The artistic beauty of the Pennsylvania longrifle is widely recognized. Its sleek, gracefully flowing lines continue to generate marvel in every circle. The goal of Gobbler Knob Longrifles is to keep alive the tradition of the Pennsylvania longrifle.
I became enamored with flintlocks when I was a young boy and started building longrifles in 2001. My focus is on recreating those rifles common to the Lancaster School, or design. To me, these rifles have the most visual appeal, are well balanced, and wonderfully accurate.
Pennsylvania longrifles come in many shapes and sizes. To help define those shapes and sizes, they were put into different categories, or Schools. A particular school was named for the geographical area from which the gunmaker who built them hailed or certain design features he incorporated into his guns. Take, for instance, the Lancaster School.
Many gunmakers emigrated from Europe to this area in southeastern Pennsylvania and became famous for their artistic creations. Jacob Dickert and Isaac Haines are two of my favorite Lancaster school builders.
Different time periods also influenced longrifle design. The period from 1775 to 1825 is generally considered to be the “Golden Age” of the Pennsylvania Longrifle. It was during this time that rifles being produced were slimmer and more attractively engraved and carved than those before them.
In stark contrast to those built during the “Golden Age,” rifles built during the early to mid-1700’s are called “Transitional” rifles due to the Germanic influence in their design. They are easily distinguished from a “Golden Age” rifle by the larger calibers, shorter barrels and heavier stocks.
As a student of the Pennsylvania longrifle, I thoroughly enjoy different aspects of these schools. The pronounced “Roman Nose” comb of the Reading School, the smoothly flowing lines making up the architecture of the Lancaster, or the simple, yet efficient, design of the Schimmel, or “Poor Boy,” rifle all capture my eye and feed my imagination.
Each component I use when recreating 18th Century Americana is high quality and historically accurate. I use locks from Jim Chambers, L&R, and Siler; barrels from Colerain, Getz, and Green Mountain. Because most of the visual appeal comes from the highly figured wood used in stock making, I use curly maple stock blanks with at least 70% curl throughout, most with more.
Until I talk with you in person (learn more about issues concerning excise tax responsibility and liability waiver), it would be very difficult to provide an exact price here for a Gobbler Knob custom longrifle, due to the varying degree of labor involved with recreating your heirloom. The final cost is largely dependent upon the amount of inlays and carving one wishes to have adorn his rifle. Parts for a rifle worthy of the Gobbler Knob proof mark can run anywhere from $850 – $1,000.
I understand the frustration of wanting to buy something and not knowing how much it will cost! My goal is to build a piece of early American history, which is affordable to even the most discriminating financial advisor.
You can figure that a basic, no-frills rifle will start at $1,800.00. A rifle complete with relief carving and engraving will start at $2,000.00. The actual price may vary based on your design specifications. Once we have had a chance to talk in person and I better understand your wishes, I will be able to provide you with a more accurate cost projection.
Paying for your longrifle is easy, too. I require a deposit that is equal to the cost of the parts in order to schedule the work. Generally, this is between $850 and $1,000, depending on the style of rifle I am creating. The remaining balance can be paid a couple of ways. You can pay the balance upon satisfactory completion of your rifle or you can finish paying in installments. The amount of the monthly installment is typically whatever is suitable for the customer. Of course, all of these details will be hammered out before work begins.
My love affair with the Pennsylvania longrifle has continued to grow over the years. Since very few original longrifles exist and those that do are very hard to come by, I have instead, pored over hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs. Thousands of hours of research have been conducted. This effort has been directed to that end, which will enable me to create the most historically and artistically accurate rifle I can build.
Whether you want a rifle to hang over the mantle or one that you can carry confidently afield, Gobbler Knob Longrifles will meet your needs and surpass your expectations.