Early Reading, PA Rifle

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This rifle was copied from #21 in Shumway's "Rifles of Colonial America" volume 2. The original is thought to have been made by Wolfgang Hachen (sometimes spelled Haga or Hawken). Born on April 6, 1721 in Kirchdorf, which is near Bern, Switzerland and died in 1795 (buried in Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster). About 1750 he emigrated to America. His brother Nicholas and he were gunsmiths. The son of Nicholas, Christian was a gunsmith as well and his sons, Jake and Sam, who moved to Saint Louis, Missouri and were the famous Hawken brothers producing rifles for the fur trade. The name Hachen has been Americanized between. There are no known signed guns by Wolfgang. This rifle is one of five pictured in Shumway's book that were all made by the same hand. Later guns attributed to Wolfgang became the basis for the Berks Co., PA. styles with a roman nose profile to the stock.

This rifle has a 41" swamped Colerain barrel in .58 caliber. (the original was .60) The lock is a reworked Chamber's Early Germanic style. The stock is a nicely figured piece of maple with a typical early style swell at the rear thimble. All the mounts are brass. The rifle weighs in at 9 lbs. 5 oz.