Need info muzzle loading rifle

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Tango1, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Tango1

    Tango1 New Member

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    possible mid(?) 1800s muzzle loading rife need more specific year of made & history
    Barel markings has names but no numbers ...
    Thank you
     

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  2. Patches

    Patches Well-Known Member

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    Can not help you with your question. However I will make a comment on the engraving and inlays - WOW!
     
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  3. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Got a picture of the entire rifle? I'd like to see the forestock and the rest of the barrel, more for a sense of proportion than anything. A), the exact year probably won't be known unless there's something on the bottom of the barrel. Best bet will be to learn the years N. Lewis was active and try to fit the style into what part of his active period it fits, bearing in mind many makers made the same rifle their entire careers. I'm guessing 1850's through 1860's. It could be as late as the 1870's but that's less likely. B), if you find a number on any early American rifles it's probably 1 of 10,000. All those were made one at a time in small, 1-4 man shops and weren't numbered. S/N's on rifles were not required in the US until 1968.

    As with the Belgian musket, the condition appears remarkable.
     
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  4. Tango1

    Tango1 New Member

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  5. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Tell me something, is there 3 or 4 holes in the muzzle? A muzzle like that makes me think it was a target rifle and might have had a false muzzle. Also, what is the dimension across the barrel flats, flat to flat, not point to point.. 20 and 40 rod offhand target shooting was immensely popular in the NE during that period. After seeing the muzzle and the name N.Lewis, let me look through my Ned Roberts book and see if he mentions that name and, if so, in what context. The name now seems a little familiar to me.

    If you want to read about that period the book by Ned Roberts "The Muzzleloading Cap Lock Rifle" is hugely informative and, I think equally interesting. It should be available off Amazon, I would think, as it's been through several printings.

    EUREKA!!! I Found him, Nelson Lewis, Troy, New York!! He was born in 1811 near Speigletown, NY. He learned the trade from J.M. Caswell in Lansingburg, NY. According to Roberts he opened his own shop in 1843 and worked at it for more than 40 years. Again, according to Roberts, your rifle should have a gain twist as he says Lewis would cut no other barrel twist. Ah-ha...something I suspected. I thought the engraving looked German and Roberts says "John Wolfe, a German" did the engraving for Lewis and was his only employee except for Lewis' son, Kilby. Yes, Kilby, not Kirby. Lewis did a lot of work for rifles for 100 rod shooting. 100 rods = 550 yards.

    Boy...your rifle was made by a guy who ran in the top level of rifle makers in that area at that time. Roberts compares him to Norman Brockway, Horace Warner and Wm. Billinghurst. That's the Hall of Fame for makers of those kinds of rifles. I suspect that when made it had the full compliment of goodies; false muzzle, load data, (Lewis and those other guys did all their own load development), one or two bullet molds and probably a cross patch cutter. If there is holes in the muzzle I'd about guarantee it came with all those items mentioned. A lot of those rifles were also used for hunting...as odd as that seems to us today You really should get the book, I think you'd enjoy it immensely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  6. Tango1

    Tango1 New Member

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    lengths

    Muzzle length 32”
    Whole rifle 46-47”
    Muzzle Diameter 1”( from outer edge to edge)
    Muzzle hole slightly less than 1/2”
    Ram rod wood with metal on the tip
    Don’t see any holes?
     
  7. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    E.M. Glynn would be the rifle's original builder, N. Lewis would have been the one who re cut or rebored the barrel to a larger caliber, a job I do from time to time. It's a Picket rifle, that turned round muzzle is to hold a piston starter for the picket style bullet. Got one very similar to this rifle in the office at the barrel shop. I'll try to look up both names later today. I'll post back later today or in the morning with what I can find out.
     
  8. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Well, since you posted, I edited that post. No holes for pins huh....hmmm. Still, that rebated muzzle and a 1 inch barrel of something less than 50 cal. still marks it as a target rifle to me. 45 and 40 cal. were both quite popular for 20 and 40 rod shooting....so I guess yours could be either.

    Well crap Griz, so I got it backwards? I got Tango all fired up for nothing, sorry 'bout that Tango. That's what I get for "remembering" instead of checking. Roberts doesn't mention Glynn. As Lewis re-bored and re-rifled it, I suspect it has a gain twist as Roberts says he would cut any oter kin.
     
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  9. Tango1

    Tango1 New Member

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    Sharpy & Grizzz, both of you boys are amazing and I am learning along the way. Your wonderful help & in-depth knowledge much appreciated.
    Thanks
     
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  10. Tango1

    Tango1 New Member

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    Wow....lots of info. let me get this book, as I mentioned earlier very sharp learning curve :)
    hopefully, I have the real and original ones to be proud of my collections.
    Also, 1863 Springfield with bayonet in mint condition. Hopefully get them out for a spin this summer.
     
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  11. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    I think they're original!!
     
  12. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, Edward M. Glynn ran a gun making business in Clarendon Vermont from 1871 to 1885, he is noted for making half stock percussion target rifles.

    Nelson Lewis, born 1811 died 1888, in business as a gunsmith in Troy, New York from 1845-1888.

    Your picket rifle looks to have been made between 1871 and 1885. I'd bet dollars to donuts it started out as a .36 or perhaps a .42 and was re bored to I'm assuming by what you said about it being a little smaller than a half an inch, to most likely .45 caliber.

    Nelson Lewis would have been the man who did the rebore work.

    Recutting or reboring a barrel was not an uncommon thing back then, black powder being corrosive, a recut would save a rusted or shot out rifle and give it a longer life span or perhaps a target shooter wanted to try the latest and greatest new thing and might have that patched round ball rifle re bored to handle picket bullets or some other type of conical bullet. Bullets required a faster twist rate and shallower rifling than round balls and picket bullets required a piston starter to start the bullet straight or it would tip sideways. That turned round section at the muzzle is to hold the piston starter in place on the muzzle.
     
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  13. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    One more question for you on the ram rod's tip, is it cut or drilled with a shape that would match the tip of the bullet the rifle was designed to shoot?

    Sharps, the piston inside of the piston starter would have been machined to match exactly the bullet's ogive, think of a modern reloader's bullet seating die. :) The piston was spring loaded, the bullet was placed inside the starter with the nose of the bullet inside the recess in the piston and after the charge was poured down bore the piston starter would be put over the muzzle and the piston pushed to start the bullet straight and square to the bore, the spring would retract the piston to make the starter ready for the next use.
     
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  14. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    So it's different from a false muzzle. I don't remember ever reading about one. Learned sumthin' new from you.....yet again!!

    Where'd you find the info on Glynn?
     
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  15. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    In a hard back copy of American Gunsmiths.

    I didn't write down the author or publisher, or I'd give you that info, so you could search out a copy for your reference library.

    Some false muzzle rifles and slug guns also used piston starters. We had a few orphaned piston starters in the shop, being the curious sort, I asked Joe what they were.