The American Longrifle, a.k.a., the Kentucky Rifle in the modern culture war – Part I

Long before it was in-vogue for the so-called American History intelligentsia to bash American culture and tradition, antique flintlock guru, Joe Kindig, Jr., began his landmark book with this nugget of truth:

The Kentucky rifle has become symbolic of the American western frontier in the century between 1750 and 1850 and of the men who pushed the United States to the Pacific Ocean. When God wishes to make any changes on the earth, he first develops the men to do the job and then the tools for them to work with.

Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age, by Joe Kindig, Jr., 1960.

Amen to that. Was the creation of the U.S.A. the greatest accomplishment in world history, which has created and fostered the greatest and safest society in human history? Yep. Was there collateral damage along the way? Yep. Do the vast majority of modern-day intellectuals, including many of those teaching and researching American history, agree with that sentiment? Not just no, but hell no.

This book Mr. Kindig wrote in 1960 became, and remains today, the Bible of the Kentucky Rifle. I obtained my first edition copy circa 2008 or 2009, I believe, when I first was accepted into the Kentucky Rifle Association, at the last of the Carlisle, PA shows. They’re now held in Pittsburgh. A wise old timer told me, “You need this first edition because the photos only get more blurry and less clear after that.”

Fast-forward 60 years later, and the true history of the United States during that important period of time is under attack by the social movement of political correctness. This misguided effort has become the guiding star of the so-called academic and intellectual class. The college professors; the archaeologists; and so on. Not all of them, of course. But many of them – more than you probably think.

The obvious result of this new period of intellectual “wokeness” is the omission of the Kentucky Rifle from the education of entire generations of young Americans – a portion of whom then adopt the same misguided viewpoints and goals. Because the creation of America – the push to the Pacific coast – was something evil. They’ll study the expansion of the Roman Empire, but that’s far removed from their political agenda.

Political Correctness and History

Our learning has devolved into small categories of political correctness. Try to stay “woke” here while I sort this out….

Just take a look at many of the recent studies in academia. It overwhelmingly focuses on “enslaved persons,” as they seemed to have reached some consensus to avoid the word “slaves,” or “slavery,” or how the evil United States stole Native American land and committed genocide. I’m not arguing that those things shouldn’t be discussed. I’m not even arguing those things didn’t happen. Nor that they were a grave injustice. My beef is that the goal of academia has now become to make those negative aspects of our history become the only things discussed, or at least to include those discussions in all discussions. Their goal, in my view, is the devaluing the legitimacy, or at least the history, of the United States by concealing or ignoring the raw facts and instead pushing an agenda of social activism and retroactive moral judgment. This has always been around; but it’s getting worse. And many people have no idea this agenda has been put in place.

And as a Facebook Friend of mine recently discussed in a private message in response to this post, negative judgments about the white, or European settlers, on the basis of being “woke” to the injustices to First Nation Peoples (he’s married to one) changes nothing. Because obviously, history can’t be changed. It is what it is.

There’s no doubt that today, any study or mention of the American Longrifle in an academic setting would be deeply offensive, and consequently, won’t make it to the end-user. By design, they’ll know little to nothing about it.

This phenomena may have reached the zenith of its inherent irony when student activists attempted to force Princeton University to change the name of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs based on retroactive moral judgement of President Wilson. It was as if these so-called activists failed to realize in their simple view of the world, that Wilson was perhaps the biggest leftist, or even socialist, to ever steer the helm of the United States. The National Interest magazine ran a story on this effort, and the movement in general, illustrating the failure of their logic and the danger of their ignorance:

So Wilson had, as is the case with not a few famous historical leaders, conspicuous shortcomings—a reluctance to compromise, grand visions without the means to implement them, a curt temper, and not least, a belief in the innate racial superiority of whites. But what does it really mean to try and tar him for not having adhered to enlightened twenty-first-century standards? Where will the impulse to purge the past of its sins end? Should Washington, DC, named after a slave owner, adopt a new title? Should the Jefferson Memorial be torn down? Or what about the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars or the Wilson research fellowship that Johns Hopkins University, where Wilson taught for years, bestows upon promising undergraduates?

As L. Gordon Crovitz observes in the Wall Street Journal, there are a bevy of malefactors from the past that young students can try to hunt down: “Elihu Yale made his fortune as a British East India Company imperialist. Exploited Chinese laborers build Leland Stanford’s transcontinental railway. James Duke peddled tobacco.” And so on. It’s a game of trivial pursuit with real consequences for the intellectual climate on campus. No longer do students attempt to divine why the leading lights of a different era thought as they did, to attempt to put them in a broader context. Looking at Wilson as a racist pure and simple is rather reductionist. It tells you something about him but hardly everything.

