BERKS COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA Antique JOHN DERR 45 Caliber FLINTLOCK LONG RIFLE
PA Full-Stock Smooth Rifle/Buck & Ball
Here we present an antique John Derr Full Stock Kentucky Style Smoothbore American Long Rifle, made circa the early-19th Century in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania and Kentucky rifles were the order of the day and were essential tools for providing meat for the table, pest control for the crops and livestock, and protection against beast and man for the homestead. Frontiersmen, homesteaders, pioneers, trappers and traders would have used a rifle like this for all of the above.
John (aka Johannes) Derr was a well-known gunmaker of record in Berks County, Pennsylvania, specifically the Oley Valley. He is said to have been trained by Henry Mauger and this is evidenced by his distinctive patchbox style, which is similar to Mauger’s. His barrels tended to be made in Wyomissing Creek and a plurality of various locks can be observed on his known works. This piece’s lock is from Worthe G. Sutter (1896-1979) of Ruffsdale, Pennsylvania in Westmoreland County, who was a very late maker of long rifles. He worked under his grandfather, C.M. Kemp of Bakersville in Somerset County. “Known for his handmade Bedford style locks.” (from Arms Makers of Western Pennsylvania by Whisker).
The overall condition is good. Strong action. Dark, aged smooth bore. The stock is solid, but does contain a period repair on the right side of the fore end, just in front of the lock. Little bit of loss around the lock itself. The lock is a later replacement from a PA maker. The rearmost barrel pin is missing. “W.G. SUTTER/RUFFSDALE PA” marked lock. The barrel top flat is marked “JOHN DERR”.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 41-1/8 inches.
Caliber: .45 Flintlock
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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