Author Topic: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel  (Read 1660 times)

Offline gibster

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I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« on: September 08, 2019, 04:29:52 AM »
Took pictures of the breech of a N Beyer rifle today and thought you may like to see the marking I N R I which represents the Latin inscription IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVD∆ORVM (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum), which in English translates to "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews" (John 19:19).






upload image online

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 04:36:40 AM »
Didnít others do this as well?
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 04:39:46 AM »
His master JP Beck used that.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Karl Kunkel

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 04:42:03 AM »
I think several of the Lebanon sub-school used that.  As Rich said, JPB was the master.
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Offline Karl Kunkel

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 05:07:44 AM »
Thanks for posting the picture, that's the first image of the INRI I recall seeing.  I always thought Beck used I+N++R+++I, but this clearly shows three crosses between each letter.
Kunk

Offline Avlrc

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 03:54:46 PM »
Nice, and a good  post for a Sunday morning, well any day for that matter.  :)

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 05:03:56 PM »
Nifty, thanks for sharing.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
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Offline sqrldog

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 05:08:38 PM »
Enjoyed the post shows how religious and the importance religion was to some of the gunsmiths. The picture also shows how this gunsmith solved fitting his front lock bolt to allow clearance for his ramrod.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 05:19:30 PM »
Enjoyed the post shows how religious and the importance religion was to some of the gunsmiths. The picture also shows how this gunsmith solved fitting his front lock bolt to allow clearance for his ramrod.
Also shows a little rust on the bottom side of the barrel doesn't seem to be a problem.... ;)
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Elnathan

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 08:37:07 PM »
The shape of the breechplug is interesting, too. Never seen that wedge shape before.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying...cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline spgordon

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 09:09:40 PM »
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2019, 09:27:19 PM »
Beyerís master, J P Beck did this on occasion also. One rifle (someone out there knows which one) is inscribed with DEO, which I seem to recall as translation to; With the help of God.
I recon the old man rubbed off on his apprentice.

Offline George

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 11:02:02 PM »
gibster    Thanks for posting  Have heard of this but have never seen  it on a barrel.

George
George

Offline rich pierce

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2019, 11:27:15 PM »
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....

Iím not sure we can know and am not sure if further discussion is wise or allowed.  But it may primarily point to the crucifixion of Jesus; that he was unjustly accused and bore the sins of others.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline spgordon

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2019, 11:49:39 PM »
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....

Iím not sure we can know and am not sure if further discussion is wise or allowed.  But it may primarily point to the crucifixion of Jesus; that he was unjustly accused and bore the sins of others.

I can see that; makes sense.

I would certainly hope that list members could have a discussion about what a religious reference might mean to an eighteenth or early nineteenth-century gunsmith. That discussion does not need to (should not!) involve any list member's own beliefs, etc., if that is the concern.
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline sqrldog

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2019, 12:03:28 AM »
One of the Beck rifles in the ALR virtual library shows the bottom of the barrel and the INRI inscription also the front lock bolt groove. It is also interesting that the bottom  lugs show no elongation for stock movement.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 12:56:13 AM »
There is a Beck rifle with this INRI inscription on the bottom flat near the breech of the barrel. Below that there is in the stock wood a small carved niche which has what appears to be a flower or some plant material placed in the cavity. This was then covered by a piece of foolscap to hold it in place. Some great meaning to J.P. Beck the builder, or to the owner probably. 

Offline bama

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 06:14:10 AM »
I know of two Christian Beck rifles that have what I call prayer notes placed in the barrel channel between the breech and the first barrel lug. These notes are written in old German, one of these notes was in good enough condition that it could be translated. I will see if I can get the owner to post a picture of the note and it's translation.

Even though the INRI was initially a mocking of Christ, I believe that most Christians see this as a devine revelation and as a sign of their faith. I do believe that many of the early gunsmiths were very religious and Christians. Who knows their reasoning. It could have just been a blessing by them that the firearm they built would do no harm.

As a side note, both of these Christian Beck rifles have barrels that have straight rifling.
Jim Parker

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Offline smart dog

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 01:51:17 PM »
Hi,
Maybe it was a prayer hoping their barrel wouldn't blow up.

dave
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Offline bama

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2019, 07:39:40 PM »
I finally got the information on the rifles I mentioned earlier. The first is a picture of the INRI markings on the bottom of a signed Christian Beck rifle with a quote from the owner.

"My Christian Beck dates around 1805 +or -, while he was still in his
father's shop finishing his apprenticeship. I think he moved to the Bethel
area around 1810."



This rifle also has a hand written note in the barrel. Unfortunately the note has become attached to the barrel channel and can not be removed but some of the hand writing is still readable. This note appears to be written in Old German and is written in pencil.

The second rifle also has a hand written note in the barrel, is written in Old German and is written with pencil. This rifle is not signed and has Bonewitz style patch box and furniture. This note is in good condition and the current owner had the note transcribed. The note refers to the Bible verses John chapter 1 verses 1 & 2.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

Here is a picture of that note.



While I could not see the note that well in the first rifle I could see a few words. Both notes are written in pencil and the hand writing on both notes is very similar. Another similarity of both rifles is that they both have straight rifled barrels.

There is a connection between these two rifles. Could be a young Christian Beck after leaving his father's shop toying with other designs, who knows. It sure if fun thinking about it.

Thanks to both owners for allowing me to share this information.
Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline WESTbury

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2019, 10:39:52 PM »
Thanks for sharing the photos!

The hand written note is a priceless artifact to have.
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Offline spgordon

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2019, 11:48:45 PM »
I think I helped get that handwritten note translated from German script in 2015 for the current owner! I had totally forgotten about that.

I can totally understand an important verse from the Gospels being tucked away in a rifle as a sign of religious devotion or just for good luck. I am still puzzled by the I.N.R.I, though, which was a phrase, as you said, used to mock Christ. I am not doubting that the folks who carved it in the barrels did so out of religious devotion. There is no other explanation. It is just a very odd phrase to choose, in my opinion!
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline bama

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2019, 01:12:50 AM »
SP thank you for that effort. I knew that the owner had sent the note to see if it could be translated but did not know who that was.
Jim Parker

"An Honest Man is worth his weight in Gold"

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2019, 03:08:49 AM »
SP, the case can be made that Pontius Pilate posting the INRI on the cross of Jesus was actually a rebuke intended for the Sanhedrin, not Jesus. They rejected all evidence that perhaps Jesus was indeed the king of the Jews and tricked Pilate into condemning Him to die. He retaliated by posting the sign and then insulted the members of the Sanhedrin who protested. That is my understanding of that day.
Dick

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2019, 04:41:23 AM »
From the Wikipedia entry for INRI

"In Western Christianity, most crucifixes and many depictions of the crucifixion of Jesus include a plaque or parchment placed above his head, called a titulus, or title, bearing only the Latin letters INRI, occasionally carved directly into the cross and usually just above the head of Jesus. In the Eastern Church "King of Glory" (τῆς Δόξης, tÍs Důxēs) may be used."

If it was originally used to mock Jesus I think it has been co-opted into the faith, or at least it has by some sects.
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana