So far as historians have been able to uncover, Asa Story began making underhammer arms at the outset of the percussion era. Apprenticed to him was another noted
Hilliard made some minor changes to the lockwork and the hammer of the
Our thanks to Steve Philippy for sharing with us these great photos of his recently acquired Hilliard target rifle. While this specimen is missing the trigger guard, it does sport double set triggers and a sear engagement screw in the sear notch of the hammer. These features, combined with it's three-sight system, definitely brand it as a high-grade rifle.
Steve said he found a triggerguard which has since been installed. According to Steve, there are no provisions for attaching a forearm which is not uncommon among early underhammer rifles. In fact, most early underhammer pistols and even some rifles didn’t wear ramrods either!
According to measurement, the bore diameter indicates the barrel is .54 caliber, which seems to indicate that it may have been a dual-purpose rifle intended for filling the larder as well as for showing off one's shooting prowess at the range. We may never know for sure.
Thanks, again, Steve, for your contribution.