Author Topic: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show  (Read 1169 times)

Offline Brent English

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Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« on: August 05, 2018, 04:31:25 AM »
Picked up this rifle at the Princeton show yesterday.  You eastern boys don't have all the fun! Always wanted a simple southern rifle with nice lines and this one caught my eye and followed me home.

The seller suggested a NC origin, and I can't dispute that but invite other comments.  The gun has been shortened and has seen some sympathetic restoration.  My gut feeling is the lock is a replacement due to some chisel work in the mortise, but that may have happened when the chip between the top of the lock and the tang was repaired and didn't set exactly in the right place.  There is a feather hole, so that suggests it may have started its life as a flint.

The trigger guard and triggers look to be gunsmith made, and nicely filed up.  I think the lock is hardware store all the way and shows signs of having a removable pan.  Again, I think it's a replacement.  The pipes are iron, but look a bit coppery in the pictures.

Some statistics: apr. 36 caliber.  Barrel is now 43" long and smaller at the breech than the muzzle.  .900 at the breech, .850 midway and .930 at muzzle.  LOP is very short, at just under 12" to the front trigger.  Makes the gun look longer than it is.  The rifling is pretty good all the way down.

So, comments on birthplace, and was it a flinter to start with are encouraged.




























Done right is better than done fast.

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2018, 04:45:58 AM »
 ;D ;D... don't blame you for letting her follow you home, Brent,... I woulda done the same,... nice little rifle,... could you give us a pic of the barrel breechplug tang and comb area of stock,... also ramrod entry area and front sight,...?,... was Jerry  Noble at the show,..?... Thanx,... regards, Cades Cove Fiddler,....

Offline David R.

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2018, 05:01:51 AM »
Mainspring wrapped around a stud? Was that common on percussion locks? Very different style link between mainspring and tumbler. Nice find.
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Offline Sequatchie Rifle

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 05:06:29 AM »
Nice rifle. How about showing us a view of the tang. I especially like that trigger guard. Looks southwest Virginia to me.....
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Offline bgf

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 05:11:50 AM »
Tang picture for me too,  please!  NC isn't crazy, but there's not s lot of hardware.

Offline bgf

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 05:14:54 AM »
Wait a minute, is there a step to the wrist?  It looks like it, but maybe just artifact?

Offline David R.

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 03:57:18 PM »
Reminds me of Bogle.
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Offline rennikselum

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2018, 05:17:07 PM »
Interesting inside of lock, Thanks for sharing.

Jeff

Offline cshirsch

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2018, 07:46:34 PM »
Love it

Offline Brent English

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2018, 08:18:07 PM »
Sorry, neglected to add these pictures on my original posting.   I've seen main springs linked to the tumbler in this way, but not very often.  I don't think I've ever seen a main spring wrapped around a peg though.  No entry pipe. 

Jerry Noble was at the show and had some nice rifles on display. Louie Parker had his latest creation too, and it was to die for.  This rifle and Louie's were across the aisle from one another and very much at opposite ends of the longrifle scale.  Hopefully Louie will post some pictures in the contemporary area.

Any thoughts about it starting its life as a flint?






« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 08:20:20 PM by Brent English »
Done right is better than done fast.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2018, 08:43:03 PM »
Mainspring wrapped around a stud? Was that common on percussion locks? Very different style link between mainspring and tumbler. Nice find.

My Grandfather.C.M.Taylor had a general store that also sold hardware and I showed
him one of these locks years ago and he said it was a "gunsmith's lock and sold for
50 cents new and he had a barrel full of them. I think Bannerman in NYC sold them for
50 cents in the 1950's. C.M.Taylor 1873-1972.
Bob Roller

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2018, 08:57:01 PM »
 The Two screws in the front of the TG, are they both functional or is one a filler. I'm thinking that guard may have been on another rifle, note the molding on the front but none on the back, may have been shorted. Given the fact that it has no BP the guard looks out of place. Just an idea.
 All-in-all a neat rifle, like the double RR pipes at the muzzle.

