Remarkable Fancy Kentucky Long Rifle Flintlock and Black Powder
Extraordinarily Nice American (Kentucky) Longrifle | Long Black Powder Flint Rifle | Very Fancy Hand Carved Stock with brass and silver inlaid work | The long rifle, also known as longrifle, Kentucky rifle, or Pennsylvania rifle, was one of the first commonly used rifles for hunting and warfare. It is characterized by an unusually long barrel, which is widely believed to be a largely unique development of American rifles that was uncommon in European rifles of the same period.
The longrifle is an early example of a firearm using rifling, spiral grooves in the bore. This gave the projectile, commonly a round lead ball, a spiraling motion, increasing the stability of the trajectory. A more stable trajectory meant dramatically improved accuracy over the more commonly available smooth bore muskets also used in the period. Rifled firearms saw their first major combat use in the American colonies during the French and Indian War, and later the American Revolution in the eighteenth century.
Until the development of the Minié ball in the middle of the 19th century, the main disadvantages of a rifle compared to a musket were a slower reload time due to the use of a tighter fitting lead ball and greater susceptibility to the fouling of the bore after prolonged use – such fouling would eventually prevent loading altogether, rendering the weapon useless until thoroughly cleaned. The adoption of the Minié ball essentially nullified these disadvantages and allowed the rifle to completely replace the musket.
The longrifle was made popular by German gunsmiths who immigrated to America, bringing with them the technology of rifling from where it originated. The accuracy achieved by the longrifle made it an ideal tool for hunting wildlife for food in colonial America.
The American Longrifle, more commonly, but less correctly, known as the ‘Kentucky rifle’, was described by Captain John G. W. Dillin in the dedication to his seminal 1924 book, The Kentucky Rifle: “From a flat bar of soft iron, hand forged into a gun barrel; laboriously bored and rifled with crude tools; fitted with a stock hewn from a maple tree in the neighboring forest; and supplied with a lock hammered to shape on the anvil; an unknown smith, in a shop long since silent, fashioned a rifle which changed the whole course of world history; made possible the settlement of a continent; and ultimately freed our country of foreign domination. Light in weight; graceful in line; economical in consumption of powder and lead; fatally precise; distinctly American; it sprang into immediate popularity; and for a hundred years was a model often slightly varied but never radically changed.”
— Captain John G. W. Dillin, The Kentucky Rifle
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