Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Huntington/Sommerset Rifle by John Ennis

.32 cal 44" commerical barrel.  Lock and all furnishings are handmade.

This rifle was first started in 1964. At that time John was sixteen years old. The gun remained unengraved until he learned the craft, c. 1974. In 2013 he added more inlays, additional carving, additional engraving, and made the percussion lock and trigger guard from scratch.

This is truly an amazing rifle from one of the very best Contemporay Makers.

Photos by Jamie Ennis with copy by Robert Weil.


  1. WAYYYYYYY COOOOL gun and a very neat story line.

    Scott Sibley

  2. Super gun, looks antique and shows 18 th century style engraving!!! Should look like. Wonderfull representation of the school

  3. Holy crap! That is some serious piece of work!

  4. In regards to the Somerset/Huntington Rifle...I always had a love for the long slick gingerbread rifles out of the pre 1830-50's and even post of that time too. I built this rifle between 1963-64 with a 44" 32cal. 13/16" Numerick barrel. It originally had a Dixie Gunworks flinklock. It had a moon cheekpiece inlay, thumbpiece, heart on either side of the wrist and oval inlays along the forestock for the barrel retaining pins. It had no engraving. The bone inlay on the underside of the butt has the original hen scratching. I used the rifle all the time until I got out of the service in 1970. About 1974 I was able to start to learn engraving due to the publication of James Meeks book "The Art of Engraving" and I proceeded to apply what I had learned using this rifle as a canvas. Also at that time I made a new percussion lock for it which had no engraving until recently. My first engraving was on the ramrod entry pipe, buttplate, patchbox, toe plate, script on the barrel, cheek inlay, the hearts on the wrist and the ovals on the forend. This last year I did what I always wanted to do to this rifle and complete the vision I had as a kid and was unable to do then. I engraved the lock. Inlayed and engraved the comb plate, forarm plate, breech tang and the remainder of the silver inlays. I re-did the carving at the end of the comb and the molding lines on the forarm. I engraved the lock in the Baltimore-English style. There is a little of the old and a little of the new and the rifle is a combined history of my growth. As a child I always wanted to be a gunsmith and had a deep love for antique rifles and Kentucky rifles in particular. I had a coonskin cap that I wore from the age of three until it fell apart in the Davy Crockett (Disney) era. My fondness for this rifle spans more then 50 years hence it holds for me many memories and dreams accomplished. Thank you for all your kind compliments and encouragement.John C. Ennis III