Author Topic: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?  (Read 571 times)

Online Cossack

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« on: March 24, 2020, 08:58:41 AM »
I'm thinking of this triggerguard and grip style especially, which I see on a lot of kits and contemporary rifles - obviously it's 19th C., but how early would this style have been around?

Also, I'm used to seeing (in kits advertised by various makers) this style of triggerguard matched with a fairly deep crescent butt. Would this flatter (and older, I assume) butt shape and plate have been common with this style of triggerguard/grip?





Online Stoner creek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1067
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 03:14:03 PM »
Those mounts are not compatible from my perspective. You have an early buttplate and a late flint/ percussion guard. Either go with the deep crescent buttplate or perhaps no buttplate at all. Just my thoughts. Iím sure that there are others here who may respectfully disagree.

Offline WadePatton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4497
  • Tennessee
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 07:12:28 PM »
I have my own notions of what constitutes TN rifle key features, but they are not tied to dates. 

As far as guards go, they simply have to fit around double triggers. The "Bean-type" is more squared off, and obviously is inspired by that family.

Deep crescent is simply a must for a TN rifle in my mind. It is a beauty mark to my eye. Perhaps I've overlooked some "flatbutt" originals, but I don't think so.  I would never call a flat butted rifle a TN style rifle, no matter how much other parts/pieces and architecture fit. 

The very only exception to this I'll make is for a barn-gun where the depth of the crescent must be less in order to preserve the toe. And very few of those survived. Iron was plentiful.

I'll gladly bow to original examples to the contrary.  One rule in TN rifles is never say never, because exceptions did happen-but make a poor rule of thumb.  If you're following a historic example, fine.  Otherwise I like to fit a "pattern" and there are variations in those characteristics, but not so many.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 07:19:34 PM by WadePatton »
Hold to the Wind

Offline rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13151
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 07:38:07 PM »
My understanding is that flatter and wider buttplates are early and the more narrow and curved, tge later the rifle regardless of where it was made. i donít know enough of Tennessee riflemaking to know when it began but here in our library the Bogle rifle is featured here: https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=11592.0

Iím more conservative than most and canít see this gun pre-dating 1810 unless Bogle was out in front stylistically.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline WadePatton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4497
  • Tennessee
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 07:56:00 PM »
My understanding is that flatter and wider buttplates are early and the more narrow and curved, tge later the rifle regardless of where it was made. i donít know enough of Tennessee riflemaking to know when it began but here in our library the Bogle rifle is featured here: https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=11592.0

Iím more conservative than most and canít see this gun pre-dating 1810 unless Bogle was out in front stylistically.

Yup, that's a flatter one, and with different triggers and guard.  It's not something I'd follow, but there's your example.  I simply must find my books, by Byrd and others.  They have escaped my knowledge of whereabouts.
Hold to the Wind

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10017
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 08:59:52 PM »
There are at least a dozen books out there that cover these guns. You should buy them and do some research.
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'?

Online Cossack

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 09:30:03 PM »
There are at least a dozen books out there that cover these guns. You should buy them and do some research.

I'd love to. Which one do you recommend starting with?

A lot of what I have found is pretty limited, with only an example or two and few hard dates. I've looked at some of the ASAC lectures online, back issues of "Muzzle Blasts" that I scrounge at the Library, and I got SCA 1 on inter-library loan and made a bunch of copies a while back. I don't have any books that deal with southern rifles in particular. If there's a good one out there that's not too expensive, I might spring for it.

I've been saving up and keeping my eye out for a reasonably priced set of RCAs and Flintlock Fowlers because those seem like essentials. Southern rifles have never been my main focus until this particular one was offered to me, which I thought was attractive but didn't fit my mental image of a Tennessee gun in all ways.

Online Bob McBride

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
  • Short Mountain, TN
    • Black Powder TV
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 11:53:53 PM »



Offline Curt Lyles

  • Curtís Blacksmith Shop
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
    • Curt's Blacksmith Shop
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 04:10:23 AM »
Jerry Nobles books vol 1 .2 have some good pix of flat butted rifles by the Bulls .They are a little different in style but neat just the same.Curt

Offline WadePatton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4497
  • Tennessee
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 06:41:34 PM »
There's a Greasy Cove book and a later one by Mr. Byrd.  I think I'll rip this place open today so I might find them.
Hold to the Wind

Offline scottmc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
Re: Tennessee rifles - Dates, hardware, and architecture?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 02:12:22 AM »
Cossack, everything these guys have referenced to you is dead on.  I have every book they mentioned plus Jerry nobles 4.  All good references for us who worship the TN rifles.  I am building a rifle right now for a guy who wanted exactly what you have pictured except he wanted the crescent plate, too.  However, the barrel is .58 and I couldn't, with good conscience, subject him to that so I convinced him to go with an early southern style which has a buttate like yours (Virginia) and a Jacob Young trigger guard which is TN/KY in style.  Jim Parker recommended this gaurd to me as it goes nicely with that wide, early buttplate.  It may be something for you to consider.  Look at Tennessee Valley Manufacturing website and you will see this gaurd.  Pretty cool looking.  Other than that, save the gaurd you picture for the nice, curved TN style buttplate.  They are a match made in heaven!
Remember Paoli!