1832 Original Hawken light mountain rifle. Opinions welcome please!

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R.J.Bruce

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58viktor

All of your reasoning presented here for claiming that this rifle is a Hawken is fallacious. The Hawken brothers were the sons of a very accomplished Golden Age longrifle maker, Christian Hawken. While there is no surviving evidence that either of the brothers ever turned out highly decorated/engraved rifles like their father, the quality of their workmanship was such that the rifle you have presented here could not possibly have come out of either brother's shop at ANY time in their careers.

I have handled an original Hawken, .52 caliber, percussion, half-stock plains rifle. Once you hold the real thing in your hands it is unmistakable from anything else.

To be frank, this rifle looks sloppily done, as far as the lock, drum, and nipple are concerned. The surviving small caliber/Squirrel/St. Louis/local trade Hawken rifles almost all have a snail drum breech. Very few have a drum & nipple arrangement. Those that do are very professionally executed, unlike your rifle.

Like other posters, I believe you are clutching at straws to give your rifle a Hawken Bros. attribution where none exists.
 

58viktor

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@58viktor, It was Sam Hawken who built signed rifles in Xenia, Ohio.
Grenadier1758- Thank you again. I am a new with these rifles and I love the history that they bring. I do love history but I have been stuck on the World Wars until now... 58viktor Thank you for your patients...
 

58viktor

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58viktor

All of your reasoning presented here for claiming that this rifle is a Hawken is fallacious. The Hawken brothers were the sons of a very accomplished Golden Age longrifle maker, Christian Hawken. While there is no surviving evidence that either of the brothers ever turned out highly decorated/engraved rifles like their father, the quality of their workmanship was such that the rifle you have presented here could not possibly have come out of either brother's shop at ANY time in their careers.

I have handled an original Hawken, .52 caliber, percussion, half-stock plains rifle. Once you hold the real thing in your hands it is unmistakable from anything else.

To be frank, this rifle looks sloppily done, as far as the lock, drum, and nipple are concerned. The surviving small caliber/Squirrel/St. Louis/local trade Hawken rifles almost all have a snail drum breech. Very few have a drum & nipple arrangement. Those that do are very professionally executed, unlike your rifle.

Like other posters, I believe you are clutching at straws to give your rifle a Hawken Bros. attribution where none exists.
All due respect this rifle will never have the feel of a big bore "Mountain man." Apples to oranges. This is a light Mountain rifle made for settled areas and sold at Hardware stores supplied by Hawken. Hawken didn't only make Big bore speical order rifles. He had to stay in buisness and made these to do that. That's what it says in Baird's book anyway! This rifle has the hollows in the stock and fore stock. The comb is sharp to the touch with wear. This rifle has the riveted Toe to Butt plate fluxed... Your looking at an abused old rifle that's never been cleaned and compairing that to what you have seen polished and in pictures. All were not professionally executed like you say. Do you believe all were signed also? Respectfully 58victor
 

rdane

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Jake Hawken was known to have built a few rifles in Ohio before joining Sam in St. Louis. With all due respect - if thousands of the Generic Half stocks were made where are they all? I have a book on Ohio Gunsmiths and not one looks like this rifle... nor does it have Jake Hawken listed with his short stay.
That’s like asking, where are all the model T Fords. They show up once in a while.
 

rdane

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I remember years ago big discussions on Bairds book. Most concluded some of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
 
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I have three books on Ohio rifles and have read all the Association of Ohio Longrifle Collecters newsletters online. There are a great many examples of guns that look very much like yours, and all Ohio made. You may not find pics of guns that exactly match yours but you will see the Ohio family resemblance if you study. Small bore rifles like yours were extremely common in Ohio and not meant for beaver shooting in the mountains.
 

58viktor

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Here is a picture I found of a 1810 rifle with flint burn to stock and barrel. The tang is close in style to my rifle. Maybe my lock is not original as some one mentioned.
That’s like asking, where are all the model T Fords. They show up once in a while.
 

