Yes or No on tacks

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gustrolland

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No tacks. Brings up an interesting question though. How did the whole tack thing get started in the first place. Seems like maybe they were like wampum that got traded along with the rifle. Or maybe the thought was to add some "armor" to the wood to help protect it in rough field conditions. Yahoo hade cut the stock off kinda short. I made a button that fit really well, and put tacks around the joint to hide the repair. It actually looks kinda nice. But I don't think I will do that to my other flinters. And the only two cap rifles I would look really bad I think.

.40
Normally I favor no tacks, but traded in for a trade gun flintlock that some
 

Jeremy Bays

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I cut the shaft off of some tacks and glued them on my flintlock with some shoe glue. Works great, and I can remove the tacks in a few minutes.
 
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Long time ago, my dad had picked up a Pedersoli Blue Ridge flintlock from a local pawnshop. Someone had glued a gaudy cheap looking gold filigree design on the stock...My dad was considering selling the gun. I was holding the gun and was picking at the filigree with my fingernail, when it popped off.

Dad said, “Thank gawd...” and kept the gun. Was shooting it just last Saturday.

I say, if you like tacks driven into your gunstock...so be it.

...as for me, not my up of tea.
 

JB67

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While silver mounted engraved guns were being made fancy wood was turned in to furniture, very well made,and often covered with milk paint.😳
Fancy wood did not get painted. It was used in pieces and in ways that would show it off. There was plenty of lesser-grade wood, like poplar and chestnut, or furniture made from leftover/mismatched pieces, that milk paint was useful for.
 

Jay Templin

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I’ve always kind of liked the look of a tastefully tacked gun, but for most of mine, they wouldn’t work because of the contexts in which I use them. I contented myself with refinishing and tacking an unmentionable single shot 20 ga. For layout, I grabbed a dowel the same diameter as my tack heads and dotted on the pattern in yellow paint- easy to wipe away. Once I had the design I wanted, I poked pilot holes with an awl tip and removed the paint, then set the tacks with a rubber mallet so as not to ding the stock. I’m quite pleased with it.
Once I finish building my Hawkenstein homage to the rifles Charlton Heston carried in Mountain Men, I’ll tack it using one of the patterns from the movie, and then I reckon I’ll be all finished with tacks.
Jay
 

Jay Templin

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There is a reason for the terminology "Tackie"
Yup. And it has nothing to do with tacks.
Jay

“tacky (adj.2)
"in poor taste," 1888, from earlier sense of "shabby, seedy" (1862), adjectival use of tackey (n.) "ill-fed or neglected horse" (1800), later extended to persons in like condition, "hillbilly, cracker" (1888), of uncertain origin.
 

Dray Calhoun

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On the forearm could help with grip. Personalization or ornamentation. I could go either way. Too much is just too much. I have an old CVA Frontier I tacked because it just looked too plain.
 

Zutt-man

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I’m not a fan of tacks. Borrowed my dad’s .54 for an elk hunt (I didn’t trust my .40 for elk; see my user photo) and he had tacks on his. He doesn’t use it anymore as he only shoots his flinter now, but he refused to put a tack on, because it wasn’t his kill.
 

billraby

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Take a beautiful woman and place tattoos all over her face. Did that improve her beauty? No tacks for me! My opinion.
It is your rifle, so install the tacks if that is what you like. Don't like, or do something just because everyone else likes it. It needs to be what you like.
I got a beautiful woman. No tattoos on her face, but the rest of her body is pretty much entirely covered in tattoos. I think it looks great. But a lot of people are afraid of her.
 

Griz44Mag

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Yup. And it has nothing to do with tacks.
Jay

“tacky (adj.2)
"in poor taste," 1888, from earlier sense of "shabby, seedy" (1862), adjectival use of tackey (n.) "ill-fed or neglected horse" (1800), later extended to persons in like condition, "hillbilly, cracker" (1888), of uncertain origin.
Looks right to me........
 

dogfood

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I don't have a visceral reaction to tacks, myself. Not my thing but my style is understated in forward and in life.
Since you like it, I see no reason for you to deny yourself something you like. Resale value might take a hit, so of you could accomplish the same effect but not permanently change the stock, that might be the best of both worlds in the event you want/need to sell it.
Cheers,
dgfd
 

Eric Krewson

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A great friend gave me his Gustomsky trade gun on his death bed, the gun is tacked and looks just fine to me. I wouldn't tack one of my own guns but on this one it is OK, considering the circumstance of the gift of this gun it is more than OK.

Gostomsky trade gun 001.JPG


It looks better in this picture, the first deer I killed with it, .62 cal smoothie. My friend was still alive when I killed this deer and got to see this picture, he was thrilled.

smooth bore buck.jpg
 
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old ugly

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if you like them then go for it.

i just searched for solid brass tacks and they are very hard to find. TOW does not sell solid brass tacks. i bought a few solid brass (not plated) from china but the domes look to high to me, when i filed one off they were hollow inside because the shank is threaded into them. if you find nice solid brass ones buy them now.

i would consider the maker of the gun. mass produced cheep store bought or quality hand built?
i would consider the type/style of gun you are putting tacks into.
i would consider the use of the gun.
i would consider the timeframe of the gun
i would consider the pattern you will be putting on.
i would consider the size, shape and material of the tacks
i would consider the permanent effect on the gun.

my opinion,-- the gun at the beginning of the thread, with those tacks is not pleasing to the eye. ugly tacks
i have had a tacked gun and i liked it. it had the appropriate size and amount of tacks with a pleasing to the eye pattern.

YES go for it if you like them.

ou
tom

IMG_4409.JPG
 

Notchy Bob

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Wow, six pages!

