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Author Topic: Hatfield  (Read 4971 times)
loco219
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« on: February 22, 2011, 03:12:20 PM »

What was the general quality of the first Hatfield reproductions? I have a chance to take one in trade, but have no experience with them. It sure looks like an L&R lock, but I am not sure.
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D. Buck Stopshere
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Posts: 32


« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 07:52:59 PM »

The real early Hatfields had, I believe, American parts, but as time went on, and Hatfield rifles became more popular, Ted Hatfield, concerned about slow delivery on barrels and locks, started a lasting relationship with Davide Pedersoli sometime in the '80's. At that point, the only thing that was "Uniquely American" (As headlined in the Hatfield Brochure) was the wood, and the labor. Shocked Shocked

The locks seemed oversize in relation to the stock and the barrels had a breechplug that was longer than a standard breechplug. My guess is that design was an anti-lawsuit answer, My store was one the larger Hatfield dealers next to Log Cabin Shop in Ohio. We discovered this breechplug design when we tried to remove the breechplug and in doing so, sheared off half of the vent liner.

Pedersoli barrels had (and probably still do) the breech plug hollowed out like an antechamber. The flintlock vent liner and the caplock drum were threaded into the side of the breechplug very close in position to the rear of the antechamber. A .22 caliber bore brush was essential in removing fouling in the antechamber.

We discovered when we removed the barrel screws ( there were no barrel pins) and removed the barrel from the stock, one could see Italian Proof Marks on the bottom or next flat to the bottom. I called Oz at Log Cabin to let him know, and he said the proof marks had been filed off their barrels. Sneaky folks at Hatfield.

I hope yours in a very early Hatfield. They would have been made probably in the early to mid '70's to have American parts. I don't recall when L&R began production.

If you look at the current Blue Ridge Hunter from Pedersoli you will see the "Italian Hatfield."

Hope this helps,

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"Work With What You've Got".
Hawken62_flint
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Nothing like it, 'cept more of it !


« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 12:15:57 PM »

My understanding was that the original rifles built as Hatfields had really nice curly maple wood, as it came out of Pennsylvania (I believe).  And an earlier post was I believe correct in that they were all American parts, possibly using Sharon or Montana barrels.  Someone with more Hatfield knowledge can correct me if I am talking out of the wrong side of my mouth.
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Nate McKenzie
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Luzerne Co. PA


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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 03:11:15 PM »

I have worked on several for people. I always found them muzzle heavy and not authentically made. Also not the best sparkers and very prone to misfires due to the funky little chamber in the breech plug. This most be kept spotlessly clean because any residue in it tends to harden and plug it up. I really do like the general outline of the rifle though. 
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loco219
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 04:16:34 PM »

I think my mind is made up on this one, I am gonna pass on the trade. Thanks to all for the info.
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Macon Due
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 09:30:05 PM »

I  bought one from Ted at his rifle works sometime in 1980 at St.Joseph,Mo. It was numbered in the low to mid 100 range. I watched his smith [named Denny, I believe] work on my rifle. It was a Poor sparker......but beautiful wood and finish. I had the 13/16" barrel in .45 cal. and it was Not muzzle heavy, felt light and gracefull. I sorta thought Ted mentioned the barrels being Green River? The price continued to increase over time  then all the sudden after a few years the rifles were back down to their original prices again. I was at Hatfields and strolled across the street to Teds rifle works to  shoot the bull, but no one was around so I just hung out for a bit. I noticed several stocks on his duplicator and a crate sitting on the floor. The crate was maked Italy.....naturally I lifted the lid for a look and lo and behold.........barrels and metal parts for flintlocks inside! Mystery of  price reduction solved. They were pretty looking rifles.
macon
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J.D.
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Retired in the MO Ozarks


« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 11:23:03 PM »

Hatfield rifles were pretty popular in MO, during Ted's production in St. Joe. Going from memory, the early production with 3 digit serial numbers were pretty decent guns, all in all. Later production runs were lower quality, with some that would not spark, others that would not shoot accurately, and even others that wouldn't do either. The worst seemed to be in the last production run.

