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UPDATE RCVD - Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - Looks TN mountain for sure.

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I just got this rifle and at first was pretty unimpressed with the nose cap treatment because I didn't know about poured pewter.  Shows how much I know about long rifles, but I'm learning.  I thought, "what kind of crazy, tinfoil glob is this?...."  But then it dawned on me maybe it is just deteriorating from age...and the cutouts with the wood in them look pretty could someone make this?  I discovered "poured pewter" 

I read this thread trying to learn more and And I found a tiny bit of info online so far, not much.
I'm searching for more info on the history and locale of this technique. 
The gun is half-stock, would it be original, or later if the stock cut down? 
Is it supposed to be this rough looking?  Should I clean it or just leave as is....looks terrible?
I'll post pics of the rest of the rifle when I get it, but It's looking southern "poor boy" to me, TN features.  If the nose cap another locale clue?

UPDATE - got it, definitely Tennessee mountains rifle. Picks below.

Looks classic Tennessee- looking forward to more photos of the whole rifle
.  Am curious if it appears to have started  out life as a full stock or was converted to half stock.  From what I can tell from the pictures it seems to be original finish so I would recommend you don't clean up the casting in any way and leave it in its current oxidized state. 
Iíve made several poured nose caps and they all look along the lines of your original which I like for their folk art quality ( thatís my excuse for all my rifles Iíve built  ::)

Personally, I'd leave it alone unless undertaking a full end-to-end restoration.

Thanks, I'm glad to hear it looks original.  Now if the stock was cut down and it's original to that time, we'll have to see.

The rifle is in "beat" condition, very rough in most regards.  I got it cheap. It has several very unusual features, so I bought it just so we could study it and have another example of an Appalachian or TN rifle.  But it's led a hard life, lots of huge goughes in the stock, etc.  I can't even tell if it's walnut yet.  I think it is....could be wrong. 

 I will get good photos when it is shipped, likely in the next few days. 

Seeing the rest of this rifle will help us understand the nose cap. If the maker was a good builder, as it appears from what little we can see around the rear ramrod pipe, I'd question whether this is the original cast pewter nose cap. Most good, old time builders would not accept such a rough nose cap on one of their rifles. Their reputation was their most important marketing tool back in those days. Two possibilities come to mind. This may be a shortened full-stocked rifle where the nose cap was cast later in the rifle's life, perhaps trying to duplicate the original nose cap but by a less talented hand that created a "somewhat similar" nose cap of lesser workmanship, but too crude around the edges to be the original gunmaker's work. Another possible factor is the quality of the pewter, i.e., tin and lead. This cap may have a higher lead content, leading to a duller, softer, more easily damaged nose cap, a less sharp casting, and more prone to oxidation... which again would suggest a lesser skilled gunsmith and perhaps a later nose cap.

The nose cap appears to be a Tennessee style cast pewter cap, but the quality does not appear to match the quality of the rifle, raising questions about its originality: is it a later cap for a shortened rifle, is it a replacement nose cap for a damaged original cap, etc. If the rest of the rifle appears well-made, I doubt this is its original nose cap, although it was probably put on the gun in Tennessee. If the rest of the rifle is somewhat rough, or crude, in original workmanship [not later damage], then perhaps the current nose cap is original, because it then better matches the workmanship on the rest of the gun.
Shelby Gallien


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