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Unfinished WM Large 44" Flintlock - help identify?

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32 Cal
Apr 15, 2021
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First time post….

Hoping I the kind folks on this forum can help guide me in identifying this muzzle loader and help me find a gunsmith who can help finish what he started.

A little background…. I’ve inherited this longrifle from my Dad. He was always fond of history, especially anything related to the early frontier, taking me to mountain men gatherings as a kid and passing along his love of steam trains and all things mechanical. He was rather quiet, but extremely talented with his hands. If he wasn’t working, you could always find him with a good pipe and a thick book. In many ways, I always felt like he was just born in the wrong century.

On to the rifle….

My dad built this himself somewhere in the mid 60s, but never finished it. I’m guessing he gathered parts from gatherings and magazine ads/catalogs. He did all the carving and inlay work himself. He did manage to test fire it, but that’s the only time it’s been used to my knowledge. I imagine life got in the way and it just sat in a closet for decades as a result. It has tremendous sentimental value to me and I’d like to finish the project so it can actually be used and passed along to my kids as a ‘contemporary’ antique.

  • Style: Double trigger .45cal Flintlock longrifle, 58”L Overall (4’ 10”) stock to muzzle
  • Barrel: 44”, 13/16” AF with ~0.458” rifled bore (45 cal?). Stamped “W. M. Large” on the left
  • Lockset: Double trigger flintlock, stamped “M. M. Maslin” – Hamm replica?
  • Stock: Tiger stripe maple (unfinished) with decorative brass inlays and patch box
From my limited research, these seem to be quality components so it seems worthy of restoration, aside from the sentimental value. Any advice here on what this stuff actually is/worth would be helpful, along with any recommendations on folks who may be able to help finish what my Dad never could. Please pardon my limited use of the correct terminology.

From what I can tell, this is the minimum work needed to make this a fully functional firearm.
  • Stock is unfinished – needs some carving finalized and finish applied. Patch box isn’t flush.
  • Barrel is just pinned, not fully secured into the stock?
  • Lockset is missing some screws and the backing plate to secure it to the stock
  • Ramrod is missing and stock isn't finished to accept it

WMLarge_45cal (1).JPGWMLarge_45cal (4).JPGWMLarge_45cal (5).JPGWMLarge_45cal (6).JPGWMLarge_45cal (7).JPGWMLarge_45cal (10).JPGWMLarge_45cal (13).JPG
The barrel is excellent quality. The lock is just good by today’s standards. Lock inletting is just ok. My best estimate: a carved, straight barreled rifle with components like this, not made by a big name maker, if well-finished, would sell on the open market for somewhere in the $800-$1400 range depending on how it floats someone’s boat. Large barrels were great but are not necessarily better than say Rice or Green Mountain today. I paid $450 at auction for an as-new S. Hawken styled rifle with a Bill Large barrel. It was well made by a well-respected California maker, and had a date of 1967 on it.
@Flicker, your rifle is worthy of being finished. @rich pierce is correct in that the Maslin lock is not the best lock for the rifle, but it is percussion so it's close to being functional. As to finding a builder to finish the rifle, we might be better able to offer suggestions if we knew where you are located.
Your father was well on the way to making a great rifle. I hope you can find someone to finish it for you.
For a rifle done in the mid sixties it has very nice lines. It is absolutely worth finishing just for the ties to your Dad. There are several books on the subject https://www.amazon.com/s?k=recreati...=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_1tq9gndf7u_e
I would get one and read through it. Much has already been done but knowing how your father got to that point will help you refine things and take it to the next level. Do not be afraid to ask questions in the gun building section of the forum and also the American Longrifles forum. You can never get too much information.
I believe that rifle could be finished into a top notch gun and wish for you all the best in your endeavor!!!!
@Flicker, your rifle is worthy of being finished. @rich pierce is correct in that the Maslin lock is not the best lock for the rifle, but it is percussion so it's close to being functional. As to finding a builder to finish the rifle, we might be better able to offer suggestions if we knew where you are located.
Should have said "the Maslin lock is not the best lock for the rifle, but if it was percussion so it's close to being functional."

Good call @Zutt-man.
Thanks for the helpful replies and encouragement all. @Robby thanks for the book recommendations - got a few on order. Maybe I'll be inspired to try this myself, but I'm afraid of falling into the same trap as my dad with 2 kids at home and such. I don't want this to go back to hiding in a closet for another 50 years.

I'm currently located in Northern CA, but I'm open to any gunsmith / restorer recommendations any of you may have. I have no problem shipping this to the right person so it's done right.
If I didn't know any better while looking at the pictures, #4 in particular, I'd say that stock is broke through the beaver tail carving, could be an illusion though.
if for no other reason than it’s connection to your father, it’s worth finishing. Assuming that process won’t place financial hardships on you. I bought a St Louis Hawken at auction several years ago, with a Wm Large jjjj barrel, gun built by Tom Nixon, with Bob Rollers lock and triggers. I didn’t hesitate at $550. Mr Large isn’t making barrels anymore as he is deceased And Mr Roller doesn’t seem to be making locks anymore. To have a Large barrel and a sentimental attachment to the gun with your fathers hand work would make it priceless to me, if I were in your shoes.
@Rawhide67 Yep, you captured my sentiments well. It's been test fired at one time and seems to be built with quality components, so it's definitely a project that should be finished - I'm just a total novice here so will have to learn along the way. Happy to do some of this myself, but will definitely be looking to experts along the way.

@ApprenticeBuilder Looking at the pictures closely, I see what you mean - the stock isn't broken, it's just an optical illusion given the wood grain and carving lines. There is some 'trim' outside of the lock mortise that has broken off, but that's the only damage I can find. The majority of work is just in finishing the carving.