Author Topic: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?  (Read 6227 times)

Offline Bill-52

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Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« on: June 09, 2012, 11:19:29 PM »
In researching the Shell family of gunsmiths (Martin Sr. & Jr., John and Daniel of Dauphin County, PA), I came across the following when searching Daniel Shell on the internet:

"Name found on the barrel of a five shot, .48 caliber, hand revolved Kentucky style revolving rifle. The cylinder is released for turning by pulling a button on the left side of the stock behind the cylinder. Daniel Shell was the son of Martin Shell of the same location, who produced flintlock Kentucky Rifles."

Were such rifles made in America? Can anyone recommend any references (books, articles, etc.) on revolving cylinder longrifles? Any help would be most appreciated.

Bill
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 12:34:19 AM by Bill-52 »

Offline Luke MacGillie

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 07:46:47 AM »

Offline JCKelly

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 05:39:39 AM »
June 7, 1829 James Millar of Rochester, NY patented a revolving rifle. Billinghurst apprenticed under Millar (sometimes mis-spelt "Miller") and is known for making such rifles, often with pill-lock ignition. Millar was, I think, involved as witness in one of Sam Colt's patent lawsuits. Mr. Colt had some very good lawyers. Currently there is a revolving rifle by James Millar's brother, spelt Miller, and one by Billinghurst for sale at www.collectorsfirearms.com 

Millar's rifle would not be called a Kentucky by any stretch.

A number of gunsmiths, including some in Michigan, made these revolving rifles to Milar's patent. M.L. Rood patented a revolving rifle, US Pat No. 10,259 Nov. 22, 1853.

Would love to see a photo of that Shell rifle.

Offline Bill-52

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 06:40:33 PM »
JC,

Would love to see a picture of the Daniel Shell revolving cylinder "Kentucky style" rifle as well.  Unfortunately, the text in my original post is all that I found.  The Billinghurst rifle is interesting.  I wonder if the Daniel Shell is a full or half stock?

Still having a difficult time finding written material on revolving cylinder longrifles in general, if anyone has any thoughts.

Many thanks, Bill

Offline Curt J

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 05:44:00 AM »
Jonathon Browning, father of John M. Browning, was indeed making revolving "Kentucky Rifles" in Nauvoo, Illinois, and later in Kanesville, Iowa, during the 1830's & 1840's.  He also made "slide guns", a harmonica-type repeating rifle, during the same period.

Offline Chris Treichel

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 06:37:46 AM »
Or how about the Elisha Collier's flintlock revolver made in Boston...

Here's a picture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elisha-collier-flintlock-revolver.jpg

Offline Habu

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Re: Revolving Cylinder Kentucky Rifle?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 10:56:35 AM »
I think I may still have drawings for a Collier's revolver around here.  I recall thinking it would take a lot of tweaking to use that plan to make a rifle; maybe that is why Collier didn't make a lot of long guns.  Or maybe folks tried one and didn't want it for some reason . . .   I've shot a repro revolver, but it felt very awkward in the hand.