A brief Pennsylvania longrifle History

The Pennsylvania longrifle has its origins in Europe. Back in the Early 1700s, Europeon immigrants arrived in Philadelphia to start a new life in the new world. Among the new arrivals were German gunsmiths. From Philly, they traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvainia. Lancaster became home to the beginning of a long lived gun trade.

A rifle that could use less gunpowder and lead was in high demand. The old Europeon guns were of a high caliber which used more expensive powder and lead. They were also short and very heavy to carry in the woods. The gunsmiths began to design and build a smaller caliber rifle with a longer slimmer style stock, a "transitional perion". The new kind of rifle was a smooth bore at first, then came rifling cut into the barrels for greater accuracy.

The stocks were made mainly of curly maple also called tiger striped maple. Soon more gunsmiths moved to other parts of Pennsylvania, to the north and east around the Reading, Berks County, Lehigh, Allentown, Easton, and Bethlehem areas.

When rifle production was in full swing, all these gunsmiths working from different locations began to come up with their own shape and style of gun stock, brass patchboxes, and fancy carving. These different styles became known as schools. I can reproduce any of the schools you may choose. The price depends on how much brass or silver inlays you wish to add as well as carving and engraving.

You can order anything from a plain rifle to an elaboratly decorated rifle.

In eighteenth century America, a well-to-do merchant could afford to order a very fancy rifle for display and to pass down to his family. A poor frontiersman could only afford a basic lock, stock and barrel; a poor mans gun which got banged around, dropped and scratched up during long hunts.

To help you choose which rifle you want, e-mail me and I will send you a picture sheet of seventeen schools of rifles to pick from. There are many more schools than that but the sheet is a good start. I can also custom-build a design from your ideas.


My name is Mike Fisher and I'm helping to keep our American history alive.