Nor is this all. The push for political correctness has a chilling implication for current debate, which is something that the contemporary myrmidons of virtue are uninterested about. The idea seems to be that their young minds should be kept unsullied from the wider world. They want to be protected from subversive sentiments, coddled and cossetted, rather than exposed to contrary ideas. Hence the “safe spaces” and concern about “microaggressions.”

Some institutions are fighting back. The University of Chicago issued a report in January that stated, “It is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

Political Correctness Goes To War on American History, by Jacob Heilbrunn, November 24, 2015 (emphasis added).

Likewise, it would be an improper role for historians, teachers, educators, academics, etc., etc., to attempt to shield Americans, especially young students, from aspects of our history they find “unwelcome, disagreeable” or even *gasp* “deeply offensive.” But that’s exactly what they’re doing.

The American Longrifle: deep roots in American History

Forbes ran an insightful opinion piece a few years ago by Frank Miniter, titled, The American Longrifle Has a Censored But Very Patriotic Story to Tell. He notes the academic suppression of important aspects of American history:

[S]ure school kids learn that on the night of April 18, 1775 hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby towns. And yes, they learn that Paul Revere and others sounded the alarm and that Colonial militiamen mobilized to confront the Redcoat column. They are even taught that an initial confrontation on the Lexington town green started the fight that led to a British retreat from a large force of Americans at Concord. “However,” Phil said, “one small but pretty important fact few learn about that battle is the colonists actually had more advanced arms than the British troops.

What those young minds aren’t taught is that some of the Americans had rifles, whereas the British had Brown Bess’s—smoothbore muskets. The American’s rifles could hit a man-sized target at 200 and perhaps 300 yards, whereas the Brown Bess was only accurate to maybe 75 yards. And those New Englanders were hunters. They needed to kill squirrels and rabbits to eat, so they’d learned to be marksmen. They used these skills and their rifle’s technology by laying behind rocks and trees and shooting the Red Coats dead long before the British got close enough to use their .75 caliber smoothbore muskets.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2014/07/03/the-american-longrifle-has-a-censored-but-very-patriotic-story-to-tell/#3e68342e3ff7
An original signed and rifled barrel by one of the early master gunmakers, J. Dickert

Even more importantly, the citizens themselves were involved, and indeed guided, the development of this American weapon:

“[S]mall, private rifle makers in the colonies made it possible for the war to begin on good footing for the colonists. This helped to get the public behind the revolution and, as a lot of British officers who were targeted during the war found out, it damn well helped American troops throughout the war.”

After a pause, Phil added, “Thus began the long and lovely relationship between American citizens, American gun makers, and the U.S. military. A relationship still ongoing, a relationship that keeps us free, a relationship some are trying to end. If they succeed our freedom will follow, as real freedom is linked to the gun in ways most don’t comprehend.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2014/07/03/the-american-longrifle-has-a-censored-but-very-patriotic-story-to-tell/#3e68342e3ff7

The story of the creation of America – American history – is a story interlaced with firearms, and in particular, the Kentucky Rifle. Mr. Kindig laid down the truth in his book, in what would become fighting words in another 60 years among the American intelligentsia. Ironically, Mr. Kindig was raised a Quaker, and never fired a gun in his life, as far as I know. But he understood its significance.

While preparing the men to undertake the job of opening up the west, God also saw to it that the necessary tools would be available to them. The rifle came to America with the earliest German settlers from the Black Forest region about 1710. It probably took about sixty years for the true Kentucky rifle – a completely new and different weapon from the short barreled German rifle – to develop.

By the close of the American Revolutionary War both the necessary type of man (the frontiersman) and the necessary tool (the Kentucky rifle) had completely developed. God saw to it that they matured almost simultaneously . . . .

The combination of man and rifle that reached perfection by the end of the Revolution was a combination that existed nowhere else in the world. I believe it was Andrew Jackson who said that if you give a frontiersman an axe and a rifle and send him out beyond civilization, over ten or fifteen years and with just these two simple tools, he will protect and feed his family while he clears the wilderness, plants crops, and builds a home. It is difficult for people who depend on thousands of gadgets every day to imagine supplying their needs – food, clothing, and shelter – with just two tools.

Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age, by Joe Kindig, Jr., 1960.

Mind you, Kindig wrote that in 1960!

Imagine what he would say now, in 2020, where people are hoarding toilet paper, threatening to arrest church-goers and crashing the economy based on some guy in China eating one-too-many bats. It’s true that we now purposely ignore the qualities of the men and women who created the country in which we now find ourselves. We love the luxury in which we live, yet we also love to denigrate our past.

Historical Amnesia

To illustrate the absurdity of judging one’s ancestors with 20/20 hindsight, let’s look at other great historical developments in world history. Shall we throw away Roman history based on the existence of slavery, among many, many other injustices which occurred during the Roman Empire? Can you imagine student activists going to Egypt and protesting the Great Pyramids of Giza? Knock the pyramids down because they were built with slave labor? Yes, it’s laughable in that context, and not just because we all know that millennials couldn’t knock the pyramids down if Egypt let them, but the logic is the same. The only difference between Egypt and the early patriots of America is the absence of a social justice agenda. And, well the probability that activist millennials would never been seen again if they tried to pull their garbage in Egypt, given that there’s no Bill of Rights in Egypt. And generally speaking, the current (and past, and probably future) administration over there isn’t in the habit of establishing “safe spaces” for ignorant and spoiled American students.

The point is, that it’s beside the point. History is what it was; not what we wish it had been. It’s important to understand injustice which occurred in the past. Because those who don’t understand what happened back then, will be “doomed to repeat it,” of course. However, to revise history based on a modern social agenda. This all began with Karl Marx.

About philosophy, Marx said in 1845, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” The point is, to use academic disciplines to change, rather than to interpret. Change history, rather than interpret it, in order to shape the future. When Marx’s theories were actually put into practice, in the Soviet Union, the revision, or rather erasing, of history became a central component. There’s even a term for this: “historical amnesia.”

In April of 2019, Milan Kundera, then 90 years old, who personally experienced Soviet annexation of his homeland of Czechoslovakia in 1948 wrote about it:

The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.

Milan Kundera Warned Us About Historical Amnesia. Now It’s Happening Again, by Ewan Morrison, The Quillette.

After the fall of the USSR, the realities of life under communist came out, with many first hand accounts flooding the world. There was little doubt about both the evil, and the utter failure, of communism.

For a brief period, the consensus was that the communist experiment had failed. Never again, said the postmodernists and historians. Never again, said the economists and political parties. Never again said the people of former communist countries. Never again.

Fast forward 20 years and never again has been forgotten. The Wall Street Journal in 2016 asked: “Is Communism Cool? Ask a Millennial.” Last year MIT Press published Communism for Kids and Teen Vogue ran an excited apologia for Communism. Tablet announced, with some concern, a “Cool Kid Communist Comeback.” On Twitter, there is new trend of people giving themselves communist-themed names: “Gothicommunist,” “Trans-Communist,” “Commie-Bitch,” “Eco-Communist.” The hammer and sickle flag has been re-appearing on campuses, at protests and on social media. 

How could we have forgotten?

Id.

Here’s how: It’s all about manipulation of the data. Muddying the waters, so to speak. Looking at the communist regime in China, the numbers of deaths they inflicted are staggering, even in comparison to Hitler. But pro-communist historical revisionists have been hard at work, in their efforts at succeeding in future power struggles:

Until the data on the deaths in communist China are definitively agreed, until they enter the history books, conflicting data will keep on being used to conceal the magnitude of Mao’s crimes. We also see this happening with the Ukranian genocide known as Holodomor (1932–33). Different political groups argue about whether the deaths were three million or 10, which then gives space to other groups online who want to deny it ever occurred.

If you want to make data vanish these days, don’t try to hide them, just come up with four other bits of data that differ greatly and start a data-fight. This is historical amnesia through information overload

When we lose not just the data, but the record of who did and said what in history beneath the noise of contrary claims, then we are in trouble. 

Id.

Believe it or not, there are American college professors who will read what I just quoted, and be angry. They will accuse me of posting propaganda; fake news. Communism – or well let’s call it “Democratic Socialism” (LOL) because that sounds much better to the peasants – has a bad rap due to propaganda by the “corporations” and the “zionists” (they hate both the idea of corporations, in general, and they also are anti-semetic for reasons I still don’t understand). I’m not even kidding. That’s the point we’ve reached, even in America.

