17TH CENTURY SIGNED & DATED GERMAN WHEEL-LOCK RIFLE

$6,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 30-2243

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This is a very rare and very attractive piece. Being a wheel-lock rifle dated 1670 and signed “Georg Hoffman” on the top flat of the barrel.

The rifle is approximately 40” long overall with a 27.5” long octagonal barrel. Top facet is signed and dated “Georg Hoffman 1670” flanked by engraved scrollwork. A notched sight with a flip-up leaf and extended, raised foliate is morticed into the barrel at the breech end. A simple blade sight is at the muzzle surrounded by additional engraved scrollwork. Rifle is approximately .54 caliber, with eight groove rifling.

The complex lock is extensively engraved. The lock plate features dogs chasing a boar amid trees, the “dog” (jaws holding flint) is engraved with human head above a serpent. All springs, the pan cover, and smaller components are in some way finely detailed. Trigger, adjustment screw, and heavy trigger guard. All gun metal shares the same dark pewter color with scattered brown mottling. All components seem mechanically fine but it is unknown if the complete action works when the trigger is pulled. There is no key for this rifle.

The caved walnut stock is in overall wonderful condition. There is one closed crack (2”) along left side of fore stock. A 7” long patch-box is located directly behind the lock plate and runs back to the butt. Its fluted, sliding cover has a spring latch and is ornamented with horn and bone. A thin horn butt plate has integral “button” butt rest near top. There are matching horn details found on the stock, fore end cap, ramrod pipe, and ramrod tip. Complete wood ramrod also has metal end threaded for appendages.

The wheel-lock was the next major development in firearms technology after the matchlock and the first self-igniting firearm. Its name is from its rotating steel wheel to provide ignition. Developed in Europe around 1500, the advantages of the wheellock was better resistance to rain or damp conditions than the matchlock. The wheel-lock allowed sparks to be generated in any weather, and the priming pan was fitted with a cover that was not opened until the instant the gun was fired. The complexity of the mechanism, however, hindered the wheellock's widespread adoption. A highly skilled gunsmith was required to build the mechanism, and the variety of parts and complex design made it liable to malfunction if it was not carefully maintained. [jet] [ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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