Friday, August 5, 2016

2016 CLF Auction Item: Late Kentucky Longrifle Rig by Mike Davis and Gary Tingler

The Trans-Applachian longrifle has often been neglected as an American art form. Although the the frontier folk moving west after the Revolutionary War were a practical and plain folk who esteemed performance over prettiness they did not object to tools that combined both. The rifles of Thomas Simpson, Jacob Young and John Small made in the Ohio and Mississippi watersheds are as fine and elegant as any American rifles. The western frontier also exhibited a preference for iron furniture and simple architecture as exhibited in the Lexington Kentucky school and the work of Pleasant Wilson. This work continues today rifles of the House brothers. The House brothers have generously shared there talents and ideas resulting in the Woodbury school gunsmiths.

Mike Davis, of Coldwater Mississippi, is firmly in the Woodbury School. Mike refers to this rifle as "iron, Young, House, Davis rifle. lol" I think he hit the nail on the head.

Using a 42 inch .40 caliber Colerain barrel, a Chambers Ketland lock, and Mike Davis triggers, set in curly maple, Mike has recreated the late early 19th century Kentucky squirrel rifle with great lines and incredible style. Architecturally similar to the Bryan Lexington school rifles, with more of a Jacob Young style box, this rifle shows what Mike refers to as a true squirrel rifle lineage. The iron furniture is handforged and the silver accents are from coin silver: all by Mike Davis

Gary Tingler has donated a bag to compliment the rifle. Historically accurate for the approximately 1812 to 1830 style of the rifle, Gary constructed this bag from 6 oz Elk leather.

The bag hand stitched with 100% beeswaxed linen thread, edged in deer leather. the bag measures 6" at the opening and is 6 1/2 " deep and 8 1/4" at the bottom widest point. it has a solid brass buckle with a cotton woven strap and leather tongue for adjustments. it has a brass button on main flap and a copper button on the flap of the hidden pocket flap.

Be sure to take a look at Mike Davis' website at, or he can be contacted by email at

Gary Tingler can be contacted by email at

Copy by Heinz Ahlers with photos supplied by CLF.

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