French & Indian War Era Flintlock Rifles

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

flintriflesmith

40 Cal.
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
284
Reaction score
0
Although it is an "outlyer" in many ways the Turvey rifle in RCA is an example of another early English rifle style. Octagon barrel, square toe and cheek. Coluld be 1740 but silver mounted and fancy.
I don't have the book at hand and Shumway did not mention that a Turvey is listed in a VA inventory in mid-century.
Gary
 

Dphar

70 Cal.
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
16
FRS said:
Although it is an "outlyer" in many ways the Turvey rifle in RCA is an example of another early English rifle style. Octagon barrel, square toe and cheek. Coluld be 1740 but silver mounted and fancy.
I don't have the book at hand and Shumway did not mention that a Turvey is listed in a VA inventory in mid-century.
Gary

I had never noticed the flat toe on the Turvey. So many, dare I say virtually all? The British rifles you see with this basic buttstock have round "fowler toes" that I never looked that close. The Turvey is similar to what DeWitt Bailey shows in "British Military Flintlock Rifles" as "Officer's Rifles".
Both the books mentioned here are HIGHLY recommended for anyone studying the rifle in America. Both are well researched and FACTUAL.
Much of the information in Dillon and Cline is supposition beyond what they personally experienced.
While most of the British FL rifles are stocked very much like fowlers with cheek pieces, there are a number of German influenced rifles made in England since a lot of the barrels came from Germany. Some of the early British Military rifles were pretty German looking, if not actually German. The British Army started experimenting with rifles in the 1740s BTW and there were issue rifles, 10 per regiment IIRC, in some British Infantry Regiments in America by 1757. They were not always in the hands of the troops but they were in stores. The likely problem with Rifles in the British Army at the time would be having someone who knew how to use the rifle and deploy it properly against an enemy.

The Germanic states and perhaps the Swiss were the driving force in rifles in the 18th cent and perhaps before so Germanic influence goes hand in hand with the rifle in Colonial America and England.
Yes there were other influences. But the Kentucky rifle as we know it grew from German roots IMO.
A group of German immigrants arriving in America stood a good chance of having a gunsmith with them as per Andreas Albrecht who is thought to be the initial driving force in Moravian Gun Making in America.
Dates?
William Henry writes "I came to Lancaster and was apprenticed to Marthew Roeser to learn the gunsmith's trade".
This was 1744 according to "Moravian Gun Making of The American Revolution" by the KRA.
The book has an incredible amount of information about the Moravian Gun Making in America.
The fact that before the time of the Revolution there are no fowling pieces or parts in the shop inventories listed. "Moravian Gun Making" shows fowler parts appearing in 1774.
This, to me, shoots down the idea that the fowling piece was more popular than the rifle at least in the Moravian community in the 1760s.
Imports?
May 1764 shows 15 English Rifle barrels and 15 English rifle locks.
It is believed, from the tools inventory, that by early 1766 the gunshop at Christian Springs was forging rifle barrels and had a rifling guide to rifle them.
Lancaster was far ahead of them in this respect apparently having an established gunmaking community by 1740 or so.
Germans and Swiss were early arrivals in what became Lancaster county circa the late 1710s
The rifle and people who knew how to make them could easily have come with them, but this is of course, supposition.
Dan
 

boozie

32 Cal.
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
25
Reaction score
4
Rich Pierce said:
There's a nice short German jaeger rifle that belonged to Peter Vrooman in the Mohawk valley in the Revolutionary War; whether it saw use earlier is unknown.

I know this thread has some age to it. My question; where is the Peter Vrooman rifle located? My g-grandfather x7 was Peter Vrooman, b. 1682 in this area. His son Isaac was my g-grandfather x6, he was killed at Vroomanland in 1781 by Indians & Tories. He also had a brother named Peter who later removed to Albany, N.Y. I would like to see & know more about this Vrooman German Jager Rifle.

It is past the F&I War, but here is an account actions around Vroomansland and of my grandfather Isaac's death in 1781.


