Green River Forge NW trade gun

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1861colt

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When I was working at GRF in Bellevue, Washington in 1976 and 1977, the original Belgium Trade Gun mentioned in the literature was available as a reference gun for Matthew Straight and I to use. It was in Frank Straight's collection. The GRF Trade Gun No.1 that is pictured above, I can tell was made by Nicholas Watts. The barrel finish is also different from what we later used which was Birchwood Casey's Plumb Brown. We also acid etched the Green River Forge name on the barrel and the sitting fox on the lock. One that I built went to The Museum of The Fur Trade, but I don't know if it is still there. A question was brought up earlier as to the certainty of an original Barnett pistol being in Frank Straight's possession that was used for the GRF Factor's Pistol copy. Yes, he really did have one and it was available for us to use to refer to when we got an order for one. The 1861 Colt I use in my avatar I still have that I bought from Frank back then. I had to work on talking him out of it.
 
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When I was working at GRF in Bellevue, Washington in 1976 and 1977, the original Belgium Trade Gun mentioned in the literature was available as a reference gun for Matthew Straight and I to use. It was in Frank Straight's collection. The GRF Trade Gun No.1 that is pictured above, I can tell was made by Nicholas Watts. The barrel finish is also different from what we later used which was Birchwood Casey's Plumb Brown. We also acid etched the Green River Forge name on the barrel and the sitting fox on the lock. One that I built went to The Museum of The Fur Trade, but I don't know if it is still there. A question was brought up earlier as to the certainty of an original Barnett pistol being in Frank Straight's possession that was used for the GRF Factor's Pistol copy. Yes, he really did have one and it was available for us to use to refer to when we got an order for one. The 1861 Colt I use in my avatar I still have that I bought from Frank back then. I had to work on talking him out of it.
Thank you very much about the information on this fun gun. I am enjoying it quite a bit and having the history of it just makes it all the nice. Can you tell me anything about Nicholas Watts? I would love to find a GRF pistol to go along with this trade gun. I am sure they are out there but never seem to show up on the trade blankets. Thanks again.
LC
 

1861colt

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Nicholas Watts went out when I went in. I only met him at his house. All I know about him was he was a nice guy, he loaned me an engraving book and his wife was very pregnant :ghostly:
TMI, huh.
 
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Nicholas Watts went out when I went in. I only met him at his house. All I know about him was he was a nice guy, he loaned me an engraving book and his wife was very pregnant :ghostly:
TMI, huh.
TMI? LOL nope Haha. I think very pregnant is a natural phase for all women who are pregnant at some time haha. Better than a little pregnant lol

Did Nicholas keep the gun or did it get sold through GRF? it's nice having some providence for the gun At least I know who built it and approximately when. Thanks again.
LC
 

Maven

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I have a 20ga. GRF trade gun as well (deadly @ 25 yd. with a patched RB), but the lock says "made in Italy." Can anyone tell me who actually manufactured that lock, which is very well made.
 

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Thanks, LC! FWIW, I wrote to Pedersoli shortly after I purchased the gun, but they knew nothing about that lock. I guess their "corporate memory" wasn't as good as it should have been, but it's nice to have an answer after all these years.
 
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Thanks, LC! FWIW, I wrote to Pedersoli shortly after I purchased the gun, but they knew nothing about that lock. I guess their "corporate memory" wasn't as good as it should have been, but it's nice to have an answer after all these years.
Well I might be wrong but I have been told that Lott locks are Pedersoli...but these locks are also 40 plus years old. I know the R.E. Davis trade gun locks are good solid replacements but they are back ordered with no date for filling them in sight. The company doing the castings for Davis is having some personal issues.
LC
 

