Author Topic: Bogle Rifles  (Read 21019 times)

Offline tom patton

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2012, 03:59:36 AM »
Longcruise, the rifle pictured on American Historic Services and in the ALR Library, are the same rifle.  The only known, signed Jos. Bogle. 

I respectfully beg to differ.I bought three rifles from a family in East Tennessee.One of them was the Jos. Bogle rifle we are discussing here and another was a slightly later and lighter gun with a banana box. This gun went to Robin Hale and as I had done  he sent it to Allan Gutchess for reconversion. As I recall Allen called Robin and told him that he thought the banana box gun was faintly signed  Bogle in script.The third gun was a William Kellar rifle. Then there is the Bogle/Bull rifle made by Joseph Bogle the younger the nephew of the older Joseph Bogle using a John  Bull barrel and probably other salvaged mounts. This Bull barrel was dated 1816 which is later than the date Joseph the elder died.
I had a client {now deceased} who had a very nice rifle made in the same area in which  the Bogles and Kellars worked. It had the same nice forestock molding as is found on the Kellar rifles and at least the earlier Bogle rifle and very plain but nice architecture. It was signed in script A E B.I  could never associate these initials with the Bogle family.I probably ought to go make the heir an offer on that gun sometime.
I hope this helps
Tom Patton





Offline WElliott

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2012, 05:39:44 AM »
Tom, to your knowledge then, there is one early Jos. Bogle for sure (the signed one that you turned up) and, possibly, a later rifle with a banana box that Allen Gutchess thought bore Jos. Bogle signature?  Is that correct?  I agree with you that the Bogle/Bull rifle could not be by the elder Joseph.
Wayne Elliott

Offline tom patton

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2012, 07:19:05 PM »
Wayne,It has been a long time since I bought those rifles out of that Blount County house. I sold the banana box gun to Robin and we   {Robin and I} sent the Bogles to Alan Gutchess for reconversion to flint. As I recall Robin called me and said that Alan had called him and said that the banana box gun was faintly signed in script by Joseph {J ?} Bogle. Robin sold it to Jerry Noble who still has it.Both Robin and I always felt that the gun was made by Joseph the elder rather than his nephew Joseph the younger son of Andrew Bogle.At that time the only gun we could safely attribute to the younger Joseph Bogle was the Bogle/Bull rifle with a John Bull barrel dated 1816.We felt that the banana box gun was was a lot closer in architecture and overall feel to the gun in question here.I have never seen a signed rifle by Joseph the younger and I have thought that his shop and tools may have wound up going to William Kellar.As I said I know of a slim graceful rifle with fine lower forestock molding {a feature peculiar to the Bogles and Kellars}. That gun is signed in script,A E B but I cannot connect these initials to the Bogle family.For all of the above and the fact that both guns came from the same family I am inclined to believe that they were made by the same hand.Incidentally I once saw a document signed bt Joseph the elder about 1810+/- and the signature was extremely shaky indicating very poor health.
Tom Patton



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« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 03:36:13 PM by tom patton »

Number19

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2012, 07:14:37 AM »
...We will be having a special display "Fine Iron in Virginia" which will have some nice early iron mounted flintlocks from Virginia. Several of these rifles are shown in some of the Virginia books but most have not been displayed in recent years. There also will be another great display of Virginia Rifles...
Early iron mounted Virginia rifles are a particular interest to me. Unfortunately, being from the Houston area, I can't make these exhibits over in your part of the country. Has this exhibit taken place yet and is there a CD; or can you point me to other resources or publications?

Concerning the Bogle rifle, in other discussions I've had, the argument was made that this rifle was made in Tennessee. I find it likely that the rifle was made in Rockbridge County sometime between 1782 and 1784, for Robert McTeer, prior to, and in preparation for, his move to the western, Indian, territory. What are the latest thoughts on this subject? Thanks.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2012, 11:27:13 PM »
Dating early iron mounted guns is difficult because we don't have a lot of signed examples by documented makers in the 18th century for comparison, so this is just my opinion, but the lock and architecture on this gun seem a bit later than the early 1780s, and I think manufacture after Joseph Bogle moved to Tennessee is more likely. 

