Author Topic: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles  (Read 1526 times)

Offline Tanselman

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1263
Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« on: October 22, 2021, 08:45:11 AM »
I have a fine, iron mounted, full-stocked rifle that has lost its spring loaded release button from its iron banana-style patchbox lid. However, the release button appears to be different from the normal TN style release with spring bent 90 degrees and mounted inside the patchbox cavity. On my rifle, the release button spring was totally outside of the patchbox cavity, and made as a straight spring that went down and completely through the stock. On the back side of the butt, there is a dimple, or slight indented area, which looks like the original spring had a peened or enlarged tip, to keep it  from pulling back through the stock wood.

My question: has anyone seen this type spring release button on an iron mounted, banana-style patchbox on a southern rifle, perhaps TN origin and perhaps made elsewhere? If so, can you describe it to me, or post pictures, so I know how a replacement spring release should be made and mounted? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Shelby Gallien







Offline AZshot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 399
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2021, 03:02:42 PM »
Congrats on that one.  Glad to see one of us got it.

Offline Buck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • A.F.A.M. # 934, Trinity Commandry #80
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 03:06:18 PM »
Shelby - nice rifle, congrats on your acquisition.

Buck

Offline louieparker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2021, 03:20:13 PM »
Shelby I would say its rather typical.  Gross used one like that. I really doubt that it went through when made. Normally just drove into the wood....LP

Offline Eric Krewson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1900
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2021, 03:52:01 PM »
All the contemporary TN patchbox latches I have seen are some variation of what was lost from your rifle, some are just nailed in with a little play for the latch to move, some are screwed in.

I made one for my TN rifle out of a piece of hacksaw blade, it works well. This picture is prior to installing the attaching screw.



Offline rsells

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 650
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 04:07:24 PM »
Tanselman,
I have an unsigned classic designed TN original that has a latch which is made similar to  tack with a head forged on it with a ramp an slight lip formed on the front side to push the spring back and hold the lid when it drops below  the lip.  I have copied this design a few times building TN rifles.  Nice rifle you have.
                                                                                      Roger Sells

Offline Chris_B

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 05:40:52 PM »
Here is the release button of my Alfred Duncan, TN, rifle.
It is the usual type you describe so I donít know if it helps,
but thought it might not hurt to post it anyhow  ;)





Kind regards from Germany, Chris

Offline Hungry Horse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5034
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2021, 07:54:22 PM »
Shelby, I donít have a gun, or patchbox with that kind of a release, but I do have a buttplate, lock, and set of triggers, that are very much like those on your rifle. The buttplate is very nicely done, and if Iím not mistaken like the one on your rifle has no flat surfaces just beautifully formed curves. My buttplate has three screws securing it. May I ask if the triggers on your gun are screwed in place, or simply captured in their mortise by the triggerguard? Mine have no screw holes.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Tanselman

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1263
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 11:06:42 PM »
My rifle's butt plate is iron, beautifully formed, with the traditional facets of a brass butt plate filed on its top return. It has the typical small rivet at the heel connecting the return with the larger shoulder plate, and another typical small rivet at the toe connecting the shoulder plate with the toe plate. The butt plate is mounted with the traditional two screws, one in the top heel, and one about 2/3 the way down the shoulder plate. This rifle has a number of uncommon details for a TN rifle, including all ramrod pipes filed with facets and rings on the end like typical brass ramrod pipes. The trigger plate is held in place to the rear by the guard, and to the front by the tang bolt that threads into it, and a little bit by the guard.

Another fascinating detail is that the rifle is completely surrounded in iron, by which I mean the comb has a long iron inlay that tapers to the front to meet the tang that runs up over the comb, the toe plate has a smaller extension that runs down to meet the guard's rear extension, and the forearm has a wear plate that runs out to meet the rear ramrod pipe... making an iron "path" completely around the rifle. There is some simple but nice file work decoration on the iron surfaces that run around the rifle, at the edges where one piece of iron meets the next. And the iron banana box has a hard-to-see hashed border, and rays engraved around the screw head in the finial. It's just a really neat, iron mounted rifle that is yet to be placed. 

I have not been able to attribute this rifle, and cannot find a similar gun in any of Jerry Noble's paperback books on southern guns. The guard looks like one from an Elisha Bull rifle to me, but it's not his work, and the cheekpiece is significantly different.  There was a Bull gunsmith, trained at Bulls Gap, TN, who moved to Knox Co., KY in 1808 and worked until the 1830s, using a number of Bull family details from Bulls Gap guns. Now I'm wondering if this just might possibly be one of his guns, since it has the pointed side facings of his and other work in that area of southeastern KY, along with swamped barrel and faceted pipes with the rear pipe being a traditional style similar to brass rear pipes. Before you Tennessee guys jump on me... it's just a thought, not a fact.

