An American Percussion Long Rifle That Has Been In My Family for Many Generations Possibly by John Hinds

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Rudyard

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Pyrodex I gather is corrosive more difficult to keep clean that proper gunpowder Though Ime sure your mindful of this .Interesting story .
Regards Rudyard
 

3 trees

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You are a lucky man! I am a WV muzzleloader and the name is common in many areas of the state. I will look for reference for that builder. It may well have been made in the Virginia’s. And moved west with westward expansion.
 

TFoley

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When I was a very young boy, I am 65 now, my family would visit my Great Uncle Bob at his farm in Wilmington Ohio. His house was over a hundred years old,
Dear Mr Rambob - you wrote - 'at my age, memory is a fickle thing, but I vaguely remember long ago'........................

I was sure you wrote you were only 65, so I checked, and 'yup' there it is.

You also mentioning an old house, 'over a hundred years old' in fact. Boy that made me laff.

I guess you've never been to England, right? :) Our local pub opened its doors to passing trade in 1684, the bridge I use to cross into the other half of the village was built from church tithes in the early 13th C and our local church, which dates from the late 900s, had a new spire in 1460....
 

Rambob

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CyrusP, the caliber of Bessy is actually .38 but the one time I fired her I used a .375 ball with .010 patch. You are correct that the barrel has lots of beef around that .38 bore. I just weighed Bessy and the entire rifle weighs 10 pounds. But amazingly the rifle is phenomenally well balanced and does not feel that heavy both carried or brought to battery. I brought the gun up from carry, to fire position as fast as a could, multiple times. Every time, like magic, the rifle ended up with sights lined up, with almost no effort on my part. So snapping off a shot quickly, without necessary having time to sight in, would work remarkably well.

Bob
 
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Rambob

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Jcs266, what other closeups would you like? I will be glad to accommodate your request. I will warn you not to be disappointed, because Bessy has had a few screws replaced and along with that is showing some significant signs of her advanced age. Over those numerous years she has been lovingly cared for, carried and relied on many, many times to provide protection and sustenance over her lifetime, by my ancestors.

Bob
 

Rambob

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TFoley, You are absolutely correct. I spent a lot of time working in Europe and also some time in the UK in Coventry and Birmingham and what we think is old here in the US is still wet behind the ears compared to across the pond. I remember I drank some Dog Bolter spirits one night in a pub that had a cornerstone dated in the 1400’s or 1500’s. I got a T-shirt for surviving the night from my work mates that read “Beware of the Dog Bolter that bit you”. So, I meant in US terms that the age of the house was relatively old. It was at least 100 years old back over 50 years ago when I was a kid, which would make it at least 150 years old or more now.

Bob
 
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Rudyard

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I cant really add to that but I did stay at a Game keepers house that was listed in the Dooms day book that William the B'sted or Conckerer had commissioned to see what he had got post 1066 .
 

smoothshooter

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The Golcher lock pictured was never a flint lock. There are no screw and mounting holes for a frizzen (feather) spring. It also appears to be a replacement lock. The gaps around the lock plate indicate a replacement. The single lock bolt implies a mid 19th century stock built for a percussion lock. The lock panels don't appear to have the cut out associated with the need for the flint hammer to stop on the lock plate. The deeply crescent butt plate is also a later feature. Still it is a very nice rifle and is a significant element of your family's history.

The deep crescent buttstock, among other things, tell me it is a post-1800 rifle. Caliber is pretty small for an earlier gun, but I believe the small bores were a little more common pre-1800 than is commonly thought. Maybe it was relined at some point 150 years ago? That was a known procedure even that far back.
Some of the parts may have been scavenged from earlier or later guns.
Whatever the origin, that is a fine piece that you should be proud to have.
You are to be commended for not being one of the ignorant people who attacked the gun and the accessories with a rotary wire brush and sandpaper to “ make it look really good ! “.

You are obviously a careful and thoughtful person.
 
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Your rifle appears to be an 1850s-1860s percussion rifle based on its late trigger guard shape/style and its butt height and curvature. There were two possible makers, James Hines of Prebble Co., Ohio, and J. M. Hines of Newburg, Tennessee [town name cannot be found today]. The rifle appears to be made by the Tennessee "J. Hines" based on its butt shape [no "fish belly" in lower butt stock line], the hand-engraved name in capital block letters that was more a Tennessee detail than an Ohio detail in that late period, and the flattened lower edge of the cheekpiece that was more prevalent on TN rifles.

