Hawken Reproduction

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Just out of curiosity of the current batch of reproductions which is the closest to being a copy of an original Hawken
 

Cattywompuss

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Seems like none of the old companies are around anymore. Most of the ones that superficially resemble a Hawken are pretty good looking, like Pedersoli. Of course the parts kits from real muzzleloading sites are closer than most production guns. If you can stumble into an old GRRW you are really knocking on the door. The Lyman GPR definitely looks like one and I believe Pedersoli makes it now?

The TCs and CVA stuff are probably the least "Classic Hawken", but to many Americans vaguely acquainted with the name Hawken, TC is what comes to their minds.
 
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Rifles like the T/C Hawken and its ilk are actually Ohio style, although they aren't generally discussed as such. The GPR as mentioned is closest in style to actual Hawken rifles. Armi Sport made a rifle similar to the T/C but with a different style of steel furniture that comes closest to the plains rifle style, rather than Ohio style.
 

Notchy Bob

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Just out of curiosity of the current batch of reproductions which is the closest to being a copy of an original Hawken
I would say Pedersoli's Rocky Mountain Hawken, in maple or walnut, is probably the closest mass-produced Hawken replica. The Lyman/Pedersoli Great Plains Signature rifle looks good, but there are some details, such as the trigger bar and guard, and the hammer, that aren't quite right.

I don't think truly accurate replicas would sell. The originals were heavy, with weights of 12-13 pounds being common, if not usual. Very few shooters now would want a rifle over nine or ten pounds. The stocks on originals were typically finished with a very dark varnish... Folks now want a rubbed oil finish that will show off the grain in the wood. Originals were often blued, and brown is what people want. The originals had a twist of 1:48, which shooters now consider too fast for patched round balls.

The S. HAWKEN rifles and parts sets offered by the Hawken Shop are said to be very authentic, all the way down to a tapered, seven-groove barrel with a 1:48" twist. However, the price of their parts set is about equal to the suggested retail price of a Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken. I don't know what the Hawken Shop charges for a finished rifle.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

MtnMan

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Bob............Can you show pictures of the Pedersoli Rocky Mountain rifle compared to the Lyman Great Plains Signature Series rifle made by Pedersoli as far as what differences there are. I was under the impression they were the same gun except a difference in bluing or browned and barrel length.
 

Grenadier1758

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There are a number of differences. The most obvious is the barrel length and the rate of twist. The sights are different.

As stated earlier, the most authentic Hawken reproduction is either the kit offered by the Hawken Shop or the Don Stith kit. Upon completion, either kit will result in a rifle that weighs a little more than 10 pounds. These rifles were intended for carry by a rider on horse back and shot from a rest, although they can be shot off hand.
 

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There is no difference in the twist between both guns. The .50 is 1-48 just like the real Hawken was and the .54 is 1-66 twist unlike the real Hawken. So, only the .50 is accurate. Sights are similar. The gun angle is deceiving. The top picture of Rocky Mountain is leaning back more than the bottom gun.

As for barrel length? From what I read the original Hawken came from 30" to 34' or maybe 36". So both guns I showed are accurate.
 

Notchy Bob

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@MtnMan , thanks for your comments. I think you are right about the twist... the .50 caliber Great Plains Signature Rifle (GPSR) comes with a 1:48" twist, which would be a historically accurate rate of twist, while the .54 comes with a slower twist. The Pedersoli website shows their Rocky Mountain Hawken is now only available as a .54, also with the 1:65" twist rate. I would not let that worry me.

I would also agree with you on barrel length, which was variable on originals. I can't recall sources, but I'm pretty sure I've heard of original Hawkens with barrels of 28", and one or two with 39" barrels. This J&S Hawken was originally a fullstock, and was later modified to be a halfstock. It has retained its 39-1/2" barrel:

J&S Hawken 2.1.png


The originals had a very long trigger bar, extending the full length of the wrist. the trigger guard attached to the trigger bar. The tang was also quite long, and the tang bolts extended all the way through the wrist to engage the trigger bar, sandwiching the wood in between. This made a much stronger wrist. The Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken has retained this feature, best seen in the exploded view:

2021-05-13 (2).png


One place where the GPSR differs from the originals is in the trigger bar and triggerguard attachment. I don't have and exploded view of the GPSR, but fellow forum member @Treestalker provided photos of his rifle a while back. This is one of his:

GPSig 1.1.jpeg


You can see the short trigger bar, and the triggerguard scroll attaches to a short plate. From the side view, it still looks like the originals, with the screw coming down into the scroll:

GPS Breech (2).jpg


Compare this to the original Lyman Great Plains Rifle (GPR), on which the triggerguard was a one-piece casting:

GPR Near Side (2).jpg


Nit picky? It's just that the devil really is in the details, and if strict authenticity is really what somebody wants, those are some of the details to look for. I think all of these are great rifles, and I hope all who own them enjoy them to the fullest. Among the guns I like to shoot, I have two CVA Mountain Rifles and a T/C Seneca. They aren't authentic, but, after all, I got them to shoot. I have a couple of custom guns that are more authentic, but these are no more fun to actually shoot shoot than the others.

There was a fellow on another forum recently trying to source maple stock blanks cut in the St. Louis area. He wasn't happy with using wood of the same species that the Hawken brothers used. He wanted wood cut from what he believed would be the same place! Now that's nit-picky!

