Indiana Prepared to Name Grouseland Rifle the State Gun

After Tuesday’s 78-2 approval from the Indiana House of Representatives, the State of Indiana needs only Gov. Mitch Daniels’ signature to establish the Grouseland Rifle as the state firearm.

The Grouseland Rifle is part of a collection that is displayed at President William Henry Harrison’s Vincennes home, also named Grouseland, and is one of six long rifles remaining that was made between 1803 and 1812 by the famous Indiana gunsmith John Small. Small had many different titles, which includes tavern-keeper, fairy operator, surveyor, territorial legislator, artist and adjutant-general of the territorial militia.

At the time, Small was commissioned by Harrison, who was then the governor of Indiana, to design the seal of the Indiana Territory, which is still used as the state seal today.

Of the six rifles made by Small, there is one was owned by explorer William Clark and is currently on display at the Missouri Historical Society, the Indiana State museum currently houses two of Small’s rifles and the only Small pistol known to exist, and another rifle was recently sold at auction for $184,000.

The Grouseland Rifle was originally a flintlock rifle but was later converted to a percussion cap. It measures 61.5-inches long and was made out of tiger maple with silver and brass inlays, which include a United States emblem engraved into a round, silver medallion and the angel Gabriel opposite the medallion on the brass patch box.

With Gov. Daniels’ approval the Grouseland Rifle will join the Peacemaker of Arizona and the Browning M1911 of Utah as a state firearm.

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