W. Gardner Pill Lock Half Stock Rifle. The caliber is .31 with a 36-3/8” barrel. Overall length of the rifle is 53”. I believe it to be unfired or very nearly so. The fit and detailing is remarkable. The stock has double cheek rests and an original threaded iron tipped ramrod. As the pill lock system seems to have fallen out of favor fairly quickly it doesn’t seem as if it could have been made after the 1840s. This is reinforced by the barrel being marked underneath: “P&S Remington” which dates it to the mid 1840s as has been related by Remington scholars. Overall, this rifle shows extreme quality of the maker with understated elegance. The walnut stock has some burl grain at the butt and the inlays are silver with brass triggerguard and buttplate. The barrel is browned and the tang and lockplate casehardened.
Following data provided by Nord:
From Geneva Gazette 24 February 1882
Death of William Gardner, Sr. - This venerable citizen died at ten o'clock last evening, in the 89th year of his age. Few men in town were better known or more universally respected. Mr. Gardner was born in Canandaigua, Sept. 25 1793; came to Geneva in 1815, and in 1817 was married, locating on the premises on Pulteney street, where he has ever since resided. His trade was that of gunsmith, and before the making of firearms by machinery many of the best specimens, particularly of rifles, were the production of his handiwork. His shop was headquarters of military men and sportsmen for a wide circle around Geneva, to whom he dispensed hospitality with a liberal hand. About eighteen years ago he met with the greatest misfortune which can befall man -- he became blind, and that calamity, of course, ended his career as a mechanic. He has borne his infirmity with patience, even cheerfulness, and otherwise his strong physical faculties remained unimpaired up to within three weeks of his death. The afflicted widow and five of six children survive him -- all of whom will be present to pay the last tribute of respect and affection to one who was ever kind, faithful and indulgent in his domestic relations. The funeral will take place on Monday, Feb. 27th, at 2:30 p.m. from Trinity Church. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend.