Original U.S. Pennsylvania Percussion Target Rifle with British 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 "Kentucky" style target rifle, which more correctly is known as a Pennsylvania Rifle. It is in one of the larger calibers we usually see these in, .50", and has a very heavy octagonal barrel with seven groove rifling. At 15lbs, this rifle would see very little recoil during target shooting.

The style and appointments are very typical of the rifles made in Pennsylvania, and the barrel is marked W P J on the top, partway between the two rear sight mountings. We have not been able to identify this maker, and it could also be the initials of the owner.

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, though it is worn in places.

We estimate that this octagonal barrel rifle was made about 1840, and features all brass mounts. The full length stock is lovely, and looks to be made from "tiger maple", but parts also definitely look to be hand painted to resemble tiger maple. It was also common to soak cord in paraffin and light it on fire to give the same effect. The fore stock definitely looks to be flamed in areas, while others definitely look painted. It must have taken quite some time to hand paint all of the areas where it was needed. The butt stock has a nice cheek piece on the left hand side, and the right side has an engraved patch box, which unfortunately missing the brass cover. The stock shows only light wear, and we cannot see any major cracks or breaks.

As with most target 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" for the hammer to hold at full cock. The forward trigger is the popular "post" type. 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 "Pennsylvania" target rifle, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: c.1840
Caliber: approx .50" seven groove rifling
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 40 Inches

Overall Length: 55 1/2 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

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