CIVIL WAR Era Antique PERIN & GAFF Mfg. .38 Percussion Long Rifle HOMESTEAD
FRONTIER/PIONEER Era Cincinnati, Ohio Rifle
Here we present an antique Perin & Gaff Marked Half Stock Percussion Long Rifle, made circa the mid-19th Century. Perin and Gaff Manufacturing Company operated in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1861-1884. They were importers and dealers, so there was a wide variety of wares that show up with their markings. Most of their rifles of the period look very similar, with octagon barrels and half stocks, and most had double set triggers, as is this example. Its stout octagonal barrel is in .36 caliber, large enough to take small to medium sized game or to defend the homestead against unwanted aggression. Rifle manufacture in the mid-to-late 19th Century was rapidly changing over from thousands of craftsmen all over the United States and on the Frontier making and selling their wares, to the large factories with standardized assembly lines and modern manufacturing techniques. Many makers’ names of the so-called Kentucky long rifles have been lost over time. This rifle is one such example.
The American Long Rifle, more commonly, but less correctly, known as the ‘Kentucky rifle’, was described by Captain John G. W. Dillin in the dedication to his seminal 1924 book, The Kentucky Rifle:
“From a flat bar of soft iron, hand forged into a gun barrel; laboriously bored and rifled with crude tools; fitted with a stock hewn from a maple tree in the neighboring forest; and supplied with a lock hammered to shape on the anvil; an unknown smith, in a shop long since silent, fashioned a rifle which changed the whole course of world history; made possible the settlement of a continent; and ultimately freed our country of foreign domination. Light in weight; graceful in line; economical in consumption of powder and lead; fatally precise; distinctly American; it sprang into immediate popularity; and for a hundred years was a model often slightly varied but never radically changed.”
The overall condition is good. Original brown patina. The bore is in good shape. A stable crack is present atop the wrist on an otherwise solid stock. Legible markings.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 39 1-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .38 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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