Author Topic: Can anyone give me some background  (Read 1729 times)

Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Can anyone give me some background
« on: January 12, 2023, 08:48:18 PM »
So recently had a older relative pass away and I was gifted this old rifle and was just curious if the names or marking had any significance



















Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2023, 08:51:45 PM »
There is also what appears to be the initials B S and some engraving on the top of the barrel.  Thanks for any info

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2023, 09:46:24 PM »
Please post a good picture of the initials on top of the barrel, since they are probably the initials of the maker. This is a beautiful half-stocked rifle of high quality, with well above average silver inlay work by a rather individual/independent gunsmith. Based on its slimness, front trigger shape, heavier front post on guard with flat sides, nose cap set well beyond the rear ramrod pipe, and unexpected silver work, it may well be of southern origin, perhaps North Carolina, or even better, a fresh South Carolina rifle with a maker's mark on the barrel. Can you also provide a good picture of the tang at the back of the barrel, since its shape often helps us place a rifle. You have a great rifle... wish I inherited one that good!

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 12:29:29 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2023, 09:53:04 PM »
WOW, that's a Jim Dandy.  Someone on here will know this maker.  Congratulations on such a nice piece & thanks for posting.

Offline MeliusCreekTrapper

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2023, 09:55:11 PM »
Is there a cheekpiece on both sides?

Beautiful work on that rifle for sure.

Offline Old Time Hunter

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2023, 09:59:55 PM »
Dual cheek rests . Could we see a pic of the butt plate return [top] ? please.    Thanks for posting . I see  a few things that make me think a possible Southern origin as well. I really hope someone can provide some good info, Thanks

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 10:04:34 PM »
Could be Southern, but I would not be shocked if Ohio.  Check out the owner's name on the toe plate on one of the genealogy sites. 

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2023, 10:34:00 PM »
Interesting and nicely executed rifle.  About 5 years ago, I handled another rifle by this maker that was also marked BS on the barrel.  That rifle was much
plainer than this one but what elements it had were shared with yours.  I was looking into the rifle to purchase at the time because the initials BS were those
of my gunsmith 5th great grandfather Benjamin Schreckengost.  Unfortunately, I could not find any evidence that this BS had any connection to my family,
so I passed on the rifle.  I'm hoping to find one someday with his full signature.  If that were to be found we could say yes or no that your BS rifle was made
by him.  Anyway, the other rifle surfaced in Ohio, not that it means anything the way these got around.  So congrats on having a nice rifle.  Here are some
pictures of the other one.  It has something of a Bedford feel to me.








« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 11:54:24 PM by Shreckmeister »
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Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2023, 02:54:25 AM »









Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2023, 02:59:11 AM »
Can anybody make out that last name it looks like James C something.  Had a bit of a debate at work at work today as to what it says.

Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2023, 03:15:46 AM »


So I donít know if anyone is familiar with this historical marker itís in butler county ky. William Stephens was a relative of mine, and this rifle came from a collection that I was told a couple of the rifles where built in this shop. Unfortunately the living relatives that told me this where not sure which ones or could for sure that they 100 percent did come out of this shop. If anyone knows any of the history of this gun shop and care to share that would be awesome Iíd love to share with my family.

Online JTR

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2023, 03:50:17 AM »
Mossyoakman3006, That's a very nice rifle, and thanks for posting it here!
I can't help much on the name, but I sure like looking at the gun!
John
John Robbins

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2023, 06:50:22 AM »
I've researched Kentucky's early gunmakers for about 40 years, and the information I was able to find on the Stephens gunsmiths, father William, son William Jr., and another unnamed son, can be found in "Kentucky Gunmakers 1775-1900" Vol.II Biographies. A "William Stephens" signed rifle is illustrated in the just released Vol. III of "Kentucky Gunmakers." It was probably by the father, since it does not have "Jr." after the name. Your rifle has a long, two screw tang like the Stephens rifle illustrated, and a few other possible Kentucky details [guard's front post, position of nose cap out beyond the rear ramrod pipe], but very few other similarities. I wish we knew the name of the "other" son who was a Stephens gunsmith, but I have not been able to find him. However, the father and two sons worked together from their arrival until the Civil War forced their shop to close, so all their rifles [not many are known] probably look rather similar. The sons reopened the shop for almost 20 years after the war, but those years were too late to make a gun like this. I wish this were a KY product, and perhaps there is a slight possibility, but it doesn't have much in common with the known William Stephens rifle.

Post Script: I just did a quick census search for 1860 and found that the unknown son was John Stephens. The census gave the following information:  William Sr. 62 and born England; William S. (Jr.) 33 and born England; John 36 and born England. Unfortunately, we don't have a son with the first initial "B."

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 07:10:39 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2023, 11:37:43 AM »
Beautiful rifle!  I was just wondering if William Stephens could have used the name "Bill" like so many fellows named William do today??    Yes a long shot but ??
Joel Hall

Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2023, 12:10:13 PM »
Thank you Mr. Gallien for that history, Iím excited to share that information with my family.  My brother was also given a rifle any chance this could have been one of theirs? Sorry for the pictures they are not the best. 














Offline Tanselman

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2023, 08:56:26 PM »
Your brother's rifle appears to be from southwestern PA out toward Huntington and Sumerset Counties.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: January 14, 2023, 12:53:30 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Mossyoakman3006

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2023, 10:05:46 PM »
Thank you

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2023, 01:00:34 AM »
I think the name on the toe plate is James C. Jordan. But I would not bet on it. ;D

Offline AZshot

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2023, 05:55:16 PM »
I love the scholarship on this forum.  I'm on several gun forums and this one has the most expertise and is very happy to help research long rifles, which is a lot harder than most of the industrial age guns.

Offline AZshot

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2023, 12:53:09 AM »
Please post a good picture of the initials on top of the barrel, since they are probably the initials of the maker. This is a beautiful half-stocked rifle of high quality, with well above average silver inlay work by a rather individual/independent gunsmith. Based on its slimness, front trigger shape, heavier front post on guard with flat sides, nose cap set well beyond the rear ramrod pipe, and unexpected silver work, it may well be of southern origin, perhaps North Carolina, or even better, a fresh South Carolina rifle with a maker's mark on the barrel. Can you also provide a good picture of the tang at the back of the barrel, since its shape often helps us place a rifle. You have a great rifle... wish I inherited one that good!

Shelby Gallien

Did you notice the stepped buttplate heel?  The only place I've seen that is on SC Peden rifles.

Offline Dobyns

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Re: Can anyone give me some background
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2023, 09:05:13 AM »
Your brother's rifle appears to be from southwestern PA out toward Huntington and Sumerset Counties.

Shelby Gallien

Between the "turned" front trigger, patchbox shape and buttplate, seems "Huntingdon", not Somerset.