Shelby Gallien




« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 11:26:35 PM by Tanselman »

Offline Hungry Horse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5034
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2021, 11:27:52 PM »
 Shelby I obviously was not seeing what I thought I was. My buttplate has no facets, and is not riveted at the junction of the buttplate and comb. It in fact has no mechanical part joining the comb to the actual buttplate. It is formed in one continuous piece filed narrow at the intersection of the two pieces, where it is then folded over and brazed up tight. The set triggers are held into the stock by the triggerguard with no threads or rivets. My triggers are quite short, but look like they were made quite a bit longer, and then shortened to fit into the guard, they have a peppercorn adjustment screw between them. They are single phase double set. The lock that came with these parts is a percussion Golcher of the better sort, having a half cock notch, a bridle, and a fly.

  Hungry Horse

Offline AZshot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 399
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2021, 12:36:56 AM »
That rifle has a LOT of unusual features to me.  TN to me also.  The cheekpiece looks like William N. Beals no. 2 in Gunmakers of Buffalo Valley and Greasy Cove - Byrd.  But the trigger guards of most of those are closed rings.

Offline mountainman70

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • USAF vet 1971-1972 malmstrom afb,montana
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2021, 04:31:32 AM »
Great rifle for sure. Just a thought, do you suppose it could have been a long flathead screw installed from cheek side, and screwed into a small button to form the catch?
This looks like another ingenious way to do it.At first I thought that the driven in nail just poked a hole through over the years, but it looks like a countersunk on purpose to my tired ol eyes.
I made a similar arrangement on a build using a nail with a separate small square head that slid up the nail shaft.
 Lots of interesting ways the ol bros used to do this.
 Have a wunnerful evening all. best regards, Dave  8) 8)

Offline Sequatchie Rifle

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 774
  • F. & A.M. Helion #1; 3rd SFG(ABN)
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2021, 03:05:40 PM »
Shelby, Iíve seen an identical latch configuration on another East Tennessee rifle. Iíll go through my notes.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 05:18:00 PM by Sequatchie Rifle »
"We fight not for glory, nor riches nor honors, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life.Ē Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

Offline RAT

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2021, 10:52:01 PM »
It looks like it had a typical banana patchbox release to be. Hershel House shows you how to make one in his Kentucky rifle building videos. I can't remember if it was in Volume one or volume two. My guess... and it's just a guess... the spring catch may have kept working it's way out... and the guy kept hammering it back in. One time he hammered it too much and it broke through the back side. Then it fell out and got lost at some point.
Bob

Offline B.Barker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1162
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2021, 02:56:06 AM »
That trigger guard is a lot like the ones used by the Bull boys. I don't think it's a bull but maybe someone that was associated with them. As for the release I'm in the same thinking as Louie P.

Offline mountainman70

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • USAF vet 1971-1972 malmstrom afb,montana
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2021, 04:25:41 AM »
RAT, that makes sense even to me. Have a goodun, Dave 8) 8)

Offline Clark Badgett

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
  • Oklahoma
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2021, 01:42:22 AM »
Not to be nit picky, but why do we call them banana patch boxes instead of cigar shaped boxes?
Psalms 144

Offline Tanselman

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1263
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2021, 09:22:01 AM »
Well, a lot of collectors think the outline of the box is closer to a banana shape than a longer, thinner, more blunt ended cigar shape. And others probably think the other way. I think the term "banana box" is used more often among collectors, but "cigar shaped" is also used at times, so it's a personal choice.  Shelby Gallien

Offline bama

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
    • Calvary Longrifles
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2021, 08:09:03 PM »
Shelby, it has been awhile since I built my Charlie Bean copy of the rifle that Jerry Nobel had at the time but I am pretty sure that it had the same kind of catch that was used on your rifle. That is the type of catch that I put on my copy and it works well, if done correctly.









Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline Rajin cajun

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
  • Ragin Cajun
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2021, 08:14:01 PM »
Thatís one nice rifle Mr. Parker..!

Bob
Itís not the size of the dog in the fight, itís the size of the fight in the dog !

Offline bama

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
    • Calvary Longrifles
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2021, 08:15:27 PM »
Here is the release on my Alfred Duncan.






Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline Tanselman

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1263
Re: Spring Release Buttons on Iron Mounted, Banana Patchbox Rifles
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2021, 11:06:58 PM »
Jim,

Thank you for posting the pictures of the release button. I had never really thought about how they were made or mounted before getting this last rifle. Pictures "speak a thousand words" when you can see it. I really like the oval tipped shape on your Duncan rifle, and seeing a release spring outside of the box cavity helps to understand my rifle. Gee, if you weren't booked up for 2 years, I'd have you put a button release on my rifle! 

Shelby Gallien