Author Topic: Joseph Long flintlock rifle  (Read 20892 times)

Offline bcowern

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Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« on: September 23, 2009, 10:41:46 PM »
I am new to this forum. My main interest in antique guns is single shot breachloading sporting and target rifles. I live in British Columbia and have always been fascinated by American Longrifles, however the ones that really turned me on were priced beyond anything I could afford and rarely seen this far west.

Many years ago, at a gunshow in Kalispell, Montana, I managed to trade 2 single shots for a  nice Joseph Long flintlock longrifle.  In a book called The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle by Henry J. Kauffman, there is a brief description of Joseph Long and his rifles that states: "Only one flint gun that he made is known, but he was a prolific producer of guns in the percussion era."  Is this still the case or have others come to light since the book was published?

Regards,
Bradford

Offline JTR

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 11:11:00 PM »
bcowern,
I've had a few Joe Longs and seen several more, but never a flint.

Now I'm not saying that this pertains to your rifle, but back in the 70/80s and even still today, more than a few original percussion guns were incorrectly converted to flint. Whether the person doing the work didn't know it was an original percussion rifle, or whether it was because flints generally bring more money than percussions is another subject.

Perhaps you could post a few pictures of your rifle, and there's several guys here that are familiar with Joe's work.

And whether your gun is an original flint, or percussion, Joe Long made quite nice rifles, and you're lucky to have one! Even though he's listed as a 'prolific' maker, there just doesn't seem to be that many of his guns around today.

John
John Robbins

Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 11:40:58 PM »
Several years ago I owned a wreck of a Joe Long that had originally been a flintlock.  That is the only one I have ever seen.  Don Getz knows a lot about Joe Long, maybe he advise if he has seen any.

Frank

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 01:25:06 AM »
John.....I have seen several original flint Joe Long guns.    As a matter of fact, my brother Dick owned one.   Several years
ago a descendent of Joe Long who lives down in the Phila. area of the state bought a gun that was originally built as a
flint.   My brother Dick and Dalas Ewing were good friends and did a lot of gun hunting, that is, looking for Joe Longs.
They discovered several flint guns, and what was unique about them was the fact that he dated them on the bottom of
the barrel, so, it would appear that even Joe felt they were unusual.  Another interesting thing I found about Joe Long.
I went to the KRA show several years ago, and Howard Fundukian, from Michigan, called me over to his table to look at a
butt stock he had just purchased, and he asked me what it was.  I looked at and said it was Joe Long, all the way.  It
was broken thru the lock area and all he had was the rear portion.  It suddenly dawned on me that it had an inlet for a
mule ear lock, which is rather unusual for a Joe Long.  But, on the other hand, he did spend time working with Morrison
in Milton, Pa., who made a lot of mule ear guns.   It's fun to study these things.........Don


Offline bcowern

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2009, 01:59:39 AM »
Sorry for the double listings in my last post. Here is one more photo.

http://s597.photobucket.com/albums/tt56/bcowern/?action=view&current=IMG_0521.jpg

Offline Ken G

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2009, 02:34:55 AM »
It's a little easier to get to with this link.  You can pick the picture you want.   I'll post one picture to wet everyones whistle.  
Thanks for sharing the pics.
http://s597.photobucket.com/albums/tt56/bcowern/


« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 02:40:11 AM by Ken Guy »
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2009, 02:49:54 AM »
It's surely a fabulous rifle and I've enjoyed viewing the images of it.
It truly appears to my untrained eye that it is an original flintlock action.  I have no way to determine if the lock is original to the rifle though.  Unusual that it has no frizzen bridle.  Still, it looks like a well made lock in excellent condition.
The whole rifle is exciting!
Thanks for showing it off.  By the way, there may not be many original longrifles out here, but there's lots of contemporary longrifles.  And in a price range that a working stiff can afford too, IMHO.
Welcome to this incredible web site.  You'll love it here.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 02:50:47 AM by D. Taylor Sapergia »
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Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 03:01:08 AM »
Of note, Edith Cooper in her book " The Kentucky Rifle and Me", Published in 1977 but reflecting on her collecting/collection between 1933 and 1953 shows thirteen  Joseph Long Rifles. None pictured are flint!

Arnie Dowd

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 03:51:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing - a great rifle and perhaps the best thing about it is that it truly
appears to be 100% untouched and original - something you see very seldom anymore - hopefully you'll hang on to it and leave hanging over your fireplace  :)

jwh1947

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 04:14:20 AM »
Clean late flint.  Looks like a really nice rifle.  Don, when would you date that "Warranted" lock? Wayne

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2009, 04:22:08 PM »
Wayne.....not sure on the date of the lock, looks to be appropriate for the time frame when Joe worked.  I recall that Dick and Dalas Ewing turned up a Joe Long flint rifle that was built around 1840.  That just shows that they worked much like
the gunsmiths of today, they built what the customer wanted.    I also recalll that Dalas bought a Joe Long rifle shortly before he died, he got it from somewhere out west.   Surprisingly, it was built in 58 cal., which is huge by his standards,
one rarely sees a Joe Long in a big calibre.............Don

Offline Swampwalker

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 05:50:01 PM »
Great looking rifle - thanks for sharing.
On the lock - the cock is a a good match with the plate.  However, the pan has a different patina than the rest of the lock, and the lack of a bridle is surprising on this late of a lock of this quality and style.  However, this could have simply been a repair of a very badly corroded origninal pan.  What does the touchhole area of the barrel look like?
Regard
DB

Offline JTR

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 06:03:48 PM »
Bradford,
You got a great rifle in that trade, and thanks for posting the pictures!
I like Joe Longs work, and it seems your gun has come down in fine condition!

