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Stolen in 1971 from Valley Forge SP, Revolutionary War rifle recovered

A rare Revolutionary War-era rifle stolen from a display case at Valley Forge State Park nearly 50 years ago has been returned to its rightful owners.

The five-foot-long rifle was made in 1775 by Johann Christian Oerter, a master gunsmith at the Moravian settlement of Christian’s Spring, near Nazareth, Pa. Only a few signed and dated rifles from that era survived, and Oerter’s work is considered among the finest. A similar Oerter rifle belongs to the British Royal Collection Trust.

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