Author Topic: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun  (Read 2520 times)

Offline jdm

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Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« on: March 21, 2020, 12:55:48 AM »
This is a war of 1812 period Board of Ordnance trade gun .  The hammer looks  like a small weapon itself.I thought some of you might like to look at something different while we're grounded.

 Dennis if this doesn't belong please delete.





JIM

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 12:58:35 AM »








JIM

Offline louieparker

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 01:02:16 AM »
Great gun Jim ..Very cool frontier conversion,,,,,,,LP

WESTbury

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 01:15:34 AM »
Very nice.

I see the Broad Arrow with a letter "D" in the butt. Is the other letter an "I" ?

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 01:30:43 AM »
Louie, Thanks . The comb is cut down a little on one side .
WEstbury  yes the letters are I D . Some were also marked B O  and G R with the Broad Arrow in between the letters.

JIM

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 02:58:57 AM »
Very, very cool. Is the lock dated?
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline Bob McBride

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 03:03:11 AM »
She’s a beaut Jim.
-Bob

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www.youtube.com/c/blackpowdertv

PB-TN

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 03:26:38 AM »
Bob & Robert, Thanks!  There is no date on the lock, it's pretty rusted up inside and out with a lot of old gunk.  the fox in a circle is barely visible on the lock plate.  The scales on the serpent side plate are full of old dirt, varnish ?

JIM

Offline Hudnut

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2020, 06:26:45 AM »
Here is another one.  It has the I/l\D brand in three places:  Butt, wrist and forend.  Board of Ordnance private proofs on barrel.  Circle fox on barrel and lock, property mark under the pan.  I/l\D is Indian Department of the British Army.  These guns were supplied to His Majesty's Indian Allies, during the War of 1812 or shortly thereafter.  They are very much the same as NW trade guns, but are government issue.  Given where this Moxham surfaced, it had likely been supplied to Brant's Mohawks.











« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 06:33:31 AM by Hudnut »

WESTbury

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2020, 02:27:20 PM »
HUDNUT--Thanks for the photos and additional historic info.

Bailey has Thomas Moxham listed as providing components as well as complete arms, including "1813 Indian Arms" Sept 1810 - Sept 1819 as well other dates up through 1837.

Very nice historic arm.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2020, 03:49:24 PM »
Nifty, always loved branded guns. I need to do some branding in the future,.
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 Bill Wilde

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2020, 03:54:48 PM »
An example of other work by Wheeler. A set of Officer's pistols. As a tag; we should all be at the Baltimore Gun Show today!






Offline Hudnut

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2020, 04:19:21 PM »
I acquired the Moxham in the early '70s.  It had surfaced in Brant County Ontario.
Just as the Board of Ordnance had bought up India Pattern muskets from the contractors making them for the East India Company, they acquired these trade pattern guns for militia issue.  Mechanically, the guns are like the ones made for the HBC - unbridled inside and out.  NW Co. guns were superior, doubled bridled.
There are comparable pistols which were intended for militia issue.  They look like standard 9" service arms, but are unbridled.  Made by the trade gun contractors, and property marked.  Almost invariably, there will be a Crown 39 inspector's stamp on the tang.
In SW Ontario, many (most) of the NW guns which I saw had the proof marks and property marks indicating government ownership.  Trade gun pattern, but not actual fur trade guns.  Actual HBC or NW Co. guns were very uncommon.  All NW guns are quite rare.  Survival rate was low.  There are very few of the I/l\D branded guns.

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2020, 05:13:21 PM »
Hudnut & Bill Thank you posting additional pictures.
 The Wheeler pistol's are screamers.  What a grand lock.
To add little to what Hudnut posted.  From what I've read the exact significance of the branding is unknown.  It is thought they were likely put on guns provided to fur traders to help arm   the  Indian . The brands might discourage the chance of the guns ending up in commercial channels.

According to  De Witt Bailey's list.
Thomas Moxham  shipped 724  Board of Ordnance Indian guns between1813  & 1816.
wheeler & son Shipped 734 between 1813 & 1816.
JIM

Offline Steve Collward

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2020, 06:04:33 PM »
   Just to add a bit more to this thread, below are some photos of another "Wheeler & Son" marked trade gun, without any Board of Ordnance markings. This gun has a serious wrist crack, but had been repaired at some point, and at least is now very stable. Note the trigger guard is of the same style of the one on JDM's example.
  A sister of this gun is illustrated in Ryan Gale's book "For Trade and Treaty..." pages 73-78.  Apparently Wheeler & Son had a contract with the North West Company.













