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Museum Minute: An American Rifle

One of the most “American” firearms is the American Rifle. However, most people generally refer to it as the Penn Rifle or the Kentucky Rifle. That’s according to Danny Michael, the assistant curator at the Cody Firearms Museum.

Michael said this specific style emerged from gunsmiths adopting German Jager Rifles to a more American style.

“They lengthened the barrel, they reduced the caliber and made them a little light for hunting and targeting shooting,” said Michael.

The American long rifles were often inlayed with brass or silver and usually featured ornate embellishment on both sides of the stock. However, Michael said the museum has one rifle with an unusual embellishment.  

“This one for whatever reason decided to make a figure of a lady on his rifle so it's a very personalized rifle and a very unique rifle,” said Michael.

The more common embellishments were of animals or patriotic images like that of an eagle.

In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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