Author Topic: Fowler found in a wall  (Read 2354 times)

Online Mule Brain

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2021, 03:56:00 PM »
Wonderful gun to find indeed, what a thrill that would be. It appears to be well taken care of while in use, just look at the screw slots.
I look forward to seeing better pictures of this gun, and thanks for sharing it.

It would be really worth it to even hire a photographer, to take a very detailed pictures of it. 

 
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Offline WESTbury

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2021, 03:57:30 PM »
If he will approve I will remove the lock and barrel for an inside look.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Kevin
Kevin,
If you are asking how to safely remove the lock,
My method for removing locks:
1.) Loosen the tang screw one or two turns.
2.) Backout each of the lock bolts while firmly holding the lock in place.
3.) If the lock will not budge, gently tap each lockbolt alternately using the plastic screw driver handle, until the lock comes out of it's mortice.

You may or may not already know that removing a pin retained barrel barrel is tricky.
Some of the experienced rifle guys on the forum can help with that if needed.


Kent

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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2021, 03:59:53 PM »
If he will approve I will remove the lock and barrel for an inside look.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Kevin
Kevin,
If you are asking how to safely remove the lock,
My method for removing locks:
1.) Loosen the tang screw one or two turns.
2.) Backout each of the lock bolts while firmly holding the lock in place.
3.) If the lock will not budge, gently tap each lockbolt alternately using the plastic screw driver handle, until the lock comes out of it's mortice.

You may or may not already know that removing a pin retained barrel barrel is tricky.
Some of the experienced rifle guys on the forum can help with that if needed.


Kent
I think Kevin has been building guns for around 40 years or so.
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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 WESTbury

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2021, 04:06:48 PM »
Kent
I think Kevin has been building guns for around 40 years or so.
[/quote]

Mike,
That's nice. I really have no idea who Kevin is as I do not get involved with reproduction firearms.


"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
President Lyndon B. Johnson October 21, 1964

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2021, 04:11:45 PM »
 Never ceases to amaze me what people find in walls, I could not imagine finding something like it.
Does that paper laying next to it with the picture on it have a write up about it?

   Tim
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 05:39:34 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2021, 05:36:16 PM »
Kevin I wouldn't take that gun apart, it's perfect as it is.  I'm sure as is Mike that the mounts are French and really the only way you may or may not be able to determine prior use would be the guard or the pipes, but I can tell you now anyone with experience can hit an existing guard mount hole from one side.  It doesn't really matter if some parts were imported as loose and used new or remounted.  The gun looks to be clearly American to my eye and the gunstocker was clearly very accomplished.  The gun is too nice and too largely untouched (I'm sure it's been waxed at least!) to risk chipping out more wood.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2021, 06:55:59 PM »
Kevin I wouldn't take that gun apart, it's perfect as it is.  I'm sure as is Mike that the mounts are French and really the only way you may or may not be able to determine prior use would be the guard or the pipes, but I can tell you now anyone with experience can hit an existing guard mount hole from one side.  It doesn't really matter if some parts were imported as loose and used new or remounted.  The gun looks to be clearly American to my eye and the gunstocker was clearly very accomplished.  The gun is too nice and too largely untouched (I'm sure it's been waxed at least!) to risk chipping out more wood.
Excellent advise
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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 WKevinD

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2021, 09:41:33 PM »
Advice accepted! Thanks.
I'll take a lot.of pictures.

The picture next to the Fowler is of the woman that owned the house where the gun was found in the thirties.
The paper next to it is miscl. information on Asa Rice.
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Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2021, 01:56:21 AM »
Just wondering if the family that has it today is from the original Rice family. If not, don't see how the fowler could be a 'family heirloom' as its chain of ownership does not extend that far back. I do hope that the people in whose hands it now resides are indeed descendent of the original folks. We had heirloom guns in my family but due to kin who were either pacifists and didn't allow guns, or were people who saw no reason to keep an old gun around, they have long since gone. Gee, wish I knew what they were and where they are.
Dick

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2021, 05:11:45 AM »
Just because it is stocked in curly maple it is automatically a restock? I believe I remember reading several early documents indicating wood being one of the items often returned in the holds of ships returning to Europe from the American continent. Could not some of this wood be returning as finished products?
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2021, 05:25:43 AM »
Just because it is stocked in curly maple it is automatically a restock? I believe I remember reading several early documents indicating wood being one of the items often returned in the holds of ships returning to Europe from the American continent. Could not some of this wood be returning as finished products?

