Two rifles made by Wallace Gusler in 1967

This first rifle was made for use as a display rifle in the Gun Shop. The engraving and carving were kept fairly simple in an effort to represent a Revolutionary War period rifle. Plain maple was selected for that same reason.

The barrel was one of the first hand forged examples that Wallace and I made at the Deane Forge in 1966. We had no wrought iron at that time, so it was welded up out of 1010 mild steel. We found steel harder to work with than wrought iron because the higher carbon makes it easier to burn. The barrel came out at .53 caliber and just a bit under 40 inches long.

When it was made this rifle had a lock made by Russ Hamm. It was marketed as a copy of a lock from a Peter Gonter rifle. In about 1974 that lock was replaced with a more reliable Siler lock assembled by Bud Siler.

These pictures were taken in 1976 after the lock had been switched.

Note all the wear on the rear corner of the cheek piece. This occurs when display rifles are handled by thousands of folks visiting the shop and they slide them about on the bench top when picking them up and putting them down.


This second rifle was made on custom order and also completed in 1967.

It used a .50 caliber G. R. Douglas tapered and flared barrel and Russ Hamm, P. Gonter lock. The more elaborate art is more typical of Wallace's early custom work.



The stain was tar and turpentine and the finish was linseed oil topped with bees wax.

Wallace responding to a question while filing toe plate for this rifle which is clamped in wooden vise in the foreground.

Note original Brown Bess in window. Spring or summer of 1967.