British percussion rifle - possible Canadian Indian Gift Rifle from government?

For discussion of all pre-1898 firearms not covered in one of the other topics, including sporting and express rifles and other water buffalo stoppers.

Moderators: Johnny Yuma, GrantR Canada, Carignan Salieres, The Double D, Viclav

butlersrangers
Sergeant
Joined: August 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm

December 13th, 2015, 4:37 am #21

Adrian: Thank you for sharing your research and thoughts.

1. Out of curiosity, is there a geographic location that is tied to the similar rifle and pictures, you just received?

2. Your comment on the pictures mentions the presence of a dark nose-cap. I wonder, if it could have been 'glued' on? (That would explain some stock tips being plain wood, stepped and tapered. Maybe the 'adhesive' failed)?
Quote
Like
Share

Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: March 26th, 2003, 11:12 am

December 13th, 2015, 4:46 am #22

1. Out of curiosity, is there a geographic location that is tied to the similar rifle and pictures, you just received?

Yes it is in the UK, its owner knows of no other example in the UK.

2. Your comment on the pictures mentions the presence of a dark nose-cap. I wonder, if it could have been 'glued' on?

I cannot tell for certain from the photo I have, but from what I can see I would place my bet on it being horn, glued in place. This would also be in keeping with the sporting style that these rifles have been set up in.
Quote
Like
Share

butlersrangers
Sergeant
Joined: August 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm

December 13th, 2015, 8:00 pm #23

Adrian - Thanks for your insights!
Quote
Like
Share

Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: March 26th, 2003, 11:12 am

December 15th, 2015, 7:37 pm #24

The UK collector has replied regarding the nose cap:
in answer to your question about the nosecap, it is definately horn, and in my opinion an original fitting, you can see where the woodwork from the stock is tapered to the very front edge of the stock and there is no sign of screws or pins, so almost certainly glued in place.

Looking at a photo it looks like it stops about 4 or 5mm from the muzzle.
Quote
Like
Share

butlersrangers
Sergeant
Joined: August 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm

December 16th, 2015, 12:35 am #25

'Adrian':

That is very interesting and would explain why some stocks, I have seen, are stepped & tapered at the tip and have no nose-cap. If the glue failed or horn tip separated, it would leave that appearance. Most of the 'identical' stocks, with brass nose-caps, just do not look right in terms of fit & finish and no two seem to be alike.

Another question:

Are there sling-swivels on the rifle shown in the pictures you received from the U.K.?

Thanks for your interest and patient replies!

(BTW - Since, these rifles have barrels that are easily removed for cleaning, due to retention by three wedges and a hooked-patent breech, the stock tip is very vulnerable, when the barrel is removed). 
Last edited by butlersrangers on December 16th, 2015, 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Adrian
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: March 26th, 2003, 11:12 am

December 16th, 2015, 8:45 am #26

Are there sling-swivels on the rifle shown in the pictures you received from the U.K.?

Yes there are, of a style as one would typically find on a military longarm of that period.
Quote
Like
Share

butlersrangers
Sergeant
Joined: August 5th, 2013, 5:41 pm

December 16th, 2015, 7:46 pm #27

Thanks Adrian!

Re: sling swivels

Possibly, owners in Canada did not generally favor slings on their percussion hunting rifles and removed the swivels to eliminate snags and noise? (Another thing to ponder).
Quote
Like
Share

Pukka Bundook
Veteran of the Regiment
Pukka Bundook
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: March 3rd, 2004, 3:19 pm

December 17th, 2015, 12:04 am #28

Hunting arms carried across the saddle or in a canoe are best without slings, as they tend to get caught up!
I suppose we must also remember the American Long Rifle and plains rifle, no sling on most.

Re horn nosecap;
Definitely as Adrian says, and the tapered/stepped forestock we see is the result of lost horn tip.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 22nd, 2018, 5:01 am

June 22nd, 2018, 5:11 am #29

Hello from Canada, I hope bumping this thread is appropriate.  I am very interested in this firearm and am starting to actively research it for a possible build.   Also here is a link that discusses this rifle:


http://adviceotheprairie.blogspot.com/2 ... art-1.html

I am intrigued by the rifle and have the Egles article, Gifts For Canadian Indians Percussion Guns and Rifles before 1842, as well.  
Quote
Like
Share

tomboy64
O/R
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 3:57 pm

June 24th, 2018, 1:37 pm #30

Just a thought.
The articles by Ross Egles and others show a fairly consistant  weapon for the Chiefs Gun.
Silver escutcheon of a Natives head,bow and quiver engraving and a boars head engraved inside of a horn on the lock. It is also shown to be a light fusee or rifle

The rifle shown has more of the appearance of the rifles presented by John Norton to some of his
Native Allies. Norton had a small number of rifles set up for Special Warrior who had assisted
 the British during the war of1812. These were a higher grade of rifle with pistol grip trigger bows and fancier design.  I believe that the rifles were not given out until 1823. The overall look of the rifles appears to be closer to these guns although being of much later manufacture.

So would you call them a government Presentation rifle? 

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 22nd, 2018, 5:01 am

June 26th, 2018, 12:42 am #31

I must admit this is my first foray into the historical details of any gun. In North American forums there has been reports of 7 existing rifles mainly in Ontario.  The document Egles' quotes is a government inventory document I believe. One comment that was mentioned is that the details and quality of these rifles   were to a higher level than any trade gun. It was also still a tense time in border relationships.  If Egles' interpretation of numbers is correct that is a lot of Chiefs!  
Quote
Like
Share

Rudyard
Sergeant Major
Rudyard
Sergeant Major
Joined: April 22nd, 2017, 2:12 am

July 12th, 2018, 7:29 am #32

 Just trolling through these  posts ' I took interest in all sorts of  Regional guns  from Dane guns to Cape Dutch muskets. So   fur trade guns were a natural  to study .  I cant recall coming across such percussion guns but they seem  a logical use of   surplus Baker barrels  to make a good and usefull  offering  even if the  cost of caps versus flints  plus handling caplocks in extreme cold was against  the wider use of caplocks  . I recall a days casual work at the  Fort Langley BC   HBCoy factory  paid 25 cents when that figure bought 25 caps or four flints .  A flint will  certainly  give more shots and  given the cold factor and the  ability of most indigenous  peoples  at working flint or chert  made the flint the better  option in economic terms .. I  shot a 451 percussion once in 46 below and  after  only 8 shots could no longer handle the caps or grasp the rifle effectively   .You can load a flint gun  with mitts  and at that tempreture the damp factor  dosn't  apply.                 Rudyard
Quote
Like
Share