Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wolfgang Haga Rifles

The majority of the guns everyone calls Wolfgang Haga rifles most likely are not. We simply do not know who made them and for about a 25 year period although they have similar characteristics there are at least 4 different hands displayed in the work. The best description would be 'Reading area' rifles and the next best is 'Boro of Reading' guns. The reason for this attribution is the great number of guns found in the 20's thru 50's that bear these similarities were found in the Reading area. Because of the basics these guns could have been made in the same shop or by any of the several other guns smiths who graduated from the shop and kept close to what they learned. The area produced baroque carving early on, vine and leaf carving both incised and raised somewhat later and tobacco leaf type carving in the latter period.

The two overall and significant characteristics are the pattern of the stock outline and the odd shape of the cheek rest.

The following two groups of photos will show 1] an early gun [1770 or earlier] thought to be made in Reading with hard core baroque carving [pictured Kindig and Shumway].

And 2] a little later gun which displays a mix of baroque and vines but not yet Rocco. I have had a number of the 1780, 1790 and 1800 examples which are from the same stock pattern as #2 and demonstrate the same cheek rest design.

There are at least 6 other similar characteristics that can be found on these guns which show up in surprising consistency which is why they all got group together as 'Haga's'.

Copy and photos supplied by Henry Bishop.


  1. This is a great brief tutorial.. Thanks for taking the time to present this so clearly.

  2. Wonderful post!! It's great to see these beautiful original rifles in color and with such detail. Also very much enjoyed your thoughts and commentary. Thanks so much.

  3. Thanks for sharing very interesting information!! I love to collect old guns and also want to know more about guns. These are very beautiful riffles. Can you suggest me old gun brands?