The following photograph provides a full-length view of the right-hand side of this slender unornamented 19th century Pennsylvania long rifle.
The following image shows the right-hand side of the buttstock, which (as typical with Bedfords) has a straight comb and belly and a significant amount of drop at the heel. The buttstock does not incorporate a patch box. The image also reveals the extraordinarily long length of the toe plate.
The next photo features the signed percussion lock, with its narrow rat tail lock plate and graceful Bedford County-style hammer. The rat tail is well-centered in the lock panel of the stock, which adds to aesthetic quality of the firearm. The lock plate incorporates a fence behind the nipple to protect the stock from the flash of the percussion cap when the gun is fired. Part of the lock panel has been repaired with a wood and putty patch. The slender lock plate allows the characteristically slim appearance in the lock panel area, as is typical with Bedford County rifle stocks. To me, the tapering trailing edges of the lock plate and mating stock panel impart a sense of motion. The percussion drum incorporates wrench flats to facilitate installation and removal.
The next photo highlights a decorative reverse curl at the tip of the spur of the percussion hammer. It also provides an oblique view of the flash guard that is built into the lock plate of this Bedford County gun lock.
The next picture provides an oblique view of the attractive brass trigger guard, which houses a double set trigger arrangement. The long bow of the trigger guard was clearly designed to accomodate double triggers. The adjustment screw of the set trigger assembly is visible between the triggers, projecting from the trigger plate. The hole for the pin that retains the rear of the trigger guard to the stock is also clearly visible. I wonder if the original trigger plate was replaced with this long trigger plate to facilitate repair of the broken wrist of the stock. Both the set trigger and the hair trigger are curved.
The next picture provides a view of the lock plate fence to the rearward of the percussion drum. The drum incorporates a cleanout screw. Near the right-hand side of the picture, a barrel retention pin is visible in the fore-end.
The following picture shows the forearm area, including the entry pipe for the ramrod. The transverse pin that retains the entry pipe to the stock is visible. The rear sight is located well-forward, above the rear end of the entry pipe.
The next image shows the part of the fore-arm of the stock, including the ramrod thimbles, the nose cap, and the front sight. The pin retaining the front ramrod thimble is visible.
The next photograph provides an enlarged view of the forestock, nose cap and front sight. The end of the forestock is cracked near the muzzle. The brass nosecap is quite long, which adds to the slender appearnace of the rifle. If you pay close attention, you can see where the cross-section of the forestock transitions to match the cross-section of the nosecap. As can be seen here, the ramrod is plain, without a metal tip and the barrel is octagonal in cross-section.
The next picture, which is annotated to document length, provides an overall view of the left-hand side of the Defibaugh muzzleloader. The drop at the heel is incorrectly measured.
The next picture shows the cheekpiece side of the buttstock.
The next picture features the unengraved brass lock bolt plate (aka "side plate") of the Defibaugh rifle, and reveals that the wrist of the stock has been broken and repaired. Such breaks are relatively common on antique black powder firearms. The repair is facilitated by a long metal reinforcement that is retained to the upper side of the wrist by screws.
The next picture shows the left-hand side of the fore-end of full-length curley maple stock of the Defibaugh muzzleloading black powder gun. The extraordinarily-long sight radius of these old Pennsylvania long guns facilitated accuracy.
See the Gunsmith Index for links to photographs of other Bedford County longrifles and biographies of the gunmakers who produced them.
Go to the home page to access web pages about other regional history topics.