Below are some noteworthy books about original and contemporary longrifles and accouterments. There are also some good books on 18th & 19th century life that might be useful in creating a period persona to go with your gun. Some are in print. Others are out of print. Try Alibris or abebooks.com for the (Out of Print) titles.
Pennsylvania Longrifles of Note by George Shumway. As the title suggests, this little book is a collection of thirty guns that represent the best of the longrifle art. This book is available directly from George Shumway Publisher. Checkout Shumway's online catalog for many more worthy books.
The Kentucky Rifle by John Dillin. This book started it all with its publication in 1924. Captain Dillin's book formed the foundation for all further scholarship into the American longrifle and is an important primer for all students of the Kentucky Rifle. The Sixth Edition of this book is available directly from George Shumway Publisher. Checkout Shumway's online catalog for many more worthy books.
Guns and Gunmaking Tools of Southern Appalachia: The Story of the Kentucky Rifle by John Rice Irwin. This little perfect bound paperback book is primarily a pictorial review of the guns, gun making tools, and gun makers of southern Appalachia. There is a concentration on the late 19th and early 20th century. Do to the popularity of chunk gun shooting in southern Appalachia, the production of longrifles never ceased there.
Notes on Southern Long Rifles (Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4) by Jerry Noble. These simple paper bound books are a collection of original photos and historic documentation of the longrifles, builders, and marksmen of southern Appalachia. Just about all the guns and pictures are from the 19th century and early 20th century. There is a lot about the chuck gun culture. However, anyone interested in southern guns, particularly chunk guns, should have these books. They may be ordered directly from Jerry Noble at 414 N.E. 7th Ave., Aledo, IL. His phone number is (309) 582-2852. The books are $32 each.
The Gillespie Gun Makers of East Fork, NC by T. Dennis Glazener. Dennis has added to our knowledge of southern longrifles by publishing this well researched paperback on his ancestors and the guns they made. This is primarily a genealogical work on the Gillespie gun making family with some good pictures of a number of the Gillespie rifles. *Note: This book sold out and now only available on CD with additional text and photos.* Order directly from T. Dennis Glazener at 917 Manakin Rd., Midlothian, VA 23113. His phone number is (804) 794-4863 and his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.GillespieRifles.com
Three good books on North Carolina rifles by C. Michael Briggs. These three books contain great photos of NC rifles and horns that have not been published by anyone else. Michaels email address is email@example.com.
1. The Longrifles of Guilford County $30.00 plus $3.00 Postage -
contains 52 pages of detailed color photographs of Guilford Longrifles
that have not been previously published.
2. The Longrifles of Forsyth County and Davidson County $20.00 plus
$2.00 postage - contains 25 pages of detailed color photographs of
Salem/Davidson Longrifles that have not been previously published.
3. Piedmont North Carolina Banded Powder Horns $30.00 plus $3.00 postage
- contains 48 pages of detailed color photographs of Piedmont North
Carolina Banded & Beehived Powder Horns, Hunting Bags and accoutrements.
Foxfire 5 edited by Eliot Wiggington. Learn about blacksmithing, making blackpowder, and building longrifles. Included are interviews with some of the pioneers in the manufacture of contemporary American longrifles such as Bud Siler, Jim Chambers, and Hershel House. A young Hershel House guides you through the creation of a southwest Virginia mountain rifle.
The Book of Buckskinning II by William H. Scurlock(Editor) Learn to make 18th and 19th century clothing, powder horns, and various camp equipment. This book covers some of the basics of creating an pioneer persona as well as how to tune and care for your muzzle loader. Checkout the Scurlock Publishing Co., Inc. online catalog for more books in the Buckskinning series and many other fine books on living history and militaria..
The Book of Buckskinning III by William H. Scurlock(Editor) Learn more about the pioneers in contemporary gun making in this edition of the Buckskinning series. Also, learn how to make hunting pouches, period footwear, and shelters among other things. Checkout the Scurlock Publishing Co., Inc. online catalog for more books in the Buckskinning series and many other fine books on living history and militaria..
Tidings from the 18th Century by Beth Gilgun A complete guide to making 18th century clothing in the historically correct manner. Checkout the Scurlock Publishing Co., Inc. online catalog for more books in the Buckskinning series and many other fine books on living history and militaria.
Longrifles of North Carolina by John Bivins, Jr. As the title suggests, this little book is a collection of thirty guns that represent the best of the longrifle art. This book is available directly from George Shumway Publisher.
Out of Print Books
Three Centuries of Tradition: The Renaissance of Custom Sporting Arms in America by Mark Silver and Wallace Gusler. I almost put this on The Essentials page. It doesn't quite rise to the level of essential for a builder but, it is pretty close. If you want to know what you should aspire to, you need this book. It is full of wonderful color pictures of some of the best original and contemporary sporting arms made in this country. A great deal of the book contains some of the best examples of contemporary American longrifles to be found. This book is a catalog of an exhibit that started at the The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This book is Out of Print, try a search on Alibris or abebooks.com.Artistic Ingredients of the Longrifle by Joe Kindig III. This is not strictly a gun book. However, it is important for the serious collector and builder of longrifles to understand the artistic environment into which the American longrifle fits. One shouldn't forget that the form of the American longrifle is a product of its socio-economic environment. Try Alibris or abebooks.com for the (Out of Print) titles.
Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle by Henry J. Kauffman Mr. Kauffman is primarily a researcher and historian. This book is one of the first scholarly efforts to study the American longrifle. Rather than being primarily a picture book, the Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle is a study of the history and characteristics of the Pennsylvania rifle and of the trade and individual gunsmiths that created them. This book is Out of Print, try a search on Alibris or abebooks.com.
Seeing Through the Eye of Yesterday... The Kentucky Rifle and the Golden Mean by Patrick E. Hallam This is a very well researched and thoughtout book on the use of the Golden Mean as a design tool in the construction of an 18th century gun. There has been a lot of controversy around this topic, but Patrick has made me a believer. I use a pair of golden mean dividers to study how original gun makers laid out their guns and to set the critical visual break points on all my guns. It has become part of my tool box. I recommend that you get a copy if you can. This book is Out of Print, try a search on Alibris or abebooks.com.
The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle by Ned Roberts. Ned Roberts was born in 1866 and grew up in a era when target shooting was one of the Nation's most popular sports. He became an expert marksman with muzzle-loading rifles, and his first hand knowledge and expertise can help the muzzle-loading shooter today. Many expert marksmen today credit Ned Roberts and The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle. This book is the best source available on the shooting of muzzle loaders. This book is Out of Print, try a search on Alibris or abebooks.com.
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This page was last updated on 07/16/08 .