Often hypothesized. As we used to say in science, itís formally possible. But there are a great many New England fowlers with what appear to be recycled parts. And a good many stocked in curly maple. It had been proposed that a lot of French guns were captured at Louisbourg in 1758. If so, how parts made it into the hands of New England gunsmiths is unknown. But, those New Englanders were known to be frugal and ingenious.
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Online Rajin cajun

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2021, 05:30:07 AM »
Waste not, want not......!
Itís not the size of the dog in the fight, itís the size of the fight in the dog !

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2021, 06:05:36 AM »
I've noticed on this forum, and I'm quite positive that others have as well, that any longarm that does not meet the "accepted norm" for the type which it is perceived to be, is automatically branded as "a restock". It seems to be a kneejerk reaction that is annoying at best.
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2021, 07:23:43 AM »
It seems that many New England fowlers of the 1760s through the Revolutionary War era  utilized recycled parts, so were composite guns (made from parts from more than one gun, or a combination of recycled and new parts), or restocked guns using all the parts from French guns presumably with broken stocks.

This is different in my view from a gun stocked in the colonies or states then broken and restocked at a later date. Example; finding a Dickert signed barrel and daisy patchbox on a late percussion rifle.

ďRestocked from a French fusilĒ is not a disparaging assessment when applied to a New England fowling piece.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2021, 01:48:34 PM »
I understand the point and I believe that in the case of this piece particularly, "restock" is likely a poor descriptive, or at least a somewhat misleading one.  Rich's note above about a "composite gun" is right on imho - "composite" I think is a much more applicable here.  The term 'restock' seems to have attracted some negative baggage, although not really sure why.

As we all know, prior to the Federal period, the idea of a lone gunsmith or shop making all of the components of a rifle or fowler is somewhat of a romantic fallacy most of the time.  Purchased parts were easily available, recycled parts were easily available.  The majority of the components here appear to be pretty straightforward French.  Whether they were on another arm previously or if they somehow were 'purchased new' (not sure if that would be possible in NE) doesn't reflect negatively on the piece in any way, to my mind.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2021, 04:22:42 PM »
It seems some here don't understand New England fowling guns. Please purchase Grinslade's book and get up to speed.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
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Offline WESTbury

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2021, 05:11:01 PM »
I understand the point and I believe that in the case of this piece particularly, "restock" is likely a poor descriptive, or at least a somewhat misleading one.  Rich's note above about a "composite gun" is right on imho - "composite" I think is a much more applicable here.  The term 'restock' seems to have attracted some negative baggage, although not really sure why.

As we all know, prior to the Federal period, the idea of a lone gunsmith or shop making all of the components of a rifle or fowler is somewhat of a romantic fallacy most of the time.  Purchased parts were easily available, recycled parts were easily available.  The majority of the components here appear to be pretty straightforward French.  Whether they were on another arm previously or if they somehow were 'purchased new' (not sure if that would be possible in NE) doesn't reflect negatively on the piece in any way, to my mind.

I think Eric has a very cogent point concerning New England Fowlers. One only has to look at the Hills fowlers presented on pages 69 to 77 of Grinslade's book to see the wide variety of locks & barrels, European and English. The stocks are, very obviously, New England made. Although Grinslade states that a few of the locks used by The Hills were probably made in North America, perhaps by one of the Hills themselves. The furniture, who knows definitively.

Perhaps we need to come up with a new term, rather than "restock", to catagorize rifles and fowlers stocked in North America. There are more than a few very experienced collectors of early American built longarms on the ALR Forum, I'm not one of them, who may want to consider this subject.

To Mike Brooks' excellent point, which I believe he has given more than once, Tom Grinslade's book is essential to understanding fowlers.
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2021, 05:22:31 PM »
I understand the point and I believe that in the case of this piece particularly, "restock" is likely a poor descriptive, or at least a somewhat misleading one.  Rich's note above about a "composite gun" is right on imho - "composite" I think is a much more applicable here.  The term 'restock' seems to have attracted some negative baggage, although not really sure why.

