Mystery Gun

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Cattywompuss

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Howdy all,

Need some help from thems what know. I bought several flint guns from a massive estate of muzzleloaders the other day, and one I bought because I need a turkey gun and it fit the bill. But that is the only bill it fit because of the mix and match nature of it.

I will post pics this evening. It is a hybrid rifle/fowler/smooth rifle. Heavy musket-like stock but Pennsylvania or Virginia shaped. Has cheekpiece, so rifle style, has octagon to round .60 cal barrel, so fowler. Has huge musket style lock in the white. Has full length stock with no muzzle cap, stock has light curl. Trigger guard is long rifle style brass.

Side plate is brass, little engraving. Very shallow traditional relief carving behind tang and near ramrod entry pipe. Has a brazed on front sight, no rear. Has a sliding wood patch box with latch on buttplate ala rifle. Used micrometer to check bore yesterday. .60 on the money. What else... I believe that's about it. It will be my turkey gun but I am just stumped by the style. Super hybrid as it were. Lock has no makers mark inside.

Thanks for any info, and I will get pics up tonight.

Also snatched up a Lehigh/SMR hybrid .40 for squirrel as well, and a Gorgeous Verner-esque Lehigh rifle with a swamped .50 barrel, L&R lock, and unreal flame in the stock. The bore on that one is funny though. Looks like a Whitworth bore. Shallow round rifling but seems overly hexagonal.
 

Cattywompuss

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Pics for everyone's perusal and subsequent information or conjecture!
 

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Notchy Bob

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I think @Heyyou48307 may be right. I actually have one of the old Narragansett Armes [sic], Ltd. catalogs from 1999, and your gun bears a strong resemblance to their "Lancaster American Rifle & Fowler" (LAR&F) Your gun looks a lot like it in many ways, such as the shape of the buttstock and the design of the patchbox cover, and the overall architecture and finish. Your gun has an L&R Queen Anne lock, which was offered as an option on the LAR&F, although their standard offering was a Siler or L&R Germanic style. However, the spur on the triggerguard's grip rail is different, and the LAR&F was only listed with a 44" barrel. They did not show other barrel length options in the catalog. The barrel on yours looks shorter than 44" in the photos, but that may be a matter of perspective. It is also possible the barrel may have been shortened later. They offered this gun in .50, .54, and .58 caliber rifled or 16, 20, 24, or 28 gauge smoothbore. They did not list a .60 caliber smoothbore, which would be about halfway between a 22 gauge (.596") and 21 gauge (.605").

Narragansett listed fifteen different standard "models" in their catalog, but I think their guns were built to order and they said up front that they had numerous custom options available. I don't know how or if they marked their guns, if they had a company logo, trademark, or signature. The name of the company president was Philip Edwards, but their other employees or builders were not identified in the literature I had.

It looks like a nice gun, though, regardless of who made it. I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Notchy Bob
 

Cattywompuss

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Thanks for the info Notchy Bob! I took the lock out last night and didn't see the usual L&R logo underneath, but I believe you. I am no novice to smokepoles but I admit I had never heard of Narragansett until today. Did Narragansett sell kits? Because the previous owner definitely built at least five or six of the 8 fullstock flinters in the collection, and some of the file marks left in the grain of this one make me think he put it together.
 

Cattywompuss

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I think @Heyyou48307 may be right. I actually have one of the old Narragansett Armes [sic], Ltd. catalogs from 1999, and your gun bears a strong resemblance to their "Lancaster American Rifle & Fowler" (LAR&F) Your gun looks a lot like it in many ways, such as the shape of the buttstock and the design of the patchbox cover, and the overall architecture and finish. Your gun has an L&R Queen Anne lock, which was offered as an option on the LAR&F, although their standard offering was a Siler or L&R Germanic style. However, the spur on the triggerguard's grip rail is different, and the LAR&F was only listed with a 44" barrel. They did not show other barrel length options in the catalog. The barrel on yours looks shorter than 44" in the photos, but that may be a matter of perspective. It is also possible the barrel may have been shortened later. They offered this gun in .50, .54, and .58 caliber rifled or 16, 20, 24, or 28 gauge smoothbore. They did not list a .60 caliber smoothbore, which would be about halfway between a 22 gauge (.596") and 21 gauge (.605").

Narragansett listed fifteen different standard "models" in their catalog, but I think their guns were built to order and they said up front that they had numerous custom options available. I don't know how or if they marked their guns, if they had a company logo, trademark, or signature. The name of the company president was Philip Edwards, but their other employees or builders were not identified in the literature I had.

It looks like a nice gun, though, regardless of who made it. I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Notchy Bob
Just confirmed this gun is a 44 inch barrel. Thing of note: the patch box inside is immaculate, no rough edges. Latch is quite stiff though.
 

Cattywompuss

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Bugger me folks, but I forgot the most important part of this gun: it is signed atop the barrel is well engraved script. "J. Woods"

That was not the previous owner, and the son thought it might have been built by his dad for a J. Woods, but it is where the maker mark should be. The buttplate is roughly filed(compared to master work) leading me to further think this was a kit. However, that makers mark is engraved in a way not consistent with the rough filing left in the wood and barrel.

Either way I am gonna have to find some interestingly measured load components to make this a turkey gun.
 

