Lepley Antique Rifle Parts & Gunsmith Tools (Index)

A blue graphic element used as an accent on the Lepley gunsmithing index web page.

This image shows gunsmithing tools and left over gun parts from the Lepley gun shop in Southampton Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Introduction

My uncle Alvin Korns purchased an old bucket full of antique gunsmithing hardware for muzzle loading rifles, and gave the hardware to me shortly before he died. The artifacts (overview photos above) were found in one of the buildings of the Alonza "Lonz" Lepley farm in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA. The hardware was purchased circa 1974 at the Alonza Lepley estate auction. Photographs of the individual items are indexed below. The photos were updated on December 26, 2019 to improve photo quality. The Lepley family was one of the families that made muzzle loaders in Southampton Township. Another was the Troutman family. Both families sired multiple generations of gunsmiths. Click here to read about the Lepley family of gunsmiths.

Alonza Lepley's farm was adjacent to the farm that until recently was the site of the large old Lepley stone house; i.e. adjacent to the farm that is associated with the Lepley gunsmiths in local tradition. Since the old Lepley family cemetery is located on what was Alonza's farm, I have long-suspected that his farm and the farm with the stone house were originally part of a single, larger farm. Volume one, page 87 of the 2005 book "A Look At Southampton Township Pennsylvania The Way It Used To Be!" indicates that Adam Lepley III divided the farm among three children: Simon who eventually gave his portion (across the road from the stone house) to his son Elmer, Samuel who eventually gave his portion to his son Alonza, and Effie who owned the portion with the stone house, married William Kennell, and had eleven children. The Pennsylvania long rifle gunsmithing hardware that was found on Alonza Lepley's farm is quite naturally attributed to the several generations of Lepley gunsmiths of Southampton township. The approximate site of the most recent Lepley gunsmith shop (now gone), which was in front of the stone house, is Latitude 39.75758100737703, Longitude -78.81904810667038. The approximate site of the Lepley stone house (now gone) is Latitude 39.75765317620321, Longitude -78.81904810667038. The approximate site of Alonza Lepley's house (now gone) is Latitude 39.75312495137337, Longitude -78.82282197475433. The location of the Lepley cemetery is Latitude 39.75433539399369, Longitude -78.82348716259002.

There were at least three Lepley gunsmiths in Southampton Township, and possibly more. A reliable Lepley family tradition tells of a Southampton Township Lepley gunsmith who was still in business in the early twentieth century. The family also produced at least two Ohio-born gunsmiths. To read biographical information about the Lepley gunsmiths, click here.

For a description of how the old time gunsmiths made and repaired muzzle-loading long rifles, see the well-illustrated book "The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle" by Ned. H. Roberts of .257 Roberts fame (The Granite State Press, Manchester, New Hampshire, 1940).

Photos of Lepley Gunsmithing Tools:

Overview photo of Lepley gunsmithing tools

Hand forged, spring-loaded sprue cutter

Carved deer antler-what was it for?

Vee-shaped wood chisel

Leather-working fork

Wooden-handled carving tool

Nose cap forming tool

Half of a small caliber, round ball bullet mold

Hand-forged wrench

A pair of leather punches

Large homemade tap and die

Small homemade tap and die

Brass sheet material

Photos of Lepley Rifle Parts:

Rifle parts overview photo

Cap box with round door

Cap boxes with oval door

Rifle inlay

Engraved rifle medallion

Muzzle-loader breech plug

Buttplates

Ramrod ferrule

Box of percussion nipples

Trigger guards

Misc. hammer cocks

Forearm nose caps

Lock springs

Rifle stock toe plate

Broken trigger guards

Musket flint

Escutcheon

Take-off Flintlock hammer

Cap box fragment?

Photos of other items found with gunsmithing tools:

A sugar water tap

Brace-driven tool, possibly not for gunsmithing

Additional Lepley gunsmithing information sought

Please contact me (using the e-mail address included in the gray box below) if you have additional information on the Lepley gunsmiths and their rifles. I am particularly interested in obtaining photographs of actual positively identified Lepley rifles for this website. I am also interested in obtaining photos of firearms made by the Troutmans and other gunsmiths from Somerset and Bedford counties.

L. Dietle

Arnold, Maryland

Return to Lepley stone house page

Return to Bedford & Somerset County Gunsmith Index

Return to the Korns family genealogy home page

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