Through April 15, 2015, the NRA National Firearms Museum is hosting an exceptional exhibition of 20 fine flintlock and percussion rifles from the Kentucky Rifle Foundation. Among the Shenandoah Valley treasures represented are two c. 1800 flintlock rifles made by Christian Hoffman of Woodstock, Va., and Simon Lauck of Winchester, Va. (brass repair at wrist). Each of these .50-caliber long rifles features elaborately worked patch boxes, and on the cheek side of the carved stocks reside near-identical eight-pointed stars.
Christian Hoffman moved to Lancaster, Pa., in 1807, and Simon Lauck moved to Winchester in 1794 from Lebanon, Pa., so both gunsmiths would represent the Old Dominion of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in their firearm craftsmanship. It wasn’t until after the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 that a song was written that first named the long arms carried by volunteer militiamen as Kentucky rifles.
The National Firearms Museum at nra Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo., and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, with donations gratefully accepted. For more information, visit www.nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.