Author Topic: I found this rifle...  (Read 3718 times)

Offline Squirrel pizza

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I found this rifle...
« on: July 20, 2019, 11:35:20 PM »
Hi all! I stopped at a yard sale yesterday. Same old junk but a few interesting guns. In the roped off section by the toolbox was what appeared to be a long gun wrapped in a blanket. I was told it's just an old musket. With permission I unwrapped it and found this. The lock is marked "Pennsylvania  Rifle Works". On the top barrel flat in scroll is "H Burns". Guessing I would say .30 to .32cal. All I know about the PRW's is they were owned buy George and Robert Dunlap from 1837-1858. I don't know if H Burns was the rifles owner or builder. The man that owned it told me family lore says the rifle came from the Ohio valley, still shot, and if I bought it he'd throw in a bag, horn, and the things in the bag what made her shoot. It made no sense for me to leave my new rifle there with him so I brought her home. I'm no expert on bags and horns but they're very cool and look period. The tin can with the "round balls" are what look like split shot to me. I looked the rifle over, she looked safe, so yes, I shot it several times. Not a bad group for split shot and t-shirt patches. Anyway, does anyone have any info on this rifle? H Burns? An opinion on the value/age/authenticity of horn and bag? Thanks, SP
Please be patient as I try to upload pictures











« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 06:34:16 PM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 11:49:15 PM »









Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 11:52:17 PM »







Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2019, 12:35:19 AM »
Nice old musket.  I'm sure it's happier in its new home - loved and cared for.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 06:20:06 AM »
Your rifle was probably made by Henry Burns of Lewisburg in Preble County, Ohio over toward the western side of Ohio. From the shape of the guard, I'd think it's from around 1850. Shelby Gallien

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 07:02:05 AM »
Thank you Tanselman. I haven't been able to find any information on H Burns yet. Could you point me in the right direction to a reference work? Most of what I've learned about Pennsylvania  Rifle Works is from old threads here at ALRA. I've read they were factory made guns of decent quality that were termed "hardware store" guns. While the lock is marked PRW, I don't think it's a factory made rifle. Little details like all the slots in the screws are in line with the barrel and the fit of the furniture.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 06:37:28 PM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline scottmc

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 03:02:21 PM »
That's a cool find!!  Some guys have all the luck.  I like the bag/horn pairing too.  Can u give us some dimensions on the bag and a possible picture of its backside?  Hard to believe u can find something like this at a yard sale.  Congratulations!
Remember Paoli!

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 05:31:51 PM »
Great bag and everything together!
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2019, 05:57:17 PM »
You're right Shrekmeister, I misspoke. It's Pennsylvania Riifle Works located in Philadelphia. My bad

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2019, 06:09:29 PM »
Scottmc, the bag measures 6"x6" and has a small inner pocket. The strap has been replaced. I'm not sure of the design on the flap but it appears to be a tree.








Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2019, 06:16:13 PM »
The horn is just over 8" long and would be a right side carry but there is wear in the finish on both sides of the plug and the square head nails are worn and shiny as if it's been carried on both sides. The plug itself measures close to 1 3/4" across.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2019, 06:19:16 PM »











Offline snapper

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2019, 06:23:36 PM »
SP, you have been gone for a while.   

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2019, 06:42:02 PM »
SP, you have been gone for a while.   

Fleener
yes I have, for much too long. Seems like the whole family decided to get old sick and crippled at the same time. Not much time for play.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2019, 12:00:07 AM »
The name on the barrel is usually the gunmaker, while any name on a lock plate is normally the hardware store where the lock was sold, or in this case, the importer of the lock. Shelby Gallien

Offline scottmc

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2019, 02:52:15 PM »
Thanks for the additional pics of the bag and horn.  Very nice, petite set.  I'm guessing that the original strap attached to the outside sides of the bag.  I dont see any signs of stitch holes on the back.  Take care of them.  You got a good one there.
Remember Paoli!

Offline RobertS

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2019, 05:57:47 PM »
That's a very special find, and thanks for posting-

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2019, 01:34:28 AM »
That's a very special find, and thanks for posting-
It's my pleasure to be sure. That old saying "I wish these things could talk" is no lie. I'd love to hear their story!

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2019, 05:01:37 AM »
Does anyone have an opinion on a fair price for the rifle? Horn and bag?
Does anyone have some .310.  .315 round balls they'd sell/send me so I can see how it shoots not using split shot? I know I can get rb's from TotW cheap but I'd rather buy a mold if I keep the rifle.

But I'm still hoping one of you, who know WAY more than me could impart some knowledge.
Thanks for any help, SP

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2019, 11:08:08 PM »
I know it's not easy to evaluate from pictures, but I was thinking of listing the group for sale here on the for sale forum. I know what I paid so I'd like to know if I thought too much of it or too little, and if I pass it on I want it to be a fair price for whoever gets her. I have a short video of me shooting the rifle and it functions flawlessly (but I'm willing to bet it would function more gooder with a proper roundball and not splitshot).
We all have an opinion, please share yours. Thanks, Mike SP

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2019, 09:46:02 PM »
If Tanselman is correct, and I am leaning towards his thoughts, you will find Burns in the Association of Ohio Longrifle's 5 volume set of books "Ohio Gunmakers & Allied Craftsmen". I will try to pin down which volume this evening. If he's there there will be a brief bio and perhaps some pics of his work.
Mark
Mark

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2019, 10:10:12 PM »
Squirrel,
If you go to "aolrc.com" and go to newsletters, scroll down to the 43rd Annual Show. You will find a brief article on Henry Burns. I will still find which volume he is in and let you know.
Mark
Mark

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2019, 10:53:54 PM »
Squirrel,
Chapter 2: I have listings for Henry Burns in Preble County in volume 4 on page 119 with a bio and on page 120 a picture of a Burns rifle. I also have a "brief" listing of Burns & Leatherman in  Montgomery County in volume 3. This listing may or may not be the correct Henry Burns. I have a Henry Burns rifle in my collection that is in at least 90% condition and differs from what you have shown in several areas. If you send me an email I would be happy to forward photos of mine. I also have copies of the AOLRC books available.
Mark
Mark

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2019, 04:45:58 PM »
SP, if you are going to sell it, get someone to make a casting of that trigger guard.  I, for one, would be tickled to put one of those on a rifle.  AND I live in Ohio, thus making it an Ohio gun!
You really made a nice find there.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline Bob D

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Re: I found this rifle...
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2019, 07:56:09 PM »
Craig,  If a casting of the trigger guard cannot be had I can provide you with photos from any angle except those that would require removing the trigger guard.   I have a Dunmeyer rifle that has the same trigger guard (TG).  I looked through Whisker's Ohio book and found two rifles that had similar TGs, one by John C. Ralph and the other by Benjamin Sells.  The Ralph rifle has a near match to the TG on your rifle and my Dunmeyer.  you can see photos of my rifle by searching this forum for "A slightly different Dunmeyer rifle".  If you need any further photos feel free to contact me by email,  While the TG is certainly not Dunmeyer, I have no knowledge of other rifles made by Ralph or Sells.
Bob