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Offline Hudnut

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2020, 06:23:23 PM »
I just got out my copy of Hanson's Firearms of the Fur Trade, to have a look at the De Witt Bailey data on these contract guns.
Common guns (like the ones pictured), chief's guns, rifles and pistols were supplied.  In another thread in this forum, there was discussion of a rather nice chief's gun which appeared in an Ontario auction.  The survival rate of chief's guns seems to be greater than that of the common guns.  They are stylish sporting guns, and I think that they were more appreciated at the time. 
I can only recall seeing one rifle turn up, and that was in the '60s..  The pistols appear from time to time.  Not unusual to see them in original flintlock.  I suspect that they weren't as widely distributed, and survived as curios, being less useful than the long guns.  Maybe they were held in stores unissued, and eventually sold off after the flint period had passed.
I assume that the I/l\D brand was to provide permanent and obvious identification and to discourage sale. 
There was a write-up of the Tecumseh gun in Muzzle Blasts some years ago.  Chap had made a replica.  This gun was also branded, and was no doubt government supplied.
For militia/irregular use, I do not think that these guns were supplied only to Indians, but also to European settlers.

Offline Hudnut

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2020, 06:28:50 PM »
The gun in the photos posted by Steve is similar to conventional NW guns, but has a round barrel and side plate not unlike issue pistols of the period.
I do not know the story behind these guns.  They must have been distributed in some numbers, because there are survivors.  Fifty odd years ago, we referred to them as "Wheeler variants".

Offline Hudnut

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2020, 02:30:45 AM »
Almost 50 years ago, we placed this ad in Muzzle Blasts.
The gun we used in the photo was one of the Wheeler variants.  We had the photo, and wanted to get the ad in publication, so we used it.  In the ad, you cannot tell that it isn't a true NW gun.  December '72.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 03:15:10 PM by Hudnut »

Offline Niall

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2020, 01:51:46 PM »
An example of other work by Wheeler. A set of Officer's pistols. As a tag; we should all be at the Baltimore Gun Show today!





.

Bill.

I'd say you've got a different Wheeler here.....I think those pistols were made  by Oliver Wheeler,an Irish gunmaker with various addresses in Dublin and Kilkenny between about 1770 and 1804....A very similar pair sold sold at auction in the UK a few years back.You can see a few differences but you'd have to think they were made by the same guy. The chequered bag shaped butts are pretty distinctive. 




Offline Bill Wilde

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2020, 02:46:46 PM »
My Wheeler pistol set are marked London on the top of the barrels.

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2020, 06:47:53 PM »
Just to throw a little historic prospective about these  Board of Ordnance guns.  " The British set up a base a Fort  Amhersburg , ( Fort Malden )on the Canadian side of the Detroit River in 1808 & issued arms from there to the American Indians.
In 1811 Gen. William Henry Harrison reported " within the last three months the whole of the Indians on the frontier have been completely armed and equipped out of the King's stores at Malden.
. I dug this out of the  Museum of the Fur Trade  book. 
JIM

Offline louieparker

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2020, 01:03:27 AM »
Since I am on lock down in  Missouri i took a few photos of this early Wheeler Northwest trade gun...  Thought someone who is  bored might like to see it..  You can see how the style had changed on the eighteen hundred period guns,, I would assume for added strength.
I believe Wheeler died in 1784. I don't know when to company changed the name to Wheeler and Son.. Would be interested if you know....LP


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Offline Steve Collward

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2020, 01:57:27 AM »
LP,
  In DeWitt Bailey's "British Board of Ordnance Small Arms Contractors, 1689-1840", he cites Robert Wheeler (junior), Birmingham, 1797-1808.
Became "Wheeler & Son" in 1808 in which they had contracts for various arms from 1808 to 1835-37.
  Not sure when Wheeler died.
 
  Also, nice gun. Looks to be in nice condition.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 03:51:53 AM by Steve Collward »

Offline Oil Derek

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2020, 02:01:10 AM »
Those be some cool hardware! Thanks for sharing gents.

Offline jdm

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Re: Wheeler & Son Northwest trade gun
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2020, 04:41:36 AM »
Louie. Wheeler replaced Wilson as  the British Board of Trade's supplier in the 1790's. I believe it became Wheeler & son in 1813.

 That is a spectacular example you have. Thanks for posting pictures.   What a great piece with wonderful color. 
JIM