Flintlock Pennsylvania long rifle by Samuel Spangler

The photo below is from Dillin's 1924 book "The Kentucky Rifle", and shows an antique flintlock muzzle loading rifle that was made by the gunsmith Samuel Spangler. Mr. Spangler worked as a gunsmith in Somerset County, Pennsylvania before moving to Green County, Wisconsin circa 1844 and establishing a gun shop there. Given that this is a flintlock rifle, it was probably made in Somerset County before Mr. Spangler moved to Wisconsin.

As mentioned by the snippet included below, this muzzleloader weighs 11.25 pounds, has a 45.5-inch octagonal barrel, and has an overall length of 60.5 inches. With such a long barrel, this gun clearly deserves the name "Pennsylvania long rifle". At 60 balls per pound, the caliber of this rifle is about 0.43-inches.

The low comb and the belly of the stock are substantially straight. The buttstock is fitted with a crescent buttplate. The cheekpiece features an elliptical inlay. The set trigger has a deep crescent shape, while the hair trigger is substantially straight. This is often the case on Pennsylvania long rifles, because the shape difference allows the triggers to be identified by feel, and the straight trigger concentrates the force of trigger pull weight, facilitating shooting accuracy by increasing sensitivity. The rear sight is mounted just to the rear of the ramrod entry pipe, and the stock shape changes noticeably at the entry pipe. The long barrel appears to be retained with metal pins rather than barrel keys. The nose cap is relatively short in length, compared to the nosecaps of some Pennsylvania long rifles.

A black & white halftone image of an antique flintlock muzzle loading rifle that was made by the gunsmith Samuel Spangler, who worked in Somerset county, PA and Green County, Wisconsin.

See the Gunsmith Index for additional photos of Pennsylvania long rifles and the riflesmiths who made them.

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.

See the home page for additional information about regional history.