English Sporting Rifle

circa 1775

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This is an English influenced rifle. The barrel is a swamped .58 caliber 38" long. The stock is curly maple with raised carving. The lock is by Chambers. It is mounted with brass hardware. The patchbox has silver drapes on either side. The star inlay is made of ivory and black horn. The barrel was fire blued and the rest of the gun has a slightly aged finish. The owner wanted a rifle for an upcoming bear hunt, hence the engraving on the sideplate. The words "ISӒ VOIMA" means "strong father" in Finnish, the owners ancestry.

Here are the owners comments I received:

"I love the engraving. I look at it as a whole, and then break it down to individual lines. Love to hold it, sight along it, dry fire it with flint striking frizzen. I have about 100 flints that size, and am too lazy to make a wood copy. Again, can't believe how that trigger is an excellent balance between safety and ease of shooting. In my mind I have hunted and shot bear, elk, and moose with that gun.  Seen the animal, the sight trigger, felt the flash of the pan and the whap of the round ball hitting the animal.  I have imagined go and no go shooting situations. In short, am having a blast and have not even shot  it yet. Thanks again, Clay. Will let you how it patterns after I find the pet load. I am hoping for a 3 inch group at a 100 yards. John"













Below is a photo of the owner on a hunt in Canada.

Click on picture to enlarge.


Owner's comments on the hunt:

"We inched over a hill, knowing bears were in the area.  There he was, looking about 63.  We let the truck side back and around the corner, then stalked up to take another look.  The bear looked like a shooter, so I set up on my shooting sticks.  He was moving towards us.  I waited, the tension and excitement building.  He came over the crest of the hill, sniffing, then looking right at us, freezing all movement, clearly set to flee.  I knew I had no time.  I squeezed off a shot and he was lost in the smoke.  We let things settle down for about 45 minutes and then began to track him.  It took  us  about a half hour to follow the trail the 70 yards to the end where he lay.  Turned out he was bigger than we thought, he went 68 squared, and his skull was 18 3/4.  He was in the record book, the minimum skull being 17.  It was really exciting.  How I love to hunt!"