Author Topic: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***  (Read 9528 times)

Lee J

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Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« on: November 16, 2010, 04:13:39 AM »
This has been my 'over the fireplace' rifle for over a decade now, I suppose because I have always suspected there was so much 'wrong' with it, starting with brass screws for the patchbox. Several months ago I was cleaning house and took it down for a good dusting and rewaxing and I looked it up in the limited library I have. From what I can tell, several of the pieces are indeed consistent with the signature and add up to Christian Beck the earlier.

Obvious from the photographs, this rifle has been converted to percussion. The drum inserts into a breech integral with the barrel tang and just forward of the drum there is a join to the main part of the barrel. At the muzzle, the bore measures 45 cal and is rifled with seven lands and grooves. The lock is inscribed 'ROSS'. The wood seems old but perhaps a bit over-refinished at some point and there is a bad split where the stock narrows and some plastic wood repairs where an old pin attachment has failed.

Overall length: 57.5 inches   Barrel length: 42 inches

Your comments and pointers on what is likely right and wrong with this rifle will be appreciated.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 04:34:43 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Christian Beck the earlier - converted, battered and bruised
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 06:55:40 AM »
Interesting rifle! Thank you for posting photographs of it; many here will find it to be of great interest. There really isn't too much wrong with it from my perspective. You correctly pointed out that the patchbox screws should be iron rather than brass. My suggestion is that you change those out and leave it alone. The wood does appear to have been scubbed some, but color is great. It even has some carving in the C. Beck style.
This is a late gun most likely; the lock (looks original) is round tailed and has a single bolt. The barrel apparently has not been shortened at conversion, as most were. Rather, this gunsmith seems to have installed a patent breech rather than cut down the barrel. He then put the drum into the new breech portion. Always wondered why the old boys didn't routinely use this method, but almost none did. Glad to see this.
There is a possibility that this gun was made in W. VA. as C. Beck followed the trade west. That it has carving at all is a real plus as carved rifles grew more and more scarce down the years. Thanks again for showing it around and I'm sure that you will be hearing a lot more about it on the Forum, here. Please put it into the Library.
Best-Dick

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Christian Beck the earlier - converted, battered and bruised
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 05:23:08 AM »
One of my friends has a lovely Nicholas Beyer rifle that also has had a patent breech added... I don't follow these things but still, this is only the 2nd time I've noticed this type of conversion. It implies that the rifle was well thought of when it was converted as this must have been much more expensive to do.

Lee J

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 08:38:06 PM »
Thank you, gentlemen, for your insights. You have answered my principal curiosities and concerns. I have edited the title of this thread to make it a little less misleading. I had, of course, been operating in the world as described in Kindig's Thoughts... in which there were two Christian Becks. From descriptions in reference books and ALR, it appears there are at least four, though so much is contradictory.

Following Kindig's observations, I had allowed the construction of the patchbox - with the side plates of the patch box overlaping the sides of the hinge and position the patchbox release in the butt plate and the iron catch in the upper rear corner of the lid - to direct me to 'Christian Beck - the Earlier.' Obviously, now, this was wrong based upon the late lock, which does appear to be original to the stock as Christian Beck of Lebanon passed away in 1803. So, thanks to Mr. No Gold I'll follow the attribution that this rifle is late work of J.P. Beck's son C. Beck and that should account for style of the patchbox and the date of the lock. Maybe Chandler #90 and 91 are also this man's work?

« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 04:33:26 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 11:04:55 PM »
Lee-
You constructed a fine family chart of the Beck family. To this time I have not seen it so well laid out. The Becks seem to have been traditionalists and the C. Becks at least followed those principles for many decades. Congratulations on having this one; it's a fine gun, and as these things go, this rifle should be worth considerably more than a comparable rifle by a lesser maker.
Glad that I could add something to the chase and to hear that the gun is totally original. At this point in time, I am not sure it has even been cleaned at all. Some do come down in that condition. This from having looked it over some more.
Periodically, I hear from a famly in Florida who are Beck descendents. They hope to acquire a Beck gun, but like most of us they are not rich.
Best regards-Dick

Offline albert

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 04:52:57 AM »
Thanks for showing the pictures of the C Beck rifle,I have a poorly restocked rifle with a C Beck swamped bbl.,it has the 8 point star between C * Beck, same side plate,that has some engraving left,same  front,rear sight,and similar trigger guard. This rifle was acquired here in Northern Mo. several years ago by a late friend of mine.
j albert miles

Lee J

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 10:08:33 PM »
Thank you for your comments; I had a request for some additional images of the fittings on this rifle and include these below.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 04:33:47 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Lee Jones

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Christian Beck of Jonestown
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2022, 02:38:53 AM »
Below are the images originally included in post 1 of this thread from November 16, 2010. Since that post, much clarification between the several Christian Becks has been made.

The signature on the barrel is that of Christian Beck of Jonestown, son of the famous J. P. Beck. The butt cap, patch box latch mechanism, trigger guard and trigger are all consistent with those of J.P. Beck that his son used.

The side plate is something else and obviously original to this stock. The patch box, despite the typical latching mechanism, is otherwise atypical for this maker. Whether this is very late work by Christian Beck or is a restocking carried out perhaps at the time of conversion to percussion remains an open question.

I would like to express appreciation to members of this forum, John Beck and Van Pitman (writing in the Kentucky Rifle Association Bulletin) for the insights they have provided.















« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 02:47:14 AM by Lee Jones »

Offline Lee Jones

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2022, 02:45:57 AM »
Here are the original images from post #6:











Offline JTR

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Re: Christian Beck
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2022, 03:48:38 AM »
Thanks for the update!
John
John Robbins

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2022, 04:36:12 PM »
 Pix Replaced

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2022, 05:29:12 PM »
Thank you!
Andover, Vermont

Offline Jdbeck

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Re: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2023, 09:50:45 PM »
Beautiful pictures! It is definitely a unique and beautiful piece!

Offline Dave Peelgren

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Re: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2023, 11:16:22 PM »
Do my old eyes see a caped off hole in the front of that lock?

Offline Lee Jones

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Re: Christian Beck***Pix Replaced 11/20/22***
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2023, 04:09:14 PM »
Quote
Do my old eyes see a caped off hole in the front of that lock?
Yes, I believe that they do. Here are more images, front and back: