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Shenandoah Valley Rifle: Information & Photos

The flintlock rifle shown on the UPMLA homepage was completed about fifteen years ago by Mark Silver of Chassell, Michigan. The rifle has been sold. Here are Mark's comments about the rifle.

Builder's Notes


A rifle in the style of the Shenandoah Valley c. 1760-70

Barrel length 45", Caliber .54, Weight 9½ lbs.

This piece is an exploration of some of the less common but important threads that make up the fabric of the American longrifles' lineage and evolution. It is based on five unsigned but firmly attributed Virginia rifles. These rifles show a range of styling that is at once sophisticated yet flamboyantly naïve. A wonderful mix of what makes the American longrifle such a fascinating and important piece of our colonial culture.

The decoration includes sterling silver inlay in the hand made brass mounts. The barrel is inlayed with silver as well. The relief carving and wire inlay are executed as a unified whole. This is a most unusual and difficult approach as it involves inlaying the wire into many different "layers" of the stock and carved surfaces.

The rifle, as with all my pieces, is stocked using only 18th century style hand tools: planes, scrapers, files, chisels, and gouges. The rifle is stained with nitric acid and finished with traditional oils, resins, and waxes.

Mark Silver is a member of the UPMLA. Video presentations showing Mark at work are available from American Pioneer Video (link). Mark's web site may be found here: marksilvergunmaker.com

Additional images of the rifle. (Select an image to view enlarged images.)

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