Author Topic: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?  (Read 15446 times)

Offline Hoot AL

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Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« on: February 20, 2009, 09:16:39 AM »
I have a Golden Age Bethlehem rifle. Does anyone recognize the maker of this rife? Originally this was a flintlock they later converted to a mule ear.

http://

http://





Thanks,
Hoot AL
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 07:20:51 AM by Hoot AL »

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 09:19:33 AM »
Not unless you post some photographs. Would like to see it. A lot of makers up in that area didn't always sign their work. Maybe your rifle has enough traits to hazard a guess.
Dick

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 03:40:52 PM »
That very much looks like an upper Susquehanna gun.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline B Shipman

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 07:45:01 AM »
There's nothing Bethlehem about that rifle. Very Snyder- Union Co.  The recent CLA Lewisburg show is right in this area.

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 09:14:53 AM »
The Roman nosed comb on the stock, along with the under cut belly is very much styled along the lines of the Rupp vintage, except for the thin stock and the stylish patchbox.  For this reason I thought it was from the Bethlehem School.

It is similar to a Samuel Baum, Susquehanna rifle.  However, it is not as fancy a rifle as his.  There are no initials on the top flat of the rifle either. Charles Baum made a mule eared rifle. The rifle I'm working with was originally a flintlock that was later converted to a mule eared rifle. You can tell this by the feather holder on the cheek.

http://web.mac.com/kettenburgs/iWeb/Site%203/Samuel%20Baum.html
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 09:36:11 AM by Hoot AL »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 03:55:52 PM »
Thanks for referencing that article - I appreciate it, although there are some errors that have since come to light which I haven;t had a chance to fix yet.  I spoke with a direct descendant of Samuel Baum(s) who had some additional information - documented - which I need to include.  Like to see some more pics - never heard of a flint being converted to a mule ear, sounds interesting.  Although, many of these up the river rifles which I have seen were built as original percussion using reconverted old flint plates right from the start.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

PINYONE

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 02:35:07 AM »
Hey Hoot Al- rifle has nothing to do with Rupp- or Snyder C0. Looked through some of my old KRA News Letters and in my opinion it was made by Jacob Albright, there is one there published just like it, except there is some carving, the rest falls in line with engraving and similar hardware enough that my money is J. Albright. The Great Pinyone

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 01:42:32 AM »
Thanks about Mr. Albright.

If you look directly above the lock plate, you can see the groove for the hammer travel thru the stock, plus the feather holder below the cheek.











Interesting rifle.

Al
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 01:48:49 AM by Hoot AL »

angus

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 01:56:56 AM »
Hey Al,
Can you post a better pic of the brass barrel bands?
How about some overall dimensions and specs?

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 02:07:08 AM »
Angus,

Overall the rifle is 54-1/2" long with a 39" barrel. It is a 7 groove hand rifled barrel.



The bands are basically wrapped over the barrel and the stock to hold the barrel in. The steel ramrod was pushed into the ramrod channel to lock the bands together. The owner has not removed the ramrod, nor is he able to do so.  I was going to build the replica minus the brass bands.  Looked more like a field repair than cosmetic to the rifle.

Here are the thimbles, too.




Now I'm trying to find more information on Jacob Albright, Dreishbach and Levi Kaup.

Al

Offline Spotz

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 05:02:16 AM »
We have an interesting discussion going here.  I believe the consensus at this point is that we have an Upper Susquehanna rifle at hand, but I don't think we can go much further than that without guessing.  I also don't see this rifle as an original flintlock.  I think there is wood loss above the lock that is not conclusive with this being an original flintlock, as the rest of the gun looks like a post-flintlock period piece.  Respectfully, I strongly disagree with several of the previous attributions.  I can see nothing, here, that places this definitely as a Baum, Albright, Kaup, Dreisbach or others for that matter.  We know it is an Upper Susquehanna rifle but without a signature, we are reaching when we select a given maker and try to make it fit. 

One name that has not popped up yet that deserves attention is Samuel Morrison or William Filman from Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Morrison usually used a handmade sidelock, but he did use commercial locks at times.  Please refer to the library for additional information on Morrison and pictures that may be beneficial.  I am very familiar with Rifle 292 from Whisker and Chandler's Patboxes Volume II.  That rifle has a similar patchbox and the incised liness under the lock and along the forearm are identical to this rifle.  Rifle 292 also has two screws, but was always a sidelock.  Additionally, there is a "feather holder" under the cheekpiece on that rifle and an original pick that was presumably used with the sidelock.  From mere speculation, I expect that a pick would not be uncommon to use with a sidelock, as there would certainly be more fouling associated with a straight channel from the nipple to the barrel (with the absence of a drum).

The buttstock opposite the patchbox is a classic from the Milton area and the Upper Susquehanna region north of Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties.  If I were to wager a guess I would put this with Morrison or less likely with someone from the northern tier of Pennsylvania or southern New York.  My guess is as good as others, but I just can't see this as a Baum, although the patchbox would fit in.  Eric and I previsouly discussed Baum and I am pleased to see the amount of work and attention being placed on this maker using his original journal from a local museum and Eric's meaningful contribution.  I would be curious to hear Eric's input on his recent discoveries.  Albright, this is not, although I can see a common feature with David Albright, who did use the engraved star on a similarly shaped sideplate.  Kaup, probably not, as the Levi Kaups usually use a different patchbox design and the Leroy Kaups would be a little late for this rifle.