As we all know, prior to the Federal period, the idea of a lone gunsmith or shop making all of the components of a rifle or fowler is somewhat of a romantic fallacy most of the time.  Purchased parts were easily available, recycled parts were easily available.  The majority of the components here appear to be pretty straightforward French.  Whether they were on another arm previously or if they somehow were 'purchased new' (not sure if that would be possible in NE) doesn't reflect negatively on the piece in any way, to my mind.

I think Eric has a very cogent point concerning New England Fowlers. One only has to look at the Hills fowlers presented on pages 69 to 77 of Grinslade's book to see the wide variety of locks & barrels, European and English. The stocks are, very obviously, New England made. Although Grinslade states that a few of the locks used by The Hills were probably made in North America, perhaps by one of the Hills themselves. The furniture, who knows definitively.

Perhaps we need to come up with a new term, rather than "restock", to catagorize rifles and fowlers stocked in North America. There are more than a few very experienced collectors of early American built longarms on the ALR Forum, I'm not one of them, who may want to consider this subject.

To Mike Brooks' excellent point, which I believe he has given more than once, Tom Grinslade's book is essential to understanding fowlers.
I only called the gun  a restock because ALL the parts on it are from ONE earlier french gun. This is not a bad thing, in fact I find the gun more interesting because of it. MANY NE guns used pre used parts, but FEW are made from parts all from the same donor gun. I'd love to repop this gun one day.
 Now, if you  find a 1770 Dickert rifle that  was restocked in 1840 it would be a far less desirable collector piece.   Sort of an apples and oranges thing.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2021, 05:52:13 PM »
I only called the gun  a restock because ALL the parts on it are from ONE earlier french gun.

I suspect you may be correct although without seeing it or dismantling it (not a good idea imho, noted above) I don't know if I could say that for certain.  But don't get me wrong I agree with you in every other way.  I'm just musing on the term "restock" because it's a term that seems to have negative connotations attached in the eyes of many - probably due to the preponderance of the Dickert scenario guns and the like that you noted - and it's a term that usually requires explanation.
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Offline WESTbury

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2021, 05:58:45 PM »
Now, if you  find a 1770 Dickert rifle that  was restocked in 1840 it would be a far less desirable collector piece.   Sort of an apples and oranges thing.

Particularly if it has a black plastic stock and detachable box magazine. Old Kindig would be rolling in his grave.
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Offline WKevinD

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2021, 06:18:39 PM »
One thing I noticed initially, the wood around the breech is in good shape, hardley scorched but the frizzen has a half sole that I would assume is from extensive use.
Kevin
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2021, 06:31:14 PM »
It was likely soled at the time that the lock was... er, restocked... um, 'composited...'  oh I give up.

But seriously, given that everything on it appears French and it all very well may have come from a single arm, you'd then assume that the lock had seen use prior to being used for this piece.  If the frizzen had worn fairly well at the time of re-use, it would be natural to sole it to renew function.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2021, 06:47:16 PM »
If I had to make a guess I'd say the lock doesn't even have a tumbler bridle. Tumbler bridles are highly over rated. :P
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2021, 06:55:59 PM »
If I had to make a guess I'd say the lock doesn't even have a tumbler bridle. Tumbler bridles are highly over rated. :P
Blasphemer!  ;D
I donít disagree. I see plenty of bridled old locks in just awful shape. Not sure how locks get so wallowed out in the tumbler axle holes in the lock plate and bridle. One has to go to TRS to get castings for licks without tumbler bridles, if one wants such a thing.
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Offline ranger1759

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Re: Fowler found in a wall
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2021, 11:10:58 PM »
Nice looking fowler. It looks to me like the parts probably all came from the same French gun. I think it's unlikely that New Englanders had access to French parts in any market. I agree with Mr. Pierce that the French influence probably came about because of Louisburg, but it was in 45', during King Georges War, and then maybe again in 1755. That was the catalyst for the French style in New England guns. I do think there were smiths in N.E. that were capable of making parts as fine as that, but only when they were "forced" or paid to. It is definitely not a Hills gun, and was most likely made close by, as it seems to be a Worcester County gun, maybe an Earle. It would be interesting to see the muzzle end, and the possibility that it was longer at one time. 42" is very short for a Rev. or earlier New England fowler. Being made for a bayonet in 1775 is also a real possibility.