Friday, August 13, 2021

Eric von Aschwege After Thomas Simpson for Gasper Mansker

There are few original rifles that can match the level of creative imagination, artistry, and quality found on the 1791 dated rifle by Thomas Simpson, built in Tennessee for Gasper Mansker.  This rifle is my close interpretation of the original, scaled down slightly in overall length and size, built on commission.  Centered on a 45" .50caliber Rice barrel, the rest of the piece was entirely custom built from my own castings, forgings, and heavily modified commercial parts.   The lock is a large English import style, similar in size but not identical to the original.  The patchbox differs from the original slightly, with a silver overlaid dogwood blossom and extra filed details.  The silver button slides towards the buttplate to release the door,  with captive internal spring and latch.  A soft patina was applied to the metal, settling in the engraving and the filed details.  The stock was stained with aquafortis, and finished to highlight the elaborate carving and moldings, but without hiding subtle scraper marks so common on originals, and absent on most contemporary works.  

Copy and photography supplied by Eric von Aschwege with more photos here.

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