Author Topic: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE  (Read 1721 times)

Offline Ky-Flinter

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2019, 07:48:45 AM »
This may be totally off the wall, but I remembered seeing a similarly shaped trigger guard a while back.  It has a ridge down the center of the bow, a spur that curves forward, and an unusual forward attachment (but not a hinge).  The rifle was on an auction site and I saved the pictures.  The auction listing included this.... {There is an attached note to the trigger guard dated 1992, from noted expert W.B. Gusler, handwritten, stating “This rifle signed P. Wilson appears to be related to the Wilson family of Gunsmiths in Botetourt County, VA. (The patchbox) is related to Kinser, who worked in the adjacent Craig County, VA. The engraving behind the rear sight is typical of Botetourt rifles and the filing of the rear ramrod pipe is related to signed John Wilson examples. The butt plate, stock architecture and barrel tang are more typical of Western Tenn. And N.C. I believe the piece represents a maker that moved Southeast from Botetourt after his apprenticing”.}



-Ron
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
-Nate McKenzie

Offline wildcatter

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2019, 07:55:22 AM »
That's a Pleasant Wilson rifle. Very distinctive characteristics especially the screw that comes down to the front of the trigger guard. But your right, some similarities.

Matt
You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2019, 08:26:42 AM »
..... photos by Louie Parker of the adjustment mechanism of the trigger-guard,...... (Left click to enlarge)













« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 08:30:06 AM by Cades Cove Fiddler »

Offline bama

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2019, 03:49:32 PM »
Arnie it would be an honor to have you come to the Alabama show. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline wildcatter

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2019, 05:53:27 PM »
Another question, is that bone inlay in the shield of the federal eagle in the patchbox finial, or brass. Wishing your family the best Arnie.

Matt
You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2019, 06:16:57 PM »
bama - Matt -  As I said, I'd love to be there.  Many Thanks for your prayers

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2019, 06:20:15 PM »
Jim -  sorry about the name confusion as I was trying to answer both you and Matt -  it seems that sometimes my mind is going around in circles !

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2019, 07:01:00 PM »
Matt -  your questions:  the opinion of those who have handled the rifle is that the tang is original although the lower tang screw/bolt is a period replacement.  There appears, as you can see, some sort of lead? poured repair between the upper end of the tang and breech of barrel. We've chosen not to take it apart to see why.
Neither of the tang screws go through and screw into the trigger plate as its not necessary do to the way the TG installation is designed.  The tang is 5&3/4" long
The distance from the rear pin to the bow of TG is 12&3/4" and to the forward end of the TG finial (birds head) is 9&1/2".
The distance of the rear pin to the lower brass wedding band of entry pipe is 3&1/2" and then the tail/tang of the entry pipe is another 3&1/2".
All pipes are exactly 8&1/2" apart on center.
The nose cap is 2&1/2" long and has metal end - no wood shows.
The pipes are all 2&1/2" long, are faceted with brass overlaid wedding bands.
The LOP is 14&3/4".
Yes, the three-piece inlay between the silver plates is brass.
As is obvious, this rifle was made for a "big" guy.
If you have more questions just ask



Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2019, 07:09:47 PM »
Matt -  the three vertical bars of the Federal shield on the breast of the Eagle are brass.  You may want to also look closely at the 8" toeplate as there are two brass bar inlays in the lower section.  Then the whole thing is engraved right across the iron and brass.
Thanks for all the good questions.
Arnie

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2019, 07:21:30 PM »
Ky-Flinter -  Thanks for the photo showing the similarity of the TG's and the rest of the info/comments.  You are sure not the only person to suggest a VA relationship and I have wondered. HOWEVER -  when Wallace Gusler, a long time friend, spent about 15 mins looking at and studying the rifle at the 2017 Tenn show his comments were as I remember: " this is an incredible rifle and I've never seen anything like it and I do NOT think its from VA but from where ?"
Arnie

Offline Tanselman

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2019, 10:08:21 PM »
I am still baffled by the supposed "adjustment" to the rear of the trigger guard. After reviewing all the pictures, it still doesn't make mechanical sense to me. Is the guard all the way up in its current position, since the bow currently is almost touching the tips of the triggers? If so, how can it be lowered by the existing mechanism? The iron plates where the rear spur's stud goes straight up, are already touching together, allowing no farther advancement downward if the screw in fact can push them farther apart; if it only allows stud to move up from this position, there is virtually no room since bow is already almost touching triggers and can't go higher. The "guard adjustment mechanism" doesn't make sense from what I can see of the mechanics of the various pieces and the single "adjustment" screw. So what am I missing here...and if it really adjusts the guard up and down...how much can it possibly move the guard (and which direction?) from its current position? Shelby Gallien

Offline Northof54

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2019, 12:27:20 AM »
I've enjoy mechanical mysteries. I put together a sketch of how I believe the individual components to be arranged. I believe there is a small piece (of the forward end of the trigger guard rear finial) which was broken off. I added it back in, on my drawing. I can conceive that the peg of the trigger guard could move in or out, and that there would be would be about 3/8" of adjustment as Arnie mentions. From the picture it appears that the spring sits slightly recessed into the sides of the peg. Possibly this is due to years of it wearing in. The design is very intriguing. To my modern eye its a strange design to use to make an adjustable guard.

