(shown for reference only—these guns are not for sale)
Scroll down the page to see all of our longarms!
Millennium Gun by Donelson (made in 2000)
An example of a handmade rifle in the Lehigh style ca 1780-1800. This being my first totally hand-made rifle (made every part), I wanted to begin to develop a style uniquely my own and incorporate that into this rifle. While the patchbox design is recognizable as similar to Rupp's you will not find one that matches it. This rifle is iron mounted and all hand-forged in my unique style.
This barrel started out as a flat bar of iron which was then forged into the tapered and flared profile, called a skelp. Still flat, this tapered and flared skelp is then forged into a round tube shape, being hot swaged into a u-channel first, and then the edges are forge-welded together at very high temps to close the tube. These two photos (below) show a skelp going from flat bar to round tube.
A mandrel (tapered round rod) is used inside to keep the bore from collapsing while welding. This tube is straightened, bored, reamed, straightened, reamed again and polished. And then sometimes rifled. Then it's got to be finished on the outside, breeched and put in the stock.
Hand-made engraved brass 4-piece patchbox in the Lehigh style of John Rupp.
Hand-made engraved silver cheek piece inlay in the Lehigh style hunter's star.
Hand-made brass vent pick inlay with forged iron vent pick.
Curly Maple stock with raised carving, aquafortis stained and oil finished.
Millenium gun .....museum piece-priced at $21,000.00
Custom Longarms: most of the longarms I make are NOT hand-forged museum-quality guns since most owners don't want to spend that much. The following guns are made from available top-quality parts, sometimes hand-forged parts, and the stock is from a blank. Each gun is a unique mix of parts and detail work and is quoted based on what work is requested. However, the basic Longarm package starts as follows and you can add things from the menu:
Basic Longarms Package:
Swamped Octagon or Octagon-to-round rifled or smooth bored barrel
flintlock of your choice-modified to fit the particular style
iron or brass Mountings: buttplate, sideplate, toeplate, simple two-piece patchbox, entry pipe and two rod pipes, triggerguard, and front and rear sights.
premium stock-wood either a blank or precarved (depending on style and pull-length needed) and in Walnut, Cherry, or Curly Maple.
Carving includes: lock mouldings with teardrop finials and a forestock moulding along the ramrod channel.
***the cost of this Longarms package is $3995.00 ***
You can price your own package by adding or deleting options using the menu below:
|adding incised or raised carving to the stock, quoted based on design||$500-1000.00|
|adding a sliding wood patchbox||200.00|
|adding a brass or iron patchbox four piece instead of the simple two piece||200.00|
|adding a brass or iron domed-lid Lehigh two piece patchbox instead||200.00|
|adding engraving on a patchbox, sideplate, toeplate, or lock||50.00/ea|
|adding a deeply browned finish instead of light patina||150.00|
|adding all hand-forged iron mountings instead of brass or bought iron parts||150.00|
|deleting swamped barrel for a straight barrel instead||-100.00|
|deleting premium wood for plain wood instead||-200.00|
|deleting patchbox entirely||-200.00|
Classic Lehigh Longrifle
This flaming red beauty was inspired by a John Rupp original known to have been in Kindig's collection.
Iron mounts are uncommon on Pennsylvania rifles, but the owner was clear that: "I'm sure if I had asked John (Rupp) to mount it in iron in his day, he would have done it.".....perhaps true!
This gun has a Rice swamped barrel in 44" length and the Christian Springs Lock-modified somewhat.
Metal is patinaed with light pitting. Stock is stained with yellow-brown tones underneath and with Colonial Red in the oil over the top (as the originals were).
As this wears, it will lighten in the areas of most contact and this is exactly what you see on the Lehigh Rifles of old.
The "Liberty Capped" image of an Indian or Colonial, so common on Lehigh guns, is carved just ahead of the front guard extension.
Bucks Co. A. Verner Style Rifle by Donelson — ca. 1780-1790
Classic lines of Andrew Verner both in stock and in patchbox. Octagon 1" Premium Goodoien barrel 42" Long.
Cast brass butt plate, guard and side plate.
Hand made: swaged brass muzzlecap, rod pipes, long tail entry pipe.
Super premium and rare Birdseye maple stock-red violin stained. Incised carving in the Bucks Co. style.
Hand forged trigger–precursor to unique Donelson signature trigger.
Early Dickert Lancaster Rifle by Donelson
This gun is meant to be from Jacob Dickert's earliest years ca. 1770 when he was just leaving his apprenticeship with Andreas Albrecht, the gunsmith of the Christian Springs gunshop.
The sliding wood patchbox used here is inspired by one attributed to Christian's Spring.
The Siler lock used here has also been heavily modified to reflect the Christian Spring influence.
Straight Germanic set triggers with a decoratively filed plate.
The magnificent curly maple stock is relief carved in the Dickert style and has a hand-rubbed oil-based finish.
The eye-pleasing lines of the French Fusils look good even on the plainest guns. Just good, clean, elegant lines!
2nd: The Fusil De Chasse (gun of the chase, hunting gun)
3rd: The Fusil De Traite (trade gun, Type C)
4th: The Fusil De Traite (trade gun, Type D)
These Fine guns were often called "Chief Grade" guns since they were often given to the higher ranking individuals. Fine guns were mounted in brass or iron and often had a wrist inlay of Silver or Brass.
