Author Topic: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?  (Read 24825 times)

Short start

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Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« on: August 13, 2015, 03:45:07 AM »
A friend of mine got this from his grandpa who was pretty handy and was wondering what the story behind it is. I told him I think it's styled after a southern mountain rifle, but I don't know enough to be able to tell if it's original or not. Let me know what you think.

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« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 03:51:58 AM by Short start »

Offline D. Buck Stopshere

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 06:31:26 AM »
It might be necessary to provide more close-up photos of other views like you did with the entry thimble (ramrod pipe). Top view of barrel tang, sideplate, toeplate, etc.

I assume there is no name or initials on the barrel near the rear sight, since we see no photos. If it is an unsigned contemporary piece, it will be difficult to determine the maker since there were thousands made from the sixties until now, many of which were unsigned.

Can you show a photo of the inside of the lock off the rifle. That might be one sure way of determining age of the work.

Thought I would start the ball rolling as no one else has posted thoughts.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

NMLRA Field Rep- North Carolina

Short start

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 07:29:10 PM »
Good point. I'll have him send me some more pics. I have a few more that show the side lockplate and entry thimble.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 06:49:58 PM »
If you feel comfortable doing it, I suggest removing the barrel from the stock and look at bottom flats for a barrel brand or makers mark. I have found info inscribed there before. Good luck.

Short start

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 05:40:42 AM »
Here are a few more photos I had on photobucket of the front and rear thimble,muzzle cap, cheek rest and the side lock plate. Is it at least safe to assume that this is contemporary? Did original locks have that rounded end on the plate? My friend lives in Minnesota and I'm from Illinois. I'm not sure if I can convince him to remove the barrel. If I visit him in person I might ask to do it. It's a scary prospect without being able to see the condition of the forestock in person haha.  From the way the wood is worn around the mounting pins, it looks to have been removed a lot.








Offline D. Buck Stopshere

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 05:52:14 AM »
As I said before, a photo of the inside of the lock might help greatly, AND is easier to remove than the barrel.

However, a number of well-known gunmakers who were given a parts kit to put a rifle together would either put their name on the bottom flat of the barrel or none at all. I have two Hawken rifles, one made by John Bergmann and the other by Joe Corley at Art's Hawken Shop. Both rifles are unsigned on top flats. Joe's name is stamped on the bottom flat, and John's is without any "signature". Fortunately in John's case, I have the letters written between the PO and the gunmaker.

One possibility is a contemporary rifle built with an original lock. The close-up of the lock "guts" will help define this rifle.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

NMLRA Field Rep- North Carolina

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 04:37:04 PM »
I suspect it is an antique. Maybe as late as the 1880's.
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Offline Natureboy

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 12:23:43 AM »
  The lock plate looks very much like the one on my great-grandfather's Mississippi Rifle (model 1841), so the one on your rifle could be old.

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 12:51:05 AM »
Thanks guys. If I get more photos of the inside of the lock or under the barrel flats, and this thread hasn't been dead too long, I'll post them.

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 02:46:55 AM »
I told my friend about this thread and he gave the gun a second look over and noticed some markings on the barrel which he took a rubbing of.




Offline D. Buck Stopshere

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 04:11:09 AM »
Crafted by the father, then reworked by the son, grandson, nephew?

The "W" is obviously a different style on the top line compared to the second line.

Just a guess.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

NMLRA Field Rep- North Carolina

Offline gibster

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2015, 03:24:49 PM »
There is a William Winn listed in Frank Sellers book, AMERICAN GUNSMITHS that was born 1804 and worked in Carrollton, Illinois from about 1836 to 1864d. Probably the maker of this rifle.

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 10:41:00 PM »
Wow. That's something. I'll update my friend. Thanks!

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2015, 11:07:34 PM »
This seems to be correct. We have found some things online about william and his son george, who were both gunsmiths. I found a picture of a gun done by the son, george, and you'll notice on the barrel in the link that the signature is actually an oddly shaped "G" and not an "O" like we'd assumed earlier. The "O" in the rubbings I posted seems to be shaped the same.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24501307@N07/16222646811/in/photostream/

This flikr link also has a bit more detail on the Winn family gunsmiths.

more info on the family...
http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/WINN/1998-12/0915080823

http://listsearches.rootsweb.com/th/read/WINN/1999-01/0917065722

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 05:49:49 PM »
The is another documented fullstock percussion longrifle marked C W Winn, but in my book the maker is unlocated.  I think you are
on the right track with this family.  Nice rifle.
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Offline George

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2015, 03:00:07 AM »
Look up a rifle I have, in the ALR search function marked  TWINN
George

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2015, 11:02:26 PM »
George, In the flikr link's description of the gun and family, it mentions a Thomas W. Winn and his brother who worked out of cave in rock southern illinois. They marked their guns with backward "N"s.

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2015, 11:04:51 PM »
Interesting Shrekmeister. Thanks.

2longhunt

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2015, 12:45:40 AM »
I found this an interesting since I was born in Carrollton, IL. and still live 20 miles from there. Here is what I found on the internet concerning William Winn.

