The pictures below show an antique half stock percussion muzzleloader rifle that was made and signed by the gunsmith Samuel Mier, whose gunshop was located at the village of Salisbury in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. As a gunmaker, Samuel Mier is known for his variety. The bore of this 19th century rifle is approximately 32 caliber. The brass parts appear to have been plated with gold.
The first picture below shows the engraved and pierced patch box and the right-hand side of the buttstock of the Samuel Mier muzzleloader. The patch box has five piercings in total. The finial incorporates a modification of the q-shape that is frequently seen on rifles that were made in the region. The picture also reveals that the stock is made from curly maple. The top and bottom lines of the stock are curved, which is non-typical for the area. The crescent buttplate is deeply curved, which makes the toe of the stock very pointed. The drop of the stock is substantial.
The next photo shows the cheekpiece side of the buttstock of the Samuel Mier caplock rifle. The cheekpiece is very long, and incorporates a gold-colored inlay of a running fox. Although the profiles of the comb and belly of the stock are curved, the lower edge of the cheekpiece is substantially straight.
The following picture shows the toe plate on the Mier rifle.
The next picture shows the breech area of the gun, including the percussion lock and the mating lock panel of the rifle stock. The unsigned lock appears to be a commerical product. The nipple is mounted on a snail bolster, which is additional evidence of procurement through the commerical muzzleloader gun part supply system.
The following picture shows the lock bolt plate and mating panel of the stock on the Mier black powder rifle, and reveals that the lock is retained by a single screw. The photo also shows the trigger guard and the set trigger arrangement. The set trigger is curved, and the hair trigger is rod-like and located rather close to forward part of the bow of the trigger guard. I do not know why a screw projects from the trigger plate and contacts the scroll of the trigger guard.
The next photo shows the underside of the trigger guard. You can also see the intersections between the belly and flanks of the buttstock of this percussion rifle.
The following picture shows the script signature of riflemaker "S. Mier" on the top flat of the octagon barrel, near the dovetailed rear sight of this percussion era muzzleloading firearm.
The next image shows the left-hand side of the forearm and nosecap of this old percussion muzzleloader. The forward end of the brass nosecap is retained to the stock with a transverse pin. Just forward of the nosecap, a short portion of the under rib is visible.
The following picture shows the right-hand side of the forearm. The barrel retaining pin is visible between the decorative forearm inlay and the nosecap. The dovetailed rear sight is also visible in the picture.
The next photograph shows the underside of the forearm on this antique black powder rifle. The rear part of the nosecap is retained by a nail or rivet and the stock appears to be varnished.
Return to the Gunsmith Index for more information on the history of gunsmithing in the Pennsylvania counties of Somerset and Bedford.
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