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58viktor

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Here is a picture I found of a 1810 rifle with flint burn to stock and barrel. The tang is close in style to my rifle. Maybe my lock is not original as
I have three books on Ohio rifles and have read all the Association of Ohio Longrifle Collecters newsletters online. There are a great many examples of guns that look very much like yours, and all Ohio made. You may not find pics of guns that exactly match yours but you will see the Ohio family resemblance if you study. Small bore rifles like yours were extremely common in Ohio and not meant for beaver shooting in the mountains.
Kansas_volunteer- I have another book coming from ebay on Ohio rifles. I will be looking forward to seeing your observation. Thanks 58viktor Can anyone help me date this 39 11/16 length barrel? I
2020_0221HAWKENrifle0066.JPG

some one mentioned.
2020_0221HAWKENrifle0064.JPG
 
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Does the rifle in question have a bolt holding the lock in place, or only those odd clips? When and why would the Hawkens have used clips?

The holes bored through the barrel to hold things in place was "invented" by an Ohio gunsmith (see AOLRC newsletters) i doubt he was the first, but it is something found in Ohio in Hawken times.
 

58viktor

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Does the rifle in question have a bolt holding the lock in place, or only those odd clips? When and why would the Hawkens have used clips?

The holes bored through the barrel to hold things in place was "invented" by an Ohio gunsmith (see AOLRC newsletters) i doubt he was the first, but it is something found in Ohio in Hawken times.
WOW DID I EVER FIND AN AWESOME SITE ON KENTUCKY RIFLES!!! A MUST SEE FOR EVERYBODY!!! https://americansocietyofarmscollec...19/06/1969-B20-Kentucky-Rifle-Silhouettes.pdf
 

SDSmlf

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WOW DID I EVER FIND AN AWESOME SITE ON KENTUCKY RIFLES!!! A MUST SEE FOR EVERYBODY!!! https://americansocietyofarmscollec...19/06/1969-B20-Kentucky-Rifle-Silhouettes.pdf
Interesting website on Kentucky rifles that I have previously seen. Really interested in hearing the history on your light Hawken Mountain Rifle. As I have previously posted, would love to hear how you came into owning this rifle and would be interested in hearing the history you have on it.
 

Mark Herman

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Viktor,
It was Daniel Hawken in Springfield, Ohio. We have several examples of his rifles and they are marked and do not look like this one.
 

58viktor

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My Ohio book will be getting here today. Thank you for your h
Viktor,
It was Daniel Hawken in Springfield, Ohio. We have several examples of his rifles and they are marked and do not look like this one.
Mark Herman- With all due respect: my Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesmen by Donald A. Hutslar came in today. I went through it not looking at the names at the bottom, just looking at the pictures of the rifles. When I came to page 93 1st volume I said oh shit there it is. Lancaster stock, drum and nipple...half stock. I was hoping not to find it in this book as I was looking! When I looked down at the name it was D. Hawken. See this is a family rifle and it has always been known as the Hawken. With time on my hands 5 weeks ago I have made it a quest. I bought all the Hawken books and have read them twice, making notes... When your great minds on this forums pointed out things every thing started coming together. I now believe I can share the complete story with these great minds. I will put the history of this gun out there now. But first I want to reread the thread and point out these minds whom helped me to connect the dots. Be back soon with its family history. 58viktor
 

58viktor

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Interesting website on Kentucky rifles that I have previously seen. Really interested in hearing the history on your light Hawken Mountain Rifle. As I have previously posted, would love to hear how you came into owning this rifle and would be interested in hearing the history you have on it.
SDSmif- My Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesmen by Donald A. Hutslar came in today. I went through it not looking at the names at the bottom, just looking at the pictures of the rifles. When I came to page 93 1st volume I said oh shit there it is. Lancaster stock, drum and nipple...half stock. I was hoping not to find it in this book as I was looking! When I looked down at the name it was D. Hawken. See this is a family rifle and it has always been known as the Hawken. With time on my hands 5 weeks ago I have made it a quest. I bought all the Hawken books and have read them twice, making notes... When your great minds on this forums pointed out things every thing started coming together. I now believe I can share the complete story with these great minds. I will put the history of this gun out there now. But first I want to reread the thread and point out these minds whom helped me to connect the dots. Be back soon with its family history. 58viktor
 

