Author Topic: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)  (Read 641 times)

Offline Habu

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Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« on: September 17, 2023, 05:10:36 PM »
Did Mr. Large mark barrels he re-bored? 

I've recently come across a stash of original and NOS barrels and parts, probably accumulated in the 1950s-1970s.  There are some original barrels that have been re-bored and rifled. The re-bored barrels have no modern markings. There are also several Douglass barrels and a bunch of Large barrels with a variety of stamps.

Whoever re-bored the barrels, it looks like good work.  The barrel I slugged is slightly choked, and has a nice finish. 

Thanks,
Jim



Online Bob Roller

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 06:21:46 PM »
Most of the barrels Bill Large made were marked W.M.Large and I did that for him when he got done with a group of barrels.
Sometimes he'd mark a rerifled or "recut"barrel with an "L".It was referred to a being "Freshed Out"and he did a lot of them before getting his his first rifling machine in 1958.What calibers are the NOS barrels he made and dimensions and do the have breech plugs on only threaded or not threaded? I don't think he "recut" any barrels during the last 20 years of his career and one he did for T.K.Dawson was a
heavy J&S Hawken barrel that had a hard as glass spot close to the breech.He did no more after that one.I think it was in 1970.
Who had these barrels? Such a find is very unusual to say the least.
Bob Roller

Offline Habu

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2023, 07:26:44 AM »
Thanks for the reply, Bob.  Given the Large barrels in the stash, I was wondering if the original barrels might have been re-bored by Mr. Large.  In any event, they were nicely done. 

The barrels were found in the attic of a home inherited by the grandson of one of the guys I used to shoot with.  My old friend had more than a bit of packrat in him: he bought barrels and parts when he got a good deal, then tucked them away "for a rainy day".  He told me once of visiting Friendship (sometime in the '60s I think) and buying 9-10 barrels from the trunk of Bill Large's car (probably in the late '60s). 

The barrels were all drenched with Cosmoline, wrapped in newspapers, and tucked away since at least 1988.  I used a razorblade scraper to take off the paper to see makers' stamps, and a tape measure to get rough measurements on several before making an offer on the lot.  I haven't had time to get any further in cleaning the barrels up.

The Large barrels I measured were:
.54 (probably) 44"x 1 1/16", percussion breech;
.69 (11/16") 38", 1 1/8"+  at breech, 1 1/16" muzzle, flint breech;
.38 (3/8") 50" x 1 5/16", flint breech.

Jim

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2023, 03:27:18 PM »
One trademark I forgot was/is JJJJ for Jeanine-Jeanette=JoAnn and Janice.Are any of these barrels marked like this??
Bob Roller
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023, 06:48:22 PM by Bob Roller »

Offline elkhorne

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2023, 07:23:58 PM »
Habu,
Bob can confirm or correct me on this, but I read sometime back on here that Mr. Large was known to stamp a L or something else like a short saying on barrels he rebored or fresher out or did similar work on. I have an original that Mr. Large was-going to fresh out but found out he only had to lap to bring it back to a shooting condition. That is the providence that came with the original rifle and it was done because the owner back in the 60s or early 70s wanted to shoot it at Friendship. There are no other markings on the barrel that could have been applied by Mr.Large. The ways he touched our sport/hobby in so many ways fascinate me. Thanks for sharing.
elkhorne

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2023, 10:07:05 PM »
Bill did sometimes put an "L"on a recut or "freshed out". Once he got a lot of machinery to make barrels he did not take in any recutting
or other restoration.I sold a lot of locks and triggers to Bill to send with barrels and he never made a dime on them and said he didn't have to or want to.His shop is now empty of all that machinery and I have no idea who now lives there but we sometimes drive past it on the way to visit our grand daughter and he family and I get flash backs from other days long ago and now gone.Here is another thing.Bill and I both developed a liking for nice cars and he liked the Cadillac and I liked the Lincoln and we parked side by side just inside the main gate at Friendship.He still owned a Cadillac when he passed away and we still have a Town Car.

Bob Roller

Offline Habu

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2023, 03:50:31 AM »
One trademark I forgot was/is JJJJ for Jeanine-Jeanette=JoAnn and Janice.Are any of these barrels marked like this??
Bob Rollrt

Bob, I recently moved back to my old town after almost 40 years away.  I get the same feeling at times . . . the shop where I built my first rifle is gone--the whole block is gone--but driving past I can still see it in my mind's eye, and hear the voices of my old friends.  Good memories to have. 

The .69 barrel is marked "W.M.LARGE" in an arc, over "JJJJ".  It is also marked "Dinglehoofer Special".  The .54-ish barrel is marked "W.M.LARGE" in an arc with nothing else.  The .38 barrel is marked "W.M.LARGE" in an arc over "JJJJ" over .L.  Found another 1 1/16" barrel about 40" long marked "W.M.LARGE" in an arc--nothing else but 4 "J"s stamped on the crown (one for every other flat).

When I get a chance I'll scrub the original barrels and look again for markings. 

Jim

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Question about barrel markings (W.M.Large?)
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2023, 05:58:02 PM »
Jim,
That Dinglehoofer barrel may have been intended for John D,Baird who started a magazine,The Buckskin Report as a protest against low end and  dangerous practices such as over tightened cast breech plugs that proved to be dangerous with several tragic injuries.TC was the culprit.I am glad someone has these barrels that realize what they were/are. If I were inclined to make another rifle I would like to buy one but no longer want to build another gun.The name "Dinglehoofer" for some reason was given to Baird by Bill Large and may have been inspired by an OLD comic strip called "Dinglehoofer and his Dog". As I recall the character was of German origin.I remember living as a boy in a German neighborhood in Chicago and the Chicago Tribune had comic strips in color on Sunday and "Dinglehoofer" was one of them.
I still used the German language when  I was sending almost every lock and trigger to the "Schwarzpulver Abteilung der Schuetzenbund
Deutschland".Translates as Blackpowder Division of the Shooting society of Germany.I am glad for my time in Chicago but have NO desire to revisit the old "Nachbarschft" (neighborhood)at Augusta and Fairfield avenues.
Bob Roller