|Yes, the first American long rifle came from Amish country!|
|Various aspects of the long rifle|
"I...can pick a squirrel off a branch at two hundred yards, easy," is the statement by Rob MacFarlane in my long historical, Loyalty's Cadence, and it was no idle boast. It's easy to see, then, how the rifle became the weapon of choice all along the American frontier. But can we really say the rifle was the gun that made America?
|... lock, stock, and barrel. The entirety of a rifle.|
Another article, The Kentucky and Pennsylvania Long Rifle, further discusses the role of the rifle in westward expansion--including a nice tie-in with the Great Wagon Road, which I wrote about a few months ago.
The American long rifle was a weapon not just of great accuracy and distance, though it took longer to load than a musket, but they were elegant and beautiful, often works of art in their own right. Any online search for the history of the Kentucky or Pennsylvania rifle, and a click on images, will unearth a wealth of photos of various historic examples. One of my favorites is this beauty, billed a cap-and-ball Kentucky rifle by gunsmith John Parks, Jr. The beautiful curly maple which comprises the stock is not uncommon among rifles of its type, but the detail of the inlay is nothing short of incredible.
|Each rifle was a work of art (Courtesy of the NRA museum)|