the repair through that area. Some of the guard may be a replacement but it is hard to tell.
One important marking to mention is a very bold “LS” stamp on the bottom of the barrel at the breech. I have been told that a barrel with this marking was also observed on a gun from the Haymaker shop. It would seem that there was a barrel maker by the name of “LS” supplying the gun makers in Winchester around 1800. Some more research into this would certainly be in order.
- Overall Length: 62″
- Barrel Length: 46 13/16″