A percussion rifle by Tobias Snider of Bedford County, PA

The photos below show an antique percussion muzzle loading rifle that was obtained in Bedford County, Pennsylvania about 1980. An individual who is familiar with the subject confirmed that the barrel signature and patch box are those of Bedford County gunsmith Tobias Snider (1830-1916). Tobias was a brother of the Bedford County gunsmith Jacob Snider.

The following photograph shows the cursive engraved initials "T*S" on the top flat of the barrel of the Tobias Snider muzzle loading rifle.
The barrel inscription on the Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith Tobias Snider.

The following picture shows the right-hand side of the buttstock of this old cap lock muzzleloader. The lines of the comb and belly of the curly maple stock are straight, as is typical for Bedford County muzzleloaders. The butt of the stock is protected by a crescent-shaped cast brass buttplate. The stock also incorporates a relatively long toe plate. The metal cross-pin that retains the rear of the trigger guard to the rifle stock is visible an inch or so forward of the patch box finial.

The engraved four-piece brass patch box has the Q-shaped finial that was so popular among the practitioners of the Bedford School of gunsmithing. The piercing of the finial is circular. The straight edges on the unpierced side plates were easier for the gunmaker to inlet, compared to more complex designs. Exposed strips of wood separate the side plates from the patch box lid. The side plates are retained to the gun stock with nails, and the finial is retained with wood screws.

Most patch boxes have an exposed hinge. The hinge on this patch box is interesting because it is internal, for improved aesthetics. A Jacob Snyder muzzleloader also has a patch box with an internal hinge. The Whiskers' 2017 book indicates that Tobias Snyder was an apprentice of the gunsmith George Fay. A correspondent indicates that George Fay used hidden hinges. Click here to see an example of a hidden patch box hinge on a George Fay muzzle loading rifle.
A photograph of the patch box on a rifle that was made by the Bedford County, PA gun maker Tobias Snider, brother of the gunsmith Jacob Snider.

The back action lock on this old black powder rifle was manufactured by Truitt Brothers & Company, a firm that was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The percussion nipple is positioned by a drum, and the drum incorporates a vent screw with a robustly sized screwdriver slot. As typical on percussion guns, a hollow in the nose of the hammer telescopes over the nipple to help to direct flying cap fragments away from the shooter's eyes.
The back action lock that is mounted on an antique muzzle loading black powder rifle that was made by Tobias Snider of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

The following image is a digitally lightened version of the preceding image, to provide a look at the trigger plate and trigger areas of this old rifle. As can be seen in this image, the bow of the cast brass trigger guard houses an adjustable set trigger arrangement. The adjustment screw is situated between the triggers. The hair trigger is not as deeply curved as the set trigger. The oblique angle of the image provides a glimpse of the decorative shapes that are cast into the underside of the trigger guard. The metal cross-pin that retains the front of the trigger guard to the gun stock is visible below the front of the lock plate.
A lightened view of the trigger bow region of the muzzle loading black powder rifle that was manufactured by Tobias Snider of Bedford Co., Pa.

Yellow graphic highlighting an important link.For other Bedford County long rifles and information about the rifle makers who created them, visit the Gunsmith Index.

Go to the home page for additional regional history.

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.