Author Topic: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC  (Read 989 times)

Offline gibster

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Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« on: February 17, 2020, 10:52:45 PM »
Thought I would share a few pictures of a Jabez Stephens rifle that I got at the Alabama show a few weeks ago.  I feel sure that originally, the rifle was a full stock gun and was originally a Flintlock as it has the cut-out for the flint hammer and drilled for vent feathers.  The lock plate appears to be original to the rifle.  The stock was shortened to a half-stock during it's working life, maybe when it was converted to percussion.  The barrel is swamped and is 43 3/8-inches long. It has the typical 3-screw tang as seen on Jamestown rifles.  The conversion is a little different that what I typically see as the nipple is screwed directly into the barrel.  I had heard once that conversions like this were done for the Confederacy. If anyone could shed some light on that I would appreciate it.  The barrel is signed J S for Jabez Stephens. There is an old repair over the side plate so I don't know if it has the "running chicken" engraved on it or not. To me, the repair adds to the rifle as it kept it working well beyond the time it was damaged.  Feel free to leave comments/thoughts on the rifle.






















Offline Bob McBride

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2020, 10:57:40 PM »
Cool rifle. The 'cone in barrel' conversion (as it was called) was pretty commonly done. It was done by the Springfield and Harper's Ferry armories on the 1816 and 1840 Muskets (as can be seen in Kent John's book 'Springfield Armory Infantry Muskets) when they were converted. Love the repairs on the rifle. Nice find.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 11:07:51 PM by Bob McBride »

Offline gibster

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 12:05:05 AM »
Thanks Bob. I've seen this conversion in Muskets as you point out, but very few rifles.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 04:06:50 AM »
Nice NC rifle in 'as found' condition. And, it's signed which is a ncie touch not always seen. This type of conversion is also know as a
Belgian Conversion. Thanks for bringing it out to be seen.

Dick 

Online mbriggs

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 04:53:04 PM »
Hi Gibster,
That poor old Jamestown has lived a long hard life, but is still standing. Jabez was one of the best gunsmiths in the school.

He and his partner (William "Capt. Billy" Lamb) both occasionally used the cone in barrel on their early percussion rifles.

I have not seen a "Running Chicken" on one of his plain rifles, but there are a lot of things I have not seen, so that doesn't mean anything.

I am glad you rescued it. I hope to see you in Knoxville.

Michael




C. Michael Briggs

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 05:57:58 PM »
 ;) ;)... I really like this one, Eric,... I must agree that was originally flint, in addition to the two markers you mentioned, the lockplate still has the "fence" from the pan, and was definitely a fullstock once, as the two incised lines on the remaining forestock show,... cannot remember if the barrel rib was wood or iron,...?? ... I really like that entry pipe,... are the other ramrod pipes matching,...? ... M. Briggs knows these NC rifles and he can complete the puzzle in Knoxville,... see you there,... Regards,... CCF...

Offline jdm

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 07:39:37 PM »
Eric, That's a cool old gun . It has a great look to it. It would look even better in K.C. 
JIM

Offline gibster

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 07:48:01 PM »
CCF - The rib is iron. My initial thought was to "stretch" the wood back to what it originally was, but that's not going to happen. At least as long as I have it.  The same with putting it back to flint, not going to happen and for the same reasons.  It's part of the story of the rifle and it isn't something that needs to be done to stabilize anything or to try to "fix" someone else's attempt at putting it back. It's missing the middle RR pipe but the front one is round and doesn't match the entry.  Planning to bring it to Knoxville in April.

JDM - I'll have it at Princeton in a few weeks and you can drool over it there  ;D.

Offline Hlbly

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 08:48:17 PM »
I owned this rifle for years and nobody would even look at it.

Offline jdm

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 09:51:24 PM »
Hlbly,  That's the way it is with me.  I've never owned a great gun tell after I sold it !
JIM

Offline Skirmisher

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 02:03:06 AM »
I have a Berks County long rifle with a similar cone in barrel conversion and a bronze, military styled hammer.  Have no idea who did it, although the rifle itself has some characteristics of a contract rifle made for militia use.

Offline wildcatter

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2020, 03:02:21 AM »
Somebody made sure to keep this one around!! Thanks for sharing, and keep them coming!!

Matt
You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.

Offline Sequatchie Rifle

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Re: Jabez Stephens - Jamestown NC
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 08:34:26 PM »
I really like the repairs on this one!
"We fight not for glory, nor riches nor honors, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life. Declaration of Arbroath, 1320