Cherry Southern Guns?

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Bob McBride

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I've used his patina solution several times and I really like it. It's not the most durable but it's fine. I usually rub back browning solution so it goes French Grey, which is very similar to his brass patina solution. Super nice job Shane.
 

FiremanBrad

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I listened to a Muzzleblasts podcast this past week, interviewing a Mr. Greg Murry with Crockett Longrifles. According to the podcast, the Crockett family of gunbuilders made Guns for an order placed by Jackson for the Battle of New Orleans.
Crockett defendant’s have 3 surviving examples, all stocked in cherry!

 

Notchy Bob

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...3 surviving examples, all stocked in cherry!

Wow! This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back!

I checked out that website for Crockett Longrifles. It's a great site, with lots of nice pictures, and the guy does interesting work. It was slow to load, probably because of the "slideshow," but well worth a visit. I think it's pretty cool that he has settled on one basic style of rifle, with only three minor variations, and I appreciate the historical significance. However, with a base price of $9,000.00 for a plain, southern style rifle, his guns are just out of my price range. I think I'm probably speaking for a lot of us on this forum. That's not a criticism... He is free to ask whatever he wants for them, and I sincerely wish him the best of luck!

Notchy Bob
 
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Wow! This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back!

I checked out that website for Crockett Longrifles. It's a great site, with lots of nice pictures, and the guy does interesting work. It was slow to load, probably because of the "slideshow," but well worth a visit. I think it's pretty cool that he has settled on one basic style of rifle, with only three minor variations, and I appreciate the historical significance. However, with a base price of $9,000.00 for a plain, southern style rifle, his guns are just out of my price range. I think I'm probably speaking for a lot of us on this forum. That's not a criticism... He is free to ask whatever he wants for them, and I sincerely wish him the best of luck!

Notchy Bob
I wonder if he’s making all the components by hand? That might account for it if so.
 

Notchy Bob

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I wonder if he’s making all the components by hand? That might account for it if so.
I'm sure that's part of it. He (Greg Murry, the gunsmith) apparently sand casts his own brass buttplates and trigger guards. He carves his stocks "from the plank," and makes his own set triggers from scratch. The barrels are from Rice (like the Kibler rifles) but contoured to the exact dimensions of the original rifle. He uses Chambers Late Ketland or L&R John Bailes locks. So yes, he does hand-make the triggers, mountings, and stock. This probably accounts for some of the price, in addition to the fact that every one of his rifles is evidently a bench copy of one of the three originals... or, at least, that's the way I understood it.

The website has a couple of "slideshows" running. Some of the images show the sand-casting operation, and his blog depicts the steps in making his triggers. Well worth a look.

As an afterthought, he does use brass mountings on his Crockett mountain rifles, because that's what the originals had. We associate forged iron furniture with southern mountain rifles (also maple or walnut stocks), but there were exceptions. Which, of course, is the whole point of this particular thread. :thumb:

Notchy Bob
 

Realwarrior

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I'm getting ready to build a fowler with Cherry. It's my understanding that most of the Cherry was sold to furniture makers at a premium. Cherry, being less available than maple or walnut, was more valuable for furniture and therefore not used for gunstocks. Apple was used for smoke in smokehouses and rarely was a slab of apple big enough to get a stock out of.
 
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Notchy Bob

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There is an active discussion of South Carolina longrifles on this forum, and a couple of cherry-stocked rifles by one Thomas Peden of the Greenville area have turned up:

T.Peden 1.1.jpg


T. Peden 2.1.png


There has been some debate with regard to the wood used in stocking the rifle in the first picture, but the general consensus is that it's cherry. The caption for the rifle in the second picture states clearly that the stock is cherry. At first glance, these rifles look so similar you might think both pictures show the same gun, but you can see the black and white image shows a back-action lock, very different from the lock in the first picture.

The original Samuel & Andrew Crockett longrifles from Tennessee had cherry stocks, too.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

Treestalker

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I have seen cherry wood used on a 1/2 stock .32 caliber rifle that was original percussion and was in a family from St. Louis. It was dated back to at least 1850, and was built with a Tennessee style cheek piece. I also saw and held an original 1/2 stocked fowler dated 1831 on the oct/round barrel. It had aged to a beautiful tan color with thin sparse dark lines from the hard grain. It had snapped badly at the wrist, which I was told was not uncommon with cherry, if man handled. The stock had that 'old time look' that just dripped history. Cherry was almost certainly used by Southern folks to build long rifles; (saw one stocked in Hackberry of all things) but that long thin fore-end is most fragile. I have seen SMRs made with ash which is very strong, and have seen 1/2 stocked rifles from Louisiana stocked in cypress, which never rots but is a little 'splitty' along the grain like cedar. Apple wood, though plain, develops a warm glow. Think old rolling pins. Bottom line on the cherry, I'd use it for a 1/2 stock. For an SMR I would use plain walnut or plain ash. I have a blanket gun, 12ga percussion 'converted' from a Jap Tower flint lock which I stocked in ash and dyed it with walnut stain; most people cannot tell it's not walnut, and it is strong enough for a club. If you use cherry, know that sunlight will bleach the reddish hue right out of it, but it can be stained 'cherry' or left to age into a chestnut tan color. Good luck with your rifle, and make it your own. Geo.
 
