Author Topic: John Shell (#57)100113-4  (Read 5746 times)

Offline nord

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John Shell (#57)100113-4
« on: January 19, 2010, 04:38:17 PM »
Overall length: 56"
Barrel length: 39 3/4"
Barrel: straight octagon, 7/8" across flats at breech
Trigger pull: 13 3/4"
Drop at heel: 4 3/4"
Drop at toe: 8 3/8"


At first glance, this appears to be a Shell 'low budget' rifle, but then you notice the little things that say otherwise. The engraved, brass name plate inlaid into the barrel, the nice engraving on the side plate, and the beautifuly filed triggerguard. Like most of Shell's other pieces, this one is numbered, too, #57 suggesting that this is one of his early guns.
If that is the case, was it made as a flint, since by number it is early and it has the two bolt lock plate? If once flint however, the lockplate appears to have been replaced when the conversion was done, since this plate does not seem to have holes filled in. My thoughts are that the gun has always been a cap and ball piece.

Perhaps some work done.  I don't like the interface of the hammer and nipple, but this is neither necessary nor sufficient to "prove" anything about the piece.  I suspend judgment on how the piece was originally made, but would include it as a numbered J. Shell.  When you get enough of these, you will be able to study to study the evolution of his work.  My database lends credence to the notion that they were numbered in order, and that block-letter signatures are common over # 75, thereabouts. 
This is a nice example of John Shell's earlier work. The misaligned nipple appears to be a case of someone twisting the bolster to the front. I think a quick turn back toward the hammer would rectify the situation. This is an original percussion lock that has been on the gun a long time. However, the flatter butt, more pointed side facings toward the rear, and grip rail off the stock tend to point toward a late flint rifle. It is particularly noteworthy to have a gun that is both signed AND numbered. I also like the fact that, despite the script signature, the gun retains basically the same engraved "box" around the signature as on the later percussion "J. Shell" rifle that will also appear in the museum.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 04:32:51 AM by rich pierce »
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.