Author Topic: UPDATE RCVD - Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - Looks TN mountain for sure.  (Read 1368 times)

Offline AZshot

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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 intricate....how could someone make this?  I discovered "poured pewter" 



I read this thread trying to learn more https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=44552.0 and
https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=48950.0 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.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 12:09:44 AM by AZshot »

Offline Shopdog

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2021, 05:53:40 AM »
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. 
Ive made several poured nose caps and they all look along the lines of your original which I like for their folk art quality ( thats my excuse for all my rifles Ive built  ::)
Joe
Joe Davis
We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline ghostdncr

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 09:45:01 AM »
Personally, I'd leave it alone unless undertaking a full end-to-end restoration.
John
Brooks, KY

Offline AZshot

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 04:28:57 PM »
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. 

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 11:16:50 PM »
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
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 11:25:51 PM by Tanselman »

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2021, 12:39:33 AM »
 If you look closely at the front of the cap you will see the end of an unused dovetail, making me think the stock was cut down sometime in it's life. Full length/lose-up Pix of the fore end would tell more.
 Would like to see the rest of of it no matter.

   Tim C.
   

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2021, 03:04:01 AM »
 ;) ;)... you might just have you something there, Garrett,... is the rib under the barrel wooden,..? ... the saw-tooth edges on the inlaid pewter nosecap with the square "cut-outs" are common on Sevier Co. TN rifles, also the length past the rammer entry pipe... appears to be walnut stocked,... overall photos of this rifle will afford more clues,... Well done to discover any heretofore unseen Southern Mountain rifle,... !!!... I like 'em all,... Regards,... Cades Cove Fiddler


Offline AZshot

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2021, 03:14:45 AM »
Thanks man, I'll be happy to show more pics when it comes.  The seller pics are fairly poor.  It does have a wooden under rib.  It has a very large cheekpiece, unlike any I've seen, with some diamond or dot decorative markings around it's perimeter, and one line around it too.  Another unusual feature is it's buttstock is just wood, roughly carved.  But it has a metal heel piece, like that strange "Sherrill" rifle I got last summer in TN. 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 03:36:25 AM by AZshot »

Online Daryl

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 01:55:27 AM »
More pictures are actually needed and desired - OK, maybe just desired. ;D
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline AZshot

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TN rifle: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2021, 10:50:41 PM »
OK, I got the rifle.  Discovered quite a few things that tell me it's a Tennessee rifle for sure.  And yes, it's rough, looks like hand carved stock with a knife.  I like it!

First I do believe this one might have a veneer of brass overlay on iron trigger guard.  Or it might be a brass solder at that joint.   From my research on another Tennessee long rifle, this brass overlay technique is pretty isolated in makers and the Northeastern TN region.







« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 04:47:51 AM by AZshot »

Offline AZshot

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2021, 10:54:19 PM »
The Tang and barrel next.  The barrel is just under 43", about 35 caliber I'd say.  Brass dovetail and front sight, very small.  The jag carved into the ramrod tip is nice.  I think I see a second dovetail started behind the rear sight.  Or maybe it's something else. 







« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 11:03:15 PM by AZshot »

Offline AZshot

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2021, 10:58:51 PM »
Now for the wood, and 2 more unusual features.  It has a carved wood butt, but has a steel heel piece.  No toe piece or buttplate.  This is the main reason I bought it, and the trigger guard.  I've finding very few southern rifles that have just a metal or bone heel piece.  Lots of primitive carving, check out that strange cheek rest!  More slashes on the wrist, this seems to have been a "very poor boy" rifle, but has some nice features. 






Offline AZshot

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Re: Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - questions
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2021, 11:01:56 PM »
And for what started this, the poured pewter nose cap.  I can't tell if that is from when it was made, or later.  With all the carving and the rough, hand shaped stock, I assume it is.  But I'm happy to take more pictures if you want to help me determine if it was originally full stock.  I'll have to check my Bryd books, but the brass over steel pieces sure seem like they'd help ID it. 




Offline Shopdog

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Re: UPDATE RCVD - Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - Looks TN mountain for sure.
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2021, 12:21:52 AM »
Thanks for sharing those pictures!  Very interesting rifle.  The wood (hickory) under rib - I've seen on a couple other SMR's but no idea how diagnostic it is. I'm wondering if it wasn't a restock of earlier parts or all original.  Whatever the case it's very unique.  Can you make out anything of the markings on the barrel flat?  I can't tell if it's part of a signature or initials.  Looking forward to the experts' observations.
Joe Davis
We live in a bloody swamp! We need all the land we can get!

Offline AZshot

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Re: UPDATE RCVD - Pewter Nose Cap on rifle found - Looks TN mountain for sure.
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2021, 05:18:03 PM »
After a day or two, I remembered to check the bore by running the ramrod down it.  Hit an "obstruction" about 4-5 inches from the bottom.  Uh-oh....and they shipped it that way to me!