Here's an interesting piece of firearms history. In the early 19th Century the West was still very wild. Large tribes of Indians still occupied the plains and were eager to trade with European settlers and fur traders. Among the most coveted trade items to the Natives was firearms. This opened up a whole new market for gunsmiths who sought build guns for the Native Trade. These early 19th Century trade guns varied quite a bit in quality from fine works of art to quite simple "work-a-day" pieces. A common characteristic that was shared by many of these weapons was the fact that that they were only rifled at the muzzle for about 2 inches or so, while the remainder of the barrel was left smooth. There are varying opinions about why this was done. Some believe it was done to fool the Indians who would see the rifling at the muzzle and thus pay more for a rifled gun not realizing the piece was actually smooth. The other thought was that rifling the muzzle would give the weapon more versatility as the rifling wouldn't have too much effect on shot spread, but would still provide at least some stability for a solid round ball when fired with a patch. Whatever the case, it does appear to be a rule that rifled muzzle guns all seemed to be marketed to the West with the general consensus among collectors being that they were specifically intended to for trade with the Natives.
This particular piece is an excellent example of a high quality rifled-muzzle gun. This curly-maple stocked long rifle is in great shape. The stock was never refinished as indicated by the pronounced grain of the "tiger stripes" of the maple - running one's hand along the stock reveals the highs and lows of the curl's grain structure- a feature that takes almost a century to develop. The stock has no damage except to a small "drying crack" in front of the lock plate. This crack is cosmetic only and is not loose and will not effect the gun's functionality (we've actually test-fired the gun to confirm this). A beautiful brass patch box adorns the butt stock. It's opened via a button on the toeplate which works flawlessly
The lock is marked "Russom and Co." and is a great example of a standard export lock made in the Eastern U.S. The hammer holds solid on both full and half cock.
The barrel is marked "Rogers". This is either the maker of the barrel or the maker of the gun itself. We were unable to find any conclusive information on "Rogers" as a gunsmith. The bore is smooth save for the roughly two inches at the muzzle; which is rifled. The barrel is roughly .45 caliber and is secured to the stock with wedge keys - a very convenient feature for cleaning.
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