Author Topic: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel  (Read 845 times)

Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« on: June 07, 2023, 02:17:25 AM »
There are references to Simon and Samuel Miller of Hamberg, PA. with differing dates.  This is a flintlock converted to percussion.  Josh Golcher lock.  The barrel is marked J. Worl.  Anyone know who the barrel maker might be, or about Simon vs Samuel?







Online JTR

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4084
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2023, 02:29:17 AM »
Stamped in that location, J Worl would be the barrel maker.
S Miller the gun maker.
Do you have any more pictures of the rifle?
John
John Robbins

Offline Chowmi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 843
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2023, 02:32:56 AM »
I wish I could help.  I have had the same questions and have not been terribly successful finding the answers.  There are (or were, itís been a few years) at least three of us on this forum who own Miller guns.  I have seen dates for him from 1790 to 1840.  My gut feel is that the guns we see from him are more towards 1820ís-30ís but I am far from an expert. 

I donít recognize the barrel maker.  I think mine is stamped with a barrel maker as well, but I canít remember and I donít have access to the photos I took of it right now.  Iíll have a look over the weekend. 

I would love to see more pictures if you can post them!

Norm
Cheers,
Chowmi

NMLRA
CLA

Offline Avlrc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1207
    • Hampshire County Long Rifles
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2023, 02:37:18 AM »
Could be one of the Worley's , Wyomissing Creek barrel makers. They was a John, Jesse , just a guess.

Offline mr. no gold

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2654
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2023, 02:47:13 AM »
Mark has it right. There is a 'y' missing on the second signature and the name should be 'J. Worley' who made barrels on the Wyomissing Creek in PA. I have an 'S. Miller' barrel with these identical markings, (barrel only, no rifle). Perhaps Patrick Hornberger will come into this discussion. He is descended from that early group of makers and is an expert on these
folks and their times. That is a nice rifle you have. Thanks for providing some photos of it and if time permits let us see the whole gun.
Dick

Offline Chowmi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 843
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2023, 02:48:14 AM »
Dweber,
I assume you have seen this list of gunsmiths.  Itís from a link in the Bruce Miller library.



Norm
Cheers,
Chowmi

NMLRA
CLA

Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2023, 09:56:10 PM »
I had removed the barrel and lock to assess reconversion to flint, when I discovered the J. Worl(ey) mark.  Now Iíve put the side plate somewhere and canít find it.  Here are more photos.  The lock is signed JOSH GOLCHER with the H raised above the S.  Donít know if that might date it to some period of time.












Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2023, 10:10:34 PM »
Hereís the side plate.  Fell on the carpet in the office and blended in with the pattern.  Was on my hands and knees with a flashlight and missed it twice.  Oldshiemers. The worm was in the patchbox.


Offline Seth Isaacson

  • Library_mod
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 939
    • Black Powder Historian
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2023, 11:28:42 PM »
Another Miller has the same "J. WORL" barrel maker's mark on it:
https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1239/miller-golden-age-flintlock-kentucky-rifle
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2023, 12:29:40 AM »
Thanks. RIAís description clarified both the Simon and Worl questions.

Online JTR

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4084
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2023, 01:47:03 AM »
dweber49, The Simon/Samuel confusion seems to come from both men living in Hamburg, Pa. but at different times.
According to Sellers American Gunsmiths book, Simon Miller lived in Hamburg 1775-1806. Samuel Miller was there in 1823-1849. Now, I'm not sure these dates are the gospel no-doubt-about-it truth, but that was Sellers research at the time.
Also, your rifle might well be an originally percussion gun, and never a flint, so would be a product of the later Samuel and not the earlier Simon. I say that because from the pictures it looks like your gun is missing the 'notch' in the stock usually found behind the flint cock, that wasn't required by the differently shaped percussion hammer. Look at the link from Seth I, the picture of the lock, and notice the gouge behind the flint cock. Your gun looks like it has a burned area there, from the percussion caps, but not the flint sort of notch found on those guns.
The outside of the lock plate has some filled holes, maybe from a frizzen spring, but also has engraving around the nose of the plate. A picture of the inside of the lock plate might show if it was originally a flint.
Either way it's a nice gun and a nice example and thanks for posting up the pictures for us.
John 
John Robbins

Offline LynnC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2081
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2023, 12:29:56 PM »
I would agree that the lock may be a flint converted to percussion and reused. The lock mortise appears to always have been for a percussion lock as it lacks the notch for the flint cock.

It looks like a fine old rifle. I would not alter it in any way.
The price of eggs got so darn high, I bought chickens......

Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2023, 09:50:03 PM »
Thank you Lynn and John for the sage advice and kind words.  Iíve attached more photos of the lock and mortise.  There is a slotted head in the frizzen hole.  I did not remove the mainspring to inspect the frizzen spring bolt hole, but it is obviously plugged.  I see the notch in the RIA Miller, and the absence here.  The patina on the lock plate is consistent across the plugs.  Iím thinking that this was indeed always a percussion piece.  The lack of incised carving also indicates a later piece.  I will put in back together and enjoy as is.

Dick






Offline Kittleson

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2023, 04:36:46 AM »
Why is there so much wood around the lock and side plate compared to other S. Miller rifles?

Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2023, 06:47:29 AM »
Hereís a couple of better photos of the patchbox.




Offline dweber49

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: S. Miller Rifle with J. Worl Barrel
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2023, 05:21:13 AM »
Why is there so much wood around the lock and side plate compared to other S. Miller rifles?

The entire stock is oversized.  Compared to my other Upper Susquehanna rifles, this one is thicker in the forestock, wider in the butt, and bigger in the lock area.  Perhaps it was commissioned by someone with big hands.  Itís a big boyís rifle.  These are one offís, so I would hope they are not all alike, like a Springfield or something.