by National Firearms Museum - Thursday, December 8, 2016
The NRA celebrates the spirit of the holiday season in our 12 Days of Firearms series! To kick off the month of December, we’ve handpicked 12 legendary firearms found in the galleries of the NRA Museums, showcasing one each day for 12 days.
This gun is something you seldom see: a left-handed flintlock rifle. While it isn't uncommon to see modern guns that cater to southpaws, it wasn't common practice when this .50 caliber muzzleloader was made in the 18th century.
In addition to the beautiful striped wood on this gun, it also features an ornate brass patchbox that takes the shape of a horse's head. The lockplate features the name "J. Cooper," but his exact identity is unknown.
Historians are in general agreement that Lancaster cradled the Pennsylvania gunmaking industry, and that in Lancaster County the long rifle first evolved from its rather clumsy European progenitor to the graceful and unique American Kentucky rifle.
For more photos and information about the J. Cooper Left handed Pennsylvania Kentucky Flintlock Rifle, visit http://www.nramuseum.org/guns/the-galleries/a-prospering-new-republic-1780-to-1860/case-8-romance-of-the-long-rifle/j-cooper-left-handed-pennsylvania-kentucky-flintlock-rifle.aspx.