Author Topic: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?  (Read 961 times)

Offline Lechalk

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Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« on: August 19, 2020, 07:12:33 PM »
I am trying to research the origins of my Grandpa's Muzzle loader. As I was trying to locate information I came upon several posts about Carper Rifles from West Virginia and saw my Grandpa's rifle appeared very similar, so maybe you all here could provide a little input. I am told my Grandpa bought the rifle from a man who lived in the Maple Fork area of Raleigh County (near Beckley) WV.

His Rifle is a half stock .36 cal percussion rifle. The Barrel is an octagon barrel 32" in length and has 2 mounting attachment/holes that attaches to the stock. There is some etching on the top of the barrel, however I am unable to make out what it says. The breech plug has multiple pieces that are assembled with screws. The lock and trigger guard appear similar to that of the Carper Rifles. It has a double set trigger which is held on place by the trigger guard with no screws to hold it in place. on the left side of the stock is a silver crescent moon inlay. On the right side patch box are etchings of the initials JMK with the date 1884. I have no idea if JMK could be the maker or an owner.
















As I said earlier this was my Grandpa's Rifle. I don't know if he may have changed or modified anything on the rifle. Carper Rifle or not, it is my Grandpa's rifle which makes it's value in just that. But having the story of who made it would be even more interesting to tell. So if you all could take a look and see what you think I would be most appreciative

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 01:26:03 AM »
The lightly engraved/scratched "JMK 1884" on the cap box is not done in the gunmaker's hand, and is a later addition by an owner. The maker of the rifle would have signed or initialed the barrel, so if the traces of engraving on the barrel, amid the surface scratching, can be figured out, the maker can probably be identified.

The rifle appears to have nice lines, and could be a WV gun. But these somewhat later percussion rifles don't have as many identifying details as earlier guns, and are more difficult to figure out. When a gun has changed hands several times over the course of its life, it becomes more difficult to pin it down since we don't really know if it came from the last state it resided in, or one near by. Those markings on the barrel are the key to figuring out this rifle...if we can somehow decipher them.  Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 01:29:11 AM by Tanselman »

Online Bob McBride

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 01:44:44 AM »
I downloaded the pic of the barrel signature and rotating it 180 degrees. I see "H.   Ten". The bit in the middle appears incidental. Click the pic for a detailed view.



« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 01:49:44 AM by Bob McBride »
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Offline Carper

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 02:16:05 AM »
Itís a beautiful old rifle. I avoid saying always or never but Iím confident its not made by the Carpers of SW Va. It looks to have eastern OH influences to me.  Nevertheless a nice old rifle with a family history.


Offline WadePatton

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 05:44:02 AM »
I took the color out and teaked on it some more.  "Ten" is pretty clear to me, but I'm not much sure on the rest.  Maybe someone has seen similar.


Hold to the Wind

Offline RAT

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2020, 05:32:00 PM »
It doesn't look like anyone else has mentioned it... but I'd think twice before wanting to shoot this gun. Some have a burning desire to shoot old guns. That breech is a clear indication not to. That work is not original to when the gun was made. Those are clearly ad-hoc repairs someone made along the way to keep the parts from falling out.
Bob

Offline Lechalk

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 07:52:11 PM »
I want to thank you all for taking time to reply to my post. This is surely a great place with great people for me to learn about Blackpowder Rifles.  I am new to the Blackpowder relm and each person that replied to my post has taught me something. Mr. Carper if you are confident this is not a Carper Rifle then that is good information and I will continue my search with the barrel markings. Rat (Bob) thank you for the very sound advise against trying to shoot this old gem, I believe you are spot on. My Dad (who is 79 years old) said he shot this rifle when he was a boy and it was a tack driver, I shall take him at his word. This rifle has such a wonderful feel to it and I am fortunate just to have it. So next step for me is to learn more and figure out the best way to make, or have made, a rifle just like this one (but in flintlock).  This one is my Grandpa's rifle...the next one will be my rifle.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Grandpa's Rifle a Carper?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2020, 06:37:00 PM »
I want to thank you all for taking time to reply to my post. This is surely a great place with great people for me to learn about Blackpowder Rifles.  I am new to the Blackpowder relm and each person that replied to my post has taught me something. Mr. Carper if you are confident this is not a Carper Rifle then that is good information and I will continue my search with the barrel markings. Rat (Bob) thank you for the very sound advise against trying to shoot this old gem, I believe you are spot on. My Dad (who is 79 years old) said he shot this rifle when he was a boy and it was a tack driver, I shall take him at his word. This rifle has such a wonderful feel to it and I am fortunate just to have it. So next step for me is to learn more and figure out the best way to make, or have made, a rifle just like this one (but in flintlock).  This one is my Grandpa's rifle...the next one will be my rifle.

Sounds like a good plan.
Hold to the Wind