Guy


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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2012, 06:18:27 AM »
Thank you for your reply. I'm still new at this and still teaching myself to "look" at a rifle.

I see nothing about the architecture that would exclude a Virginia manufacture - except the lock. What else can you point me to?

Let me ask, also, what is a really good resource book, cost no object, to learn more about the locks, and their dates of manufacture & use, used on 18th century flintlocks?

The lock on the Bogle rifle bears a near identical resemblance to a John Bailes lock, although it is described as being marked as a Ketland. It certainly has the look of a quality British manufacture. Is it marked on the back side?

I need a good resource for the study of locks; as best as I could find on the internet, is this, on the Bailes lock: "...After about 1780 this improved style of lock is found on American guns, having been smuggled here from England in quantity."

The idea that the Bogle rifle is of Tennessee origin is certainly the more prevalent viewpoint. In fact, I don't recall anyone arguing for Virginia. But every time someone brings up a relevant point, such as the lock (and this is the first time I've looked into the lock, in depth) my research doesn't discount a Virginia origin. Bogle was in Rockbridge from 1782, after returning from the war, until, at least, 1784, when he may have left for Tennessee with McTeer. He had established himself sufficently in his new residence to marry Margaret Houston, cousin to General Sam Houston, on January 3, 1786, so a 1784 departure is quite probable. The Houstons were also quite a large clan in Rockbridge County and were probably part of the contingent which left for Tennessee in 1784, although it's possible the men could have gone ahead, first, to build the fort and then returned for the women. Margaret was 22 in 1786.

Unless some genealogical research turns up something, this question will probably never be answered. My argument is based, in part, on the fact that, before families migrated to new homes in the wilderness, experienced men such as Captain McTeer and gunmaker Joseph Bogle, who served together in the war, would have made sound preparations, one of which would have been to arm themselves with good rifles.

Another point which I considered is that brass was not manufactured in America until after 1800. In the 1782 to 1784 time frame, trade between the United States and England was just barely beginning to return to normal, and brass may have been in short supply in Rockbridge County, although Bogle did get his hands on a quality lock - possibly an earlier, smuggled lock.

In Gunsmiths of Virginia, p. 152, there is a rifle attributed to the Henry Spitzer shop which is remarkably similar to the Bogle rifle. But Spitzer did not arrive in Rockbridge County until 1795. What this means to me is that the architecture of this Rockbridge, or Valley, or Bogle, "school" was developed before Bogle left for Virginia, so it predates the "Golden Age" period. So, referring to your post of March 15th, I would surmise that the Bogle rifle is "pure" Virginia and without any Tennessee influence.

I have a question. If Bogle made this rifle in Tennessee, how prevalent was this superior quality British lock on the western frontier in the late 80's or early 90's? I have to ask this because I haven't studied Tennessee rifles at all. Referring to the post of Feb 20th, the lock on this rifle appears similar, but it is not. Look at the angle of the jaws in relation to the pan. The superior Bailes style lock has the jaws angled directly into the pan for faster and better ignition. The Spitzer gun seems to have this same superior quality lock.

Anyways, this is how my reasoning has evolved on this topic. Thanks for hearing (reading?) me out.

And thanks to Mr Glazener for the images you sent along to me.

George

Offline G-Man

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2012, 03:50:04 PM »
George - unfortunately I don't know of a good reference book on English lock styles and timeframes.  Gary Brumfield has some good information on his website.  I am not an expert, but I will offer this - unfortunately some of the catalogs and parts suppliers have confused the dating of locks a bit by lumping the period of usage all of these late English style locks into the same context.  Again, this is just from my observations so I am hoping others may be able to add more, but a lock styled like the one you see on the Bogle might have been in use by the 1780s on higher end English sporting guns, but they do not seem to be found on surviving examples of known and documented American rifles (documeted to makers, times and places) quite that early.  The concept that southern longrifles used the best quality English locks is also an area where the catalogs have muddied the water a bit, as often the export locks were somewhat stripped down versions of their higher end cousins - they were shaped like the better locks on the outside, but often less refined or detailed on the internals - unbridled tumblers, etc. even very late into the flint period.  Not always, but often.  So locks that "looked" like high grade English locks were fairly ubiquitous on southern longrifles from many areas in the post-1790 era - regardless of whehter they were made in Rockbridge County or deep in the mountains.   That is, I don't think the English style locks being imported and used east of the mountains were typically any better grade than the ones making their way down to the mountain area gunsmiths in the 1790s.

