Author Topic: captured brass barrel keys  (Read 441 times)

Offline jrb

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captured brass barrel keys
« on: June 27, 2020, 05:50:22 PM »
these brass barrel keys were found in a farm field near the 2 pieces of upper patchbox side plate but we don't know if they belonged to that same rifle.
We're trying to find out what this particular style of barrel key was common on. Were the keys on British fowlers made of brass?
 most everything from this find site dates 1750 to 1830.
 these objects were photographed and recorded by our local Archaeology Professor, etc.


Offline wormey

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Re: captured brass barrel keys
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 06:50:14 PM »
I don`t happen to have my copy of The Journal of Historical Armsmaking Technology , vol. ? in front of me.  I loaned it to a friend, but one of the volumes has an extensive article about a Virginia longrifle made by John Sheetz.  If I remember correctly he used brass captured barrel keys with the exposed part covered with silver.  Perhaps someone else will chime in with more detail.  Those volumes were put out by the National Muzzleloading Rifle  Association and are long out of print.  The article was done by Wallace Gusler and he would certainly know. Wormey

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: captured brass barrel keys
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 07:32:25 PM »
Cool finds!  IMHO, they look like pretty much every brass barrel key I've ever seen.  In other words I don't think there's anything regional-specific or maker-specific about them.  Brass is really amenable to simply taking a piece to make a key, swaging out a head, and bam you're done (or almost-bam, then you cut a slot if you want it captured and then bam you're done).  You can silver the heads, or add on silver heads if silver mounted and you want solid silver, or whatever.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline vanu

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Re: captured brass barrel keys
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 09:54:50 PM »
Very interesting indeed! In what state were these found? The keys look like they are from different arms, wonder if the patchbox side plate was scavenged. What was the archaeological deposit like that contained the artifacts - any iron or cinder? Did the archaeologist prepare a report?

Bruce

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: captured brass barrel keys
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 10:53:23 PM »
To add to what Vanu said, it might be productive to have a qualified archaeologist conduct a metal detecting survey of the are where these were found. Were these found in a plowed field, on an Indian site, an old home site, or what? And, it would be nice to know what state they were found and where In that state. I appreciate your showing them on the ALR Forum. If you were the finder, you have a good eye as most people would pass these by as 'junk.' Thank you very much!
Dick

Offline jrb

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Re: captured brass barrel keys
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 04:23:25 PM »
Northern Ohio, both Native and white settler-farmers, including one of my family lines. found in the winter plowed field over the last several decades. it's in the flood plain below my house and there are always bald eagles down there i love to see, so i wander it alot in the winters.