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Login Name Post: Help with old rifle        (Topic#306228)
40 Cal.
Posts: 401
01-12-18 05:04 AM - Post#1662938    

A friend of mine, has an old half stock percussion rifle that has Osley Nelson & co. marked on the barrel. It also has W.A. Cunningham at another spot on the barrel. The lock is marked Wm. H. Sowers Warranted. Any help identifying would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Steve

45 Cal.
Posts: 754
01-13-18 10:18 AM - Post#1663131    

    In response to steve1122

All I can find that is possibly related on a Google search is Wm. H. Sowers, Pennsylvania, post AWI.

Penn Mag of History and Biography

Legal Intelligencer 1864

Then there this sale of an old sidelock.


40 Cal.
Posts: 441
01-14-18 10:10 AM - Post#1663283    

    In response to steve1122

WA Cunningham 1852-1860 General gunsmith at Mt Vernon, Ohio.

Posts: 26661
01-20-18 07:24 PM - Post#1664904    

    In response to steve1122

"American gun makers including Supplement of American gun makers" , shows the following for the name Sowers:

" SOWERS— Philadelphia, Pa. Flintlock Kentucky rifle (lock only?).
A percussion lock marked "SOWERS" on a Wm. Bodenheimer
rifle is reported.

SOWERS & SMITH— Philadelphia, Pa. Percussion lock marked
"SOWERS & SMITH," on a full maple stock rifle by Diesinger,
Philadelphia. "

For Nelson the same source says:

"NELSON & CO,— Unlocated.

NELSON, Francis — Advertised for sale "gun stocks well seasoned
by the large or small quantity," at his place of business opposite
the Bull's Head (tavern), Strawberry Alley, Philadelphia. Ad-
vertisement in the Pennsylvania Evening Post, Aug. 31, 1776.

NELSON, Owen O.— See Dickson, Nelson Co.

NELSON, Roger— Medina-Town, Ohio, 1825.

NELSON, Roger— Medina, Ohio, 1858-60. (Same, or related to Roger
Nelson above?) "

The "See Dickson, Nelson Co." refers to a Confederate gun company.

"The firm consisted of Owen O. Nelson,
Tuscumbia, Ala., attorney, then Judge for Court of Common
Pleas; William Dickson, planter and extensive land owner in
Tennessee Valley, Ala., and Dr. Lewis Sadler of Leighton, Ala.,
an elderly physician who furnished considerable financial aid."
Just Jim...

40 Cal.
Posts: 401
01-23-18 04:20 PM - Post#1665444    

    In response to Zonie

Thanks guys! I appreciate the info.

40 Cal.
Posts: 366
01-27-18 08:18 AM - Post#1666122    

    In response to steve1122

Is the barrel perhaps signed Postley Nelson & Company?
I have seen these barrels on a few Western PA rifles of the same period...just my 2d worth.

Macungie or Mahony, The Bear Is Still Here

Edited by Flaydermaus on 01-27-18 08:23 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

40 Cal.
Posts: 401
01-29-18 07:24 PM - Post#1666555    

    In response to Flaydermaus

Yes! It is a Postley Nelson & Co. barrel. I have found some info on the builder W.A. Cunningham. I talked to another guy, who used to own one of his rifles. Since I made my original post, I have bought the rifle myself, and had it inspected by a few gunsmiths, and they all agreed that it was in fine, shootable, shape. So, I shot it a few times, and I'm very happy with its accuracy. I would like to know more about the lock maker,"Wm. H. Sowers" and possibly what the value of it might be. Thanks for your help, and I will try to post a pic soon. Thanks Steve

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