Author Topic: Adam Ernst ... York- Adams Co. 090503-1  (Read 13501 times)

Offline nord

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Adam Ernst ... York- Adams Co. 090503-1
« on: May 04, 2009, 03:03:50 PM »
A nice example of Adam Ernst's work. The over all length of the rifle is 56.5 inches. The length of pull is 13.5 inches. the barrel is 41 inches long, full octagon, rifled with 7 grooves about .50 cal. The barrel is slightly tapered and flared measuring 1 & 1/32" at the beech. The butt drops 4 inches at the heel , is 4 & 1/2 inches high and  is1 & 5/8 inches wide. The rifle weighs slightly over 9 lbs. The Barrel is signed  "A + Ernst with the signature being faint and somewhat worn by cap corrosion. I am quite sure the rifle was originally flint but  have elected to leave it in it's current percussion converted state. The rifle remains in marvelous original condition although it has seen a lot of use ( see photo of entry pipe). The patch box release is in the toe plate, activated by pushing on the brass flap. I hope you enjoy viewing this fine York-Adams Co. Kentucky.

Owner's note:

The barrel was not shortened on this rifle as the staples on the underside of the barrel have never been moved and  there is no evidence on the stock that that the key holes or holes for the barrel keepers have been moved. Not all KY Rifles have a 42" barrel length minimum, and not all were shortened when converted to percussion.


Adam Earnst is, in my opinion, an underrated gunmaker. His best work is superb. This is a good example of his work. Perhaps a slighlty later patchbox, but a fine gun with his "trademark" extended train of relief carved "C" scrolls running underneath the cheekpiece. The condition appears well used but not abused, and all original, with no screaming signs of restoration. This is a very nice example of a fine maker's work. 
A really fine golden age Adams County rifle, to be sure. Given that it appears to have been converted to percussion in Bedford County, I would not change it back to flintlock, even though it almost surely was, when built. That the rifle has original finish can be seen around the carving where the shellac has reticulated. Carving is very fine over all though there is less of it, than on some of his other rifles. The patchbox design is very nice and engraving is better than on many of his rifles. His lines tended to be heavy much like Sell's work. This has finesse and works well with the design of the box. Wood is nice and in good condition. Barrel has probably been cut back some, but gun still has proportion.

Moon inlay is almost standard and is very good as is wrist inlay.
This is probably a rather late rifle by Ernst which would place it in the 1830s, most likely. He was not a very early maker, but was a really fine artisan.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 02:18:25 AM by rich pierce »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.