A dated Samuel Spangler rifle and powder horn

Samuel Spangler was a resident of Stoystown in Somerset County, Pennsylvania before moving to Wisconsin in the mid-1840s. The photos below show a full stock Samuel Spangler rifle and its mating powder horn. Both items are dated to the period when Spangler was in Somerset County. The current owner reports that he understands this was Samuel Spangler's personal gun and horn, but volunteered that this might be be conjecture. Considering the signed powder horn, it seems believable to me. I hope to to obtain more photographs of these items eventually.

The first photo below shows the attractive five piercing patch box, with the Q-shaped finial that was popular in the region where this muzzle loading rifle was made. An interesting aspect of this patch box is how close it comes to the butt plate and to the upper and lower limits of the buttstock, and doing so in an aesthetically pleasing manner. To me, that makes this an amazing patch box.

The next photo shows the 1828-dated lock bolt plate. The engraved "wing" design on the lock bolt plate is also incorporated on the powder horn.

The next photo shows the lock and the mating lock panel of the stock. The lock panel has the streamlined tail that is often encountered on rifles from nearby Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

The next photo has been lightened and sharpened for clarity, to better show the gun lock. The current owner of this rifle (a distant cousin of mine) first saw it in the collection of a Somerset County neighbor back in the 1960s. Years before then, the neighbor bought the rifle and the powder horn together from a family in Stonycreek Township. The neighbor told the current owner that this is just how he bought the rifle, with no subsequent alterations. This is fascinating, because the pan looks like it might be from a military musket, the cock is significantly more corroded than the lock plate, and the eyelet for the much newer-looking frizzen spring does not have the usual decorative elements and looks like a blacksmith repair. I hate to write down personal speculation, but this lock makes me wonder if its external parts represent "make do, or do without" repairs that were done as cheaply as possible to keep the gun functional, perhaps into the 1900s, as someone's hog killer at butchering time.

The next two photos show the dated Samuel Spangler powder horn. In the second powder horn photo, you can see a bit of the "wing" design that resembles the design on the lock bolt plate of the rifle.

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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