A percussion lock by Bedford County, PA gunsmith Jacob Stoudenour

The first two photos below show details of the front and rear of a slender antique percussion Bedford County gun lock. It was made by Jacob Stoudenour, an important 19th century Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunmaker.

The front of the Stoudenour lock
The first photograph below shows the front of the original Jacob Stoudenour gun lock. The beveled lock plate is 5-3/16" long and is engraved with his typical "JS" initials. It has the rat tail that is so often encountered on the gun locks of rifles from the Bedford School of gunsmithing. To me, the rat tail (and associated tapered rear lock panel of the stock) give a Bedford County muzzleloader a dynamic sense of forward motion. The tail of the lock plate is thinner than the remainder of the plate, and unbeveled. At the location where the change in thickness occurs, the lock plate incorporates a slash-like vertially oriented element. The tail is well below the center of the lockplate, so that it is better aligned with the downward curving wrist of the gun stock.

The hammer on this original Bedford County lock has the graceful S shape and high forward curving spur that exemplify the hammer geometry of the Bedford School of gunsmithing. On this hammer, the concave curve of the spur blends smoothly into the convex curve of the top of the hammer nose.

This is a photo of the front side of a Bedford School-type percussion lock that was made by the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunmaker Jacob Stoudenour.

The back side of the Stoudenour lock
The following image shows the inner workings of the original Jacob Stoudenour percussion lock. If you look closely, you can see that the lock incorporates an adjustment screw.

These are the inner workings of an original antique percussion lock of the Bedford School that was made by Jacob Stoudenour, a well-respected Bedford County, PA gunsmith.

Reproduction Stoudenour lock part kits
A friend uses investment casting to produce high fidelity replicas of the components of the Stoudenour lock shown above, and other gun locks. Some knowledge of gunsmithing is required to assemble the castings and create a finished lock, such as drilling, tapping, heat treating springs, etc. Click here for additional information, or click on the advertisement below. The next photo shows a copy of the Stoudenour gun lock that was made from the investment cast parts.

This is a cast reproduction of an antique Bedford School-style percussion lock that was made by the well-regarded Bedford County gunsmith Jacob Stoudenour.

Texas Gun Trade

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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