1832 Original Hawken light mountain rifle. Opinions welcome please!

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58viktor

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There is about a 5% or less chance that this gun was made by J&S Hawken. S. Hawken was not making halfstock guns in the period you mention. You are taking generic characteristics and assigning an identity. Without a signature it is not made by the Hawken shop in St. Louis.
Example of how your reasoning leads to a wrong conclusion.
I have a vintage car and I declare it is a ‘57 Chevy.
1) it has no Chevy logos or serial numbers. It doesn’t have a Chevy engine or transmission.
2) It does have tail fins and the 57 Chevy has tail fins
3) It has a chrome bumper and the 57 Chevy had a chrome bumper
4) It has a V8 engine and many 57 Chevvies had V8 engines
5) it has a 12 volt battery and so did the 57 Chevy
6) It has a big trunk. The trunks on 57 Chevvies were huge.
7) It has a big hump in the floorboard in the rear seat. 57 Chevvies had that.
Too bad my vintage car is a Ford.
Good info. Phil. I forgot or didn't know that Lakenan and Jake arrived here in St. Louis about the same time. Still a mystery as to the roots and influences of the Hawken rifle. I wonder if there were some local rifles that inspired them as to what was needed for those going west. The Henry scroll guard came later, and almost all guns made for the western trade had brass furniture. I can see where the Virginia manufactory rifle is a likely inspiration, and the Harpers Ferry as well. Still the combination of scroll guard, double set triggers, iron furniture, deeply curved buttplate, and patent breech seem to have been what launched the Hawken brand.
 

58viktor

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Leaning towards James Lakenan. The family is not allowing me "at this point" to disclose it's owner. I have to respect this but I am working on them trying to convince them its ok. Native American owned, but the problem I am having is placing it to the Chief or his son. The Chief born 1752 died 1812.
As I started this journey, age is important in determining whom this rifle belonged to. I need to know if this rifle could be pre 1812? This rifle is 100% handmade. "I believe it to have been an original flintlock as I started this study with its stock burns". 1832 hawken study seamed possible which would have lead it to his son. Now leaning towards James Lakenan which would have been a flintlock making it the Chief's.
Also note how flat the bottom of a 1810 flintlock is with flint burn pdf. Resembles this rifle! Thank you for your opinions!
Here is the Native American owed 1841 Springfield I said I would post. Thank you again for your thoughts good or bad, I learn from both!! I hope I will be able to tell their stories in the near future when allowed by elders. Computers scare them...
 

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58viktor

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Leaning towards James Lakenan. The family is not allowing me "at this point" to disclose it's owner. I have to respect this but I am working on them trying to convince them its ok. Native American owned, but the problem I am having is placing it to the Chief or his son. The Chief born 1752 died 1812.
As I started this journey, age is important in determining whom this rifle belonged to. I need to know if this rifle could be pre 1812? This rifle is 100% handmade. "I believe it to have been an original flintlock as I started this study with its stock burns". 1832 hawken study seamed possible which would have lead it to his son. Now leaning towards James Lakenan which would have been a flintlock making it the Chief's.
Also note how flat the bottom of a 1810 flintlock is with flint burn pdf. Resembles this rifle! Thank you for your opinions!
Here is the Native American owed 1841 Springfield I said I would post. Thank you again for your thoughts good or bad, I learn from both!! I hope I will be able to tell their stories in the near future when allowed by elders. Computers scare them...

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IMG_7083.JPG

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IMG_7074.JPG
 

rich pierce

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There are no known rifles by James Lakenen. So nobody can successfully propose that their gun was made by James Lakenen. They can wish or imagine it is so but that is unsupportable. Of all the makers of guns, why would this represent his work?
You asked if your gun could be pre-1812. To be pre-1812, it would need to have initially been flintlock. It would have to exhibit characteristics common to guns made before 1812. This gun has never been flintlock. The guard and buttplate are clearly post 1830.
I wonder why you simply cannot consider that this is a pretty common but nicely made percussion rifle made by an un-identified gunsmith in the 1840s more or less.
 

Zonie

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The gun with the deeply curved butt plate would not have been made before the late 1830's. That is roughly the start of that style of butt. More likely, it is from the 1850's.
 

58viktor

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The gun with the deeply curved butt plate would not have been made before the late 1830's. That is roughly the start of that style of butt. More likely, it is from the 1850's.
Thank you- Would a late 1830s-50s have a handmade barrel straight rifling?
 

Grenadier1758

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Is it straight rifling or is it a very slow twist?

Yes, it could be a forged rifle barrel made in 1850 or it could be a salvaged barrel from a much earlier construction.

None the less, I agree that your rifle was likely assembled around 1850 by a competent but anonymous gunsmith.
 

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