Author Topic: Help identifying this rifle  (Read 877 times)

Offline MuskratMike

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Help identifying this rifle
« on: June 17, 2020, 10:48:19 PM »
A good friend brought this old cap lock by today. Can anyone help me with maker, age and value.
Rifle is a .40 caliber cap lock 48-inches overall with a 33-inch barrel. Barrel is octogon 1.060 across the flats. The barrel has 3 different stamping in different fonts. 1. G. L. Kingsley Red Bluff Cal. 2. Remington (upside down) 3.some sort of serial stamp 502
Lock is stamped G. Goulcher. It has some minor engraving on lock plate and hammer. Rifle weighs 10.5 pounds.
I am not sure but with the odd length of barrel was probably cut down and maybe converted from flint for the gold rush. Odd caliber for that area of California due to the amount of bears in the area at that time.
Any help will e greatly appreciated even if just an educated guess.















« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 11:37:06 PM by MuskratMike »
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 12:46:05 AM »
Remington made the barrel.  Summers has ,George Luman Kingsley as a gunsmith in ST. Lawrence County New York 1849-1855, then in Red Bluff CA, 1867-1886.  Born 1827 died 1890. 

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 01:16:09 AM »
Pretty unusual to see a CA rifle.  Never flint. Kind of a Hawken influence. JTR or Mr No Gold might know more
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Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 01:26:54 AM »
The "G." Grouches lock from what I can find is 1840-1880 in California.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 01:49:22 AM by MuskratMike »
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 07:15:44 AM »
Author, Larry Shelton in his book "California Gunsmiths, 1850-1900" gave a full ten pages over to George Lumen Kingsley and his work in California. Shelton indicates that he arrived in California in 1851 and went to Mormon Island on the American River not too far from Folsom, well east and upriver from Sacramento. He found work in a hotel as a dish washer owing to illness from a disease contracted in Panama enroute to California.
When his health had improved, he moved to Michigan Bar up on the Consumnes River where he delivered newspapers before becoming a gold speculator He found a position as an agent with Wells Fargo & Co. After some
years he became very wealthy and in 1858 he married. The couple moved on to ranching sheep and cattle enterprises until severe weather and floods wiped them out. As a result they moved further north to Tehama County where they set themselves up in the business of big game hunting for wealthy clients aided by the assistance of local Indian friends.  Leather goods, particularly buckskin gloves were in great demand, so in 1866, they moved to Red Bluff and established the Kingsley Glove Factory. Kingsley was known as perhaps one of the top five shots in the state and always had the best in firearms. In the same year he opened a gun shop near the leather factory selling the finest in telescopic rifles. Apparently he did not make rifles there but purchased shotguns from Clabrough & Brother of San Francisco and for a time rifles were made by George O. Leonard in New Hampshire. Looking to improve manufacturing/delivery time and to have more control, Kingsley talked Leonard into coming West, which he did in 1869. From this time on his relations with his partners and others who assisted him turned sour and pretty much remained that way until his death on September 18, 1890. It is highly unlikely that he ever made a rifle, but he ensured that the rifles sold under his name were the best available. The section dealing with Kingsley in Shelton's book are pp 138-147 and there are a number of good photographs of guns and various advertisements for his products. There is much more to this, but I hope this helps some to give an idea of who and what Kingsley was. You have a great rifle and it would be a good thing to pair it up with a copy of Shelton's book. Thank you for bringing it in for all to see.
Dick

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 03:27:43 PM »
Dick,

That is an interesting story. 

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 05:09:03 PM »
Obviously the features I have long considered as Slotterbeck specific, were more California specific. The muzzle turned for a bullet starter, lack of an under rib, lack of a cheekpiece, and even the style of the triggerguard all are common on guns made by Charles Slotterbeck, and to a lessor degree Slotter & Co. owned by his brother. Even the stock shape is reminiscent of Slotterbecks work.
 Do we know if this gun was built to shoot a bullet, or a round ball?

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Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 03:06:44 AM »
Finally got the rifle apart. Not a hooked breech and the breech plug was not tight at all which seems odd as I am quite sure it hasn't been apart in over 100 years so it appears to be poorly indexed. The lock is unlike any I have seen as there is not now and appears never to have been a half cock. It is all the way down or in full cock. The double set triggers work just fine. With the breech plug out I gave it a semi good cleaning. Bore is very dark but the rifling is still very strong. I will measure the twist but with a 33-inch barrel it appears to be something like 36-40. The three large cracks in the wood scare me to the point I will have it inspected before even considering firing it even with a light load, as the rifle doesn't belong to me.
Kind of a neat piece of California gun making history.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 03:59:27 AM »
There were a great any late percussion guns with locks lacking a half cock notch. Doesn’t make sense to me, either.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Help identifying this rifle
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 05:36:19 PM »
 I currently own two early California made guns. One by W.H.Brown, and one by John Rogers, neither have a half cock position in the lock. Both are small caliber .30 and .36, and are quite heavy. I suspect that these were match rifles used in bench matches. The John Rogers rifle is so incredibly unbalanced that shooting it accurately off hand would be very hard indeed. Both guns have set triggers. The gun signed by John Rogers look very much like the gun shown here right down to the stock architecture, triggerguard, and lack of a cheekpiece. Oddly enough the W.H. Brown rifle has double beaver tail cheek pieces.

  Hungry Horse