muzzleloading machinists of old

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To me, it seems the 1960s and early 1970s were the pinnacle of American machinists-gunsmiths developing their own muzzleloading firearms. We had Robert Tingle in Shelbyville, Indiana, making percussion rifles, target pistols and a revolver; Jack Lewis in Cincinnati, Ohio, also making target pistols; Glen Marose making accurate reproductions of all Colt cap-and-ball percussion revolvers in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Harry Hulick also making accurate facsimiles of Colt cap-and-ball percussion revolvers in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Are you aware of any others who were making their own muzzleloading firearms around the same time?
 
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Notchy Bob

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I believe Hacker Martin and Royland Southgate were building from scratch in those days, and earlier. Bill Large, a master machinist, was making barrels in his shop. I think Mr. Large may have built a few rifles, but barrels were his thing. Bob Roller was making the best locks and triggers. Bob is still living, and at last report was still making some triggers, although I believe he is no longer making locks.

Mowery Gun Works was building uniquely styled box-lock rifles into the seventies, I believe.

This will be an interesting thread.

Notchy Bob
 
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Hey! What's the idea of "Machinists of Old"? Some of us were around in those days. "Old" are guys like Henry Pope, Townsend Whelen, and Carbine Williams. Hmpf.f.f. Now those guys were "old" when we were young (a couple dead even then).

Curley Gostomski (spelling?) is a name that come to mind from my early days with his trade guns and kits. Honored to meet him in the early 70's at Friendship. He killed a bison with one, I think I remember correctly.
 

Phil Coffins

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Those people are all before my time but there’s a point that I’d like to make. There are gunsmiths and then there are Gunsmiths. The gunsmith can mount a scope, change some parts and maybe do a good job of mounting a recoil pad. Then there’s Gunsmiths, these fellows can make or repair most any part with out ordering it. They understand the function of the gun and or the broken or missing part.
 

LME

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Those people are all before my time but there’s a point that I’d like to make. There are gunsmiths and then there are Gunsmiths. The gunsmith can mount a scope, change some parts and maybe do a good job of mounting a recoil pad. Then there’s Gunsmiths, these fellows can make or repair most any part with out ordering it. They understand the function of the gun and or the broken or missing part.
I get your drift and agree. I think that in order to be a good gunsmith you need to be a machinist as well. A machinist can transition over and be a gunsmith it is how my father managed to make and fix rifles/pistols. If you couldn't buy the part he made it.
 

Dutch7

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I have to pay homage to my mentor Don Greene of Virginia. A class A machinist, gunbuilder and marksman
 

Tenring

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Phil Coffins is correct when he says there are gun smith’s and then there are Gun Smith’s, We have a so called butcher gun smith across the river from me that had a Harrington and Richardson pistol I needed a firing pin and pawl for and this idiot had it for three months did a poor job and then told me never to bring that gun back to him because it was a pain in his butt. I told him he just let the thing get the best of him and he was just nothing more than a screw changer. Needless to say he got ass hurt and told me not to come back . At least I got my Dig In with the jerk..
 

TFoley

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'Machinists of old'? Now that would be Peter Gonter in Lancaster County, Durs Egg here in England - THEY were machinists of 'old'.

'In England a hundred miles is a long way. In America a hundred years is a long time.'

Every time I go to the other half of the village in which I live, I pass over a bridge build from tithes in the late 12th century. Our village has an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the parish church has parts of the structure dating back to the late 900's.

From the Domesday Book, tr. into the modern vernacular -

Land of King William​

Households​

  • Households: 35 villagers.

Land and resources​

  • Ploughland: 20 ploughlands. 5 lord's plough teams. 13 men's plough teams.
  • Other resources: 2.0 lord's lands. Meadow 80 acres.

Valuation​

  • Annual value to lord: 12 pounds in 1086; 12 pounds in 1066.

Owners​

Other information​

Now THAT's old.
 
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Judge H. E. Resley made wonderful target rifles and there are even matches in Texas where only rifles with barrels he made are allowed to compete.
I started shooting muzzle loading rifles in 1971. I shot in Brady Texas and soon had Judge Resley barrels on all my rifles. I bought them at every match he was at. I still have several to make guns with. I always shot and hunted with Resley barrels on my guns. I miss a lot of those shooters I was around back then.
 
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To me, it seems the 1960s and early 1970s were the pinnacle of American machinists-gunsmiths
You did qualify by saying "American" gunsmiths. If Europe were included you would be way-way wrong. Going back to the 15th century some extraordinary clocks, watches and music boxes were being made by, what had to be, genius and mastermind machinists. I once had the opportunity to spend a day with Lynton MacKinzie (who should be listed with the greats of the period you mentioned). He had locks and triggers made over 200 years ago that were absolute marvels of engineering and craftsmanship. And, in my opinion, to this day we still have quite a few absolute greats turning out ml rifles and parts. We just do not hear their names much as their work is usually limited to a relatively small area of geography.
 
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Those people are all before my time but there’s a point that I’d like to make. There are gunsmiths and then there are Gunsmiths. The gunsmith can mount a scope, change some parts and maybe do a good job of mounting a recoil pad. Then there’s Gunsmiths, these fellows can make or repair most any part with out ordering it. They understand the function of the gun and or the broken or missing part.
Very true! I'm lucky to know of a 2nd gen. 'smith, whose Dad was a collector and 'smith back in the 40's, 50's. The senior had little money but bought all manor of good antique guns when they were readily available. Today, his middle-age son can restore, re-blue, and re-stock with the best of old-time values. He's the guy who shortened many barrels for me! Also works on modern stuff, and did the N-NSA thing previously, so he knows "black powder"! Real 'smiths have to be machinists, as you've said.
 
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