Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Lancaster Rifle:

This was the most inexpensive type of rifle available.  The Lancaster Rifle was constructed with brass fittings and a very simple Kentucky style patch-box.  It was sometimes referred to as the "American Rifle" when fitted with single triggers and a straight butt.  Based on trade records, it was one of the most common types of rifles used in the Rocky Mountain region during the 1820's and 1830's.  Barrel lengths were often 40-44 inches and the total weight of the gun was about 10 pounds.  The most often reported barrel sizes range from 28 gauge to 45 gauge (For a Gauge-Caliber Conversion Chart).  The lighter gauges may have been produced primarily for trade with the Indians.  

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