Original U.S. Pennsylvania Half Stocked Percussion Rifle with Trade Lock by Golcher & Set Trigger c. 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 8 groove rifling.

The style and appointments are very typical of the rifles made in the Western Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio River areas, and the rifle features a very nice British side action trade lock, which is marked with the makers information:


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 a "hunting scene" on the tail, showing a hunter aiming a gun at fowl in flight.

We estimate that this octagonal barrel rifle was made about 1840, and features all brass mounts and some nickel silver ornamentation. The half 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 an engraved brass hinged cover. The stock does have some damage just forward of the lock, where some wood is missing.

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, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: c.1840
Caliber: approx .34" eight groove rifling
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 32 Inches

Overall Length: 47Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

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