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Original U.S. Kentucky Percussion Rifle by W. Foliart with Trade Lock by Golcher & Set Trigger c. 1850

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Just purchased at a recent military auction! Here is an octagonal barreled very nice "Kentucky" style rifle, which more correctly is known as a Pennsylvania Rifle. It is in one of the usual calibers we see these in, .40", and has an octagonal barrel with six groove rifling.

The style and appointments are very typical of the rifles made in the Western Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio River areas, and the top of the barrel is marked W. FOLIART. There is unfortunately not any information out there on this maker, however that is not unusual, as there were many who only operated for a short amount of time.

The rifle features a very nice British side action trade lock, which is marked with the makers information:

Jos'h Golcher

JOSEPH GOLCHER was an English gunsmith based on KING STREET, DARLASTON in STAFFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, who worked from 1830 to 1865. We have had several examples of "Pennsylvania rifles" bearing his fine locks. The lock plate also has some lovely floral line engraving, as well as some game fowl on the tail.

We estimate that this octagonal barrel rifle was made about 1850, and features all brass mounts. The full length stock is lovely, and looks to be made from "tiger maple", which has been stained and painted as well. There definitely looks to be curl in the grain, so it may have been a way of really bringing out the effect. The butt stock has a nice cheek piece on the left hand side, and the right side has a patch box with a simple rotating brass cover. The stock has however suffered damage over the years, with cracking around the lock, and some significant cracking in the fore stock area. These were glued together, long ago, but it definitely was not an expert job.

As with most Pennsylvania rifles, this example is fitted with a "set trigger", where depressing the rear trigger first until it clicks and just touching the front trigger discharges the weapon, hopefully with great accuracy. It is fully functional at present, and the rear trigger must be "set" before pulling back the hammer. The front trigger is a standard shape, unlike the "post" style we usually see. The bore is in good shape, with strong rifling, with just some light wear and oxidation. There is a simple wooden cleaning rod installed, which is just for display.

A very nice example of a mid 19th Century "Kentucky" rifle, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: c.1850
Caliber: approx .40" six groove rifling
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 41 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 56 1/2 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

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    New Jersey

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