Author Topic: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please  (Read 1143 times)

Offline JamesT

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Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« on: May 31, 2019, 05:44:28 AM »
 This is not a typical Northeast Tennesee rifle but I can tell you its been in my family in Mountain City, TN for most of its life. Id like it if someone could tell me where it was made.  What I know is that it came from my GG Grandfather and was given to my Grandfathers brother(my great uncle) around 1930. Was then left to my cousin when he passed. I'm the next in line to care for it someday. It is still in MT. City.

 The barrel is 46" long. The bore at the muzzle is 7/16" and appears to be coned not worn. The caliber is approximately .36-.38 . There is a Colts patent two cavity pistol mold that is married to the rifle. The name plate on the top flat is signed GM Collins. The grip cap is engraved 1897 J L Lewis? No relation of mine. Maybe the original owner.

 I'm hoping some of you may know the origin of the rifle. Please excuse the photography. Best I could do.

 In the family photo is my GG Grandfather. Front row center. ( owner of the rifle).
Thank you in advance
James



















Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 02:55:50 PM »
Looks to be stocked in ash. I don't know anything about it but it's a pretty cool gun.
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Offline Avlrc

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 08:33:24 PM »
Awesome wood.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 10:07:50 PM »
That's a good looking old rifle!  It needs to get be shot.
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Offline JamesT

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 11:17:14 PM »
Thanks guys. It does appear to be ash. My Great Uncle shot it in the 1960's. I have the old Dupont 3f can he bought for it. Would love to know where this builder was from and when he lived.
James

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 03:25:05 AM »
 :o :o :o.... Well, now,... She certainly is different,... !!! ... James L. Lewis worked in his gunsmith shop in Carter Co, district 1, near Fish Springs... (info from Dave Byrd's book)... I believe he was the builder,.. G.M. Collins might have been the first or a later owner,...James L. was the son of Issac Lewis, a well known maker of more "standard" style Tennessee rifles,... you have a nice, well preserved rifle from a known Tennessee gunsmith,... congrats and thanx for sharing,.... Regards, Cades Cove Fiddler,.... (PM being sent),....   

Offline JamesT

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 04:41:45 AM »
Wow! Thanks for that information CC Fidler. I never would have thought that rifle came out of there. I was just down on Watauga lake this week. Its less than 30minutes by car to the old home place which is actually closer to Neva than MT City. Certainly would have been  a short trip back then before the lake was there I suppose. My Grandfather helped with that project flooding Old Butler and creating the lake. I think with the TVA? Anyways, looking out for your PM
James

Offline scottmc

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 06:00:05 PM »
Jim, that's a nice rifle for sure and different, especially with that pistol grip.  Hope u got to stop and see Mr. Byrd.
Remember Paoli!

Offline JamesT

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 06:22:11 PM »
Thanks Scott. This rifle is one of my earliest memories. My Uncle always let me try and shoulder it since I was probably 5 years old. She is muzzle heavy for sure! I put it up the other day and looked down the sights. I think I could hit me squirrel with it now. Regretably, I didnt get over to see Mr. Byrd. My family had me running every which way. Which is good too! I will be back through there in a month. Maybe then.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 01:30:22 AM »
While this rifle is quite a bit later, the fine stock wood and pistol grip put me in mind of the fine presentation rifle given to "Davy" David Crockett in the early 1830s as a gift from [I believe] the young Whigs of Philadelphia. Crockett was from Tennessee and probably showed his fine "Pretty Betsy" off to citizens from that state, since he was so proud of it. His rifle was made by a high end Philadelphia gunmaker...can't recall the name, but English trained and made only the best rifles...and a pistol grip must have been state of the art back in the early 1830s. Crockett's rifle had a back-action lock and was an early percussion rifle.  Shelby Gallien

Offline Smokey Plainsman

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 04:40:40 AM »
Cool rifle but an honest shame such a pretty gun was adorned with a percussion lock. You might want to look into the popular practice of re-converting these guns to a proper FLINTlock action.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 02:50:14 PM »
Really neat old gun there and love the Ash, helps fire me up about the piece I've got (to get finished).  Looks like a big drop, or maybe it's the pic angles, any measurements?  thanks for sharing!



Cool rifle but ... re-converting these guns to a proper FLINTlock action.

Smokey P I must disagree, a proper reconversion is usually done on a gun that was actually originally equipped with a rock lock, or is clearly old enough to have "gone either way".  Methinks this gun is too late and also was never previously fitted with another lock.  As much as I too prefer flint, there's no way I'd consider replacing the original lock as found here.

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Offline Daryl

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 06:52:06 PM »
That's how I see it, Wade.
Daryl

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Offline JamesT

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 07:46:30 PM »
Yeah id never touch anything on this rifle. Except I'm gonna make a proper ramrod for it. Dont know how that little thin dowel got stuck in it. My cousin and I both feel it used to have a rod. Maybe not the original but it had something. I did t take any dimension measurements Sorry Wade. Next time I will.
James

Offline Dave Marsh

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Re: Help identifying my family squirrel rifle please
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2019, 08:58:52 PM »
I am trying to remember if I have ever even seen a flintlock rifle with a pistol grip.  I agree that it should not be converted as it is a beauty as it is without any changes.   Sometimes it is justifiable to re-convert from percussion to flint however this one was always percussion and should remain that way. 

Dave
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