WILLIAM L. WINN, city attorney of White Hall, was born in Carrollton, July 29, 1870, his parents being Richard B. and Mary F. Winn. The Winn family is of Welsh and Scotch descent. His paternal grandfather, William Winn, was born May 17, 1803, and died November 27, 1860. He married Phoebe Osborn, who died April 22, 1858. Their son, Richard B. Winn, was born December 8, 1843, on the old homestead farm, four miles west of Carrollton. He acquired a district school education and afterward attended the public schools in Carrollton. In early manhood he learned the trade of machinist and gunsmith, but at the time of the Civil war he put aside all business interests and when in his twenty-first year offered his services to the government, enlisting on the 22d of August, 1864, as a member of Company H, Fortieth Missouri Infantry. He continued to serve until after the close of hostilities and was honorably discharged on the 11th of August, 1865. He was in several engagements and was disabled in the service in 1865. After the war, having done his full duty as a soldier, he returned home with a creditable military record and was engaged in farming for year. He then entered a machine shop in Carrollton, where he remained until 1877, when, in connection with his brother, George Winn, he established a machine shop and foundry in White Hall, which they conducted until 1893. In 1895 he opened a grocery store in his building near the post office, in White Hall, and in this business enterprise he is still engaged. His son, Harry L. conducts a book, stationery and news store in the same building. In 1868 Richard B. Winn was married to Mary F. Luther who was born in Grundy county, Illinois, September 17, 1850. Her father, Martin Luther, married Ursula Colgrove, who died in March, 1859. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Winn were born two children, William L. and Harry L., the latter born February 21, 1883.

William L. Winn was a student in the public schools of White Hall until he mastered the branches of learning therein taught and afterward he entered the University of Michigan, where he prepared for the practice of law, having formed a desire to become a member of the bar. He was graduated there in 1892. He is now recognized as one of the leading young lawyers of the Greene county bar, and undoubtedly has a bright future before him. A year after his admission to practice in 1892, he opened an office in connection with H. O. Tunison, under the firm name of Winn & Tunison, and the relation was sustained for some time, but eventually the partnership dissolved and William L. Winn opened his present office. In 1892 he was elected city attorney, and with the exception of a period of four years has continually filled the position. He is not an office seeker, however, and does not take an active part in politics, caring for no political preferment outside of the strict path of his profession. He has a well appointed law office, equipped with a good library, and with the contents of the volumes he is largely familiar. His practice has had a healthy growth and he is regarded as a safe counselor as well as an able advocate before judge or jury. His knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence is broad and accurate, and in the preparation of his cases he is thorough and painstaking, and in control of the legal business of the city he has discharged his duties without fear or favor, and in his private practice his devotion to his client's interest is proverbial.

Mr. Winn was married June 21, 1899, to Miss Edna Hixon, a native of Indiana and a daughter of Henry W. and Jeanette (Curtis) Hixon. Her paternal grandparents were Solomon and Nancy (Remley) Hixon. Her father, who was born in November, 1833, is now living in Middlebury, Indiana. Her mother was a daughter of Charles L. and Eunice (Creager) Curtis. Mrs. Winn is of English and German lineage. She attended the Female Seminary at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is a most estimable lady, having the warm regard of many friends in White Hall. Both Mr. and Mrs. Winn hold membership in the Presbyterian church, and in his political views he is an earnest Republican, keeping well informed on the questions and issues of the day.

Offline Tom Moore

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2015, 01:40:03 AM »
No question that this is an antique. Curt Johnson lists the entire Winn family in his "Gunmakers of Illinois" book. William Winn was the father. Born in Kentucky in 1803. He came to Greene County, IL. in 1829. One son was George W. Winn, another was Richard B. Winn. All gunsmiths. I'd bet the "O" that you have in the rubbing is really a "G". Curt has a picture of an identical barrel stamping in his book, with the exception that the G. Winn is on the top of the W. Winn. The "W" in the elder Winn's signature is the characteristic "double U" that you have in your rubbing. You could probably flip this posting over to the Antique forum and he'll fill you in on much more information. Very nice rifle by the way. -Tom
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 01:43:02 AM by Tom Moore »

Offline garra

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2015, 07:38:10 AM »
I agree with you that it is a G.  If you look closely at the right side of that figure it looks flatter than the rest, I can see remnants of a tail like a roman style figure on the top right and lower right edge on the rubbing.

Offline Curt J

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Re: Can anyone tell me something about this rifle?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2015, 09:32:51 AM »
Yes, it is most certainly a Winn rifle made in Carrollton, Illinois. I own three of them. The photos on Flickr are mine. What appears to be an "O" in the stamp on this rifle is no doubt a lightly stamped or worn/pitted "G", for George W. Winn. The rifle looks to be in pretty good condition. Some of the locks on Winn rifles were made in their own shop. One of mine has a hand-forged lock, signed "G. W. Winn, Carrollton, Ill." in hand cut script. Inside, it is built much more sturdy than a commercial lock.