Author Topic: Andrew Kopp rifle story  (Read 17041 times)

Offline smshea

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Re: Very sad Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2011, 11:05:36 PM »
I'll 3ed Mark Wheland!
Neat gun and a great buy.
 Is it me , or does it look as though that barrel was in a gun with a front lock bolt at some point? 

Kopp

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Re: Very sad Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2011, 11:33:31 PM »
I'll 3ed Mark Wheland!
Neat gun and a great buy.
 Is it me , or does it look as though that barrel was in a gun with a front lock bolt at some point? 
I'm assuming you're referring to the small groove on the bottom edge of the barrel in this photo?


I wonder if whoever added the sealed ignition also drilled out the front hole in the lock plate while it was on the gun:

and that might have created that groove.

Also, someone else pointed out that the sealed ignition added to the gun would have prevented the main spring from functioning.

Kopp

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Re: Very sad Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2011, 12:37:01 AM »
I thought some of you might enjoy the background on this rifle that I just learned today:

I went back to the gun shop today and asked them if they could contact the gentleman who had brought in this Andrew Kopp rifle. They were kind enough to call him and I had a very nice conversation with him about the history of this rifle.

Earl is 89 and lives in Johnstown. The rifle has been in his family since he was 9 years old, and the prior owners lived at the Spangler farm in Shanksville PA, near the current Flight 93 Memorial. Earl recalls being told that this rifle was brought to Somerset by the previous owners from Indiana County PA, and that it might have been manufactured around 1860. (Andrew Kopp retired from the trade in 1863.)

Earl always liked to tinker with stuff.

When he was 12, Earl took apart the rifle and tried to remove the breech plug, which was seized.

He couldn't get it apart, so he put the breech end of the barrel in his family's wood stove to heat it up, to see if that would let him free up the seized breech plug.

He didn't know the gun was loaded, and the gun fired off when it heated up. :o

Fortunately, no one was injured!

Earl subsequently worked as a machinist for US Steel in Johnstown PA starting in his teen years.

He machined the sealed ignition device in these photos when he was nineteen,  70 years ago:



He also ground off the surface of the hammer at that time, so it would contact the pin on the sealed ignition device:


He was never able to get the gun working, but the gun has been in his possession ever since, providing an 80 year history of the provenance of this particular Andrew Kopp rifle.

However, he was clearly very fond of this old rifle, and was very pleased that someone had bought it that would treasure it and have it restored.



« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:28:06 AM by Kopp »

Offline KLMoors

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Re: Very sad Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2011, 03:59:13 PM »
Wow great story! I'll bet he's glad that you have it now and can take care of it. Put it in the  woodstove and it went off!  :o

Offline Dale Campbell

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Re: Very sad Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2011, 03:57:26 PM »
I think it's time to take the word sad out of the title...
Best regards,
Dale

Kopp

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Re: Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2011, 07:54:19 AM »
When I picked up this rifle that started this thread, it came with what the prior owner described as the original powder horn. Judging by the wear, he may be right. He also found the two "original" bullet molds, both 38 caliber, which were passed down with this rifle, and brought them in to the local gun shop late last month. Here's a couple pictures. Can anyone tell me anything about this powder horn or the bullet molds? Thanks in advance!




Offline oakridge

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Re: Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2011, 07:00:26 PM »
Look like period accessories to me. Nothing fancy. One mold has a sprue cutter, the other doesn't. Moths got to the horn at some point.

Kopp

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Re: Andrew Kopp rifle story
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2011, 07:45:52 PM »
Look like period accessories to me. Nothing fancy. One mold has a sprue cutter, the other doesn't. Moths got to the horn at some point.

Thanks. The horn is actually worn paper thin where the holes are. Prior owner thought it was simply worn through from swinging on the belt at the side of the person carrying the gun.