Attributed by Dan Hartzler to David Hoff this rifle is a high quality rifle from Emmitsburg. He was obviously associated with John Armstrong; possibly an apprentice. His patchbox design, engraving style, forestock molding, and butt stock architecture all are similar to Armstrong’s; not quite the quality but very nicely done. The condition of the stock is very good; only a small sliver of wood missing along the forestock and an unusual crack on the cheek piece. . The crack is stable and could be fixed by a high level restorer. All mounts are original and in great condition as is the original finish on the stock. The silver half moon inlay on the cheekpiece is especially nice engraved with the “Man in the moon” face.
Relief carving with cross-hatching under the cheekpiece show this gunsmith to be very well-trained and accomplished especially for this later period. It’s possible David Hoff worked as a journeyman or employee gunsmith for years before establishing his own business. His work points to an earlier period. He moved to Thurmont, Maryland in his later years. The 41 inch rifled barrel is about .40 cal. and is a period replacement.
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