SDSmlf

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SDSmif- My Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesmen by Donald A. Hutslar came in today. I went through it not looking at the names at the bottom, just looking at the pictures of the rifles. When I came to page 93 1st volume I said oh shit there it is. Lancaster stock, drum and nipple...half stock. I was hoping not to find it in this book as I was looking! When I looked down at the name it was D. Hawken. See this is a family rifle and it has always been known as the Hawken. With time on my hands 5 weeks ago I have made it a quest. I bought all the Hawken books and have read them twice, making notes... When your great minds on this forums pointed out things every thing started coming together. I now believe I can share the complete story with these great minds. I will put the history of this gun out there now. But first I want to reread the thread and point out these minds whom helped me to connect the dots. Be back soon with its family history. 58viktor
Viktor, sounds like you are on the way to solving your mystery. Congratulations. Looking forward to reading about the history of the gun and what you have discovered.
 

Mark Herman

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Viktor,
Keep on questioning, that's the only way to secure answers. Good luck in your search.
Mark
 

M. De Land

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S. Hawken 1832 Hawken light mountain rifle. Weight at 8.5 pounds: No cheek stock, no rib and small cal. due to early Trapper’s did not want heavy guns. Enough for beaver fur… lighter weight ammunition... This rifle has a small bore barrel at .385 with straight rifling. Straight rifling being first born. This rifle with No cheek stock, no rib and lightweight @ 8 ½ pounds says cheaper rifle! Smaller, plainer editions of larger Hawken Mountain Rifle known as Light Mountain Rifles normally had cheek stocks. A cheek stocked rifle would have never been considered a cheap rifle. Hawken shows only one cheap rifle made in 1832. The next one was made in 1840 and both being documented as “Cheap” in the Hawken redjustry. Barrel tells me so. Hand welded Hawken barrels circa 1829, Factory made barrels were common late 30’s. This barrel varies around 1 inch throughout the length of its 39 11/16 inch barrel. Not factory made. Front barrel sight: Silver on copper base that was a tradition brought from Hawken eastern training. Mountain men were known to complain about this eastern short sight and they would add a sliver of silver coin to make it higher. 27 inches between sights is a known Hawken measurement such as ours determining the original barrel. Hawken was predominant and possibly the earliest percussion rifle used by the mountain man. Barrel, stock and breech corrosion from percussion caps: Early Hawken rifles had this corrosion problem being a fault of Hawken, later fixed and fixed again till he got it right. This rifle is a perfect example of this corrosion. Two pins: Close examination of early Hawken rifles will reveal that the lower thimble was held in place with two pins passing through the stock. This barrel has two holes for these pins. Crescent butt-plate and heal toe as two pieces are held together with a rivet and brass and fluxed. Very early construction.. This rifle has this fluxing inside butt-plate with the rivet revealed. Heel of butt plate touches the ground first when the barrel is held vertical to ground. The toe is off ground from ¼ inch to ¾ inches known Hawken. This rifle does this. Forend tip of S. Hawken squirrel rifle in Lenard collection. Note cast rear sight, and lack of rib for ramrod. Pewter poured cap. Hawken rifles the mountain man’s choice. Page 63 Plate No. 95. This rife lock has been repaired by a gunsmith. Note the escutcheon parts used to hold lock to stock. The lock bolt broke into the lock. This rifle's lock bolt is not recessed, dating this rifle to early status. Original lock plate with flat original snail. I am happy for this repair as to keep the rifle original. Due to not having a cheek stock, it was figured to be a cheap gun and don’t put a new lock on it? Just rig it! View attachment 62927View attachment 62928View attachment 62929View attachment 62930View attachment 62931View attachment 62932View attachment 62933View attachment 62934View attachment 62935View attachment 62936View attachment 62928View attachment 62929View attachment 62930
I'm no Hawken expert but thought I read somewhere that they were only made with iron furniture. This may have been after the move to ST.Louis if true, as I have read very little about the Hawken rifles before the move.
 

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