Author Topic: Mowrey Rifle Additional Info Added  (Read 1525 times)

Offline Molly

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Mowrey Rifle Additional Info Added
« on: March 13, 2019, 02:52:36 PM »
I will soon have, almost by accident, a very nice W L Mowrey 45 cal brass framed rifle.  I understand they are replicas of Allen and Thurber rifles and are supposed to be good quality and good shooters.  From the looks this one is in excellent condition but I have not fired it.  It will probably be priced in the range of $400 and I'll probably need to add a few bucks for shipping.  Here are two photos and I can send others later.  If you are interested send me a PM.



« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 05:21:03 PM by Molly »

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 05:39:40 PM »
Hi Molly,
I too have a Mowrey rifle but it is .54 with an exceptional butt and fore arm of curly maple. They are known to be decent shooters. Sounds like you have a fair price on yours.
Mark
Mark

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 04:50:19 AM »
From what I read they are pretty good rifles.  Oddly, I do not have any other 45 cal but I'll get what I need from others in my group and see how it does.  I do like the sight picture.  It seem I can actually see both front sight AND the target.  Who knows, maybe I'll want to keep it.  HOWEVER, it's just not "my style" being a longrifle gal at the core!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 06:00:04 AM by Molly »

Offline Frank Barker

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 05:29:21 PM »
In the beginning Mowrey rifles had Douglas barrels until some idiot loaded one with smokeless powder and blew one up. After all the law suits settled Douglas decided to quit the muzzle loading barrel business. No matter how many warnings you put on something there is always some knot head who will make up his own receipt. If it has a Douglas barrel it will be an excellent shooter, just don't load it with smokeless powder.....
Kind Regards
Frank Barker

Offline Roger B

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 07:38:34 PM »
Molly;
What's the diameter and length of the barrel?  Might work for my wife, but she has a bad left shoulder and needs something light in the barrel.
Roger B.
Never underestimate the sheer destructive power of a minimally skilled, but highly motivated man with tools.

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 07:57:13 PM »
Roger:

I still don't actually have possession however I can say it is a rather heavy barrel.  Personally when I held it to my shoulder I found it awkward due to the barrel weight and the small brass fore-end.

This is one of a "package deal".  It's looking more like the deal won't be done until one day over the weekend.  Seller was called out of town yesterday.

I'll post a note when I get it and check it over.  One person said the fore end was a replacement.  I don't know if that is correct.  I have seen photos of both wood and brass which makes me think brass (or wood) may have been an option.  I tend to think wood would have given it a better feel but I also tend to think this is the way it came when new.  The brass has a mottled finish surface and all the brass seems to be of the same age.

As they used to say on TV....."please stand by"....

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 03:32:07 AM »
Roger:

I still don't actually have possession however I can say it is a rather heavy barrel.  Personally when I held it to my shoulder I found it awkward due to the barrel weight and the small brass fore-end.

This is one of a "package deal".  It's looking more like the deal won't be done until one day over the weekend.  Seller was called out of town yesterday.

I'll post a note when I get it and check it over.  One person said the fore end was a replacement.  I don't know if that is correct.  I have seen photos of both wood and brass which makes me think brass (or wood) may have been an option.  I tend to think wood would have given it a better feel but I also tend to think this is the way it came when new.  The brass has a mottled finish surface and all the brass seems to be of the same age.

As they used to say on TV....."please stand by"....

Molly,
You revived an OLD memory.I knew Bill Mowrey from the mid 1960's when he came to
Friendship to sell rifles and get orders. I did make Hawken locks for him and HE was one
who insisted on my name being on the outside of the locks I made for his shop.
I recall one time when he was bragging about the size of Texas and said,"I can get in my car and drive for
8 hours and still be in Texas." I told him I used to have a car like that one but got rid of it. ;D
I had nothing to do with the brass frame guns.

Bob Roller

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 04:37:18 AM »
The early ones were only offered with brass  forearms, but some people complained so wood forearms were offered a little later. The big brass buttplates were offered with more traditional buttplates later also. I had one of their squirrel rifles in .45 cal. That shot quite well.

 Hungry Horse

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 05:21:44 AM »
Great info gentlemen!  And Bob, that is a great comeback.

This information enhances the "value" of the rifle in my view although I'll stick with my word on the price.  I did get it late this evening (surprise) and here is a few bits of info.

Weight is right at 10 pounds.  Barrel is about 1 inch across at the muzzle.  Length of pull is 13 inches.  The bore looks great to my eye.  I have been cleaning it and it had a lot of dried crud...looked like dried up bore butter.   Funny thing is that the lands have what looks like very fine lines which run across the surface.  They are very regular.  You can feel them as you push a cleaning patch up and down.  That cannot be "by accident"??  Nipple was easy to remove and went right back in.  I think all the metal surfaces are fine.  The stock has an old look about the finish although the wood is not blemished.  I do not think the wood to metal fit is perfect on the left side at the butt plate.  I'll get more photos up in the morning.  I'm also going to take it to the range hopefully and see how it shoots.  The thing is growing on me.  Happy to have found it.  BTW it is numbered on the butt plate bottom 375 as I recall.  The owner claims it came from TX but I have no way to confirm that.

Offline heinz

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 02:01:36 PM »
I believe Mowry rifles came out of Texas. They are modeled after the Allen and Thurber percussion rifles of the late percussion period. The A&Ts were designed to be accurate range rifles and useful for hunting.  If you can get a copy of Ned Roberts “the Muzzleloading Percussion Rifle” you can get a appreciation of how well the late percussion rifles shot.  Nice find!
kind regards, heinz

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 03:33:48 PM »
I believe Mowry rifles came out of Texas. They are modeled after the Allen and Thurber percussion rifles of the late percussion period. The A&Ts were designed to be accurate range rifles and useful for hunting.  If you can get a copy of Ned Roberts “the Muzzleloading Percussion Rifle” you can get a appreciation of how well the late percussion rifles shot.  Nice find!

