Percussion Trade Rifle by Jacob Fordney

.54 caliber. 42.5" wedge-retained octagonal smoothbore barrel. SN: NSN. Browned finish, brass furniture, hardwood stock with plain wrist. Barrel marked "J FORDNEY/LANCASTER/PA" in three lines behind the rear sight. Unmarked commercial single screw percussion lock with single trigger. Fixed notch dovetailed rear sight, dovetailed German silver Rocky Mountain front sight blade. Four-piece, simple Lancaster-style patchbox is unadorned with release in toe plate, which is now missing. Other brass fixtures include rudimentary spur triggerguard, butt plate, toe plate, nose cap, three wedges without escutcheons and two ramrod thimbles and an entry pipe. Includes an old brass tipped wood ramrod. Jacob Fordney (1808-1870) was a well-known Lancaster gunsmith who produced many of the early rifles that went west with settlers during the early days of western expansion. In 1837 he contracted with the US Government to produce 250 Indian Trade Rifles. Mr. Ness' notes indicate that he feels that this is one of those rifles. 

Provenance:The Collection of Larry Ness


Good. Rifle shows moderate use with some pitting on the lock and breech and most of the metal having a moderately oxidized brown patina. Barrel marking remains legible. Lock functional with no half cock. Bore poor, heavily pitted and dirty and showing no evidence of having been rifled, suggesting a "buck and ball" gun or "smooth rifle". Brass with an uncleaned, dull golden color. Stock with moderate wear, a poorly repaired long diagonal crack in the forend and showing numerous bumps, dings and mars. A coating of old applied varnish is present on the wood as well.

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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