Author Topic: Buford Reeves (Indiana) 100719-1  (Read 9590 times)

Offline nord

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Buford Reeves (Indiana) 100719-1
« on: August 01, 2010, 04:22:05 PM »
According to Sellers book, AMERICAN GUNSMITHS, Buford Reeves was born in 1810 and worked in Charleston, Indiana from 1846 – 1862.  In Gardner’s book, SMALL ARMS MAKERS, he is listed as working in Charleston Township, Clark County, Indiana from 1846 – 1851.  the census of 1850 indicates that he had $300.00 invested in the business and employed one hand at $30.00 per month.  During the year ending June 1, 1850, he produced rifle guns in the amount of $600.00.  I looked him up in the 1850 census and it shows that he was born in Kentucky around 1810.
The rifle is signed B REEVES in the top flat behind the rear sight in block letters.  The barrel is just shy of 41-inches long and is 15/16-inches across the flats.  The bore measures .375.  The barrel is held to the stock with two wedges, one of them is missing.  The rifle is stocked in curly maple and is stained very dark, almost black.  The wood has shrunk to the point that the curl has formed “ridges” in the wood, giving it a rippled feel.  The trigger guards, butt plate, lock bolt washer/inlay, entry thimble and side opening cap box are brass and there are 10-silver inlays.  There is also a small silver “cap box” with an iron lid located under the stock between the trigger guard and the toe plate.  The nose cap appears to be silver also.  One of the wedge inlays is broken and another is missing a small section.  The two upper ram rod thimbles are iron.  The front sight is a silver blade set directly into the barrel with no base.  The rifle has a hooked/patent breech and the tang is similar as seen on shotguns, held to the stock with two screws, measuring approximately 5 ½-inches.  The back action lock has a broken main spring and possibility other broken parts.  I have not removed it to check.  Unfortunately, the broken main spring broke out a section of wood above the lock, between the lock plate and the tang.  The length of pull from the front trigger to the center of the butt plate is 13 1/4 – inches with about 3 3/4 -inches of drop to the heel.


I have a Buford Reeves fullstocked rifle, so it's nice to see this one for comparison purposes. My rilfe has the same oval brass side opening patchbox, same 41 inch barrel, long two screw tang, same patchbox (dif. engraving), same guard, dark finish, and same double molded later style cheekpiece. Patchbox release is a horn button on top of the comb. I think he was trained in KY, based on a number of details of his work. I heard a report years ago (I have not seen the gun) of a Bardstown (KY) style rifle with a barrel inscription "Rizer & Weller & Reeves." I"d love to see the gun to see if the "Reeves" was engraved at the same time as "Rizer & Weller" or was a later addition. Reeves made nice, clean looking guns with traditional lines.

I have not seen a Reeves  rifle with as much silver inlay work as this gun carries. The dark finish really sets off the silver inlays. Most silver inlays on this gun, in my opinion, are commercial products from back east that were probably imported into Louisville by way of the Ohio River for retailing. The forestock wedge position inlays, silver capbox in toe and animals all appear to be commercially purchased inlays. 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 04:51:52 AM by Dennis Glazener »
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.