I think it was the daisy heads that put me off from the original idea. That, and the fact that tack work can be easily taken too far.

I'm in the NO TACKS camp. While I have seen some guns that looked nice with tacks, it is difficult to pull off artfully and tastefully. But beyond the aesthetics is feel. Tacks physically alter the feel of your gun. For me this is a bigger deal than looks alone. I can have the same issue with the placement of inlays too.
IMO, "feel" is critical to being able to shoot the gun accurately. After all, it's an extension of you.
Sometimes they feel like a pebble in the shoe to me.

My 2 cents, worth every penny.
I appreciated coloradoclyde's post. Half a century ago, I had a cheap, imported percussion fowling piece, imported from Spain by Dixie Gun Works. I had a lot of fun with that gun. I put tacks on it after seeing some pictures of native guns, but didn't like the way they felt under my hand, so eventually pulled them out. I haven't tacked any of my guns since then, although, as a form of self-expression, I find tackwork interesting.

The brass-mounted, modern halfstock shown in post #87 looks good, to me. It looks like a T/C "Hawken," heavily used, properly cared for, and much appreciated. The tacks are placed in very simple, bold patterns on the buttstock and forearm, with perfect spacing and alignment. They have proper, high-dome heads that appear to have acquired a patina that matches the brass mountings on the rifle. Even though I would probably not tack one of my own guns, I see nothing wrong with that rifle, and it appears to provide its owner a lot of joy.

Here are a couple more originals that were tacked. This first one is a rifle that is believed to have belonged to Jim Beckwourth, the mountain man. Jim was biracial, African-American and white, but once in the mountains, he pitched in with the Crow people and lived, hunted, and even went with them into battle. We wonder if his native friends might have influenced his sense of aesthetics:

Beckwourth Rifle.3.jpg


Beckwourth Rifle.1.jpg


Beckwourth Rifle.2.jpg


I see a row of tacks bordering the buttplate on both sides, some widely spaced tacks on the forearm, and some tacks securing the rawhide wrap on the wrist. These on the wrist would bother me, if it were my rifle. Overall, the design concept is similar to that on the T/C Hawken in post #87... Just a little more crudely done. I love this rifle, though.

The next one is on the Heritage Auctions website. They identify it as a Civil War era "Austrian Rifle." It looks like a Lorenz, to me. Again, the tackwork is simple and straightforward:

HA Austrian Rifle 1.1.jpg


The tackwork on the buttstock is further enhanced with incised carving:

HA Austrian Rifle 1.4.jpg


A similar cross or "four winds" design is carved on the opposite side. No tacks on the cheek to catch in one's beard! I don't know anything of the provenance of this rifle. The folks at Heritage Auction tell us it "found its way into Indian hands," which seems a reasonable assumption. In my opinion, the tackwork and carving on this rifle look good.

No tacks. Brings up an interesting question though. How did the whole tack thing get started in the first place. Seems like maybe they were like wampum that got traded along with the rifle. Or maybe the thought was to add some "armor" to the wood to help protect it in rough field conditions.
Before there were tacks, there was wampum inlay. This old stock was recovered from the St. Lawrence, and is believed to have been on board one of the ships in Phips' Fleet:

Wampum Inlay 1.1.png

The metal parts were all gone, but the organic materials survived. I don't think it ever had a buttplate. Here is a better look at the artwork:

Wampum Inlay 1.2.png


There are very few known guns with wampum or bead inlay, but there are at least a couple, and there are also some other wooden artifacts, such as war clubs and bowls, that have bead inlay. I think it looks pretty cool, the way this gun was embellished. It shows a lot of ingenuity and creativity. Since the beads are pressed in flush with the surface, there are no objectionable bumps under the hand, either.

If you want to read more about this interesting old musket, and wampum inlay in general, there is a really good article right here: A Wampum Inlaid Musket

I am an Indian, if it was shiny we liked them. Also sometimes you will see a dragon fly likeness, we believed it would carry our prayers into the presence of the Creator. I realize they didn't stay that way but that did not matter. So if it was taken in battle that was a way to show ownership. Sometimes done tastefully and sometimes not, but if you were showing off it did not matter. Also from todays stand point it depends if you are reenacting and what your persona is. I would not do it to an expensive gun but I did tack a a trade gun made from a kit and a blunderbuss just to look like it was taken in battle. Purely up to the person .
We appreciate Rusty Sherrick's perspective. Now and then, you see tacks arranged in the form of a "Cross of Lorraine," with two horizontal bars. I wonder now if these might have been intended to be dragonflies. I've frequently seen painted dragonfly imagery on native rawhide pieces, such as knife sheaths and on shields. Most that I have seen, I believe, were attributed to the Cheyenne. It would make sense, given Rusty's interpretation, that similar images would be put on one's gun, using whatever medium (e.g. brass tacks) seemed most appropriate.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
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tenngun

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People talk about how you loose resale value.
What do you loose?
GPR new is in the $700 range, used $400, or so. So you tack it till it’s God Awful ugly $200, you have lost $500 on your gun.
Now let’s say you have a $4000 copy of a plains gun, top of the line, the most dyed in the capote stitch counter can’t find any thing wrong with your gun down to the pitch of the threads on your screws. Now you tack it till you can barely see the wood. How much do you loose in resale? $3000?
Lots of money, but did you enjoy it?
Want to go to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Silver Dollar city? What that going to cost? Spent for fun.
I’ll never sell this gun turns in to hmm I’d like to have x and I don’t shoot my painted lady much, but I’ll loose money on her umph.
Well, how much of the fun you had from her looking like the ah... soiled dove, bring you worth.
 
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