Author Topic: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?  (Read 1058 times)

Offline Smokey Plainsman

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Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« on: May 15, 2019, 08:12:48 AM »
Guys as for iron-mounted rifles, when and where were they most common? Iíve aleays heard the Southern Mountain type guns was most often iron mounted but amnít so sure no how.

Thoughts?

Online rich pierce

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 02:42:46 PM »
Iím not expert, but iron mounted rifles were made in Tennessee, North Carolina, and parts of Virginia from possibly the 1770s onward. But this is not exclusive; brass mounted rifles were made in those states also.
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Offline JTR

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 07:37:54 PM »
From what I've seen, whats now called Southern Mountain type guns, surviving guns are iron mounted about 90% of the time, and brass mounted about 10%. Also, the vast majority are originally made as a percussion, and I think date from the 1830/40 to around the Civil War and a bit after in some areas.

As Rich points out, other styles of guns were made in those areas much earlier, but those tend to look more like a PA rifle, and not the typical Southern Mountain type.

Other guys here know much more about these guns than I, so hopefully they'll jump in with thoughts.
John Robbins

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 08:33:04 PM »
I think the Thomas Tileston rifle has been almost forgotten about, but regardless of where it was made and whether or not the barrel (signed and dated) was restocked, it's still hard not to view it as a fairly early Rev-War era rifle with beautifully forged iron furniture that mimics almost exactly contemporaneous 1770s brass furnishings.  There is absolutely nothing primitive about that ironware - it almost looks like modern iron casting.
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 09:06:17 PM »
The Tileston is a great rifle; wish there were some related pieces. Not enough to say what the prevalence of that sort was.
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Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 04:30:10 AM »
In an issue of American Tradition ( CLA mag) there was another iron mounted rifle with just the initals TT on it that was a fine lookin original.Curt

Offline smart dog

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 03:06:45 PM »
Hi Curt,
I believe that is the Thomas Tileston gun already mentioned.

dave
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 05:21:25 PM »
I don't have back issues of the CLA mag so I'm not sure what the "T T" rifle would be.  The Tileston rifle is signed on the top flat, "Thos. Tileston 1773."  There's been a bit of debate about that rifle, probably far too much to go into here without detailed pics which unfortunately I don't have permission to post.  I believe the stock is cherry and the stocking and the carving are VERY New England oriented, in my opinion.  In fact, I forget exactly which gun it is now so I'll have to go dig out the book and check, but one of the fowlers in Grindslade's book very likely appears to have been carved by the same man.  I think the Tileston rifle is one of the most interesting pieces to pop up in years and it's a shame it has not been more throughly published.

Edit:  It's the piece number NE-46 in Grinslade.  The carving around the nose of the comb is practically identical, and fairly unique, and also the tang carving is practically identical on both.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 05:32:05 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 06:15:15 PM »
It might also be noted here also that the historical reason for iron in the South is simple practicality, rather than aesthetics or metal properties, because the South was producing iron before Cu was even found- hence "forge" and "furnace" as partial place names to present.

Copper at Ducktown wasn't discovered until 1843, whereas James Robertson, et al, started Cumberland Furnace in 1797.

Metals moved around, yes but somewhat more slowly and less surely than today - or even 100 years ago.
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 07:25:05 PM »
Why forged iron mounts were favored by makers of ďSouthern Mountain RiflesĒ is an interesting question. There were no barriers to trade (including brass) else those makers would have made their own locks.

I am guessing that some all-round smiths were making rifles as well as every sort of ironwork and hoeing horses. And they enjoyed showing their skill in ironwork on their rifles. There was certainly a lot of creativity in iron mounts. This is total speculation on my part. It would be very interesting to me to see if forged iron door handles in an area resembled trigger guards from the same area.
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Offline mbriggs

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 09:31:50 PM »
Looking at this question from a North Carolina perspective. When most collectors from outside this state see a iron mounted North Carolina rifle, they automatically assume it is a mountain rifle from the Appalachian School.  As Bill Ivey's book well demonstrates, there were many iron mounted Piedmont North Carolina rifles from both the Bear Creek School and the Early Deep River School.  Both of these schools were located 150 miles east of the Appalachian mountains. Iron mounted rifles with wooden patchboxes were made in both schools up until the 1830's.

Here are photos of an iron mounted Early Deep River School rifle made by David Gross.  I believe he started working near Centre Meeting House on the Guilford - Randolph County line in the 1790's.

In 1806, he purchased 120 acres of land on the Salisbury Road, (today Friendly Ave.) bounded on the west by Horsepen Creek and the east by New Garden Friends Meeting. He built a house and gun shop next door to the Quaker church. He made Longrifles at this address until he sold out in 1821 and moved to Vigo County, Indiana.

This is one of only two complete rifles I have seen and owned that were made by him.  I have seen at least five rifle barrels that were signed by him that were later reused on new rifles stocked by gunsmiths in Mecklenburg, N.C. and Virginia. His rifle barrels are stamped D * G.

This rifle has everything I look for in an Early Deep River School rifle.  The triple beaded molding runs along the butt-stock from the iron butt-plate to the trigger-guard and is repeated out the fore-stock. David Grose built the entire rifle including the home-made lock and all of the furniture.











pic sharing

























Thanks,

Michael
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 03:49:16 PM by mbriggs »
C. Michael Briggs

Online rich pierce

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 09:44:47 PM »
Thanks, Michael. Fine looking rifle.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 09:58:45 PM »
Dave the rifle I'm referring to is i n the summer edition 2013 of the CLA magazine the barrel is signed TT. I have never seen or heard of this rifle being mentioned anywhere else.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2019, 01:00:04 AM »
Curt can you post a single picture?  It can't be the Tileston gun, but I'd be interested in seeing anything at all, especially if considered early.
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Offline bgf

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Re: Iron-Mounted Prevelance?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 05:18:48 AM »
Brass seems to go along with carving or other ornamentation, though not always.  I think the relative scarcity of iron mounted guns these days might be because mainly the fanciest rifles were preserved.  With Jacob Young (Middle TN), just as a point of discussion/example, we have 3 very fine brass mounted rifles, and one iron mounted with a wooden box.  At least two of the brass rifles belonged to very wealthy and famous people (I don't know who owned the third one, but he probably didn't suffer financially), which also increased their chances to survive.