Shelby Gallien
While I do agree that the rifle appears to be mid-19th century, the name on the barrel is J. HINDS, not Hines. While the maker did appear to have the N and the S backwards, I doubt he would been unable to spell his name. Perhaps the barrel itself is much older than the rifle as a whole. I would guess it is possible that some smith built a rifle around a good barrel rescued from a damaged rifle. Of course that part is mere conjecture on my part. It is also possible that some obscure J. Hinds, built the entire rifle. The features you point out certainly put the J. Hinds circa 1743 into serious question.

That said, I agree with others who have stated that this is certainly a fine heirloom no matter the maker. Thanks to the OP for sharing the pictures and the story!
 
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Dear Mr Rambob - you wrote - 'at my age, memory is a fickle thing, but I vaguely remember long ago'........................

I was sure you wrote you were only 65, so I checked, and 'yup' there it is.

You also mentioning an old house, 'over a hundred years old' in fact. Boy that made me laff.

I guess you've never been to England, right? :) Our local pub opened its doors to passing trade in 1684, the bridge I use to cross into the other half of the village was built from church tithes in the early 13th C and our local church, which dates from the late 900s, had a new spire in 1460....

And yet we colonial hicks still whipped the best army you could assemble…twice.

I hope you enjoy the tune of the National Anthem when you hear it!
 

TFoley

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And yet we colonial hicks still whipped the best army you could assemble…twice.

I hope you enjoy the tune of the National Anthem when you hear it!

Ah, I fear you are making the mistake of confusing me with an Englishman, as well as writing what is probably THE definitive non-sequitor of the year thus far. How on earth did the topic descend so rapidly into yet another 'nyaa-nyaa we whupped your asses' post?

How does an otherwise pleasant discussion often end, like this one will, with an otherwise friendly poster getting put on somebody's ignore list? Simply because of the re-opening of old wounds of this kind?

I take no sides in your historic quarrels that, in so many cases here on the internet, lead inevitably to the exchange of unpleasantries, general bad feelings all round, and great miffment. It is quite unacceptable for me, as a foreigner, to score points for mentioning any defeats that may have been suffered by the United States - I am quite happy to play your game with friend Erwan here, though. We have an certain entente cordiale, England having been at war with France since the early thirteen-hundreds until more or less 1815, and so do not need to rub each other's noses [too often] in each other's defeats. He would be the first to remind me that the so-called Hundred Years' War ended with a resounding French victory. About time they won something, my grandma used to say.

I live here. That's it. My father's ancestors arrived in Ireland from Southern Scandinavia about 1250 years ago. And my mother's family were happily picking fruit in the orchards of Picardy when your ancestors may have been fighting the British, albeit with the assistance of France.

How sad it is - to me, anyhow - that over in the USA so many of you can't forget something that took place 250 years ago, and yet over here, even more can't remember.

With that, Mr brazosland, Bonjour and Goodbye.
 
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ronaldrothb49

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Looks like a nice older rifle but more like 1840's or 1850's. The narrow style of the stock, the curve of the Butt plate, the trigger guard, the small caliber and the lock doesn't show any evidence of having been flint. It has always been percussion. Still a nice old rifle.
 

TFoley

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I cant really add to that but I did stay at a Game keepers house that was listed in the Dooms day book that William the B'sted or Conckerer had commissioned to see what he had got post 1066 .

The 'Domesday Book' was compiled in 1086 so that William's tax-men could assess the level of property taxes it was possible to raise.

The many odd spelling names and place-names that have come down to present-day England usage are mainly due to the clerks' inabilities to understand the local speech, so in many cases they simply wrote down what they think they had heard. Remember that England spoke English, the then-current form of Anglo-Saxon. Only churchmen spoke the Latin lingua franca.

Much the same thing happened in Ireland before the British left [most of it] in 1922. My father's name was Valentine, having been born on February 14th. The English registry clerk entered his name as 'Ballentyne', because he mis-heard the powerful Cork accent of his parents.
 

Rudyard

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Did you see any really good stuff ?
Details, please !
I think this an old post" Did I see any old stuff ?' No just what any game keepers house might have , but the walls were about 4 foot thick he had 7 children don't remember a TV.( might be why ) .
Rudyard
 

Muddly

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I keep detailed notes about all of my "wifles". This is so generation's to come, hopefully, won't have to wonder too much about Pappy's old girls. None are custom. Just good, honest meat guns.
 
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