Percussion rifle by the gunmaker Peter Dormayer (Dunmeyer)

Most of the rifle photos below are included here with the permission of Morphy Auctions. This antique full stock Pennsylvania long rifle is attributed to Peter Dormayer, who has been identified as a gunsmith who worked in Cambria, Bedford, and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania. I do not know what this percussion rifle brought when sold by Morphy Auctions, but it brought $12,500 at auction on October 15, 2013 when sold by James D. Julia, Inc.

The first photo below shows a full-length right-hand side view of this percussion rifle. Both the lock and the 41-inch-long, 36 caliber rifled barrel are silver plated. Just ahead of the lock panel, you can see a silver inlay that isn't shown in any of the other photos of this rifle. The ramrod ferrules are made from brass and are 2-1/2-inches-long. The ramrod entry pipe is 4-1/4-inches-long.
This photo shows the right-hand-side of a plated Pennsylvania long rifle that is attributed to the gunsmith Peter Dormayer (Dunmeyer).

The next photo shows a full-length left-hand side view of this remarkable muzzle loading gun. Just ahead of the stock panel for the lock bolt plate, a silver inlay is present that is not shown in any of the other pictures of this rifle.
This photo shows the left-hand-side of a long rifle that is attributed to the Pennsylvania gunmaker Peter Dormayer (Dunmeyer).

The next photo shows the heavily decorated cheek piece side of the buttstock. A silver inlay located aft of the cheek piece is a key visual element of this rifle. I'm going to call it a "Running D", with its feet made out of flowers. Incredibly dynamic. Ordinarily I do not find rifles very attractive that incorporate silver inlays as substitutes for relief carving. Despite this prejudiced view of mine, I have to admit that the inlays that are located at traditional relief carving locations on this rifle are wonderfully well done and undeniably beautiful. Well-done floral-inspired silver inlays are also substituted for relief carving on both sides of the wrist. The cheekpiece has an elliptic inlay with an eagle motif bracketed by silver brackets that may be avian inspired. A modified bracket, looking more bird-like, is also located under the cheekpiece. There is also an inlay located just aft of the stock panel for the lock bolt plate that is only partially visible in this photograph.
This photo shows the silver-decorated left-hand side of the buttstock of an antique muzzleloader rifle which is attributed to the Penna. gunmaker Peter Dormayer.

The next photo shows the patch box side of the buttstock. The attractive patch box is incredibly complicated and has 14 piercings. A variation of the "D" shape is included in the finial. A flower-inspired inlay substitutes for relief carving on the wrist.
This photo shows the patch box on an antique muzzleloading rifle that is attributed to the gunsmith Peter Dormayer.

The next photo shows the pointed tang of this percussion rifle, along with the beautifully engraved inlay that surrounds it. Several muzzleloaders by other makers incorporate this inlay theme surrounding the tang, but I haven't seen any that are as attractive as this one. This photo also shows an elliptic inlay on the top of the wrist.
This shows the pointed barrel tang that is common to Pennsylvania long rifles from Somerset and Bedford Counties. This rifle is attributed to Peter Dormayer.

The next photo shows the pierced lock bolt plate, with silver inlays. The front of the stock panel for the lock bolt plate has the tri-level affect that is also found on rifles by Peter Dormayer's son Jonathan Dormayer, and by Jonathan's nephew Charles Monroe Knupp.
This is a picture of the pierced lock bolt plate of a unique long rifle that is attributed to Peter Dormayer.

The following photograph shows the silver-plated percussion gun lock, with a sheet metal diverter protecting the barrel from percussion cap induced erosion. This photo provides a good view of the shape of the lock panel of the stock, and the silver inlay just to the left of the panel. The lock is stamped "Henry Parker Warranted".
This is a photo of the lock on an antique rifle that is attributed to Peter Dormayer.

The next photo, below, shows two bird-inspired inlays on this high-quality Pennsylvania muzzleloader. The eagle inlay in the saddle wear plate region has inlays within piercings.
This shows some forearm inlays on a rifle attributed to the gunmaker Peter Dormayer.

The following photo provides a comparison between the rifle with the silver-plated barrel that is featured on this web page (top), the rifle with the relief-carved eagle (middle), and the rifle with the incised carving eagle (bottom). All three are percussion rifles.

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.

Return to Gunsmith Index

Home page