Original U.S. Circa 1840 Pennsylvania Long Rifle by J. & W. Aston with Brass Patch Pox and Cheek Rest
Original Item: Only One Available. Just purchased at a recent military auction! Here is a very nice octagonal barreled "Pennsylvania" style rifle, often referred to as a "Kentucky" Rifle. The design developed in Pennsylvania, and then spread down the Ohio River Valley to Kentucky, where it was very popular. The stock of this example is in fact just a bit more curved than typical, and gives it a lovely profile. It has an octagonal barrel in .50" caliber, which shows much use. It may have originally been a smaller caliber and bored out when the rifling became worn to make it a very nice fowling piece.
The engraved lock plate is marked at the bottom with J. & W. ASTON, a known maker of this type of rifle from the mid 19th century. We have not been able to find much at all about this maker, which could also be a retailer or importer. Many of these Pennsylvania rifles used "trade" locks, which could be imported from others states, or more often from England.
We estimate that this octagonal barrel rifle was made about 1840, and features all brass mounts with minimal ornamentation. There are dovetail front and rear sights on the barrel, the rear made from copper and the front with a copper base and brass blade. The lock is the most decorated part of the entire rifle, with lovely foliate engraving on the plate and hammer. It functions, but does not look to have a half cock position at present, and the main spring is fairly weak.
The full length stock is made from very attractive wood, which looks to be maple, stained a lovely chestnut color. There is light figuring throughout the stock, with some 'Tiger' flame figuring on the butt stock, which also has a great "Monte Carlo" style cheek piece on the left side. The right side has a lovely sheet copper patch box, which has minimal engraving. It is opened by pressing a small lever on the butt plate up slightly to release the catch. There is a simple wooden cleaning rod installed, which is most likely only for display.
Condition is very good, but definitely does show some wear and damage. There is a lot of powder burn around the nipple cone and bolster, so it looks to have seen significant use during its service life. There is also some cracking around the lock plate, but it does not look to be structural.
A very nice example of a mid 19th Century U.S. percussion rifle with a lovely full length figured stock, ready to add to your collection!
Year of Manufacture: c.1840
Caliber: approx .51" smoothbore
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 40 Inches
Overall Length: 56 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
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