Regarding the lock, it does seem strange having a briddle-less pan, and also with the amount of wood burned away between the lock and the tang, I would suspect that at some point in its life the rifle had a percussion lock. This is not meant as a criticism of your rifle, just an observation.
It looks like you've taken good care of the gun by leaving the patina intact, and I think it looks great just the way it is!

I'd also suggest that this rifle would be a good candidate for inclusion to this site's Library of guns. Perhaps Nord or Hurricane can post info on submitting it.

Thanks again for pics of your rifle!
John
John Robbins

Offline nord

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 07:54:35 PM »
Just go to the Library section for instructions...

E-Mail data to <nordata@earthlink.net> or <parifles@earthlink.net> and I'll take care of the rest.

By the way... Nobody could deny the Morrison connection on this one. Had I not have known better I'd have called Morrison before any thought of Long. Have a look at the Morrison mule ear on exhibit and you'll get my point.
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.

Offline bcowern

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 09:46:25 PM »
Swampwalker,

Here are a few photos for you of the touchhole area and the underside of the pan.








Regards,
Bradford

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 10:08:16 PM »
The touchole being slightly forward of centre!!  Does this tell us that ol Joe Long had screwed up or was he leaving room for that fouling rock to build up ::) ???

Offline b bogart

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2009, 10:24:12 PM »
Or was he trying to line up the rear fence with the rear of the barrel. I shouldn't stir the pot but couldn't help it. ;D
Bruce

Offline bcowern

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2009, 12:12:20 AM »
One more photo of the touchhole area.


Offline Swampwalker

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2009, 12:52:56 AM »
Bradford;
Thanks for the additional pictures - if it is a conversion job, it's a very good one.  A bridle-less pan on this style of lock is not without president.  The more I look at it, the more I'm inclined to think the gun was originally flint, and there's no visible evidence of alteration of the touchhole, unless it was very expertly aged back to match existing metal.
Regards
DB

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2009, 06:12:45 AM »
If someone did a re-conversion on that lock it sure is well done.  While the frizzen is not connected with a bridal on the outside, which is somewhat unusual for a warranted lock, maybe it just proves that you can't say they never built them
that way.  It sure looks right to me.....would love to own it...........Doon

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2009, 03:14:04 PM »
A few other things to think about concerning Joe Long.    In Edith Cooper's book she makes the statement that over the
years of their collecting, they owned 234 (I think this is the number)  Joe Long rifles.   Difficult to tell how many he may have made in his lifetime.   I know that he worked with Morrison in Milton, Pa., but am not sure when.   I saw a rifle at the
Pottstown show that was signed on the barrel "Morrison & Long", interesting.................Don

Offline bcowern

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2009, 09:19:45 PM »
Many thanks to all who have taken the time and effort to respond to my question. I am in awe of the collective amount of knowledge on this site and congratulations  to whomever is responsible. I fell in love with the Joe Long rifle the moment I held it. All of the elements flow together in a way that is very pleasing to my old eyes. This does not come across very well in the snippets of the rifle I have posted and I will try and get some photos of the entire rifle from various angles.I am far from an  expert on American longrifles and this is the only flintlock I have ever owned.

I have seen Edith Cooper's book and noted that none of the Joe Long cap guns pictured have the birdshead escutcheon ahead of the football shaped side piece present on my rifle and, as can bee seen, the patina on the escutcheon is a match with the rest of the rifle. This led me to think this gun was likely originally a flintlock and not a converted cap gun.

Don Getz mentioned that  his brother Dick had discovered that Joe Long flintlocks were dated on the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps he would share with me the dates he knows about. I do not have the courage, confidence, or expertise to separate the barrel from the stock on my rifle.

And again thanks to all who have replied.

Regards,
Bradford

jwh1947

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2009, 03:26:17 AM »
Since you point it out, the fence/bbl. matchup isn't so bad, is it?  Also, I have seen a lot worse touch hole matchups and they were being touted as original flints.
Now for a statement of pure opinion...guys, have at it.  Of the lock, stock and barrel, the lock is the least important component.  If the wood is carved and righteous with classic, crisp architecture, and the barrel is unstretched and signed by a grand master, the specimen will fetch mega-dollars without a lock.

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Joseph Long flintlock rifle
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2009, 04:10:23 PM »
Brad.....sorry, can't remember that far back.    I can only recall them talking about this......it was about 60 years ago.   I
do know that brother Dick had a flint Long rifle that needed a lot of restoration to make it a whole gun.   It could be that
it had a date on the bottom of the barrel, but, I don't remember.  I also thought about "how did they know if the barrel
was dated on the bottom?"    Most Joe Long rifles did not have the ordinary barrel hanger.....It was more of an "L" shaped hanger, and there were no visible barrel pins.   You would "merely" remove the tang bolt and the slide the barrel
rearward to unhook it from the stock......that is probably why you would see broken stocks...........Don