Original U.S. Pennsylvania Half Stocked Percussion Rifle by J. Henry & Son with Set Trigger - circa 1840

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Just purchased at a recent military auction! Here is an octagonal barreled very nice "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. It has a heavy .34" caliber octagonal barrel with 6 groove rifling.

The style and appointments are very typical of the rifles made in the Lehigh Valley area of Eastern Pennsylvania, and is marked on both the top of the barrel and the lock (faint) by the maker:


Research indicates that J. Henry and his son were members of the well-known Henry family, who settled in Boulton, Pennsylvania near the Bushkill Creek. They would become pioneering gunmakers in the area, outfitting American soldiers who fended off the British for the second time, the fur trade, as well as Union troops in the Civil War. They made many "trade guns" such as this during the 1840s, and are very well known.

We estimate that this octagonal barrel rifle was made about 1840, and features all iron mounts and some nickel silver ornamentation, such as the nose cap and escutcheons. The half length stock is lovely, and looks to be made from walnut, a very popular and durable hardwood that is also quite attractive. The butt stock has a nice cheek piece on the left hand side, and overall the stock has a lovely glow. There does look to be a crack on the wrist, expertly repaired long ago.

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 the lock will fire at all. There is no half cock position due to this. The bore is in very good condition, with with clear rifling and a bright finish. There is a simple wooden cleaning rod installed, which is just for display.

A very nice example of a mid 19th Century "Pennsylvania" rifle by a famous gun-making family, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: c.1840
Caliber: approx .34" eight groove rifling
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 36 Inches

Overall Length: 52 1/4Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

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