Home Page Back/Up 2002 Rifle Shenandoah Co. Rifle Current Project

.60 caliber Getz barrel, Jim Chambers lock, Wayne Dunlap blank, the butt piece is a Reaves Ghoring casting, the other mounts are my work.

This rifle was built in the fall of 2002 to replace the 1973 wood box rifle I traded away at the CLA show in August. It was made in under three months, which for me is "emergency gunsmithing," because I needed it for deer season in November. It was an interesting exercise in completing work in a "workman like manner" without all the 21st-century concern for perfection that often dominates modern rifle building.

The engraving on the box door is based on that found on the lid of the remains of a rifle supposedly recovered from a Native American site in Alabama. (The rest of my box is not related to this original.) (top)

The relief carving was also based on the badly damaged remains of this dug-up rifle. At the time this rifle was built the relic was in Jim Dressler's collection and I had seen, and photographed it, at the Woodstock Virginia KRA show some years earlier. Since 2002 the relic butt stock has been treated to preserve it and more details of the carving were revealed. The rifle appears to have been made in Virginia for the Southern Indian trade and I will be basing some other projects on this unique relic. (top)

The stock was stained with petroleum tar, known as asphaltum in the 18th century, and finished with hot bee's wax. The wax is my personal favorite for a finish. It penetrates the maple and is as close to water proof as any finish I have ever tried. (top)

The barrel of this rifle was charcoal blued for me by George Suiter and his crew at the Colonial Williamsburg Gun Shop. The bluing also coated the bore and I eventually had to run freshening slugs though the barrel to remove the bluing. (top)