Double rifle by Bedford County, PA gunsmith Thomas Oldham

The following set of photos were provided by Dr. Bill Paton. They document a signed percussion double rifle by Thomas Oldham of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This gun is featured on page 101 of Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle" and on page 129 of the 2001 Whisker & Yantz book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties".

The following image provides a general overview of the right-hand side of the muzzle loading Thomas Oldham double rifle. The barrels are 34-inches long and retained to the stock with keys. Each barrel has its own front and rear sights. The rifle reportedly weighs approximately 12 pounds.

The following image provides a view of the right-hand rearward part of the rifle, from the buttstock to the lock panel.

The next image provides a closer look at the patch box.

The next image provides a closer look at the right-hand percussion lock. The shape of the lock plate fore and aft of the drum is very interesting.

The next picture shows the "T. Oldham" signature on one barrel and the "Bedford" marking on the other barrel. The "Bedford" marking suggests that this muzzle loading rifle was made before Thomas Oldham moved west.

The following image provides an overview of the left-hand side of the Thomas Oldham double barrel muzzle loading rifle.

The next image provides an oblique view of the cheekpiece, wrist, and lock bolt plate portions of the left-hand side of the Oldham double barreled muzzle-loading rifle. The barrel signature is visible just forward of the panel for the lock bolt plate. A screw connects the forward ends of the left and right lock plates.

The next image provides a view of the muzzle, showing that the The right-hand barrel has 7 grooves and the left-hand barrel has eight grooves.

The next image provides a view of the bores of the rifle, showing that the right-hand barrel has spiral grooves and the left-hand barrel has straight grooves. This image also shows that each barrel has its own sights.

The following images are from a pair of Ektachrome slides that were taken by a Bedford County resident several decades ago. They show the Thomas Oldham double rifle before it was refinished.

The patch box is similar to the patch box on the signed Thomas Oldham rifle that is included on page 132 of the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties", and is included on an un-numbered page in the 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania". The patch box and stock are scratched in the general vicinity of the patch box hinge.

The following photo shows the wrist and lock regions of the Thomas Oldham muzzle loader. Note the sharpness of the upper edge of the reentrant shape at the front of the comb. Some of this sharpness appears to have been lost when the stock was refinished.

When the double gun was captured on the Ektachrome slides, it was next to another Thomas Oldham Rifle, as shown below. Even though the gun in the background is out of focus, the unusually tight bend of the hammer and the dings along the lower edge of the lock panel of the stock prove that the gun in the background is the signed Thomas Oldham gun that is featured on page 128 of the 2001 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, & Somerset Counties".

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