The photos show an antique flintlock Pennsylvania long rifle that has been converted to percussion and shortened. Even though the rifle is not marked with a maker's name, there is no doubt it was made by the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith Jacob Stoudenour. Perhaps the most definitive indication that this is a Stoudenour-made gun is the wave-like relief carving at the front of the cheek piece. The carving behind the cheek piece is also similar to that found on other Stoudenour rifles.
The first photo, immediately below, shows a portion of the right-hand side of the Stoudenour rifle. The buttstock has a low comb, which is a characteristic of the Bedford School of gunsmithing. The front of the lock panel is rounded, whereas several other Bedford County gunsmiths bring the front of the panel to a relatively blunt point. The rear of the lock panel is tapered to give the classic Bedford County streamlined look, and terminates in a trailing finial that once contained an inlay having a lanceolate shape. The cross-hatched incised carving on the "wing" in front of the lock panel is a motif that Jacob Stoudenour used on other rifles. The basic "wing" shape in front of the lock panel, however, is not unique to Stoudenour.
The next photo shows the patch box of the Jacob Stoudenour rifle. It incorporates five piercings, and has the Q-shaped finial that was a popular feature on guns of the Bedford School. The points on the top and bottom of the patchbox, between arches, are something that both Jacob Stoudenour and Joseph Mills used.
The next photo shows the rat tail lock and graceful Bedford-style hammer that exemplify so many muzzleloaders produced in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The filled hole for the frizzen spring screw, and the associated "lump" along the lower edge of the lock plate, reveal that this percussion rifle was originally a flintlock. Jacob Stoudenour is one of only a few old time gunmakers of the Bedford School who made flintlock muzzle loading rifles that survived.
The next photo shows the left-hand side of the buttstock of the Stoudenour rifle. The wave-like relief carving at the front of the cheekpiece is unique to Stoudenour, and a sure sign as to who made this rifle. The relief carving behind the cheek piece is similar to the carving on other Stoudenour rifles. The lanceolate-shaped inlay on the finial of the streamlined lock bolt panel is missing.
The following image highlights the engraving on the silver cheekpiece inlay of the Stoudenour long rifle.
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