 I would love it if we find that the Bogle rifle or guns looking much like it were made in the early 1780s.  We have to keep in mind that perhaps this was not the rifle that McTeer carried to Tennessee in the 1780s.  I would suspect that McTeer already  knew, used and owned rifles and if it were me I would want to be carrying a weapon I was familiar with before heading out into the frontier.   So perhaps Bogle, or Davidson, or someone else had made him a different rifle earlier and that after getting to Tennessee  - 5 years or 10 years later he wanted or needed another and his old trusted gunmaker made him another after absorbing some local influence in his gunmaking style.  I do suspect that there are some iron mounted rifles out there that have been dated too late - especially since we really don't know how early some of the features currently viewed as "late" on Appalachian rifles - narrower curved butts, etc.  - were coming into favor.   When you start thinking about proportions and efficiency of use of materials, reducing the scale of the hardware and eliminating unnecessary features makes a lot of sense - especially in the early era before local iron production started to really take off in the southern Appalachians.   We know there were gunsmiths working in what is now east Tennessee 10-15 years before Bogle arrived so hopefully some of their products will come to light someday.  

With regard to architecture – I agree there is a lot of Rockbridge in the Bogle rifle – look at John Davidson’s work from the 1780-1800 era and you see strong similarities.  There is little in the architecture of the Bogle that is similar to the later Tennessee forms that you see  - but those examples generally are post-1820 and we really don’t have a good feel for whether or not there was even a definitive East Tennessee style that existed in the timeframe Bogle moved there, and thus I would suspect that a rifle made shortly after he arrived in Tennessee would tend to still follow the architectural style of where he worked prior.   In addition, Bogle worked a good distance south and west from the region we most strongly associate with “Tennessee” rifles – upper East Tennessee where the Beans were working by the early 1790s  - and in those days a few of those big Appalachian ridges in between could have meant a pretty significant degree of isolation.  So I guess I would not expect to see much of what we think of as a Tennessee style in Bogle’s work even if one existed at the time Bogle moved into what is now Tennessee.  

I do suspect that iron mounts were being made in the region in that timeframe and were probably a frequent local style choice south and west of Rockbridge and from the Carolina Piedmont westward – often driven by efficiency of production and efficient production may have been why a gunsmith in the deep backcountry would chose to use them.  However I agree we should not assume that their use on the Bogle rifle necessarily has anything to do with this being a Tennessee gun vs. a Virginia made gun. As early as the 1750s there are descriptions of Rockbridge gunmakers who were gunsmiths and blacksmiths and could easily have produced both types of rifles and I suspect even those casting brass mounts may have made forged iron masters for their casting molds.

Fun stuff to think about and I could be wrong on all this stuff, but it is just my opinion.  There are others on here who know much more about English locks and the Bogle rifle than me.

Guy
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:14:48 PM by G-Man »

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2012, 05:15:32 PM »
In an earlier post it was noted that the lock was reconverted. So we can't always go by what the lock looks like now. Many of the old guns we see have had their locks reconverted or replaced. Some, as this one were done well and some were not. So be careful on dating rifles by the lock you see now.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2012, 05:20:05 PM »
Following the logic that a rifle can't be earlier than the latest stylistic motif or component on it, the main feature that dates the Bogle rifle (pictured on the American Historical Services website) later than the early 1780's for me is the deep crescent buttplate and the narrow buttstock.  If it is from the early 1780's it is (to me) the earliest known rifle with that deep a crescent buttplate and that narrow a buttstock.  I know we like to be cautious when comparing rifles from different regions, but the majority of conservatively dated 1780's American rifles have a gently curved buttplate with a width of 1 and 3/4" to 1 and 7/8".  The deeply curved, narrow buttplate is generally a post-1800 phenomenon.  I'd be interested in seeing another rifle that is by consensus from the 1780's or 1790's with a similar buttplate.
Lacking that, if we date this rifle to the early 1780's I'd have to conclude that Bogle was way ahead of his time, and that buttplate style is not generally representative of rifles made then.  Nonetheless it's a terrific rifle with outstanding architecture.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 05:20:39 PM by rich pierce »
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline G-Man

