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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:16 PM #1
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Ballpark cost of an original flintlock PA/Kentucky long rifle?

This is outside my wheelhouse so hoping someone can point me in the right direction. A friend is looking to purchase a retirement gift for his father, who always admired Davey Crockett's "Old Betsy" Kentucky long gun (the real one). He would like to buy something that looks similar as a gift but doesn't know where to start or how much it will cost him (we know it won't be cheap, but does that mean $2k or $20k?). Here's basically what he's looking for from what I gather:

Original flintlock Kentucky long rifle (not interested in repros or modern production at this time).
Full stock
Brass patch box (but doesn't have to be overly ornate)
Condition - doesn't need to be perfect but decent enough for display and potentially restorable enough to be made to be fire once or twice
Maker and caliber not really important as long as it has the classic Kentucky gun look.

Totally understand cost/value on these will have a really large spread, but for a decent non-uber rare museum example what do you think he'd be looking at minimum cost wise? Any recommendations of where to look (shops, online dealers, etc)? I'm strongly recommending he go to the Baltimore Antique Arms show this weekend as I'm sure he could find something there but he just came to me with these questions today and that might be a little soon for him to pull the trigger on a large purchase. Thanks!!
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Old March 13th, 2018, 07:56 PM #2
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[QUOTE=KH195;5141603]This is outside my wheelhouse so hoping someone can point me in the right direction. A friend is looking to purchase a retirement gift for his father, who always admired Davey Crockett's "Old Betsy" Kentucky long gun (the real one). He would like to buy something that looks similar as a gift but doesn't know where to start or how much it will cost him (we know it won't be cheap, but does that mean $2k or $20k?). Here's basically what he's looking for from what I gather:

Original flintlock Kentucky long rifle (not interested in repros or modern production at this time).
Full stock
Brass patch box (but doesn't have to be overly ornate)
Condition - doesn't need to be perfect but decent enough for display and potentially restorable enough to be made to be fire once or twice
Maker and caliber not really important as long as it has the classic Kentucky gun look.

You might have one built like these.
For Sale: Hand made rifles:
There are several different types of long rifles. 40"-42". Styles are, Lehigh Valley, Moravian at Bethlehem and Nazareth. Dauphin County Style. 50cal and others. Getz barrels, locks etc. For more info call the maker at 412-828-6360.ask for Paul. It could be personalized.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 08:29 PM #3
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He THINKS he wants a 200 year old beater. A newer rifle would be better.

OP , originals never stopped being made. You can get originals that are 200 years old, or 150, or 50, or made last week.

Just to get a feel, check out Trackofthewolf.com
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Old March 13th, 2018, 08:59 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threeband View Post
He THINKS he wants a 200 year old beater. A newer rifle would be better.

OP , originals never stopped being made. You can get originals that are 200 years old, or 150, or 50, or made last week.

Just to get a feel, check out Trackofthewolf.com
I absolutely understand that and have already provided that information but as of now he seems set on an "original" circa 1810s-1840s
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Old March 13th, 2018, 09:11 PM #5
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You can find 1800s antiques for under $1K if you are willing to be patient and condition/operability isn't a critical issue. I usually check completed auctions on Gun Broker as a litmus of going market rate.

As others have said though, if he wants something that is 'occasionally fireable' then get a newer production rifle. An antique is an antique and few would risk damaging the gun or themselves. History is cool but my Grandad's "new production" Brown Bess is still older than me @ 60 years and the fact that it was his AND I can fire it safely is all the history I need. To the untrained eye it's inseparable from a real antique, except for "black powder only" engraved on the barrel.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:11 PM #6
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“Does that mean $2k or $20k”. Yes!

What you should expect is honesty at the show.. not necessarily great deals. There should be plenty of people willing to talk about what they have


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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:32 PM #7
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There's a gun shop in Carroll County who would know bestest. Contact Brad V. at Brownstone Trading Company for good info
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Old March 14th, 2018, 02:18 AM #8
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" Circa 1810-1840 " . While flintlocks have have been made continously since their invention , circa 1810 was the start of the Percusion Era . That time period saw not only most production shifting to percusion , but a boom business in converting existing flintlocks to percussion.

As noted , there are small shops who build well researched , completely authentic rifles . As you may know , back in the day civillian rifles were built one at a time, with variation between makers, locally popular styles , and customer requests ( as long as maker didn't think them stupid ).

I haven't followed pricing too closely since they're out of my price range, but off the top of my head , I want to say a range of $2k-10k .

Go to well stocked book store for a copy of Muzzleloader magazine . I will advertisment for such makers, and typically some reviews .

Added - These rifles are usually built to order , and only occasionally somthing ready to go .
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Old March 14th, 2018, 02:22 AM #9
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Track Of The Wolf sells guns, both reproductions and antiques. Some nice reproductions are currently listed but unfortunately no antique Flint rifles although a couple of pistols.
The antiques are in a separate section from the reproductions:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Category.aspx/485
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Old March 14th, 2018, 10:41 PM #10
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I just did some internet checking . Unless the OP is looking in the $30-60K range , some compromise on parameters is needed. Biggest point is percussion vs flintlock .

Checking on HistoricalArms dot com currently has mystery Ky style rifle for 1,600 range , Ky style, Va made implied provence to large family of semi-famous makers for 3,600 range , Ky style , Pa made , converted to percussion back in the day .

More selections of vintage rifle if including New England style, Germanic style , and late era "indian trade guns" .
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