An Early Virginia Longrifle
This is a 1785 Augusta/Rockbridge County, Virginia style longrifle based on the earlier of the two rifles documented by Wallace Gusler in the Journal of Historical Arms Making Technology, Volume II (JHAT II). The patchbox and its engraving is an original design extrapolated from the box on the early gun documented in JHAT II as well as those by John Davidson. The dogwood flower is more contemporary, but I thought it appropriate as this is to be my personal rifle. The lock is a Chambers Early Ketland, filed, polished and engraved in a manner typical of most imported English locks with heat blued screws. The 54 caliber, 44″ long, Dickert profile Rice barrel is polished amory bright.
A White Lightning liner is installed. The rifle has modified Davis double set triggers that have been heat blued. The butt piece and guard are neatly filed from yellow brass castings from Reeves Goehring. The rest of the mounts, including the one piece nose piece, are hand made from sheet brass. The stock is carved from a blank of very curly, stump cut, quartersawn, hard maple from Freddie Harrison. The barrel is hand inlet using gouges, a period gunstock plane, and rasps. The stock is almost entirely finished by scraping and the rifle is generally finished in a workman like manner.
The forearm moulding was cut with a custom made scratch stock in the original manner and show the characteristic ripple from scraping very curly wood. Period correct tools and techniques were used with files, rasps, chisels, and planes being used for most of the work. The stock is stained with a dilute solution of aqua fortis(ferric nitrate) for a light brown color and finished in Tried & True (linseed oil and beeswax). I have fitted the scraped hickory ramrod with a plain sheet steel ferrule on the breech end that accepts a hand filed wiper (for use with tow only) made for the rifle with is stored in the patchbox.
If you are interested in the templates and layout guide I used to create this rifle, they may downloaded on this page.
The length of pull is approximately 13.5″ to the front trigger. The drop is a little more than 3″ and the cast off is about .25″. The overall length is about 59 1/2″. The weight is about 9 lbs 6 oz.
In case you are interested in the load. I shoot this rifle with a .530″ ball; a 0.020″ thick pillow ticking patch lubed with a 7:1 water:Ballistol dry lube; and 80 gr of FF powder. This resulted in an approximately 1.5″ group at 50 yards at sight-in.
The Technical Details
|Very curly, stump cut, quartersawn, Sugar Maple
|Chambers Early Ketland
|Rice Dickert, 44″, C-54 caliber with Chambers White Lightning liner
|Davis double set triggers
|Reeves Goehring sand cast yellow brass butt piece and guard, all other mounts made from brass sheet
The Final Result
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