Sunday, May 21, 2017

This rifle is unsigned but is without a doubt the work of George Schreyer.

Joe Kindig, Jr. identified Schreyer as active around the years of the American Revolution through around 1813. Kindig noted “this rifle has the earliest rattlesnake patch box that I have seen.”

The rifle is pictured in George Shumway's "George Schreyer Sr. & Jr.: Gunmakers of Hanover York County, Pennsylvania." Shumway writes: "This piece is notable for the patchbox finial engraved with a rattlesnake design. 

Most Schreyer guns are equipped with German locks, but this one has a lock of English style with rounded pan."

Aside from the unique patch box, the gun is a classic long rifle with a standard full length stock, brass furniture, and blade and notch sights. The stock has tear drop flats, a carved finial design at the breech, scroll carving around the patch box, and additional carved accents near the snake's head. The snake design has some cobra like attributes but is clearly inspired by a rattlesnake given the rattle on its tail. Snake designs are not common on golden age rifles especially compared to other animals such as eagles.

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