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I am patiently waiting for my cherry SMR Kibler kit to arrive. Jim and Kathy got behind on orders and it’s been almost 3 months, but I’m glad they are behind as that means business is booming for them! :)

At this point in my journey I honestly am not sweating whether or not cherry was used originally. I find it absolutely beautiful and want it! 🍒
 

LawrenceA

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I am so upset to hear cherry wasn’t used on southern guns and makes a poor stock wood. I greatly admire its look and enjoy the way it deepens in color over time and exposure to sunlight... 😢
It is more important to have what you really want then to be able to prove it was used.
"Absence of proof" is not the same as Proof of absence".
Get Cherry and enjoy the journey
 

William O.

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I finished my first in the white gun some eight months ago, a 20 gauge trade gun with a cherry stock. Left hand lock as well and I found it fairly easy to work although as has been mentioned, it can be chippy depending on what angle your blade edge is to the grain. I was going to use lye in order to bring out the color but a buddy gave me some red mahogany stain, suggesting I use that instead. Three coats with some sanding in between with very fine grit paper. Top coat was TruOil and it came out pretty nice.
 

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I finished my first in the white gun some eight months ago, a 20 gauge trade gun with a cherry stock. Left hand lock as well and I found it fairly easy to work although as has been mentioned, it can be chippy depending on what angle your blade edge is to the grain. I was going to use lye in order to bring out the color but a buddy gave me some red mahogany stain, suggesting I use that instead. Three coats with some sanding in between with very fine grit paper. Top coat was TruOil and it came out pretty nice.
YES it did, very nice!

I’m going to try and let my cherry stock age naturally to see what color I get. Plan B might be a mahogany stain as it looks so nice on your gun!
 

1950DAVE

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Hey Smokey, let the cherry age it will not bleach , but will darken. Walnut bleaches In sunlight. I have worked with wood about 50 yrs and have used cherry quite a bit. It is a brittle wood and can be difficult . For details take your time. Practice on some scraps until comfortable with the cuts you are wanting to make. I did wood floors professionally for more than 30 yrs and hated it when a customer insisted on staining a cherry floor. Stains tend to muddy grain hiding the woods natural beauty. Though some processes can accentuate the grain others degrade the appearance of wood. I'm sure your rifle will turn out great , keep us posted. A pic of 40 year old cherry, I installed when building my house. No stain , just sealer and two coats of poly.
image.jpg
 

William O.

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YES it did, very nice!

I’m going to try and let my cherry stock age naturally to see what color I get. Plan B might be a mahogany stain as it looks so nice on your gun!
Thank you for the compliment. I must admit that it took me a while to even start learning about the many ways of finishing cherry and that the prospect of completing an in the white gun intimidated me. I did quite a bit of woodworking in my younger days but very little in the past 25 years.
After using the stain on a test piece of the same wood I liked the red tones it brought out so I decided to go with it on the stock. Be aware that the tone and color of cherry can vary widely so make sure you test what you've got first. For some folks, the mellow browns and tans are what they are looking for so only an oil finish is used, sunlight does the rest. Lye brings out the red but for an intense red tone you may need stain. I'm going to attach some pics of some other things made from cherry so you can see the difference. The are not from the same tree or area of the country either.
 

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William O.

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Thank you for the compliment. I must admit that it took me a while to even start learning about the many ways of finishing cherry and that the prospect of completing an in the white gun intimidated me. I did quite a bit of woodworking in my younger days but very little in the past 25 years.
After using the stain on a test piece of the same wood I liked the red tones it brought out so I decided to go with it on the stock. Be aware that the tone and color of cherry can vary widely so make sure you test what you've got first. For some folks, the mellow browns and tans are what they are looking for so only an oil finish is used, sunlight does the rest. Lye brings out the red but for an intense red tone you may need stain. I'm going to attach some pics of some other things made from cherry so you can see the difference. The are not from the same tree or area of the country either.
The shot measures are turned Osage Orange but the stopper is cherry.

My Lyman barreled, left hand rifle also has a cherry stock but was built entirely by someone else.
 

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KenM

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Cliff from Organ. I. Got the walnut but it came damaged so they replaced it with a ex fancy maple awesome the kit is excellent.
That box the kibler smr kit comes in is too nice to throw away. Seems like it would make a nice gun cabinet if you put some hinges on it.
 
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