There’s a map of Pittsylvania County engraved in the rifle’s wooden stock. There’s also the county seal. And an image of county namesake William Pitt, too.
A small Colorado gun company, Rocky Mountain Firearms, is building 50 limited edition rifles featuring Pittsylvania County to commemorate the locality’s 250th anniversary, which is this year.
To start the project, the company reached out to the Pittsylvania County Historical Society to make sure the designs were accurate and to help get out the word about the rifles.
“We’ve been emailing back and forth for a few weeks working on the different designs to go on the rifles,” historical society member Langhorne Jones said.
He jumped at the chance to work with the gun company.
Sharing the enthusiasm is Rocky Mountain Firearms owner Brian Nesby, who initially sought out the historical society because of the area’s history.
“Most of the states out here have just had their centennials,” Nesby said, noting that he is originally from South Dakota. “There’s so much history out there that it’s just pretty exciting.”
Some of the proceeds from the rifles will go to the historical society.
“They contacted us and made us an offer,” Jones said.
Another member of the Pittsylvania Historical Society, Dianne McMahon, said that as a lover of both history and firearms, she loved the entire idea.
“I might just buy one,” McMahon said.
Working with groups in areas represented on Nesby’s rifles is regular part of his company’s business model.
“We like to come into the area and work with nonprofit organizations so that we can leave some of the money there,” Nesby said.
Nesby plans to make two different styles of rifle — a blued standard rifle and a gold colored rifle. He will make 25 copies of each. The blued rifle will sell for $695, and the gold colored one will sell for $850.
“We use the Henry rifles because they’re western-style, which gets us closer to the time frame of a lot of the history we use,” Nesby said.
The rifles are also 100 percent made, manufactured and assembled in the United States, Nesby said.
“These lever-action rifles have a lot more engraving space, which allows us to get a lot more of the county history on the rifles,” Nesby said.
Among the symbols engraved on the wood parts of the rifle are the 250th anniversary logo, a map of Pittsylvania County with the towns marked on it, the Callands Clerks Office and an individual gun number.
The purchase of a blued rifle will bring a donation of $10 to the historical society, and a golden rifle will bring a donation of $25 to the society.
“We will be using the proceeds to promote and work on our new museum that we’re trying to get underway,” Jones said.