Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

James Stapleton was a gunsmith in Todd Township, Huntingdon County in the mid and late 1800s. I grew up in Huntingdon Co. near Marklesburg, have many family members in the area, and I may very well be a descendent of Mr. Stapleton (my grandfather was a Stapleton). I have the Track of the Wolf book discussing gunmakers of Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon Counties that has picutres of Mr. Stapleton's home, shop and several of his guns. I would really appreciate the opportunity to see his guns in person and hope that a historical society or other public collection might have one - has anyone seen any of his guns in western or central PA? A true dream would certainly be to own one some day, but I would even settle for a few photographs and possibly have someone build me a replica made in his style someday. I know its a longshot, but please let me know if you have run across any of his guns, or if you know anything about him.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 12:06 AM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

Berks County Historical Society currently has an exibit on Pa Longrifles. I think they have 50 some rifles on display, but I am not sure if they are all made in Berks county or not. Would not hurt to contact them. Also there is the Jacobsburg Historical Society they house the PA Longrifle Museum in Nazareth PA send them an email at [email protected] or 610 262-8171 they would be able to steer you in the right direction

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 06:29 AM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

The Berks Historical Display if entirely Berks area guns. (And I am a descendent of the Angstadts (gun maker family) Over the years Muzzle Blasts has run dozens perhaps hundreds of articles about the various original gun smiths, usually with some fair quality black and white pictures. If there was such an article, perhaps the NMLRA can tell you what month and year and tell you how to get a copy. If a gun is in a private collection,folks are usually mum about the whereabouts, don't want to be robbed. when I was a kid about 10 yrs old, my dad took me to visit a guy that had at least 20 originals hanging on his walls. No idea who that was. The guy did have special display cases and I remember how he was fussy about special lighting and it was also the first time I visited a home that had airconditioning.

The Kindig collection had been in private hands in York. He probably had two of nearly every gun maker. No idea how to contact who ever had what's left of Kindig's collection. There are some better authors who put out books with pictures about various guns and styles.

There are some better premium very expensive books with special color plates of guns. It would be nice if there was a central index of all the reports and writings about the guns. I can tell you that some of these authors know who had what gun when and where they have ended up. Sort of an unwritten net work.

Of course there are still guns that haven't been catelogued and written about that surface from estates and family farms etc. Although it is getting rarer. In fact I have two rather plain original guns that I figure are from around the 1830'sor 1840's that I am going to haul up to Dixon for a consult about possible origins and makers or at least a lead on an expert to look at them.

There is a column every month in Muzzle Blasts that answers questions about makers. The authors may be able to give you leads about what books have write ups & where such a gun may be on exhibition.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 06:40 AM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

Ok bud you may be in luck, a quick Google indicates that Muzzle Blasts had an article about a James Stapleton gun on page 62 in November 2002

Notable Antique Guns
William and Hugh Calderwood, September 2002, p. 35.
Joseph Mills, Jr., October 2002, p. 62.
James Stapleton, November 2002, p. 62.
John Hills, December 2002, p. 62.
Melchior Fordney, Sr., February 2003, p. 58.
Andrew Figthorn, April 2003, p. 60

Call the NMLRA and ask how to get a DVD or print copy. of the article.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 01:47 PM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

you may also want to check out the american longrifle forums a lot of info on those boards

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 12:43 AM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

You really need to meet up with or become a KRA (Kentucky Rifle Assoc.) member. We are the oldest longrifle collecting group in the country. Here is the web address:
http://www.kentuckyrifleassociation.org/index.html
If you want to see the best of the best PA Rifle collections then you want to join this group. I have seen two Stapelton rifles at the annual show. It is always in June and has recently moved to the Pittsburgh area.

Good luck

GBJ
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 12:47 AM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

How come it's not called the "Pennsylvania Rifle Assoc."?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 12:10 PM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

In 1924, Cpt. John Dillon, the first author of any significant book on the rifles, called them the "Kentucky" rifle after the guns that Andy Jackson's Kentucky Riflemen carried to fight the British in the War of 1812.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 02:32 PM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

On 21 Feb., Huntingdon County Historical Society will be presenting a display of Huntingdon County Longrifles. Included will be my collection of Stapleton rifles

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 02:33 PM
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Re: Have you seen a flintlock made by James Stapleton?

Denny Donharl
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