This is what’s been making its way to America over a number of decades, where conservatives college professors in the social sciences are now outnumbered by self-proclaimed Marxists, with 18% polled openly claiming to be Marxists, while only 5% admit to being a conservative. I’m sure you’ve seen all the Confederate statutes taken down the past few years, or otherwise vandalized by the social justice crowd, including so-called history professors. As I said, straight out of Karl Marx’s playbook.

They still fail miserably – hence their inability to survive in a free market.

By 2014, according to survey data by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, 60 percent of professors identified as “liberal” or “far-left.” That was up from only 42 percent in 1990. See The dramatic shift among college professors that’s hurting students’ education, by Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, January 11, 2016. The studies have also shown that, if Marxist and/or left-wing professors are attempting to indoctrinate America’s youth, they are not succeeding – at least according to the same sets of polling data. See also Id.

However, and back to my point, the so-called professionals in the history business are no doubt committing historical malpractice, at best, and at worst concealing, denigrating, or erasing, our history. Or at least attempting to. It appears for the time being though, all millennial jokes aside, that it’s not really having much effect at present, except for poor overall results at teaching and preserving history.

It is worth noting that even if professors fail to indoctrinate their students, they are still wasting class time trying to preach rather than teach. This is a fair point—while off-topic discussions can be some of the best learning experiences in college, having a professor spending class time pushing their ideology rather than teaching is a disservice to the students. Of course, professors rambling about fishing stories, stamp collecting, or their favorite movies also wastes students’ time.

That said, it could be argued that professing does have a legitimate role in the classroom—if it has pedagogical value. Even if it does have some value, there is also the worry that by pushing a specific ideology, the professor will mislead the students about the merits or demerits of specific views.  This all ties into the classic problem of the proper role of a professor—although the ideal often advanced today is that of a neutral conveyor of information and skills designed to prepare the job fillers for their existence as workers.

Does Marxism Rule the Academy?, by Mike LaBossiere, Dec. 6, 2018.

I suppose it all goes back to the whole “how many people did Chairman Mao kill” question. With pro-communist activists still in the process of targeted historical anesthetization all over the internet, one has to assume that the same permeates other areas of historical study. Can they change America’s future without erasing or completely re-writing her past? I think not. Fortunately, that’s not going to happen.

And its not just the historians.

The archaeologists want their share of the social justice activist agenda. This was the reason for the creation of Scavengeology in the first place. If they had their way, the government, controlled by them, would own history. Something historical on your property? They – the government – owns it.

Further down the road, “historical” will be relevant. It will be categorized into good history, which will be propagandized, and bad history, which will be destroyed and suppressed. Spoiler Alert: any aspect of American history having to do with “patriots,” anything “patriotic,” and anything positive done by white men – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc., etc., – will be bad history. Don’t take my word for it, this is written by the State Archaeologist for Colorado in Britain’s, The Guardian:


Historical archaeology, the study of the material culture of the modern world, emerged in earnest in the 1930s with excavations at iconic colonial sites such as Jamestown, Virgina.

The earliest historical archaeology was a patriotic effort to recover information on the earliest Europeans in the Americas. While mostly unconscious, the focus on the forts and settlements of white America reinforced romantic notions of pioneers and patriots. However, Archaeology has always been at its best when it asks questions about people who wouldn’t or couldn’t leave written documents about themselves. The development of fields of study such as plantation and African Diaspora archaeology provided venues to understand the daily experience of enslaved Africans and African-Americans. Rendered as nearly invisible victims, rigorous archaeological investigations since the 1980s have shown how enslaved people retained, adopted, and even created rich cultural identities that have amplified the deep complexity of modern American society. Other sub-fields of historical archaeology, focusing on Chinese laborers, Italian miners, or New England factory girls all challenge the history of how America has been built and maintained.

Today, the most significant archaeological work is inclusive, collaborative, and emancipatory. The sudden visibility of research done at WWII-era Japanese Internment Camps is emblematic of the relevance of archaeology to understanding the consequences of and resisting hateful nationalistic policies.

Archaeology and anthropology don’t just study dynamics of power and politics, the discipline is actively mired in political systems, which is why so many people feel embattled today. Funding sources, access to archaeological sites or human populations, even ways in which our findings and interpretations are disseminated are all ensconced in political systems. Our work has always been political. We couldn’t put our heads in the sand even if we wanted to.

The politics and power of American archaeology, The Guardian, April 10, 2017.

