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Mark Silver - Virginia Rifle

circa 1750-1780
Model RK-8
click image click hereto enlarge

Historically this rifle is closely derived from an original rifle of the James River Basin area of Virginia. The original rifle may date from as early as the 1740's and quite probably was used by a member of Morgan's Riflemen during the Revolutionary war. This type of rifle would have been used along the frontier during conflicts such as the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars and as a tool of daily life by settlers and "longhunters" of the mid-to-late 18th century and early 19th century.

Stylistically the rifle shows a subtle blending of British and German influences, typical of Southern rifles. The long tang buttplate derives from English fowlers while the decorative finials of the rifle style guard show German and French influences. This blending of styles is evident in the stock architecture as well, the classic English wrist balustration flowing into the prominent and effective Germanic cheek piece.

The round faced British export lock is typical of many Southern rifles of the period, its large size and excellent geometry assure fast reliable ignition, as important today as during the 18th century.

Stock Dimensions: Barrel Dimensions:
  • Trigger Pull: 14"
  • Drop At Heel: 2 7/8"
  • Butt Width: 2"
  • Drop At Comb: 1 5/8"
  • Butt Height: 5"
  • Cast Off: 1/4"
  • Overall Length: 58"
  • Weight in 62 cal.: approx. 8 1/2 lbs.
  • Lock: Colonial Virginia
  • 42" tapered and flared barrel
  • Breech: 1 1/8"
  • Small: 27/32"
  • Muzzle: 1 1/32"
  • Rifling: round groove .016 deep
  • Calibers: 58 and 62
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New England Colonial Fowler/Militia Musket

by Mark Silver
circa 1740-1780
Model RK-9
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While typical of New England, this type of arm was also made and used extensively in all the colonies. Loaded with shot or ball, they were used for hunting all types of game from squirrel to turkey, waterfowl, deer, bear, and moose. These arms also played a significant role in the incessant sporadic border conflict with New France that culminated in the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, these pieces again saw service with both Patriot and Loyalist partisans, militias, and line regiments in the early years of the war.

The stock styling is a graceful blend of English and French architecture, with a long slim balustrate wrist accentuated by the concave curve of the lower butt stock. The forend shows moderate swelling at the rear ramrod pipe common to the earliest Brown Bess service muskets as well as many European arms. Whether stocked to the muzzle or cut back a few inches for the use of a socket bayonet, these pieces were unique, graceful, and superbly effective.

The brass mounts reflect the styling of the very early 18th century, and could have been reused from earlier British arms or made by colonial smiths to these familiar forms. The plain folded sheet brass ramrod pipes are 100% authentic as is, or can easily be filed to many different authentic shapes. The lock of round face British export type (Jim Chambers' Colonial Virginia) is authentic, fast, and superbly reliable as befits a serious firearm.

Stock Dimensions: Barrel Dimensions:
  • Trigger Pull: 14"
  • Drop At Heel: 2 3/4"
  • Butt Width: 2 1/8"
  • Drop At Comb: 1 1/2"
  • Butt Height: 5 1/8"
  • Cast Off: 1/4"
  • Overall Length: 62"
  • Weight in 11 gauge: approx 8 lbs.
  • Lock: Colonial Virginia
  • 46" Octagon-to-round
  • Available in 10, 11, or 12 gauge smooth bore

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