Charles Monroe Knupp percussion rifle, Somerset County, Pennsylvania

The photos below show an antique full stock percussion rifle that was made by the Bakersville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith Charles Monroe Knupp, who is said to have apprenticed with his rifle making uncle Jonathan Dormayer. This gun lacks the Jonathan Dormayer-inspired patch box that some Knupp rifles feature, but does have a Dormayer-inspired lock plate. This muzzle loading rifle belongs to the grandchild of an individual who lived not too far from Bakersville. Click here to see a Jonathan Dormayer rifle with carving that is nearly identical to that on the Knupp rifle featured on this web page. To see another rifle by Charles Monroe Knupp, click here.

The first photo provides a complete view of the right-hand side of the Knupp black powder rifle. The maple gun stock has a dark finish.
A photo of the right-hand side of a Pennsylvania long rifle that was made by the Somerset County, Pennsylvania gun maker Charles Monroe Knupp.

The next image provides an overview of the entire left-hand side of the Knupp black powder rifle.
A picture of the left-hand side of an antique muzzle-loading black powder rifle that was made by the Somerset Co., Penna. gunsmith Charles Monroe Knupp.

The next photograph shows the Dormayer-inspired percussion gun lock and the mating lock panel of the stock, which is trailed by a little incised beaver tail-shaped decorative carving. This photo also provides a good side view of the trigger guard and the incised carving in the wrist area. The comb on this Knupp rifle is higher than that of a typical Jonathan Dormayer rifle.
A view of the lock panel, wrist, and trigger guard portions of a black powder gun made by Charles Monroe Knupp, a gun maker who worked in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

The next picture shows the lock bolt plate, which is a truncated version of the unique longer style often encountered on rifles produced by the gunmaker Jonathan Dormayer. The lock is retained to the stock by the upper screw, and the lower screw retains the lock bolt plate to the stock when the upper screw is removed. The stock panel for the lock bolt plate is similar to the stock panel for the lock that is shown in the photo above.

The picture also shows the incised carving at the rear of the wrist, under the forward part of the comb of this interesting Pennsylvania rifle.
This is the lock bolt plate on an antique muzzle loader created by the Somerset Co. Penna. gunsmith Charles M. Knupp.

The next image shows the incised carving on the cheekpiece side of the buttstock of this Knupp-made cap lock muzzleloader. The comb and belly of the stock are straight, as common in the region. The buttstock is fitted with a cast brass crescent-shaped buttplate. The lower edge of the cheekpiece is decorated with a longitudinally oriented incised line.
This is a view of the left-hand side of the buttstock on a slender Pennsylvania rifle made by the gun maker Monroe Knupp, a Somerset County, gunsmith.

The next photo provides a left-hand view of the entry pipe of the Knupp rifle, and shows the double line incised lines running along the forearm. The cross-pin that retains the entry pipe to the rifle stock is visible. The rear sight is located over the entry pipe. The photo also provides a good look at the wavy grain of the curly maple stock.
Left side view of the entry pipe area of a gun made by the Somerset County, Pennsylvania gun maker Charles Monroe Knupp of Bakersville.

The following forestock photograph shows the dovetailed front sight, the front ramrod thimble, and the brass nose cap of the Knupp muzzleloader rifle. The rear of the front sight blade is configured to reduce glare, and represents an improvement over the typical sight blades found on most old Pennsylvania muzzleloaders. Metal cross-pins that retain the thimble and the full octagon barrel to the gun stock are visible. The length of the nose cap is relatively short, compared to those found on many of the muzzleloaders made by other Pennsylvania riflesmiths.

I included the next photo because it provides a closer view of the trigger guard of this antique black powder rifle. The rifle incorporates an adjustable double set trigger arrangement with a deeply curved set trigger and a rod-like hair trigger. The dramatic shape differences allow the shooter to identify the triggers by touch. The rod-like shape of the hair trigger also concentrates the force of the trigger pull on a small area of the trigger finger (compared to a curved trigger) for increased sensitivity. The trigger adjustment screw is visible between the triggers.

This image also shows that the nipple of this old percussion gun is mounted on a drum. The nose of the hammer telescopes over the end of the nipple as a safety measure, to minimize the risk of percussion cap fragments flying back into the eyes of the shooter. The relatively short nose of the hammer is exceptionally well aligned with the nipple. The trigger plate appears to be quite long. The lock plate is engraved, and has a tail shape that is a trademark characteristic of the firearms made by Charles Monroe Knupp and Jonathan Dormayer.

The next photo is unfortunately out of focus. It shows the engraved initials of Charles Monroe Knupp on the lock plate of the rifle. Overall the gun is in remarkably good condition, but there is a bit of wood damage from the flash of firing percussion caps just to the rearward of the breech of the barrel. That damage is visible even though the photo is blurry.

Click here for additional Somerset County rifle pictures and gunsmithing history.

This Somerset and Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith project is intended to be a collaborative effort with gun collectors, historians, genealogists, etc. who may have information or photos to share.

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