CAPTAIN HAPGOOD Made MASSACHUSETTS Long Rifle GUNSMITH SOLDIER POLITICIAN
Made Circa the 1840s in SHREWSBURY, MASSACHUSETTS
Here we present an antique Half-Stock Long Rifle, made circa the 1840s by Joab Hapgood (1804-1890).
Joab had an interest in gunsmithing at a very early age. He apprenticed under Silas Allen, Jr. for 5 years before starting off on his own at the age of 21. Joab’s gun store in Shrewsbury, MA was called “J. Hapgood Gun Store”. His business grew and became quite successful. He ended up having had many journeyman and apprentices of his own. Joab moved his business from Shrewsbury to Boston in 1847, thus giving us an early Hapgood rifle! The barrel on this rifle is marked “J. Hapgood/Shrewsbury” on the top.
Joab Hapgood later became known as “Capt. Joab Hapgood” and fought in the Civil War. It is speculated he even participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Joab was also more than just a solider as he held many political offices and was a well-known inventor. He was an elected official in Worchester County holding positions such as Selectman, Moderator, Clerk, and Assessor. Joab also invented a special plow for planting trees and new ways to cut out the grooves in barrels. Many gunsmiths at the time adopted his methods.
In 1864 Joab sold the business and returned to Shrewsbury until the date of his death in 1890. Hapgood muskets and rifles tell us stories of a warrior, politician, family man, entrepreneur, and inventor. Mr. Hapgood has left quite the legacy indeed!
This is a superior long rifle with a long, octagonal barrel with a .42 caliber bore, equipped with open rifle sights. Trimmed in brass, the patchbox is of a unique style with a spire-shaped finial and engraved around the edges. The wrist of the stock is checkered with broad diamonds. Modest but nice engravings on the lock and the butt plate as well. The lock reads “JAMES/GOULCHER”. The top of the barrel is marked “J HAPGOOD/SHREWSBURY”.
The overall condition is near fine. The bore is sharply rifled and in great shape. The action is strong. The markings are clear. A fabulous piece of American history from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 40-5/8 inches.
Caliber: .42 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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