A percussion rifle by Jacob Snider of Bedford County, PA

The photos below show an antique silver-decorated percussion rifle that was made by Jacob Snider (1821-1875). A brother of Tobias Snider, Jacob was a gunsmith who operated in Hopewell and Liberty townships of Bedford County, Pennsylvania before moving to Colorado, where he was murdered.

The first photo, immediately below, shows a portion of the right-hand side of the gun. This muzzle loading gun appears to have an exceptionally long length of pull, but I don't have a measurement. The gun has no relief carving or incised carving. The general style of finial on the patch box of this Jacob Snider rifle was sometimes used by Peter White, Jacob Stoudenour, Elias Crissey, John Amos, and Joseph Mills, to name a few. For example, see Plates 129, 130, 137, 138, Appendix I, and Appendix II of Hetrick's booklet, "The Bedford County Rifle and Its Makers". The hinges on most patch boxes are external. The hinge on this patch box is internal, for improved aesthetics. A Tobias Snider muzzleloader on this website also has a patch box with an internal hinge. A correspondent reports that Jacob Snider was an apprentice of George Fay who used hidden hinges, and also reports that hidden hinges are a common feature on Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania long rifles.

This photograph shows a portion of the right-hand side of a rifle made by the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith Jacob Snider, including the patch box, lock, and trigger guard areas.

The next photo highlights a portion of the left-hand side of the gun. The cheekpiece inlay, with its eagle motif, is elliptic-lanceolate in shape, and very large relative to the size of the cheekpiece.
This photo highlights a portion of the left-hand side of a Pennsylvania long rifle made by the Bedford County gun maker Jacob Snider, including the lock bolt plate, trigger guard, and cheekpiece areas.

The following photograph is an oblique view of the wrist area of the Jacob Snider-built muzzleloader. The thumbpiece inlay on the top of the wrist is elliptic-lanceolate in shape, like the cheekpiece inlay. The barrel tang is square-ended.
An oblique view of the wrist area of an antique muzzle-loading black powder rifle made by the gun maker Jacob Snider of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

The next photo shows an interesting silver decoration on the forearm of the Snider-built muzzleloader. Click here to see another muzzle loading rifle by Jacob Snider that incorporates lance and arrow-based inlays. The rear sight is unusual for a Bedford County gunmaker, in that it is built to be flexible--perhaps for adjustability. The depth of the sight dovetail appears to be quite shallow.
A view of a uniquely shaped escutcheon on a muzzle loader that was made by Jacob Snider, a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith.

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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