The Southern Belle American longrifles have a history that predates the United States. It is one rooted in European tradition. Initially made in Europe, American settlers adapted these rifles to suit their needs on the frontier of North America.
During the 18th century, German families immigrated to eastern Pennsylvania. Many of them were gunmakers. When they came to America, they adapted the German Jager Rifle into the American longrifle. You may have also heard the terms Pennsylvania and Kentucky longrifles – a reference to regional production.
These rifles differed from their European counterparts. Two distinct changes included: reduction of caliber, which made loading easier and extension of barrels to provide more grip for the rifling. Loading was also facilitated through the use of greased patches. These patches initially were sealed in a cavity with a sliding wooden door in the buttstock. In America that was replaced by an embellished hinged brass lid. In addition to this added embellishment, Americans intricately carved their stocks.
This particular longrifle was made in Macon, Georgia and is affectionately called the Southern Belle. It is .36 caliber and has seven-groove rifling. Note while the stock is not carved, it takes embellishment to another level with a metallic figure of a right proper southern lady.