1861colt

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I don't believe the Lott marked locks were made by Pedersoli then, but instead by a lesser quality company like ASI, otherwise, we wouldn't have needed to bend the hammer jaws down more, harden the frizzen and bend the tip of the frizzen spring down to get the frizzen to flip open. They were the only ones making that type of lock at the time, so you work with what you got. Different than the lock we used for the Factor's pistol. The CVA guns were kinda lousy then, but their little flintlock lock was a darling. Then, it had a bridle and fly and worked quite well. I had made a Kentucky pistol in 1972 with a CVA flintlock lock and it was still doing fine in 1976.
As per the question about whether or not Nickolas Watts had anything that was sold back through GRF, as it would not have been a fresh gun. So no. He would have kept one he made for himself as Frank Straight let us build and keep a gun for ourselves whether pistol, trade gun or Astorian. My Astorian is out there somewhere that has a cut out beaver from the back of a Canadian nickel inlet into the cheekpiece. If anyone knows of it, let me know.
I have a 20ga. GRF trade gun as well (deadly @ 25 yd. with a patched RB), but the lock says "made in Italy." Can anyone tell me who actually manufactured that lock, which is very well made.
The mention of one NW Trade gun having Made in Italy on it, I don't recollect that was on the inside of the plate. I guess my brain cells with that information must have migrated somewhere I ain't.
 
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I don't believe the Lott marked locks were made by Pedersoli then, but instead by a lesser quality company like ASI, otherwise, we wouldn't have needed to bend the hammer jaws down more, harden the frizzen and bend the tip of the frizzen spring down to get the frizzen to flip open. They were the only ones making that type of lock at the time, so you work with what you got. Different than the lock we used for the Factor's pistol. The CVA guns were kinda lousy then, but their little flintlock lock was a darling. Then, it had a bridle and fly and worked quite well. I had made a Kentucky pistol in 1972 with a CVA flintlock lock and it was still doing fine in 1976.
As per the question about whether or not Nickolas Watts had anything that was sold back through GRF, as it would not have been a fresh gun. So no. He would have kept one he made for himself as Frank Straight let us build and keep a gun for ourselves whether pistol, trade gun or Astorian. My Astorian is out there somewhere that has a cut out beaver from the back of a Canadian nickel inlet into the cheekpiece. If anyone knows of it, let me know.

The mention of one NW Trade gun having Made in Italy on it, I don't recollect that was on the inside of the plate. I guess my brain cells with that information must have migrated somewhere I ain't.
Thank you. I must have miss understood about the locks. I know that Lott were made in Italy and might have made an assumption. My lock is still working fine but wouldn’t mind getting a replacement for it anyway. Hopefully Davis will get their Trade Gun locks replenished.
So from what you have said, the trade gun I have was Nicholas’s personal gun and not one he made for Frank. Very nice. Besides the blued barrel I believe the only real difference is that the lock is still stamped Lott. From what I have been told most of the locks had the original markings ground off and re-engraved and stamped. Is that correct or is this another miss on my part?

Thanks again. LC
 

1861colt

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Thank you. I must have miss understood about the locks. I know that Lott were made in Italy and might have made an assumption. My lock is still working fine but wouldn’t mind getting a replacement for it anyway. Hopefully Davis will get their Trade Gun locks replenished.
So from what you have said, the trade gun I have was Nicholas’s personal gun and not one he made for Frank. Very nice. Besides the blued barrel I believe the only real difference is that the lock is still stamped Lott. From what I have been told most of the locks had the original markings ground off and re-engraved and stamped. Is that correct or is this another miss on my part?

Thanks again. LC
Sorry, I must have mislead you. I wasn't saying the gun you have was Nicholas's. I don't know what it's purpose was as it wasn't the one pictured in the brochure. As for why it wasn't with ground off markings ect, I don't know.
 
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Sorry, I must have mislead you. I wasn't saying the gun you have was Nicholas's. I don't know what it's purpose was as it wasn't the one pictured in the brochure. As for why it wasn't with ground off markings ect, I don't know.
Okay probably my confusion. Just curious then about the marking on the barrel, No 1, one person suggested to me that it was a prototype. Out of curiosity how do you know then that Nicholas built the gun? Either way it was built prior to 1976 . Gets me closer to either figuring it out adding to my confusion lol

Thanks again
LC
 

Roughneck

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do you all know if Green River sold kits as well? I believe I have one it looks identical but with a higher grade maple stock and it has a Davis trade lock. I haven't pulled the barrel but it doesn't have a sitting fox or other markings on it but the guy who built it.
 
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