An Unusual Large Caliber American Flintlock Pennsylvania Rifle, R. ASHMORE, WARRENTED
A Good Antique American Flintlock Pennsylvania Rifle, circa. 1790-1820's. 40.25", .67 caliber smooth-bore octagon iron barrel (unsigned) with forward and rear sights. The lock is signed "R. ASHMORE / WARRENTED" with simple decorative engraving and high quality roller frizzen spring. It is my opinion that the rifle was converted to percussion in the mid 19th century and later re-converted back to flintlock utilizing original parts. The barrel clearly shows the outline of a drum conversion or a long shot, a very large touch-hole insert to re-bush (see photos). All brass furniture includes a decorative crescent-moon inlay on the left side of the comb of stock (cheek piece), and a large patch-box. The patch-box lid is opened by pushing down on a screw on the top of the butt-plate. The full-stock is of high-grade curly maple and has a very old repair where a section of wood (7" to the muzzle) was spliced in as a period repair or when it was made. The overall "Roman Nose" stock is solid with some minor upper edge losses along the barrel channel, scratches and dings from years of service. The lock is in good mechanical working order. The wood ram rod appears to be the original. A great looking American rifle !
MEASURES - 55.5" overall length.
NOTE - American made Kentucky or Pennsylvania long rifles generally are encountered with rifled barrels that stay around .50 caliber or less. Examples with calibers of musket bore are quite rare and unusual. The brass side plate has an interesting joint visible when made (see photos). The maker R. ASHMORE made the lock and may have had nothing to do with the construction of the rifle. There were many makers that supplied just the firing mechanisms (locks) to other gun makers to assemble complete weapons. Other common makers of firing mechanisms encountered: KETLAND, and A. W. SPIES.
ABOUT THE LOCK MAKER - "R. ASHMORE / WARRENTED". R. Ashmore and R. Ashmore & Son (circa. 1800), Kentucky flintlock rifle makers, shop located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Ref. p. 4 AMERICAN FIREARMS MAKERS by, A. Merwyn Carey, c. 1953.