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

fpg68j2p

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here is my St. Louis Hawken shop replica; the Hawken shop in Washington state charges $1400 for the kit and I do not know what they would charge for a completed Hawken
 

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MtnMan

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Bob..........I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about the trigger bar and trigger guard attachment? Is the picture you posted of Treestalker's gun correct or wrong? It's just like mine.
 
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My understanding is that the hawken shop is in a round about way the original hawken business (few owners removed).

I have the pedersoli RM Hawken and it's neat. Next month my Missouri River Hawken arrives, looking forward to that very much.
 

Phil Coffins

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Original Hawken trigger guard had a lug formed in the front that is treaded to turn into the trigger plate. The back end has a screw from the inside so removing the trigger assembly the guard is still attached.
 

oncewas

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On my GPSR when the assembly is removed the guard is attached, in fact you can't remove the guard until you remove the assembly. But the guard does have a small plate on the rear end that is screwed into the stock.
 

Notchy Bob

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There was a fellow on another forum recently trying to source maple stock blanks cut in the St. Louis area. He wasn't happy with using wood of the same species that the Hawken brothers used. He wanted wood cut from what he believed would be the same place! Now that's nit-picky!
@Notchy Bob, even Bob Browner, who makes some of the best Hawken reproductions and lives in the St. Louis area, isn't that picky about the maple he gets for his stocks. He is quite picky about how his rifles turn out.
I'll agree, that's over the top! I was using that story to illustrate the extremes to which some folks are willing to go in their quest for their idea of authenticity. The funny thing is that St. Louis was a very busy center of commerce and river traffic. The gunmakers in that city could have just as easily gotten wood from Pennsylvania, shipped down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. I'm sure somebody can tell us for sure where the Hawken boys sourced their stock wood. I honestly don't know.

I've not had the pleasure of handling any of Mr. Browner's rifles, but I understand his workmanship and attention to detail is simply unbeatable. I believe there was a feature article about Mr. Browner and his work in Muzzleloader magazine a couple of years ago. The rifles illustrated were outstanding.

Bob..........I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about the trigger bar and trigger guard attachment? Is the picture you posted of Treestalker's gun correct or wrong? It's just like mine.
I would hesitate to use the word "wrong"... By all accounts, those Lyman/Pedersoli Great Plains Signature rifles are great guns. However, their "trigger group" is different from that on the Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken (RMH) and classic original Hawkens. The Signature rifles have a short trigger bar, and the rear end of the triggerguard fastens directly to the stock. The classic original Hawkens and the RMH have long triggerbars, that extend the full length of the wrist. The triggerguard fastens to the trigger bar. The exploded diagram (above) shows this. The purpose of this design was to reinforce the wrist of the rifle with metal, above and below (long tang and long trigger bar, respectively). The Signature rifle doesn't have this reinforcement on the underside of the wrist. The RMH is just like the originals in this respect, and it is one of the subtle ways in which the RMH is different from the Signature rifles. Just a little stronger in the wrist, and a little more faithful to the original, which is probably why they cost a little more.

That new avatar, with old Jim Bridger, is cool.

here is my St. Louis Hawken shop replica; the Hawken shop in Washington state charges $1400 for the kit and I do not know what they would charge for a completed Hawken
You have a beautiful rifle there, neighbor. About as authentic as you can get these days. Thanks for showing it!

Notchy Bob
 
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fpg68j2p

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I'll agree, that's over the top! I was using that story to illustrate the extremes to which some folks are willing to go in their quest for their idea of authenticity. The funny thing is that St. Louis was a very busy center of commerce and river traffic. The gunmakers in that city could have just as easily gotten wood from Pennsylvania, shipped down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. I'm sure somebody can tell us for sure where the Hawken boys sourced their stock wood. I honestly don't know.

I've not had the pleasure of handling any of Mr. Browner's rifles, but I understand his workmanship and attention to detail is simply unbeatable. I believe there was a feature article about Mr. Browner and his work in Muzzleloader magazine a couple of years ago. The rifles illustrated were outstanding.


I would hesitate to use the word "wrong"... By all accounts, those Lyman/Pedersoli Great Plains Signature rifles are great guns. However, their "trigger group" is different from that on the Pedersoli Rocky Mountain Hawken (RMH) and classic original Hawkens. The Signature rifles have a short trigger bar, and the rear end of the triggerguard fastens directly to the stock. The classic original Hawkens and the RMH have long triggerbars, that extend the full length of the wrist. The triggerguard fastens to the trigger bar. The exploded diagram (above) shows this. The purpose of this design was to reinforce the wrist of the rifle with metal, above and below (long tang and long trigger bar, respectively). The Signature rifle doesn't have this reinforcement. The RMH is just like the originals in this respect, and it is one of the subtle ways in which the RMH is different from the Signature rifles. Just a little stronger in the wrist, and a little more faithful to the original, which is probably why they cost a little more.


You have a beautiful rifle there, neighbor. About as authentic as you can get these days. Thanks for showing it!

Notchy Bob
thanks alot Sir
 

MtnMan

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I must be a dummy. I still don't understand. My rear tang screw goes through the stock and screws into the trigger guard which strengthens the wrist area.

What am I missing?
 
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