Author Topic: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle  (Read 956 times)

Offline Tanselman

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Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« on: June 01, 2019, 05:51:20 AM »
I was able to acquire a fine "southern" rifle that I've admired for many years. I would like to get opinions on where to date the lock that's in the gun. The gun was originally a flintlock that was later converted to percussion, but retained its original lock plate. The lock measures 4-11/16 inches long by about 7/8 inches high. Note the extended square shank coming off the percussion side lug, a detail of "southern" rifles. Shelby Gallien


Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 05:54:08 AM »
 :o :o... Great triggers,.... is a NC rifle,...??

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 06:17:49 AM »
No fair asking questions until after we discuss the probable date of the lock!

Then I'll show the rather "unique" rifle and explain why I am asking about the lock.  Shelby Gallien

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 02:28:28 PM »
1810-30 is my estimate. Somebody has to bid first.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 03:17:40 PM »
I agree with Rich.
Dennis
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 05:41:02 PM »
 I agree, this is a late flint, possibly as early as 1810. I also agree that seeing a little more of this rifle probably wouldn’t hurt any bodies feelings. The drum, hex bolt holding on the hammer, and those beautiful triggers, all have me wanting a little better look.

  Hungry Horse

Offline JTR

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 06:04:54 PM »
I agree with that date span as well.

John Robbins

Online Ky-Flinter

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 07:13:49 PM »
Hi Shelby,

That lock looks a lot like mine that was discussed here.... http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=53590.msg535913#msg535913

-Ron
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 07:17:07 PM by Ky-Flinter »
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Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 08:39:13 PM »
I am but making a guess, mostly based on the hex bolt on the hammer, but also the tail - 1850+/- 5 years.
Craig Wilcox
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Offline Tanselman

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 04:10:56 AM »
This lock has a pointed tail, but that tail has "shrunk" quite a bit, and is on its way toward an oval tail. My thoughts are that this style lock just precedes the early oval tailed locks here in the States. I would put it at about 1810 to 1825. There are always exceptions in discussing these American rifles, but in general that's about where I think the lock falls. I'd still like to hear other opinions or thoughts on dating this particular style lock.

I'll post additional pictures tomorrow when I can get the gun in natural light. Shelby Gallien

Offline Clowdis

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 04:55:41 PM »
Isn't this the Maslin style lock plate that was popular during the late golden age? Maybe 1815 to 1830?

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 07:28:47 PM »
An English-made export lock. The dates 1810-1825 are spot on. I doubt that you could get any closer - they changes very little if at all in that time frame.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 04:07:11 AM »
Here are "moderate quality" pictures of the rifle with the lock under discussion. It is signed in script "S. P.. Pool." Barrel is 46-5/16 inches long and swamped with a .43 caliber bore and 7-groove rifling. Tang is 5-9/16 inches with three screws. If you look closely at the "slightly dark" photos, you can see the wrist has a cameo cut where it meets the butt, and the side facings have small "tear drops" at both the back AND front ends.




I had problems uploading pictures this evening, could only get two to upload and that took a while. Will try again tomorrow with additional views.

The reason for wanting opinions about dating the lock is that Stephen P. Pool first worked in North Carolina, and this rifle has a number of NC characteristics. He moved to Breckenridge County, Kentucky in 1804 due to financial problems back in NC. This rifle came out of Kentucky about 25-30 years ago. Despite NC details on the side facings and forestock moldings, I believe this rifle was made in Kentucky for several reasons:

1. It was found there.
2. Stephen's last name was originally Pettypool, and the family name had been Pettypool earlier in VA and then in NC. When later generations moved west to TN and KY, they shortened the last name to Pool, but retained the "Petty" as their middle name. Thus the signature "S. P.. Pool" represents the shortened name. I believe the signature supports a KY period for the rifle.
3. The barrel is attached with pins, not wedges, suggesting a somewhat later rifle.
4. I date the lock to 1810 to 1825, later than the 1804 move date to KY, supporting a KY origin for the rifle.

That's why I was asking for thoughts on the age of the original lock plate...to make sure I wasn't way off in my dating of the lock, and that it most likely fell within his KY working period.


Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 12:27:54 AM by Tanselman »

Offline JCKelly

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 11:06:47 PM »
Rumor has it that rifle went from Kentucky to the Ohio Gun Show in the back of a pickup truck. The previous owner saw it on a table mixed with modern junk, and from the style of the stock thought he was buying a NC rifle.

Offline VP

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 03:03:40 AM »
Wow, I like the beavertails, rather arrowheads, on the lock and side plate panels, plus that triggerguard is unique.

VP

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 12:28:30 AM »
Here are better pictures of the flint-to-percussion rifle discussed as to date of its lock. You should be able to see the cameo cut where the comb meets the wrist, the side facings with tear drops [or arrowheads] at either end, the side plate, incised carving at rear pipe that extends back quite a ways [worn and hard to see], and the slightly relieved carving on either side of the long tang. The rifle was well used, but also well cared for, during its working life. Shelby Gallien











« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 07:14:45 AM by Tanselman »

Offline JTR

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 02:28:54 AM »
Nice find, and thanks for the pictures!
That rifle has a little bit of everything going for it.
John
John Robbins

Offline vanu

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Re: Dating a Flint Plate on a Percussion Rifle
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2019, 02:55:00 AM »
Shelby

Wonderful! Personally I love the untouched look...just a great piece...If I'm following the discussion correctly, I believe you hit on the mark at ca. 1815-25; certainly the 20's, very, very nice - the architecture is flawless...

Bruce