About Us

The Kentucky Rifle Association is dedicated to the heritage of the Kentucky Rifle. 

Researchers generally agree that the Kentucky rifle was born in Pennsylvania. Why, then, is the gun called the “Kentucky” rifle? Why is the Kentucky Rifle Association bent on keeping things that way? The term “Kentucky Rifle” first appeared, in print, in a victory song soon after the American defeat of the British in the Battle of New Orleans. In the song reference was made to “The Kentucky men and their Kentucky rifles.” The rifle was used almost exclusively in that battle by the militia from Kentucky and Tennessee under Andrew Jackson. The name therefore, goes back over 150 years. It was born in battle, honorably, and in defense of our young and struggling nation – the United States of America. Forged in the heat of battle, the name is covered with glory. This should be enough! But there is more. The name, through long association, conjures up a mental image of the rifle. Say “Kentucky rifle” and people know what you are talking about. Say anything else and you have to explain! The Kentucky Rifle Association believes that this important and romantic piece of American history is properly named. Early in the Association’s life, therefore, the preservation and perpetuation of the name “Kentucky rifle” was adopted as one of its objectives.

What is the KRA?

The Kentucky Rifle Association is a permanent international organization that promotes friendship for those interested in the collection and preservation of the art and history of antique Kentucky Rifles, Pistols, Horns, and Accoutrements. At our annual meeting and show, we encourage educational displays and talks by our knowledgable members and encourage publication of related material through our Kentucky Rifle Foundation.

The Kentucky Rifle today has been recognized by major museums world over as an important form of early American art, highly prized by those fortunate enough to be able to study remaining examples. This rifle was born and developed in America over two hundred years ago to provide food for the table, sport for the settlers, and defense of their families and country when necessary. This rifle, though created as a tool for peaceful usage, played a major role in the French and Indian War, our American Revolution, and the War of 1812.

Not only is the American Longrifle a significant historical artifact, it is also one of the finest forms of pure American art ever produced by this country.”
– Joe Kindig II