IMHO, you did good to pass, depending on the price. IMHO, a first generation Hatfield might be a good deal, if the price was right, but Later production runs....?

God bless
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Gary
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 03:44:43 PM »

Since the breechplug is lengthened, shouldn't it be easy to tell an American hand-made Hatfield from an Italian Perdesoli import?  The lock would be slightly forward so that the pan could be aligned with the vent hole?  Thus, the lock just wouldn't look right in the right place as compared to a normal one with a 1/2" breechplug rifle.
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bob in the woods
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 08:16:55 PM »

About 20 years ago, I sent off for a Hatfield brochure, based on their ads in the various muzzleloading magazines . They looked like pretty nice rifles, but I passed, and bought my first kit instead from TVM.
That kit from Jack Garner was a way better deal and I was happy with the rifle.  Much more than some of the friends I had who bought the Hatfield.  S.I.R. in Winnipeg handles them.
The brochure showed a really nice Hawken style, what they called a mountain rifle. It was stunning.
I never saw one in the flesh, but often thought that I should have ordered one.
Does anyone know someone who has one?  Or know of them?  I don't believe that they ever made very many.
Anyway, the Hatfield flintlock longrifles were around $1000. Canadian at the time. 
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D. Buck Stopshere
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Posts: 32


« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 07:20:08 PM »

Bob,

You took the right (correct) path in choosing a TVM rifle from Jack Garner. Way better rifle & ALL AMERICAN parts; reliable, good back-up from the shop. After the demise of the Hatfield Company, anther company tried to resurrect the company, but with a new name, Upper Missouri something-or-other. Not to be confused with "Doc" Carlson's fine establishment, Upper Missouri Trading Post.

They lasted about two years, I think (Correct Me, if longer) before going belly-up. Then, another company arose call Austin & Halleck. They brought out a traditional half-stock rifle, but I don't think it was a "Hawken" design. I think it was call a "Mountain Rifle". They also brought a couple of inline rifle designs to balance the business. Think A & H went under a few years ago.

I have seen a couple of A & H Mountain Rifle come up for sale on the www.muzzleloadingforum.com classified section for sale in the past month. There is one now on page 3 of the classified section posted by "Smoky289, highlighted in pink(?). Still for sale, but got a couple of folks wanting to trade.

The price on the Hatfield sounds about right. I think when we switched from Hatfields to Jack Garner the price for a Grade 3 stocked rifle was $700-750 American. I think Hatfield spent more on slick advertising and less on quality of construction.

Matt & Toni Avance have the helm now at TVM (Tenn Valley Muzzleloading). Jack still has his operation, TVM (Tenn Valley Manufacturing). Confused yet?

I wouldn't want to wish anyone a Hatfield now, unless they're going to put it over the proverbial mantle for people to marvel at. However, I'll buy any used TVM rifle with Jack's name or Matt's name on the barrel in a heartbeat if the price is right.

I just bought a like-new TVM rifle last month. I sold it for $600 ten years ago. Bought it back for $750 last month, and  sold it for $1000. Everybody was happy with that deal.

Gary

Its hard for me to explain, not be a machinist or gunsmith. Others may have to pitch in. Look at Nate McKenzie's post, reply#3. He was aware of the  breechplug design.

"Picture" a breechplug with a thread-length of 1", instead of 1/2" long. Then, looking at the breechplug from the right profile view, drill a hole into the side of the breechplug threads for the vent liner to be installed.

Bear in mind that a hole has been drilled from the center of the breechplug face all the way down to the position of the vent liner. This hole is about the size of a .22 caliber bore brush, which is how we instructed customers to remove the fouling, when the gun failed to fire.

This how we found out about the design of the breechplug, when we tried to remove one from a Hatfield barrel, and ended up shearing off half (the length) of the vent liner. At that time (no one at Hatfield told us),
the correct procedure would have been to remove the vent liner first, THEN the breechplug.

So, outwardly, the lock position will be the same.

Sorry, have no photographs to replace these "thousand words".

Hope this helps.

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"Work With What You've Got".
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