Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mid 17th Century English Yoeman Hunting Rifle by Donald Whitehead for Robert W. Walker

Illustrated is a English Yoeman Hunting Rifle with elements of French, Dutch, German and Spanish architecture.  Mr. Donald Whitehead of Rolling Acres, Missouri built this rifle for me in 2005. The barrel is .54 in round bottom rifling at 46 inches by Riley Smith. Two inlays in ivory of a May Apple and Elizabethan Tudor Rose. The piece is surprisingly well balanced and I plan to take it on a mule deer hunt this Autumn.

Copy and photos supplied by Robert W. Walker.


  1. The 15th Century (1400s) seems early for a gun with a flint lock. 17th Century (1600s), perhaps?

  2. It is, during the mid to late 15th, all the 16th and early 17th centuries, the most common form of fire lock was the Match Lock. Then the snap hanse (spelling?) the migulet, and the wheel lock. The lock pictured is a mid to late 17th century, "English," Dog Lock, the French having come up with the first true flintlock during the same the mid to late 1600's. There are two kinds of match lock mechanisms the first a simple pivot, the second was a snapping type. The Japanese never found a reason to go beyond the simplest of match locks from the 16th through the early 19th centuries. This gun would have been used by a game manager on an English estate perhaps. But it is dateable to the mid to late 17th centuries, no earlier! JB