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2012, 05:37:41 PM »
 I think perhaps we are confuisng which of the attributed Bogles' we are discssing with regard to reconversion(?)- perhaps Wayne can clarify - I have seen discussions about this rifle over the years that seem to imply (1) the lock was broken and the gun put up and and never converted to percussion, and other than being restored to working order it  never actually required reconversion OR  (2) other discussions that imply the lock was reconverted.  In conversations I have had with people familiar with the rifle at gunshows, I have thought that the first case was correct - that it was broken but never converted.  

Again, my thoughts could be all wrong  - maybe this gun is earlier and could jsut have had a very atypical lock for an American rifle of the early 1780s as well as an atypical butt width and sideplate design - but again we are talking about an American backcountry rifle-  not a London or Baltimore or Philadelphia pistol   - and I still suspect that it was made after Bogle got to Tennessee and post 1790.  Not necessarily much later than that - it would not surprise me for this to be an early 1790s rifle but it does not look like something I would expect to see from the early 1780s before his move to Tennessee.


Guy
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:45:57 PM by G-Man »

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2012, 07:45:52 PM »
Guy I was just reading what Tom had posted about the rifle. I will try to contact Alan and see if he remembers or not about the work he did. I am with you about the rifle being post 1790. I just remember Alan telling me to be careful about locks that are on rifles when looking at photo's. Because some have been replaced, some long ago and some have been reconverted. And you can't always tell in photo's like black and whites, small or poorly focused ones. I always try to date a rifle from other features.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2012, 08:12:00 PM »
Brian - you are absolutely right on the locks - there are an awful lot of of antique rifles out there that were reconverted with Siler parts, and likewise quite a few that were converted with incorrect antique parts - back in the day.  So often what we see has age and patina on it but sadly is not what was there originally.  Not necessarily inconsistent with what was likely on there originally  but  in some cases they are.  

That being said, I have always been under the impression that the Bogle rifle lock was original flint that had been broken and that was the likely reason it was well preserved. But I could have misunderstood.  

Guy
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:18:50 PM by G-Man »

Offline Collector

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2012, 10:02:18 PM »
As I recall, the lock on this rifle had a broken mainspring, a condition Tom Patton attributed to it's survival, in original, untouched condition. 

When Tom Patton introduced this longrifle, on this forum, he provided extensive information about it's location and it's condition, at the time of purchase.

That said, I don't believe that there are any mysteries surrounding or issues to be found with the lock on this piece.

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2012, 09:34:25 PM »
I just noticed this thread and thought I could clarify a couple of items.  Tom's memory of the Bogle situation is pretty much the same as mine.  I reconverted the spade finial rifle.  I have seen mention over the years that it is in "original" flintlock condition, but it is my work from the early 80's, based on the evidence left on the plate and a survey of English locks with similar plates.  (I would put a different cock on it today.)I do believe that it is the only lockplate that was ever in that gun, and I also believed it dated to around 1800-1810.  The quality was such that I thought maybe it had even been recycled from a better grade of English pistol or fowler.  It is not the typical export grade or style of lock more commonly used at that time.  While I had both rifles side by side, (the later one had a heavily rusted barrel), but I believed that the few engraving strokes visible at that time matched pretty much stroke for stroke with the Bogle signature on the earlier rifle.  I don't know if anyone has compared them that way in more recent years, but it is my 30 year old memory of the situation.  I may have archived away somewhere some pre-restoration photos of the guns.  If I do, I will try and confirm those thoughts.
Alan
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Offline crawdad

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2012, 06:54:02 PM »
So how many signed Joseph Bogle Jr. rifles do we have now, two or three?  
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 06:57:27 PM by crawdad »