The Fusil De Chasse: ca. 1691-1741. I show photos of two models available....the 1717 pattern, and the 1727 pattern. The 1717 employs a hand-forged iron guard and buttplate and thus is more expensive than the 1727 pattern which employs contemporary castings of the triggerguard, buttplate, and rod pipes. I always add a muzzleband of iron to protect the stock tip." Both guns show two different versions of the Custom French Trade Lock which I offer on all my guns.
The Hunting gun was a high quality gun supplied for the Colonials and wasn't really intended for the native trade...but of course it found it's way there and the Indians were noted by the traders of "having once used them (Hunting gun), they would want no other (trade gun)". Our replicas today, of course, are all of equal quality.
The Fusil De Chasse was made at both Tulle and St. Etienne, although most seem to have been made at Tulle. Rarely mounted in brass, the De Chasse was usually iron mounted and stocked in Walnut. During the 1720's, Walnut became expensive and rare after a severe frost in 1709 killed most of the Walnut in France. Fruitwoods (Cherry, Apple, Pear??) appear as the common wood on many Fusils then.
Barrels usually were 44" and tapered Octagon to round...prior to 1720 the Octagon faded into round with no boundary....after 1720 the Octagon transitioned to 16 flats for a couple inches then a wedding ring transition to round (see Bouchard's: "The Fusil De Tulle in New France 1691-1741"). Most surviving examples measure 20 gauge or so, this in spite of them being documented as being 28 balls to the pound (28 gauge=.56 cal.)....so perhaps these have been re-bored to the larger size?? Barrels 44" and 24 ga. or 20 ga. are available. Walnut, Cherry, and Maple stocks are available, and include lock panel mouldings with tear-drop finials and tang carving with another finial shape. Rear sights are noted on some originals (added later?) and are also an option today.
To build a Fusil De Chasse 1727 is $2495.00
The Fusil De Chasse 1717 Pattern:
the price for the Fusil De Chasse 1717 is $2995.00
Fusil De Traite: the French Trade Gun ca. 1700-1760: it has recently come to light that perhaps the guns we used to consider as "Type C and Type D" were actually a mixed bag of evolution in a trade gun.....several original trade guns have been brought to light recently (including one I now own), that are of mixed furniture....both "C and D" furniture and yet are NOT restocked guns.
I believe these guns to be one of several grades of "Trade Guns" (perhaps as many as four grades) that used mixed parts that probably changed thru time from open-grilled sideplates to solid sideplates with hunting scenes, and from Flame or Torch-tipped guard finials to the "T" shaped finials later.
This Trade Gun is a Brass-mounted copy of my Iron-mounted Original trade gun. I have cast several of these guards and will reproduce this gun as a Trade gun 1720-1760. It has the custom French Trade lock (see below) and a custom stock from a plank of Cherry, Walnut, or Maple. The barrel on the original is an astonishing 54" in length! However, I used a 48" barrel on the replica shown. These are very light-weight guns in .20 gauge and will shoot a roundball at 50 yds like a rifle, or shot as a bird-gun.....one-gun... two uses!
Custom Fusil Lock: since there is no good French-styled Trade lock available at this time, I take one lock and several parts from other locks and with great modification to them, assemble them into a lock which is very similar to original French Locks. The frizzen spring is replaced with a large-radius trade gun lock spring and the top jaw of the cock is replaced with a hand-made longer version with "ears" which wrap around the cock stem, like a tongue and groove. Most Locks made today have a flat-backed cock stem and the jaw just butts up against that......common after 1750 or so. These custom locks function perfectly and are appropriate for these guns. If you want an "high quality historical Replica" give me a call.
Lancaster Smooth Rifle by Donelson—ca 1780-1790
In the style of J. Haeffor, apprentice to Jacob Dickert
.20 gauge, smooth bore patina
Large siler flintlock
Handmade 4 piece brass patchbox, engraved
Barrel held with 3 keys
Lexington, KY Style Rifle ca. 1800This style of patchbox formerly was considered to be from Southwestern Virginia, but has recently been documented as from Central Kentucky.
L&R Queen Anne Flintlock — modified to a later style.
Brass mountings: butt plate, trigger guard, side plate, pipes, muzzle cap.
Handmade 2 piece brass patchbox with characteristic wide breadth reaching up to the butt plate extension and down to the toe plate.
Four sets of silver acorn-headed escutcheons, 4 barrel keys.
Relief carved curly maple stock, aquafortis stained, linseed oil finish
Early Reading Area RifleThis rifle was inspired by #21 in Shumways: “Rifles of Colonial America Vol.. 1”.
Christian Springs lock modified to Reading Style.
Curly maple hand scraped (no sandpaper used), aquafortis stained and hand-rubbed oil finished.
Hand made rod and entry pipes of brass.
A Fine Southern Iron-mounted RifleAll hand forged iron mountings:
unusual one-piece forged guard,
two piece patchbox, toeplate,
3-bolt sideplate and a coin silver cheekpiece star.
Early Transitional Lehigh RifleAn Early Transitional Lehigh Rifle inspired by a fine original described by Shumway in an article in Muzzle Blasts.
Christian Springs lock, hand-forged buttplate, sideplate, triggerguard, and muzzlecap.
Hand scraped curly maple stock, aquafortis stained with hand-rubbed oil finish.
Unusual sliding wood patchbox wrapped in iron.