Bruce Miller Virtual Library - Antique American Firearms & Makers > G.C.B.

G.C.B. 100709-1




"VERY late halfstock I'd guess was made c.1880
rolled trigger guard. Nearly all commercially manufactured parts
the kind that one used to see often on a large rack -- "your choice $400"
german silver cheekpiece inlay. Even lock is late -- Ashmore & SON

I'd be a little more kindly.  It could date as late as the 1880's but could also date from the 1850's. It appears well-made and looks honest except for a drum that was probably replaced during its period of use.  The caliber appears fairly large, and it is double-keyed, raising the question of whether it might have been intended to go west.  I see some New York background in the maker's style, but that does not mean he made it there.


The generally available hardware on this rifle makes it impossible to say with any certainty where it was made. I'd hoped that Jim Whisker might have recognized the initials. Sadly not the case.

I'd say my first impression of the rifle would be a NY gun. I'll be even more specific and say the Albany area.

We've covered this ground in the past with another rifle so I remember. It had characteristics of PA, NY, and Midwest guns all rolled into one. As I recall the gun was found to have been made in the Albany area by a small firm that imported a number of their craftsmen from areas outside NY.

Larger caliber and design elements might lead to the conclusion that the rifle was made for use in the west. Drum has possibly been replaced though there are so few signs of use that I still wonder if someone didn't use a lock originally intended for another rifle. (I don't think  a replacement lock.)

Altogether a nice little halfstock. I have no objection to placing this rifle under this category as long as it's made clear that it was derived from the original PA rifles and was at the late evolutionary stages of percussion guns.

I tend to agree with XXXX's assessment, probably a New York area gun. Perhaps we can get Curt to check his New York Gunsmiths reference to see if there is any initials match. The straight butt lines, toe plate with finial, and scrolled guard all are found in NY, but the very short forestock is, in my opinion, an even stronger indication it was probably made in that state, or close by.

I think at times we use the term "generic half-stock" for a pretty wide range of later guns. I do not consider this a "generic" rifle, because it has a well signed barrel, an attractive double molded oval cheekpiece, a nice Ger. silver eagle in the cheek, decorative muzzle stampings, a fancier than normal finial on the toe plate, and plain but decent inlays in the grip area, as a wear plate, and on the comb. I agree this is a later rifle probably from late 1850s or 1860s, perhaps even later, but for that time period it has several decent details that make it better than a typical "generic" rifle. If we can identify the maker from these initials, then this gun has sufficient decorative details to possibly help identify other unsigned work by the same maker. For that reason, I think it should be included in the museum.


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