This Kentucky Rifle Foundation display has been made possible by the following individuals who have generously loaned their guns to the KRF for this show.
More photos of the Kentucky rifle chest can be seen here.
The Kentucky map powder horn is by Bruce Horne and more photos can be seen here.
Pistol by Koppikus
Mason City, Stanford, Harrodsburg, Lexington
Revolutionary War Pistols
American made Revolutionary War pistols are the rarest of all colonial arms collectables. They can be distinguished from their more common French and British counterparts by careful examination.
Generally speaking, the workmanship of American makers is often not as refined as the work of foreign gunmakers. American curley maple is identifiable and American carving and engraving is usually cruder than the work of foreign craftsmen.
The flintlock pistol owned by Samuel Callender was carried by him when he was a trooper riding with Daniel Morgan;s Raiders.
another view of above pistol
another view of above pistol
Note: At the Lake Cumberland Show Mel Handle always has a speaker on Saturday afternoon. One year the speaker was Harold Edwards who gave a presentation on Kentucky gunmakers. The presentation included slides of homes and homesite of those makers.
There are a number of surviving original rifles signed by and attributed to Stoffel Long. The majority of his rifles share a similar style to the earlier classic Lehigh rifles, but display a more "folky" appearance. The wrist is wider than tall with a soft diamond shape, it has a two piece patchbox with similar "fleur de lis" finial, and a well pronounced roman nose shape to the buttstock. Though not poorly built, they often show the appearance of haste in construction, with file and scraper marks throughout.
This rifle is a close copy of an original Stoffel Long. Unlike most others by his hand, this has barrel keys and brass escutcheons. The barrel is 44" long, .45 caliber, hand filed octagonal to round in profile. The lock is a heavily modified late Ketland, with new frizzen spring. Though devoid of carving, there are several decorative brass inlays, and a rich red varnish applied over the stock. A light patina was applied to the hardware and stock to mellow the appearance and show a few years of use. The gun weighs in at a mere 7lbs, and is a pleasure to carry. It takes a steady arm to shoot with such a light barrel, but she still hit the gong at 150 yards offhand.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers