Douglas percussion cap & ball rifle

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A Kentucky style hexagonal barrel long rifle with J Douglass marked on the top strap.

This Pennsylvania Birch stock, percussion cap & ball rifle appears original to the 1830-1845 period (always the potential for a replacement screw or spring, with a proper brass hand guard, hammer, nipple, and double set triggers. A side plate with the owner's name (GW Hanmen) is also attached.

There is expected shallow surface rust, and a split to stock one side and top, making this example good condition. Our Kentucky long rifle measures 51 long x 2 x 6.5 inches high and weighs 11 lbs 9 oz..

PROVENANCE: A Charleston South Carolina Private Estate.

Dating on the antique American flintlock & percussion firearms can be difficult, due to less the lack of exact records preserved by the original gunsmiths. The suspects for this Kentucky treasure were:
•  J DOUGLAS - Huntington, Ky. Maker of an inlaid, curly maple stock, percussion rifle; JOHN DOUGLAS - Tyrone, Pa. Late maker of fine Kentucky rifles; one numbered 28;
•  JACOB DOUGLAS, East Springfield, Jefferson Co., Ohio. ca. 1830-40; and
•  JOHN DOUGLAS Connecticut arms maker of Colonial and Revolutionary War period. Repaired arms for the Connecticut Commit tee of Safety, 1777-78.

John Douglas of Connecticut can be eliminated as his weapons were all flintlock, and likewise, John Douglas of Pennsylvania, appears to have made much later second generation examples. J. Douglas of Huntington, Ky. seems to have almost no history, BUT, Jacob Douglas of East Springfield, Ohio has a documented history producing this style from ca. 1830-1840.

The Rock Island example is a dead match to 'ours', and was estimated between $2,000 & $3,000. However, it sold for $960 in 2015.

Source

Sources for this article include:
  • Charleston Estate Auctions


  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted






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    Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020