Double gun attributed to William Defibaugh
This unsigned half stock over-under double gun has been attributed to the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith William Defibaugh by two individuals with large collections of Bedford County rifles. I don't know what the basis of the attribution is, or know enough about William Defibaugh's work to have an opinion. Based on the Whisker's 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, I do know that several Bedford County gun makers used patch boxes with this same general style of finial, including John Amos, William Border, Joseph Mills, Jacob Snyder, Thomas Oldham, and Peter White. The 1991 book also shows that Elias Crissey of Somerset County used this style of patch box finial on at least one rifle. Joseph Mills and Peter White can be ruled out as the maker of this gun because they left Bedford County during the flintlock era. Thomas Oldham made at least six double guns, and moved to Iowa circa 1855.
The upper barrel has a 38 caliber rifled bore, and the lower barrel has a 56 caliber smooth bore. One interesting feature is two ramrods, one mounted on each side of the gun.
The earliest known owner of the gun was Levi Brallier, and the photos were provided by one of Levi's great-great-grandsons, who reported the William Defibaugh attribution. The photos were converted from old slides using a cell phone camera. Levi Brallier is buried in the Bethel Brethren Cemetery in Bedford County, Pennsylvania (near Brallier) where his tombstone indicates
he was born on March 31, 1837 and died on April 5, 1924.
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