Before I respond to this pile of dog feces, I’ll point out yet another irony that is completely missed on these quite-uneducated “elitist” academics. As a practicing civil rights lawyer who actually rights real injustices in our present time period, I can point out the fact that Japanese internment during WWII was indeed an injustice. Who did it? Who was President at that time? A liberal Democrat who’s left wing policies are second only to Woodrow Wilson: FDR. She probably has no idea that a liberal Democrat placed Japanese Americans in internment camps.

About 10 weeks after the U.S. entered World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 signed Executive Order 9066. The order authorized the Secretary of War and the armed forces to remove people of Japanese ancestry from what they designated as military areas and surrounding communities in the United States. These areas were legally off limits to Japanese aliens and Japanese-American citizens.

The order set in motion the mass transportation and relocation of more than 120,000 Japanese people to sites the government called detention camps that were set up and occupied in about 14 weeks. Most of the people who were relocated lived on the West Coast and two-thirds were American citizens. In accordance with the order, the military transported them to some 26 sites in seven western states, including remote locations in Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

Straight from the Judicial Branch: https://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-korematsu-v-us

But we also have a judicial branch under the form of government set up by the evil white founding fathers. And who was on the Supreme Court at that time, when the issue went all the way up to SCOTUS? The majority opinion was written by Justice Hugo Black – A DEMOCRAT APPOINTED BY FDR. What say you, Ms. Social Justice Colorado State Archaeologist? I’m sure nothing, because you’re all about politics and your political agenda. You care nothing for real history. You care nothing for the truth.

Despite being publicly funded, they are no longer going to study racist white people’s ancestors, in the name of patriotism towards an unjust and illegitimate country. Instead, we’re going to focus on minority or oppressed groups solely, in an active social effort at re-writing everything considered good or great in America’s history. Let’s just take a moment to absorb the irony of the establishment of a double standard imposing a reverse racism, in what is supposed to be a scientific discipline. That’s right, social justice warriors battling racism, bigotry and social injustice, by themselves discriminating on the basis of race and color. When they’re supposed to be digging for old stuff and documenting what they find.

And then they complain about the fact that the evil Americans paying for their overpriced tenured salaries don’t want to pay them to carry out that agenda. Again, they’re not all like that. But don’t forget for a second that they’re there.

We can’t allow the American Longrifle – the Kentucky Rifle – to be disconnected from American history.

Not everyone has access to a library of books, such as Mr. Kindig’s. Unlike the new set of social justice advocates disguised as historians and archaeologists, many of us regular folks – peasants – have an interest in what really happened, and what was really used during these exciting periods of our history. So during this time of quarantine, I’ll do my part to include information about this important area of our history, on the very place where this war is being fought – on the internet.

Here’s perhaps the first question to be answered. Where did the name “Kentucky Rifle,” come from?

Following the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans, substantially won by the Kentucky rifle in the hands of about two thousand frontiersmen from Kentucky, a ball, “The Hunters of Kentucky,” was written. It dramatized the exploits of these undisciplined riflemen who defeated the military might of England.

The ballad became widely popular throughout the new nation, so much so that the version sung at the Chatham Garden Theater in New York City was published in the form of sheet music by George Willig in Philadelphia. Popular songs stayed around for several years in those days. The popularity of this ballad lasted long enough to be translated in Pennsylvania German before it had run its course . . . .

In the fifth stanza of the lyrics, the Kentucky rifle received its name which was to stay with it from that time on. The expression “Kentucky rifle” became one of those singular examples of a designation documented in its own period.

“But Jackson he was wide awake and wasn’t scar’d at trifles; For well he knew what aim we take, with our KENTUCKY RIFLES, So he led us down to Cypress Swamp, the ground was low and mucky, There stood John Bull in martial pomp but here was old Kentucky.”

The frontiersmen who went to Kentucky and on into the Louisiana Territory bought and brought their rifles from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia but chiefly from Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania towns along the roads leading to the West are remembered as the locations of the schools of rifle design.

The Kentucky Rifle, by Merrill Lindsay, 1972.

You’ll see that there is a confusing designation of rifle attributions, even for unsigned rifles, just based on pure design, in which students of these rifles, can determine the location of origin of the rifle. These are schools of design. Much are known about rifles from Pennsylvania. Most can be narrowed down fairly easily. Lesser is known about rifles from Virginia, North Carolina, New England, Kentucky, and so on. The vast number of makers, and schools of design, itself illustrates how entrenched the Kentucky Rifle became in American life and economics.

