Author Topic: Colorado Gun Collectors Association Show - May 18-19, 2019  (Read 295 times)

Offline Mtn Meek

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The Colorado Gun Collectors Association Show this year was very interesting from my perspective.  Though it is still dominated by 19th century cartridge guns, it seemed to have a lot more muzzleloaders this year.

The highlights for me were three original Hawken rifles.

One was a J&S Hawken that was pictured in John Baird's Fifteen Years in the Hawken Lode page 61.


It certainly appeared to be a full stock cut back to half stock.  The cheekpiece had a straight lower edge typical of Hawken full stock rifles.  The breech plug was a fixed patent breech with the early snail shaped bolster, rather than the two-piece hooked variety.  The conversion to half stock was very well done with a pewter nose cap.

A second rifle was a S. Hawken pictured on page 377 in James Gordon's Great Gunmakers for the Early West, Vol III and also pictured on pages 41-42 in Accouterments IV: Kentucky Rifles and Pistols, Tomahawks, Axes, Knives, Powder Horns, Hunting Bags, and Accouterments from 1750-1850 by James R. Johnston.


This appeared to be a very early S. Hawken rifle.  The lock, hammer, and bolster snail was very similar to those on the previously mentioned J&S Hawken.



The third rifle was also a S. Hawken, but very unusual.  It was a heavy barrel half stock of at least .50 caliber that was brass mounted.  The unusual aspect was that it had a Dimick style trigger guard not unlike what's on Thompson Center's Hawken rifle and a single barrel key.  It actually looked like Thompson Center got it right after all.

Charles E. Hanson, Jr. in The Hawken Rifle:  Its Place In History referenced ads run by the William S. Hawken and Tristam Campbell partnership in 1855 that advertised "Mountain and California rifles made to order".  Hanson wasn't sure what a Hawken "California Rifle" might look like.  Maybe this is one.

In addition to these Hawken marked rifles, there was a Spencer Hawken stamped "J.P. GEMMER, ST. LOUIS".  This was the first time I was able to examine one of these up close.

I lost count of the number of other J.P. Gemmer marked rifles as well as Dimick rifles.

The dealer Mike D'Ambra had a number of nice Kentucky rifles as usual.  These included some from Berks County and a Gibbs, a Gonter, and a Gumpf from Lancaster County.

I like rifles of the type that were traded with Indians and used by trappers and traders.  There were a number of Leman trade rifles at the show.  I saw a couple of Gibbs plain rifles that were of the style of Lancaster trade rifles.  There was a Tryon trade rifle, too.

There were even some iron mounted Tennessee rifles on exhibit from Randal Pierce's and Arnie Dowd's collections.

Not all the muzzleloaders of interest were antiques.  There were three GRRW rifles, a GRRW pistol, and an off-the-clock Hawken built by Carl Walker likely during the period he worked at GRRW (see below).

Phil Meek

Offline Carney Pace

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Re: Colorado Gun Collectors Association Show - May 18-19, 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 03:55:30 PM »
I will agree that there a lot of nice original Muzzle Loaders there.  At least 2 Hudson  Bay type 2 smooth bore trade guns, the half stock percussion.


Carney