Family Gun

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by charlie g, May 26, 2012.

  1. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    This gun was handed down in my family from about 1800. I belive it belonged to my 2nd Great Grandfather, Harvey Duncan Whitlock. He was born in Union SC, 1819. The gun is overall 52" long, the single barell is 35" long, with a octogon 3/4" bore and octogon 1 1/4" outside. On the rt side, the plate has a scine of a hunter with a long gun in a pons with Catails and ducks flying and falling into the water. It has a short stock wit a Puter ? cap. It has a 2 peice Brass side plate with a hinged Patch Box. The Butt plate is Brass. The Trigger Guard and Triggers are Iron. It is Percussion. I have been tols it may have been originaly a Flint Lock. I was always told the gun was older than the one "Davy Crockett" used, "Old Betsy". Any information to Identify and date it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Charles Garner
    Fort Worth, TX

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  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Very nice old half-stock with set trigger and looks original percussion to me, dating long after Davey Crockett 1786-1836.

    If the maker is marked, should be on the top or hidden underside of barrel.
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Original percussion from the 1850's-1870's would be my guess. It's kind of odd but not really rare to see a half stock with a pinned barrel. The patch box and butt plate could have come from Davy's era. They didn't come on that rifle.

    It bears a strong resemblance to a Tryon trade rifle from the mid 1870's.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  4. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    I would call it a 'right as rain' variant Plains Rifle, ca. 1850, original percussion. The patch box is something of a carry-over from an earlier time but original to the gun. Bore of 3/4 makes me wonder if it wasn't bored out from a smaller caliber, now maybe ? smooth bore as a shotgun.
  5. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    The patch box is too ornate for a plain jane rifle plus if it was original to the gun the trigger guard would be brass also.
  6. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    As I said - "variant". I'm skeptical of 'usual' becoming 'gotta be' - having seen many variations in a lot of different kinds of guns. This rifle resembles many half-stock mid century rifles, including my Leman with 1 1/4" barrel but .54 bore. Opinion is just opinion, yours or mine, based on where we formed it.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I would like to see some better pictures of the lock plate and the side opposite.

    I tend to agree that the patchbox and its plates and the buttplate are of an earlier era and (IMHO) were taken from an older gun. The patchbox has been repaired at some point as shown by the latch and spring rivets showing indications of replacement. Plus the patchbox plate is cracked where the replacement rivet was hammered flat, and the screw heads are not of the type usual to that age of rifle. If I were asked, without any knowledge of the history of that rifle, I would guess that the lockplate and buttplate are relatively recent additions, probably in the last 50 years, and were not put on by an expert in the older rifles.

    Jim
  8. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    I may have an advance case of 'retro thinking' but this looks to me like a gun someone had made by some average unknown gun builder of about 1850. The person ordering the gun liked the patchbox-butt configuration of earlier times. No problem to me the evidence of repair to the patch box, and its inletting is about as good as it gets. I could buy the idea that the patch box may have seen pre-use before this gun.

    Retro-thinking dates back in time. I once had in my shop a fine wheellock rifle made a century after the flint became the standard. It was dated and the maker was of a family of makers well recorded which I checked out.

    Retroism is alive and well today. There are people who like Single Action Colts and 1911 automatics.

    For info about installing a patchbox, look for a copy of my Modern Kentucky Rifle on eBay. There are about 50K of them out there I had printed from 1960 to ca 1990 when I sold my pubs to DGW. Still in print I think.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  9. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    The Gun was handed down from my Great-Greatgrandfather B:1819,Greatgrandfather B:1844, to my Grandmother B:1899 to my Uncle B:1924 to me. As far as I know it was not changed from original in this time frame.
    PS: Thanks for the input so far, it does help.
    Charlie

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  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Sorry but the gun isn't that old. Nowhere near it. Somebody probably around the turn of the century made up a story that was passed down with it.
  11. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    Sorry for the mistake. My Grandmother's husband, my Grandfather was born 1889, in Arkansas. Perhaps it originated with him?
  12. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    The story may have but IMHO the gun is a little older than that. It's a nice old gun and has family history. That's more than a lot of folks have. Does it have rifling still or was it bored out? A 3/4 bore would be around 75 caliber. While that's not impossible it would be a little unusual.
  13. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    The Bore is Octogon shaped, and 3/4'. How old do you think it is? Do you have an idea of value, for Insurence?

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  14. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    The "Hex" Bore, is that what you are calling "Riflling"?
  15. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    OK from your pic it is rifled. I would be hesitant to put a value on it especially without knowing who made it. Are there any markings other than the ones you listed earlier? There may be proofs on the bottom of the barrel but I would be hesitant to remove it because of the risk of splintering the wood around the pin.
  16. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    Well Hawg,
    After carefuly dissasembly, I found absolutly no markings. Bummer! However, everything still works. My Great Grandfather was born 1844, and my Great Great Grandfather was born 1819. Mabe that will help date it. Bothe were from SC.
    Thanks for your help,
    Charlie
  17. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    No it doesn't. It's always been a percussion rifle and they weren't common until the 1830's. The early ones had drum breeches where yours has a snail. IMHO the oldest it could possibly be is 1840 and the newest considering the large rifled bore would be 1850ish. I don't think it would be any newer than the mid 1850's. Maybe somebody more learned than I can shed some more light on it.
  18. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    One needs to remember that often gunsmiths would repurpose gun parts--barrels and hardware would be reused, often resulting in a mix of parts from different eras. The only absolute is that there ARE no absolutes when it comes to these guns. The pinned barrel is not that unusual--I have two early half-stock rifles with pinned barrels. I don't think the bore is 3/4"--appears to be closer to 60 caliber than 75--could you check it again? Measure from land to land (raised part of rifling, not groove depth to groove depth.

    I could easily have been your great great grandfathers (born 1819). If he acquired it in 1850, he would only have been 31 or so. If you don't plan on selling it, I'd put an insurance value of about $2,000 on it.
  19. charlie g

    charlie g New Member

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    Thanks Buffalochip,
    When I measured the inside of the barrel, it was from the grove to the other side which is flat. The "Duck Hunting Sceine" ingraved on the side plate is why I guessed it was a hunting gun. I will be doing more investigating into my family history and a lot of pictures to go through. Mabe I will learn more then. I am not planing on selling it.
    Thanks again,
    Charles Garner
  20. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    I never said it couldn't have belonged to his GGG. I was disputing the statement about it being older than Crockett's.
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