One thing’s certain however, the primary impetus to all of this was the German immigrant to Pennsylvania, and the surrounding vicinity. The epicenter of this was Lancaster.

As the German immigrants adapted to the challenges and opportunities of Pennsylvania, they utilized tools they brought along and amended Old World tool prototypes . . . . They exerted finluence directly through their migrations west and south and also indirectly as other groups – mainly the Scots-Irish – adapted and helped spread some of their most prominent technologies . . . . Thus, Pennsylvania Germans became the principal agents of the development and dissemination of some of early America’s most iconic technological adaptations, including log building construction, the Conestoga wagon, and the American long rifle.

The new rifle emerged from the mid 18th century onwards and became a truly American tool carried by almost every settler. The gunsmiths turned the Old World tradition of stock carving into imaginative new designs and made the brass patch box an artistic flag for their trade. The gunsmiths repeated use of certain motifs in patch box finals or peculiar techniques in engraving passed from master to apprentices who perpetuated details or overtly outdid their masters. To the degree that a rifle-buying client could afford personalized embellishment, gunsmiths added inlays of stars, crescents, and other motifs in various materials that reflected spiritual faith, superstition, or simply personal preference.

Excerpt of the Preface from The Lancaster Longrifle, by Patrick Hornberger and John Kolar, excerpt from the Preface by Bruce Bomberger, Curator, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Among these early German immigrants, were the talented brothers of the Moravian community, who were responsible for the development of the Kentucky Rifle above and beyond any other group of people in early America. The “Moravians” were a German religious sect among the German immigrants to the New World, who sought to establish congregational towns in America, with the purpose of providing religious and cultural support for German colonists, as well as to establish and promote missions among the Native Americans. See Moravian Gunmaking of the American Revolution, by the Kentucky Rifle Association, at p. 11.

I’m not sure who painted this. I saved this somewhere with no attribution, so I hope he or she doesn’t mind. It’s a wonderful representation.

The Moravians established communities in Pennsylvania, as well as in North Carolina, and later in the Ohio territory. “German was the official town language, work was carefully regulated by a serious of committees, and only Moravian boys were taught a trade . . . .” which included blacksmithing, locksmithing, gunstocking, and joining, all of which were utilized to meet the overwhelming economic demand in this New World: firearms.

They were amazing artists, to say the least. Many, if not most, of our surviving examples of the earliest of the truly American rifles, were made by the Moravians. Artisans such as Andreas Albrecht, Johann Christian Oerter, Daniel Kliest, Johann Valentin Beck, and William Antes.

The artwork of a later Moravian artist of the Vogler family, of Old Salem, North Carolina. “The seed of the woman hath bruised the serpent’s head.”

You a see a sort of progression that goes about like this. From German Jaeger rifles from the Old World, through transition style rifles made in America, and to the early versions of what would later be termed the Kentucky Rifle.

A swivel breech Jaeger German rifle. If the gun control advocates only knew that in the mid 18th centuries, such a devastating assault weapon existed…..
Early American stocked transitional rifle, recently found.
That’s the RCA No. 19 rifle above and the MIA “sister rifle” which may, or may not, be in a mysterious grave site somewhere, below…..
Early Virginia rifle.

And in time, it would be made into an American artform, unlike any other, different in hundreds of ways, if not thousands, depending on geography of the particular location of the artists.

Signed on the barrel, Christopher Vogler, Old Salem, NC.

Updated 4/17/20: Here’s Part II:

And now we move to the early period of American Longrifles, which will be an ongoing supplement as I have time to add more…..

7 thoughts on “The American Longrifle, a.k.a., the Kentucky Rifle in the modern culture war – Part I

  1. Aat one point in my history i had this book.It inspired me to finally build one..non-firing…and two toy rifles for my kids.

  2. A very nice and true article. I have Mr. Kindig’s book for several years now and still refer to it for information. I am 74 and tried to pass on to my children and grandchildren the love of the “Longrifle” and its mark on this country. Thank you!!

  3. Your article is very intriguing and provokes thought for sure. I totally agree that history is being buffered and watered down tremendously in our schools.
    The point about the colonists being better armed than the British is absolutely false. The king’s land pattern musket aka brown Bess was a far superior battle weapon using the tactics of the time due to its tremendous rate of fire, bayonets and the skill if the British infantry. Don’t forget the British had rifle companies also, they were just small specialized forces – on both sides. Rifle companies here would have been annihilated if it wasn’t for our company’s armed with muskets backing them up according to Gen. Daniel Morgan.

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