Lancaster Rifles

The Lancaster rifle, manufactured in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania are the best-known of all the American long rifles. It was the first commonly used rifles for hunting and warfare.

The American long rifle aka the Kentucky rifle was originally referred to as the Lancaster Rifle. As early as the mid-1700’s Lancaster was well-known for its German gunsmiths.

When a frontiersman needed a lighter rifle, weighing around 10 lbs. with a smaller bore, not much larger than a .50 caliber, thus reducing the weight of the ball and the amount of gunpowder to be carried. The Pennsylvania gunsmiths calculated that a small bore with a higher velocity could kill just as easily as a larger bore, and if the barrel was lengthened, it would significantly increase the range. To speed the loading procedure with the longer, the Pennsylvania gunsmiths discovered that ramming the ball down the barrel with the aid of a small, greased patch shortened the loading time and in turn, allowed less pressure to escape around the ball.  The Lancaster is a tribute to the craftsmanship and individual artistry of the period gunsmith.

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