A signed percussion rifle by George Slonaker of Bedford County, Pennsylvania

The following photos of a signed Bedford County-style Slonaker percussion rifle were contributed by Mel Stewart Hankla.

In the following photo, the first initial of the barrel signature is difficult to decipher. I suppose it could be interpreted as either an old-style capital "G" or an old-style capital "J", although typically a well-formed old-style capital "J" is pointed on top. I have never heard of a rifle attributed to John George Slonaker, and suspect this rifle was made by John's father George Slonaker. One substantial attribution difficulty is that some manuscript documents clearly refer to John George Slonaker as "John G. Slonaker" while others clearly refer to him as "George Slonaker". Since both the father and the son were sometimes called "George Slonaker", I can confidently say that this is a George Slonaker rifle, even though I cannot prove which George made it!
The barrel signature on the Slonaker long rifle.

The next picture shows the right-hand side of the buttstock of the Slonaker-made long rifle, along with a bit of the lock and trigger areas. The peripheral shape of the patchbox, and the shape of the piercings match the patchbox of a rifle signed "Geo. Slonaker" that was sold by French Creek Arms. The lock has a rounded tail, rather than the pointed-rat tail featured on many Bedford County rifles. The photo also shows that the gun incorporates a double set trigger arrangement.
The right-hand side of the buttstock on the Slonaker-made rifle.

The next photograph features the patch box of the Slonaker rifle. The peripheral shape of the patch box, and the shape of the piercings match the patch box of a rifle that was signed "Geo. Slonaker" that was sold by French Creek Arms and pictured on their website with a German silver sheet metal-type wrist repair.
An enlarged view of the patch box on the Slonaker muzzleloader.

The cheekpiece side of the buttstock of the Slonaker muzzle loading rifle.

Enlarged view of the cheekpiece inlay on the Slonaker rifle.

The lock bolt plate on the G. Slonaker muzzle loading rifle.

The toe plate on the buttstock of a Pennsylvania longrifle that was made by George Slonaker.

The nosecap of the Slonaker-made percussion longrifle.

An oblique view of the trigger guard area of the Slonaker rifle

arrow Click here for links to photos of other Bedford and Somerset county rifles, and biographical information about the gunsmiths who made them.

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