Notchy Bob

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Thanks for the updates, Cattywompuss!

Narragansett Armes, Ltd. was founded in 1991 and based in Indianapolis. I don't know when they closed, but I'm pretty sure they are out of business now. At one time, they created quite a stir in the muzzleloading community by recreating the British Ferguson rifle. I think they produced around 250 finished units. Here is an example from the Rock Island Auction website:

Narragansett Ferguson 1.1.png
Narragansett Ferguson 1.2.png

Their guns were highly regarded in their time, and author Ted Franklin Belue famously bought and modified one of their club butt fowlers and wrote a whole article about it in Muzzleloader magazine in around 1999. Ted mentioned this same gun again in a more recent issue of the same magazine, just a couple of months ago. Narragansett did make some very interesting pieces, such as the aforementioned club-butt fowler, the Ferguson rifle, a Spanish Catalan musket, and several others. Not your typical longrifle builder.

As for your gun, I would agree, the name on the barrel would most likely be the builder rather than the owner. Maybe a post on the ALR forum would turn up some more responses. I believe there may be a higher proportion of collectors populating that forum than here. I can't say for sure that your gun is in fact a Narragansett piece, but it does look a lot like one of their offerings, as discussed above.

Also, thank you for measuring the barrel. The perspective of the picture made it look shorter than 44" to my eye, but I am wrong with alarming regularity (just ask my wife!). Since your barrel is in fact full length, the point is moot, but in looking through my old Narragansett catalog and paperwork, I did find that they would in fact shorten a barrel as a custom option. Your question about kits was a good one, but I did not find any indication that kits were offered by Narragansett Armes, in reviewing the materials I have.

I have no doubt that your lock is an L&R Queen Anne. I have one, and also the countersunk oval head of the frizzen pivot screw is unique to that lock and distinguishes it from the other round-faced English locks that are "out there."

Again, you have an interesting gun. Thanks for showing it!

Notchy Bob
 
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Cattywompuss

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Thanks for the updates, Cattywompuss!

Narragansett Armes, Ltd. was founded in 1991 and based in Indianapolis. I don't know when they closed, but I'm pretty sure they are out of business now. At one time, they created quite a stir in the muzzleloading community by recreating the British Ferguson rifle. I think they produced around 250 finished units. Here is an example from the Rock Island Auction website:

View attachment 73545View attachment 73546
Their guns were highly regarded in their time, and author Ted Franklin Belue famously bought and modified one of their club butt fowlers and wrote a whole article about it in Muzzleloader magazine in around 1999. Ted mentioned this same gun again in a more recent issue of the same magazine, just a couple of months ago. Narragansett did make some very interesting pieces, such as the aforementioned club-butt fowler, the Ferguson rifle, a Spanish Catalan musket, and several others. Not your typical longrifle builder.

As for your gun, I would agree, the name on the barrel would most likely be the builder rather than the owner. Maybe a post on the ALR forum would turn up some more responses. I believe there may be a higher proportion of collectors populating that forum than here. I can't say for sure that your gun is in fact a Narragansett piece, but it does look a lot like one of their offerings, as discussed above.

Also, thank you for measuring the barrel. The perspective of the picture made it look shorter than 44" to my eye, but I am wrong with alarming regularity (just ask my wife!). Since your barrel is in fact full length, the point is moot, but in looking through my old Narragansett catalog and paperwork, I did find that they would in fact shorten a barrel as a custom option. Your question about kits was a good one, but I did not find any indication that kits were offered by Narragansett Armes, in reviewing the materials I have.

I have no doubt that your lock is an L&R Queen Anne. I have one, and also the countersunk oval head of the frizzen pivot screw is unique to that lock and distinguishes it from the other round-faced English locks that are "out there."

Again, you have an interesting gun. Thanks for showing it!

Notchy Bob
Thanks for all the help Notchy Bob! I think Ian at Forgotten Weapons did a video shooting one of those Ferguson repros. Regarding this particular gun of mine it is nice to potentially know what it is since I'm gonna set off controlled explosions with it near my face.
 

Heyyou48307

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Mine was built by J. Brown I also had one of their 1st model Brown Besses,no markings
 

Notchy Bob

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Thats a Chambers lock.
Gotta admit it is a dead ringer for Chambers L-14 Colonial American Flintlock. Single rear pin, flatter bottom to the plate, and no extender sealing metal on the bottom of the frizzen
I believe you boys are right. I stand corrected!

I went back and compared some enlarged images of the Chambers Colonial, the L&R Queen Anne, and the lock on the gun in the original post. Comparing screw and pin holes in the lock plate and especially the finial or extension on the feather spring, I believe we are in fact looking at a Chambers lock.

Thank you for catching my error!

Notchy Bob
 

excess650

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I had a Chambers round faced English on my .58, and I think it would have sparked with a piece of creek stone! Between the big flint and the big pan, it ALWAYS went off. That lock and flint is noticeably smaller than a true musket lock, but much larger than a large Siler.
 

Many Klatch

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I visited Narragansett Arms workshop in Indianapolis once. It was a big square table with 4 vises. One on each corner and 4 gunbuilders working on guns. They have been out of business for a long time. One of my buddies has one of their Ferguson Rifles. He has put thousands of shots through it.
 
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