Turner Kirkland Rifle

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Ken Neeld, May 30, 2019.

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  1. May 30, 2019 #1

    Ken Neeld

    Ken Neeld

    Ken Neeld

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    This rifle followed me home from the Colorado Gun Collectors show in Denver a couple of weeks ago. I have been casting around the internet trying to find out some background on it to no avail.
    Here's hoping that someone here has some knowledge of these rifles. It did not follow me alone, there is a second rifle that will be the subject of a separate post later.

    .40 caliber, Made in Belgium. It looks to have been fired many years ago, though not much. The bore is shiny. There's a small spot on the stock near the nipple that looks like flash/powder burn.

    I was told by the mule trader that sold it to me that it is a pre-Dixe rifle. That I understand could be true. It's previous owner was the president of a muzzle loading group in the Denver area.

    Pressman IMG_6014.jpg IMG_6029.jpg IMG_6034.jpg IMG_6037.jpg
     
  2. May 31, 2019 #2

    44-henry

    44-henry

    44-henry

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    That was one of the early Dixie Gun Works catalog guns that Turner had made in Belgium. These first appeared in the 1956 catalog for $79.50. I believe these were only made in Belgium up to the early 60's. Should be a nice shooter. It would also have some moderate value among collectors of early reproduction arms. I saw one at a local show last fall for about $500 in about the same condition.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  3. May 31, 2019 #3

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    When Turner was starting Dixie, he apparently not only wanted to sell the antique guns, but he wanted a modern made muzzleloader to sell that was an affordable shooter. He chose a 40 caliber gun, found a company in Belgium to make it and sold it and started to also sell kits in the late 1960's. This was about the time he went from selling gun parts from the trunk of his car to making a sales sheet. The kits were assemblages of parts, but probably more crude than some of the current offerings. The 40 caliber gun was a decent little gun. Turner had a 40 caliber conical mold made up for his hair straightener molds to give a bit more oomph to the 40 caliber offering.
     
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  4. Jun 3, 2019 #4

    44-henry

    44-henry

    44-henry

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    I think it was a slightly later model that Turner took with him to Africa on a hunting trip with author Jim Carmichael in the 1970's. They shot several thin skin animals with these rifles. I remember reading about that hunt years ago where it described Turner taking an elephant with an original, I believe four bore, double rifle.

    Interesting article that the original poster might enjoy reading, that is if he isn't already long gone having received the information he wanted.
     
  5. Jun 3, 2019 #5

    Ken Neeld

    Ken Neeld

    Ken Neeld

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    Thanks 44 Henry, I vaguely remember hearing about the Africa hunt, way back then. Any idea where it was published?
     
  6. Jun 3, 2019 #6

    44-henry

    44-henry

    44-henry

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    I think it was in the Lyman Muzzleloader Handbook. Would have been an early one, I remember the cover had a painting of a colonial era shooting match. Probably published in the mid 70's.
     
  7. Jun 3, 2019 #7

    44-henry

    44-henry

    44-henry

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    It would look like this, looks like you can get it on Amazon for under $10. It has some pretty good articles in it.
     

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  8. Jun 10, 2019 #8

    wynne

    wynne

    wynne

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    I have one very simular to this,,I think I bought it new in the late 60'or early 70's, its a .45 cal Pennsylvania style, has a Fox on the lock,,3 digit serial number
     
  9. Jun 12, 2019 at 2:30 AM #9

    jlynn

    jlynn

    jlynn

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    Drove to Dixie and bought one very early on. Kept it for years.
    was .40 He changed to .45 quickly. Very good rifle even if odd stock design. Passed it on to a student where I taught and got a Niehardt from Golden Age-then started doing my own. Keep shooting-it grows on you
     
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  10. Jun 12, 2019 at 4:42 AM #10

    Barry Strickland

    Barry Strickland

    Barry Strickland

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    I have one like wynne described. It has many of the same parts as are on Ken's rifle. I bought it in 1969 from Turner. The same lock, patent breech, trigger guard, sideplate (mine only has a single screw) and I believe the same solid brass nose cap. The differences being the Roman nose Penn. style with a pierced full patchbox. 45 cal with very shallow rifling. It liked a .455 ball, 45gr 3fg powder, and thin patching. It was very accurate and a joy to shoot after I worked on the patent breech. That required going in the nipple flash channel with a small burr and opening it up into the main bore. Overall it was a very decent rifle for the price.
     
  11. Jun 12, 2019 at 3:55 PM #11

    wynne

    wynne

    wynne

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    I havnt shot mine in years,,hunted with it a lot and then went to T/C Hawken,,the last deer I was trying to take with it was trotting by me me and I was in a sapling thicket trying to keep a bead on it and every time I was about ready to squeeze the trigger Id hit another sappling,,finally got a chance to pull the trigger and the cap went off but the rifle misfired,,i laid it back in my lap and i bet a full 15 seconds later it went off,,that was spooky
     
  12. Jun 12, 2019 at 8:54 PM #12

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    When time stands still.
     
  13. Jun 12, 2019 at 9:49 PM #13

    TFoley

    TFoley

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    Yessir- It's right there on Page 23 - titled 'Africa: Primitive hunting paradise', by turner Kirkland, as told to Toby Bridges. A fascinatin' read, it is, too.
     
  14. Jun 12, 2019 at 9:51 PM #14

    TFoley

    TFoley

    TFoley

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    The deer was beloved of the Great Spirit, and it was not its turn to fall to you that day.
     
  15. Jun 13, 2019 at 12:38 AM #15

    wynne

    wynne

    wynne

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    All that was pretty exciting, heres the rest of the story,,I was hunting on public land that day and I was concentrating on the deer so much that i never noticed another hunter had walked up about 20 yds behind me and witnessed all this, he said "I believe thats the funniest thing I ever saw" ..
     

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