   Tim
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 08:58:35 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline bgf

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2018, 01:15:02 AM »
Tang makes me swing towad SW Va..or even E.Tn, though NC isn't out of picture.

You mentioned short LOP, any sign/chance it was modified and buttplate was discarded? 

The small screw on the front trigger guard return is right size and position.  My guess is it stripped out or got loose and the bigger one was used to secure it.

Is there a step on the wrist?

PS, as DavidR pointed out, the big lock is reminiscent of the Bogle, so maybe started as Flint and was nicely converted or replaced...there does seem to be a hole filled where the frizzen pivot screw might have been.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 01:17:58 AM by bgf »

Offline Brent English

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2018, 02:55:27 AM »

My Grandfather.C.M.Taylor had a general store that also sold hardware and I showed
him one of these locks years ago and he said it was a "gunsmith's lock and sold for
50 cents new and he had a barrel full of them. I think Bannerman in NYC sold them for
50 cents in the 1950's. C.M.Taylor 1873-1972.
Bob Roller
[/quote]

I think that explains the lock Bob.  I thought it was newer than the gun, maybe even 20th century.  Thanks for that info.
Done right is better than done fast.

Offline Brent English

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2018, 02:59:44 AM »
Tang makes me swing towad SW Va..or even E.Tn, though NC isn't out of picture.

You mentioned short LOP, any sign/chance it was modified and buttplate was discarded? 

The small screw on the front trigger guard return is right size and position.  My guess is it stripped out or got loose and the bigger one was used to secure it.

Is there a step on the wrist?

PS, as DavidR pointed out, the big lock is reminiscent of the Bogle, so maybe started as Flint and was nicely converted or replaced...there does seem to be a hole filled where the frizzen pivot screw might have been.

In regards to the LOP, there aren't any filled screw holes, but removal of a buttplate probably isn't out of the question.  If it had, say a 14" LOP and short tang on the buttplate, the screw holes would all be missing.  I also don't really see a step.   The line through the triggers and down to the toe is continuous.  I think it's just the transition from the round part of the wrist to the more straight part of the lower buttstock down to the toe that might imply a step. 
Done right is better than done fast.

Offline wormey

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2018, 04:25:47 AM »
Just my 2 cents worth, but I think southwest Virginia.  That slight step wrist is a valley of Virginia trait as is the triggerguard with the bow being longer that the grip rail.  I have a Fisher rifle that has that barrel tang and screw and they worked around Lynchburg, Va.  I am not suggesting this rifle was made by one of the fishers as it most likely is not, just that it has several traits suggestive of south west Virginia.  I would also bet the farm that it was originally flint.....the two screws and what appears a cut out for the flint cock in the lock moulding.  I had a nice Tenn. rifle at one time with that tumbler, mainspring connection.  I agree that it has been shortened, but all in all a very nice and desirable rifle.  Congratulations on your find.  wormey

Offline bgf

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2018, 06:16:59 AM »
Wormey,
That's what I was thinking when I asked about the step (which is often very subtle, especially without molding).  The guard does fit, too, along with probably the fanciful double pipes at the muzzle.  A buttplate would have made it a grandslam.  Maybe even stars on the muzzle that were cut off :).

Offline Bill Paton

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Re: Picked up this southern rifle at the Princeton Show
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2018, 08:24:58 AM »
The lock catches my attention. I have one almost identical to it on a very crude “reconstruction gun” with a long swamped hand forged barrel. John Braxton (N Carolina builder and collector) wrote a Muzzle Blasts article a few years ago about “reconstruction guns" cobbled together in the South after the Civil War when they were needed for subsistence. He said the lock on mine with that strange “box shaped” rectangular stirrup is post- CW and fits what Bob Roller said about them. Mine has a hammer with the same etched “engraving” and a bit of additional design behind the hammer on the plate. The bridle and mainspring are identical. My lock plate has a slightly shorter profile in front of the drum recess. I imagine the lock bolt holes were not pre-drilled, so their positions would be established to fit the gun. Maybe Bob Roller will chime in again with respect to my comments.

Nice find!

Bill Paton
Kentucky double rifle student
wapaton.sr@gmail.com