W.L.Mowrey was in Olney,Texas. No idea where that might be.

Bob Roller

Offline Flint62Smoothie

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 04:05:58 PM »
I had the same model ‘Plains’ (as Bill called it) in 50-cal, s/n 37x built by Bill out of Olney, TX. Very heavy at the muzzle, but VERY accurate. Sold it for $450 once I got into flints.

Let me tell you what kind of man Bill was, as when I bought it used, it had a broken stirrup. I called him and asked to buy a replacement part ... and while I was at it, please add an extra or spare mainspring & tumbler.

Not a week goes by and I get a package from him containing any & ALL the parts ever needed to keep a Mowrey rifle functioning ... plus a personal, signed letter stating “that I don’t owe him anything ... but would I please accept his apologies for building a rifle that broke.”

One heck of a STAND UP guy!
All of my muzzleloaders will shoot into a ragged ~1/2" hole ALL DAY LONG ... it's just the 2nd or 3rd or other shots that tend to open up my groups ... !

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 05:14:45 PM »
An old friend that has since gone under, that went by the Rendezvous name of Snorin’ Bear had one years ago. He had it engraved in fine British tight scrolls, and refinished the curly maple buttstock. It was one beautiful rifle, and it shot great. The bronze action eventually began to wear at the point where the steel tumbler passes through it, and had to be bushed to tighten it up. I think this may be why toward the end of production these guns were offered with a steel action.

  Hungry Horse

Offline ChipK

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 04:41:18 AM »
I once owned a .40 Mowrey that had a 1 in 72 inch twist.  It shot 65 grains of FFF and was the most accurate muzzleloader I have ever owned.  Barrel was rough as heck too when you ran patches down it. One of the guns you let go and wish you still had it back again.

Offline Leatherbark

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 12:51:32 PM »
That looks like their Bicentennial model Mowry.

Bob

Offline 44-henry

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 03:42:15 PM »
Anyone know if the breechplug is brass, or did they use a steel insert for that part?

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 04:04:07 AM »
Update with photos.

















A few of the vitrals:

It has a weight of about 10 pounds.  The barrel is about 1 inch at the muzzle and it is a straight barrel.  I tend to feel it is choked as the ball is exceptionally tight at entry but easier about 3 inches down.  The bore is clean but I have a hard time getting the breech end clean.  Fired it 3 or 4 time yesterday but there were problems not associated with the rifle and I'll want to go back and try it again maybe tomorrow.  I'll let the photos speak to the condition.  I think the wood to metal fit at the butt plate is not perfect.  Serial number is 792 (was reported in error earlier as 375).  45 cal.  I removed the metal for end but there is no name on the barrel.  Given the configuration of the barrel/breech and the brass frame I tend to feel the breech IS the brass of the frame.  You can adjust the rear sight for elevation.  I feel the finish of the barrel is good but it has a few scratches.  The barel is about 32 inches and overall it's about 47 inches.

I have sufficient interest to feel it will sell including several locals who have seen it.

I will post the target after shooting it.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 05:16:44 PM by Molly »

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 03:59:25 PM »
Going back over time,I think I recall being told these cast "brass"frames were really bronze
which is stronger than brass.The common caplocks I made for the Olney Texas shop were
the only thing I did for them MAYBE some triggers but I can't say for sure.

Bob Roller

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 05:20:07 PM »
The lock/trigger seems ultra simplistic.  Pretty neat design IMO.

Offline alyce-james

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Re: Mowrey Rifle Additional Info Added
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 05:45:05 PM »
Molly; Sir, I used this very same model Mowrey at one of the Iowa State muzzleloading shoot sometime in the 1970's but time has erased some of the facts. As I recall my week end was a good shooting time. My oldest daughter also competed, using a .36 caliber Numrich Arms, Hopkins & Allen buggy rifle. Thanks for the pictures of your Mowrey. Have a great St. Patty Day. AJ.


Turkeyfooter

Offline Molly

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Re: Mowrey Rifle Additional Info Added
« Reply #20 on: Today at 01:56:49 AM »
OK, I'm ready to sell this thing.  After messing around at the range trying to get comfortable with it here is a group of three.  The point of aim was at the red dot to the lower right.  I did not want to try messing with the sights except that I did lower the rear sight to the next to the lowest setting.  Before this target was shot the impacts were several inches higher.  Still have one more lower rear sight setting.

For whatever reason this thing seems to FOUL badly.  Had to clean after each shot.  Granted that may partly be due to using a .010 patch with a 445 round ball but it seems very tight going down the first few inches.  There also seemed to be some sort of "spur" that cleaning patches were getting caught on at the breech.  Had one devil of a time getting them out.  Also had to pull balls several times as it would not fire.  It seems that the breech accumulated moisture or oil from cleaning and it would not fire.  Took to snapping a couple caps befire firing and that seemed to blow things clean.  Also the "spur" now seems to be gone. ???

I feel it is probably a good shooter...better than I am.  But cleaning after each shot wore me out.  (Him as well)  I think $400 is a reasonable price and if you are interested send me a zip code and I'll try to estimate shipping.  You'll get the rifle and a box of probably 90 445 round ball.  I'm thinking of capping the shipping cost at $35.00 but lets settle that by PM.



This target was at 25 yards, 35 g of fff, .445 ball and .010 patch.

BTW, the red dot was the point of aim for this target.