Number19

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2012, 08:10:03 PM »
... I reconverted the spade finial rifle.  I have seen mention over the years that it is in "original" flintlock condition, but it is my work from the early 80's, based on the evidence left on the plate and a survey of English locks with similar plates.  (I would put a different cock on it today.)I do believe that it is the only lockplate that was ever in that gun, and I also believed it dated to around 1800-1810.  The quality was such that I thought maybe it had even been recycled from a better grade of English pistol or fowler.  It is not the typical export grade or style of lock more commonly used at that time...
Some great information in this thread. Would someone explain converting a flintlock to percussion and reconverting back to flintlock? Is the entire mechanism replaced, or is the original plate reused? Specifically, is the current plate on the Bogle thought to be original or is it a replacement? I interpret the text as implying the plate is original, but I don't want to be wrong on this. Thanks.

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2012, 08:47:40 AM »
19,
The lockplate in the spade finial Bogle had every appearance of being the only lock that had ever been in the gun.  I used the evidence on the plate, style, hole placement, ghost of pan shape, etc., and comparison to similar locks in their original flintlock condition, to reconvert that lockplate back to an approximation of its flintlock self.  In answer to your larger question, yes, many guns when converted to percussion simply had their entire lockplate replaced with a new percussion lock.  In cases like that, many guns are "restored" by either having an antique lock, either original flint, or a reconverted plate, used to replace the percussion lock, or even a completely new flintlock, often done with castings made from antique locks, used for the same purpose.  This was not the case with the spade finial Bogle.  Again, it has been roughly 30 years, but I believe that was the only lock that had ever been that Bogle.
Alan
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Offline B.Barker

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2012, 09:05:20 PM »
Thanks for the info Alan. Good seeing you a couple weeks ago also.
Brian

Offline Collector

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2012, 08:57:33 PM »
An original and complete flintlock matching (?) the one on the Bogle longrifle?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160838333883&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNA:US:1123

BTW, 3 hours to go at auction for interested parties.

Without dimensions it's hard to tell, but this lock looks very, very close to the one on the Bogle longrifle with the spade shaped patchbox.  It's stamped 'MASLIN WARRANTED' forward of the frizzen spring.

The cock appears to be original to this lock and may contribute to the comment made by Alan (RifleReseacher) on the current cock on the Bogle longrifle.









« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 09:01:26 PM by Collector »

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2012, 09:34:43 PM »
That lock looks post 1800 by a mile or two; I always thought the Maislin locks were 1820's and beyond.  In my eyes this one on ebay is not so similar to the lock on the Bogle rifle that interests me the most.  http://americanhistoricservices.com/html/jos_bogle.html 
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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2012, 09:58:06 PM »
Not researched and you're undoubtedly right about the dating of this lock.  I just viewed the overall shape of the plate, the tail, the pan and the frizzen as providing some indicators relative to the shape of the cock.  

This particular Maslin also has the front lock bolt hole filled and probably used only one lock bolt to secure it, definitely placing it at a later date.  mea maxima culpa.

And further to corrections to my previous postings on this topic: a.) the introduction of this piece was presented to ALR by Wayne T. Elliott and not Tom Patton and  b.) it was the sear that was broken and not the main spring, as previously noted.

My sincere apologies to Mr. Elliott and to the sear, as well.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 02:19:45 AM by Collector »

Offline JTR

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2012, 11:50:47 PM »
I think that Maslin lock might well be an old Dixie Gunworks reproduction.

John
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Offline WElliott

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Re: Bogle Rifles
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2012, 03:27:43 AM »
Several years ago when I was researching and writing an article for Gun Report on the early Jos. Bogle rifle (an excerpt from which article is referenced several times above), I relied in part on notes and oral history that were passed down to me.  Now, thanks to Alan's posting, it appears that the lock plate was original to the rifle, but that parts were added by Alan some 30 years ago.  All I can say is "well done" Alan.  I saw nothing in examining the rifle numerous times during the years it was in my collection that led me to doubt the information I had received.  I remain convinced that this rifle was made by Joseph Bogle (b. 1759, d. 1811 or 1814) after he moved into Tennessee, most likely during the early 1790s and that it was not made by his nephew, Joseph Bogle.  It is an important Southern rifle.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 03:29:55 AM by WElliott »
Wayne Elliott