Another idea of its function keeps haunting me though, and I certainly don't want to offend by suggesting an alterative. Could the guard have been flexed (bowed out by hand pressure) such that the peg would release from the spring, allowing the guard to swing freely from the forward hinge. I'm not sure why this would be a design advantage unless trigger adjustments were needed to be made often?
I'm a total rookie when it comes to the historical stuff.  :-\

Richard



« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 12:35:06 AM by Northof54 »

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2019, 02:25:13 AM »
Richard -  Where have you been ??!!  Thank You -  they say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is a perfect example.  Your very intelligent observations resulting in this sketch have solved what I have been trying to describe (somewhat poorly) verbally the past two days.

I am going to pull the pin and let the TG lever down later today as its been some time and I need to check a couple of things before commenting to much further.  I also want to talk to Louie as he knows this rifle and this mechanism better than anybody.

You could be correct about the two finger extensions of the forward part of the facing plate of the rear finial being broken at some point but with a lighted glass looking from the exterior they appear even and flat but of course could have been filed.

One small correction is that the bolt only screws into the flat bar or base of the mechanism.  The exterior plate of the rear TG finial is very thin and appears to have been braised or ? attached to the base bar of the mechanism.

Richard, there are no questions or optional opinions over the line but the TG inc the rail is far to thick and heavy for it to be bowed by hand.

SHELBY -  you are correct in that the post is pushed up as far as it will go and so can only be pulled down thus increasing the distance between the TG rail and the stock which in turn enlarges the bow of the TG.

Thanks Again so much and I'll be back in touch;  but as Louie has said -  this thing was a $#*! of a lot of work for the resulting benefit !!
Arnie

Offline Tanselman

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2019, 08:32:50 AM »
I think we are starting to make this "device" into something it isn't. The sketch incorrectly shows the shape of the stud coming directly upward off the guard. That stud has small corners cut into it that overhang the arced spring's top edges, not allowing the stud (and attached guard) to move down. Someone needs to explain CLEARLY the exact steps to lower the guard 3/8"...I don't see how it can be done with this device. Shelby Gallien

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2019, 06:29:39 PM »
Shelby -  YOU are correct -  The vertical POST CAN NOT move up or down ! It is completely my fault and misunderstanding of the detailed construction of the small mechanism that led me to a incorrect assumption of how this worked and why.  Lets all refrain from further discussion until I post later to day following a second visit with Louie as well as spending more add'l time (one hour last evening with  lighted mag-glass) looking at this mechanism.
Thank You all for your patience,
Arnie

Offline louieparker

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2019, 11:45:04 PM »
This is a message that I sent Arnie today.. He ask that I post it...Louie Parker


This my description of the  mechanism.    Its  an over kill to achieve a slight hinging action of the rear finial.   The guard is hinged at both ends..  The upright post at the bottom is lets say, 1/2 inch  wide. About 1/4 inch up it is reduced in width about 1/16 on each side. This forms a shelf on each side for the inside finial to rest on. The finial has a rectangular shaped hole  so it slides down over the upright and rest on the shelf . The upright has a notch cut on each side . The bottom of the notch is about even with the upper side of the inside finial .  Now the "spring" with two arms is slid forward with an arm on each side going through the notches.. Acting as a retaining ring. The outer finial is cut to fit around the upright then a screw goes through all three pieces to hold it together. This allows the rear of the finial a bit of up and down flex to conform to the curve in the stock. I could see no other purpose and its not a repair..... LP
 
PS> Hope this is at least as clear as mud....Also the inside finial is inlet, the outside finial sets on top of the wood.

Offline bgf

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2019, 01:48:03 AM »
Louie,

I was thinking that the "adjustment" might be a one time thing to allow a stock/premade triggerguard to be used on any stock.  Is that what you were saying?  I can't see it as a user adjustment, ie, done in the field, but it would allow the gunmaker to use the guard on a variety of stocks according to the customers specifications.

Offline louieparker

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2019, 03:02:42 AM »
bfg....Why he made it like this is a question that neither you or I can
answer.  We can only speculate. But I doubt that he made a bunch of these so they would fit various patterns. It may have been just an experiment ?? I doubt that we see another.  When I make an iron guard I attempt to make it fit my pattern and lay flat on top of the wood front and rear finial. Don't always come out that way and the guard must be bent somewhere. I don't think he had that problem with this guard. Is that a reason for all this work ?  Not to me. LP
 PS< No its not a user adjustment.....

