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Author Topic: Jamestown Rifle  (Read 1779 times)
posum
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« on: March 27, 2012, 08:12:12 AM »

On a recent trip to VA. I found an old rifle that I think is a Jamestown rifle made by Thomas Fletcher Merritt as TFM is on the barrel and having compared it to a new book from the high point library on N.C. longrifles. I would like to know if someone could help in positive id and dating and information and how to conserve it.I am trying to figure out how to post pic's. As soon as I can I'll put some up.

Below are the photos







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G-Man
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 10:12:34 AM »

Nice rifle. 

I recommend you contact Michael Briggs or Bill Ivey - they are ALR members and both post occasionally on here, and are experts on the topic.

Guy
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vtbuck223
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 10:27:35 AM »

Hi...if you really want to conserve it....send it to me....I will take really good care of it. Grin  But seriously....if you want to conserve it try not to balance it precariously on your bathroom sink when you take pictures. That is a really beautiful rifle. Is there an inlay in the brass buttplate?...I know I have never seen that before. Thanks for posting it.
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posum
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 10:44:58 AM »

It was the best light at the time and there was a paper sticker on the but plate that I haven't removed yet.
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mbriggs
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 11:24:49 AM »

Posum,
Congratulations on finding your Thomas Fletcher Merritt Longrifle.  I think it looks great as is.  The only thing I can see that is missing is the side plate. Please send me an email if you want it replaced and I will tell you who to go to for that.

Thomas Fletcher Merritt has long been one of my favorite gunsmiths. He worked in the late flint and early percussion period.  His gun shop was located about 200 yards from Hickory Grove Methodist Church near present day Wendover Ave.

I went all the way to Ann Arbor Michigan to purchase one of his Longrifles that is now featured in Bill Ivey's book. It hangs in my office and I still study it often.

Welcome to this website and to collecting Longrifles.  If you are interested in learning more there is a local collecting group called the Historical Arms Collectors of the Southeast. The next meeting is Saturday May 12th from 8:30 to 1:00 P.M. at the Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Blvd. in Salisbury, North Carolina. This is a good chance to meet other local collectors and see a lot of North Carolina Longrifles.

Michael

 

    
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C. Michael Briggs
posum
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 11:39:22 AM »

Thank's I'll try to come to the meeting . I do want to do some conserving work by an expert as this rifle has some condition issues. I sent you an email also.
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JTR
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 11:48:20 AM »

What a great find!

So did you know about the gun, or were you just out and about, and found it in an antique store?

John
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John Robbins
posum
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 01:20:31 PM »

Since I had just last month gone to the High Point Mueseum I had a pretty good idea that it was a nc rifle but not much more and the person who had it didn't know that as I told him my thought's. I'm just glad he let me get it
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Fullstock longrifle
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 02:00:56 PM »

Nice rifle and an excellent find, congratulations.

Frank
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mr. no gold
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 02:36:23 PM »

Great find, and a flintlock, at that. Thank you for showing it here; you will find quite a number of enthusiastic onlookers. You might want to take Michael up on his offer to get that sideplate replaced, but beyond that, a good coat of protective wax and she is ready for another century of providing enjoyment.
Thanks again.
Dick
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wildcatter
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WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 08:41:11 PM »

Great find and a fine rifle indeed.  What part of VA did you locate the rifle? Hopefully a great story comes with the rifle, good luck on the restoration, in my opinion well worth whatever the price to get fixed. Good Luck with it and thanks for posting pictures.

Matt
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You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.
posum
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2012, 01:24:48 PM »

Does anyone know what the vI stamped behind the rear sight on the top flat of the barrel signifies?
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mr. no gold
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2012, 02:50:46 PM »

I was told that it refers to the bullet mould size. You can contact Michael Briggs to confirm that or set the story straight. He is pretty much the authority on this school of gun making.
Dick
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posum
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2012, 03:35:23 PM »

Thank's Dick, I am going to try to see him next week. But if that's a 6 or a 51 it doesn't make since. The bore is around .38 cal. I haven't checked it with my calipers yet but I will.
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mbriggs
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2012, 03:36:43 PM »

Dick is correct.  The bullet mold that was sold with that rifle when new would have had the same VI stamped on the top flat of the mold.  I have five Jamestown rifles that I have purchased that came with the original bullet mold. Four of them have a number stamped on the top flat that matches the number on the barrel.  I also have a bullet mold from Obed M. Dixon with his named "O.M. Dixon" stamped on mold, same as on the barrel.  It is the only mold I have seen that is signed but I expect there are more out there.


Here are some examples.









Here is the O.M. Dixon bullet mold



I hope that helps.


Michael
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C. Michael Briggs
mr. no gold
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2012, 04:31:03 PM »

Giving credit where it's due, I now remember that it was Michael who told me that. I have a Jamestown gun that has a VII. I think that when I phoned him to buy his book set, we discussed my gun which has only that similar curious marking, (it is not signed).
Posum, let me suggest that you purchase his three book set on Jamestown guns at your earliest convenience. It will tell you everything you could imagine and beyond about these guns and the people making them. There is one on horns that is the guide on what to look for and what makes a horn an NC piece. Thanks to all!
Dick
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posum
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2012, 07:47:46 AM »

That helps alot, but was there a calibre designation such as VI - .36 cal, VII-.38 cal, VIII-.40 cal based on having his cherrie size's numbered? And where can I find your book's that Dick mentioned?
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Dennis Glazener
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2005 Transylvania County NC Heritage Day Event


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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2012, 09:36:26 AM »

Quote
And where can I find your book's that Dick mentioned?
Michael offers them for sale, I am sure he will have copies available when you see him next week.
Dennis
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mbriggs
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2012, 10:03:56 AM »

From my experience I believe that each gunsmith used his own numbering system. Most Jamestown School gunsmiths used Roman Numerals, Anderson Lamb and William Lamb mostly used arabic numbers.  Some Jamestown Rifles have numbers, some don't.

The number one lesson I have learned is when discussing the Jamestown School, don't ever use the words "always" or "never". (laughs)  If you do, you will later be proved wrong.

Michael
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C. Michael Briggs
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