Chapter 7

The Osterhout Narrative - Schoharie County

From "The Catskill Mountains And The Region Around" (1867) By Rev. Charles Rockwell

"August 9, 1780, a party of seventy-three Indians and three tories attacked those living at Vroomansland, killed five, and took thirty prisoners. July 9, 1781, there was an engagement two miles east of Sharon Springs, between a party of tories and Indians, under Doxtater, and Americans under Colonel Willet, in which the tories were defeated, with a loss of forty killed. During the same month, several persons working in harvest-fields were surprised ; one escaped, and the others were carried captives to Canada. In October, 1781, three men in Sharon were taken by the Indians, and carried to Canada. October 24, 1781, Brant, with sixty or seventy Indians, killed Isaac Vrooman, at Vroomansland, when a party of Americans, under Captain Hager, rallied, and the Indians retreated to Utsyantha Lake, where there was an engagement; but part of the Americans, under Captain Hale, having fled, those remaining were forced to retreat, and the Indians escaped."
 

Dphar

70 Cal.
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
16
1601phill said:
If I were to take a punt and build a rifle for F&I ,I would build a period English Dagroon carbine or fusil and have a round rifle barrel fitted.look at the photo of Mr.Brooks pre. F&I rifle and you you can see that very common English style.

English made rifles or rifles imported from/through England with "4 ft" octagonal barrels were here in the 1750s.

Rifles were common in the 1740s in native hands. So they were surely present in significant numbers on both sides during the F&I War.
The British Army had issue rifles in America in 1757-58 (they had been experimenting with rifles since about 1740). But they were not used to any extent that I know of and amounted to a few, 10 issued to each regiment at Ft Edward described as "rifled carbines with Bayonets, likely German rifles of the period. But they were there and with Braddock.
In 1758 Col. Henry Bouquet wrote:
"A large part of the provincials are armed with grooved rifles..."
These were VA, PA and some Marylanders.
So rifles were very common by this time. Where they were being made is another question but surely they were being made here by the 1750s.

Dan
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
833
Reaction score
13
My hunting rifle was made around 1745 in Austria.
I bought the unconverted rifle in its original (damaged beyond repair) stock here in the US. The gunmaker was listed in the Austrian gunmaker directory and worked between 1731 and 1760. I do not believe that this rifle was a rifle delivered in trade over here. But it is very likely, that this gun was brought over with a southern german immigrant. The emmigration from nowadays Germany was fairly organized. People had to get permission from their souvereign to leave or being seen as criminals. People who returned and didn't have permission got put into jail up to 5 years. Why do I believe, that what most germans carried is what most americans would call jaeger rifles? The germans kept contact with their families back home and reported a lot about the "good hunting" opportunities in the Colonies. So, it makes sense to bring a gun that is well suitable for hunting big game, if you can afford it. If you could not afford it, then the barrel was slightly longer and smooth. My rifle is also a fairly plain rifle. Yes, the brass hardware looks fancy, but it is still brass and not silver or gold. Furniture metal and adornment was the prize driver in rifles. See this document for it:
http://www.kuchenreuter.de/datei?datei_id=2

Page 68+ shows the situation of a gunsmith between 1797 and 1810. It is likely, that this is not very different from earlier, becasue of the very regulated society in Bavaria.
So it was a basic gun+. The gun was also fired a lot in its lifetime. The smith who restored it said, there were at least 2 liners in there. When I bought the rifle the then installed liner was shot out. It takes a good amount of shots to shoot out the first touchhole and then 2 liners. I alos think, that this gun was not converted like most german guns were in Germany, because the style of rifle was no longer up to date, when it comes to barrel length (and caliber), when percussion ignition got en vogue.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ByGeorge

32 Cal.
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
I'm new, and can't contribute, but this is facinating to read.
Thanks to you all.
 

satwel

40 Cal.
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
275
Reaction score
77
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
It's been a long time since I've read it, but is Natty Bumpo's longrifle, Killdeer, I believe he calls it, described in Last of the Mohicans? I know it's a work of fiction, but do we know if there is any factual basis for a woodsman and scout in upstate New York in 1757 to be carrying a longrifle or was it Cooper's romantic fantasy? Everything else in the book seemed HC to me.
 

Dphar

70 Cal.
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
4,622
Reaction score
16
The British army had them there at that time why not a hunter? They are more efficient than SBs.

Dan
 
Top