Like I said before, this may be a Morrison or Filman from Milton or the northern tier of Pennsylvania/southern tier of New York.  This is guess, but I think it is one that deserves consideration in this discussion.       

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 09:04:55 AM »
Is this the final word on who the maker of this rifle was?  ???

Here is a link to a page with more photos of this rifle.

Link:  http://www.hootalrifleshop.org/susquehanna_rifle.htm
 
Really appreciate all the input so far.

Hoot AL

angus

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 05:49:14 AM »
Well Al, after all of this consultation, speculating and discussion from these fine folk, where do you surmise this piece to roughly orignate from?

Inquiring minds want to know...... ;)

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 09:04:42 AM »
Good question, Angus.

Right now all I got is what Spotz stated above, "The buttstock opposite the patchbox is a classic from the Milton area and the Upper Susquehanna region north of Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties.  If I were to wager a guess I would put this with Morrison or less likely with someone from the northern tier of Pennsylvania or southern New York."

This is an area I'll be doing more research on. There is not much information in the library or internet on this area of builders.   Wish I knew where to go to get more information.

AL

angus

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 05:03:12 PM »
Al,
At this point you have an old rifle that is pretty much intact and a decent example for you to copy for your customer. Kick it in the buttstock and get hackin' on a new gun. Keep us all posted of your progress.

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2009, 08:28:25 AM »
Angus,

I've already started on the rifle.  Here is a link to the webpage listing out the links as it progresses.

http://www.hootalrifleshop.org/current_projects_2.htm

I shaped the buttstock to make the Roman-nosed comb and installed the buttplate today. Now I have to remove the extra wood on the stock and brass on the buttplate.

Starting to to take shape now.  ;D

Before:
 

After:


Hoot AL
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 08:46:58 AM by Hoot AL »

angus

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2009, 05:20:06 PM »
Al,
Looks great! You'll be busy makin' them panels for the patchbox and the comb plate. You will have to get some pics or a video shootin' it at the range in a couple of weeks when it is done. Give me a call ifn you need some help stripin the stock and ramrod, I'll bring along an extry tank of gas for the torch. :D Good luck.

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2009, 06:33:23 PM »
To keep you posted of the project, here is a link to the site I keep updated with the progress.

Link:  http://www.hootalrifleshop.org/current_projects_2.htm

The rifle has a 13-1/4" pull.  Right now I have the exact same pull on this rifle.

Hoot AL

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Belthlehem School Rifle - Maker?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2009, 07:18:44 AM »
Check out my website.  The project is progressing very well.  I was able to get a .45 - 13/16" barrel - 39" long like the original.  The original was  .36 caliber, but he wanted a rifle to go deer hunting with.

The rifle is shaped, mule ear lock installed, ramrod pipes installed along with the nose cap and trigger guard. Now I am in the process on installing the inlays.  Installed the comb inlay yesterday.

http://www.hootalrifleshop.org/current_projects_2.htm



Hoot AL
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 02:48:23 AM by Hoot AL »

Offline Ken G

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2009, 09:45:52 PM »
Hey Hoot.  Looks like it is coming along pretty good.  It's cool to see the pictures of the original and then the remake. 
Ken
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Failure only comes when you stop trying.

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2009, 01:34:26 AM »
Thanks, Ken.   It has been a fun project.

Al

Offline ptk1126

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2009, 01:53:15 AM »
Al

What thickness of brass did you use for the comb inlay ?
Any tips on how to shape and install one ?

Thanks
Paul

Offline Hoot AL

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2009, 03:10:24 AM »
I used 1/32" brass that I annealed.  To shape it I used a wooden dowel and a piece of PVC tubing I had cut in half.  I put the brass into one side of the PVC tubing, then placed the dowel on top of it and pressed it in the vise.

This got me close to the shape.  Note, before you shape the brass, drill holes into the brass plate.  I used a #55 drill bit for the solid brass nails.

I nailed a few nails into the brass to position it. Then I used my small hammer I made to tap the brass down along the edges to the wood. This helped shape the brass to the stock.

Does this help?

AL

Offline ptk1126

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2009, 10:04:26 PM »
Al

Many thanks. Exactly the info I was looking for, as my current project calls for a comb plate (my first).
Having visited your website many times over the past few years. I am glad to see you here.

All the best
Paul

Offline Knob Mountain

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Re: Golden Age - Susquehanna Rifle Maker?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2009, 04:45:57 AM »
Hoot Al,

Here is my two cents.  It looks like your making good progress.

 As who the maker is I haven't a clue.  Other than upper Susquehanna.
 Fillman was mentioned earlier.  I'm going to guess that it isn't a Fillman.  I have a Fillman that is stocked in walnut and always thought it was a restock.  A collector of Upper Susquehanna guns owns numerous Fillmans and they are all walnut.  He said he never saw one in Maple.   But........ we could both be wrong.

For what its worth.

Dave Keck  Knob Mountain Muzzleloading Berwick, PA