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2019, 06:29:54 PM »
My THANKS to Louie for his detailed description of the construction of this part.  My apologies also for my error in understanding and description -  it has again reminded me to assume less and do more personal inspection and study.  Last evening I measured the maximum deviation (up and down) of the potential (loose) swivel movement of this complicated and very labor intensive part -  it is only 1/4".  I then put it back together and hung it on the wall perhaps never to be disassembled again, at least not in my lifetime.  Like Louie, I do not believe this very fancy TG was ever meant to be used on another rifle. We will most likely never know why he designed it like this since it is (again as Louie has voiced) an incredible amount of work that achieves little or no benefit.

Now that this subject has been discussed, solved (by Louie) and now under stood by all involved :

I would like to return to the more important discussion of who possibly made this rifle, where and for whom ?  I remain optimistic that I will be able to
bring out a few more letters on the silver plates.  If any of you can suggest something to try please share it.

Wayne Elliott mentioned the theory that perhaps it was made for a influential (perhaps mix-blood) high ranking Indian (Chief ?) of one of the southeastern tribes.  Perhaps to secure allegiance to the US -  this could ? possibly explain the Federal Eagle on the patchbox and the bust of the Indian on the half-moon inlay on the cheekrest.  This possible theory is shared by other knowledgeable students such as Guy Montfort and Allen Gutchess and myself.  Guy has also noted that the shape of the abstract piercings on the side plate resemble beading patterns of some of the southeastern tribes. There are several recorded instances of this happening either in presentation or by the request of the recipient;  although the only known example (to me and Guy) is Chief Whale's rifle.  I know this takes us off on another tangent but all possibilities re this rifle are worth consideration.

Thank You again for your understanding and patience,
Arnie


Offline Tanselman

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2019, 03:02:56 AM »
I still don't see how it is possible to move the guard up or down, even a quarter inch, to change it's actual position on the rifle. Once the pin is re-inserted to lock the "device" in place, it looks to me like the guard is always going to be in the same place...unless you bend the guard! If you are saying it "wiggles a little" when the device is off the gun, i.e. partially disassembled as in several of the posted pictures, I can see that. But I cannot see how the device can allow the guard to be "adjusted" or moved a quarter inch up or down when everything is installed and the gun is ready to use. To me, it just looks like the guard is always going to be in the same place after the pin is re-inserted to hold the device in place in the stock. OK, I'll drop the subject.

I always thought rifles made for Indian chiefs, when we have documentation to verify the intended use, had bright brass mounts and silver inlays. Is there a known rifle made for an Indian chief that was iron mounted? It just doesn't seem to be what an Indian would be looking for, based on what we currently know. Mel Hankla did great research on his fine Thomas Simpson rifle, and found documentation of a chief requesting that he be given [by our government, of course] a fine rifle just like the Gasper Mansker rifle he had seen. That rifle, which is Mel's outstanding rifle, is all brass mounted and heavily embellished with silver highlights, an ultra-fancy rifle with superb curly maple stock. I guess an Indian Chief could ask for a duller looking rifle...but that would be like my wife asking for a duller looking pair of shoes...probably a low percentage possibility. Shelby Gallien

Offline jdm

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2019, 04:25:49 AM »
A gift is a gift. It might be rude to ask for something fancier!
JIM

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2019, 06:47:59 AM »
 ;) ;) ;).... Shelby,... If you double click on photos 3,4,&5, of the T/G assembly, you...  will 2X enlarge the photos,... you will see that the flat spring fits into a notch on the post on the grip rail that goes up through the rear extension of the guard assembly,... tightening the screw at the rear will compress this flat spring, therefore allowing the grip rail to lower .... loosening same screw will allow flat spring to raise, bringing the post up with it,... this being said, perhaps only 3/8" adjustment,... not much, but could be a lot in the wrist area,... why the builder did all this extra engineering,...Who knows,...???? ... but got to agree is one of a kind,... there is one known Honaker (or maybe Shaffer) that has a hinge on front of guard, but a different catch at back, and no spring loaded adjustment device,... This rifle bears no resemblance to any known rifles by those makers,... The BIG question now, is thoughts on the builder, and for whom she was built,.... obviously by a creative gunsmith, and a well heeled customer,.... or maybe he built her for himself, to showcase his ingenuity,...!!!!

Offline louieparker

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2019, 05:56:25 PM »
CCF there is no room for the movement you suggest .   In the photos the finial is resting on the shoulder of the grip rail so the post can't go up further. The spring prevents downward movement, Tight or loose will make little or no difference. That may have been his intention but there is no room for that.  All this amounts to is a PIVOT point. It could have been done with a hole drilled through the post and finial and pin installed. Just like the front end.  If you push down on the rear of the finial it goes down. The front only pivots.  I could seen no other possible action.
Now someone tell Arnie who made his rifle !      LP

Offline Arnie Dowd

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Re: .... UNIQUE (SOUTHERN ?) IRON MOUNTED RIFLE
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2019, 07:31:17 PM »
Dana -  Do you have or can you get a photo of this other rifle that has a hinge on the front of the TG  as I would sure like to see it.
Thanks, Arnie