This is clearly an Allentown-area rifle ca. 1790s through perhaps the early 19th century.  It is influenced somewhat loosely after an antique rifle that I believe was made by one of the “usual suspects,” i.e. one of the Molls, Peter Neihart or perhaps John Rupp Sr., however I've certainly taken some liberties while maintaining a historically and regionally correct appearance.  One noticeable feature of the original rifle that caught my eye was the removal of the inside trigger guard bow.  It definitely appears to have been original work, although usually this is seen in conjunction with a set-trigger mechanism.  Why the bow return was removed in this particular case is a mystery; perhaps the purchaser/owner preferred the grip rail positioned very closely to the stock?  Regardless of the underlying reason, I find it interesting, quirky and quite attractive!  This triggerguard possesses a sinuous and flowing form that is quite in-keeping with the architecture of the regional style.  The aging here is of a modest level that seems representative of a piece used constantly for twenty or thirty years.  There are plenty of nicks, dings, chips, scratches and of course tarnishing and light corrosion evident upon the hardware, creating a believable appearance of use and some age.  Also seen are remnants of a thin, pale-red varnish although much of it has worn away.  Overall, the picture presented is of a modestly-decorated rifle within it’s lifetime of active use. Trigger reach is 13 5/8″, barrel (Rice) length is 46″ and the bore is .50 caliber.  The flintlock mechanism is by Stan Hollenbaugh.  Quarter-sawn sugar maple with ample and fairly vivid figure.

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