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 J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!

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turkeysnout

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PostSubject: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 9:23 am

I am on the waiting list for a GRRW CA J & S Hawken full stock.  This will be the first Hawken rifle for me.  I want this build to be as authentic and accurate as possible.

turkeysnout

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Send me a PM so I can update you on your build "turkeysnout". I had Carl Walker build me a copy of an original "J&S Hawken" full-stock flintlock in .50 caliber seen some 40 years ago in the Denver Museum of Natural History. I had a half dozen pictures of this gun (got measurements from this rifle at the time), so the GRRW.CA rifles is as close as we could come to the original.


GRRW.CA gunsmith's each have (3) builds on their benches. If a build gets held up waiting parts or waiting on a clients reply on wanted additions. The smith can work on one of the other guns until the original gets resolved (no build time loss doing this way). Everyone wants their gun now, but getting is just the way the client wants it needs to be done carefully by both the customer and his personal gunsmith.   Wink
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 9:39 am

I have the same books. I'm not sure if any others are available.

Conner should know and he'll chime in at some point.


Just out of curiosity. Why did you go with the full stock over the half stock? I assume you're getting a flintlock. Is that the reason for the fullstock?

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 9:47 am

I'd sure add the thoughts and experiences of Doc White to the list.  He wrote a good article about Hawken's, which the GRRW Collector's Association reprinted right here.  I won't say it's the final authority, but it's sure a good addition to the story, and a great place for someone to start reading before going on to the other books. 

I wish my memory was better (and that I'd been smart enough to ask better questions at a younger age), but Bill Ruger was a serious Hawken collector (owned something like 15 of them) and had done a whole lot of research. I got too distracted looking at his collection to ask good questions.  Kinda like brain freeze from eating ice cream.  Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 9:56 am

15 real Hawkens! Man, what I wouldn't do to just hold one.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 10:53 am

Yep, I would like to have a flint Hawken.  By the time that Jim Bridger bought out Smith and established the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, the beaver trade was dead and that period in history was finished (in my opinion).
Here is a link to a (believed) Hawken flinter, early 1820's, that was converted to percussion:

link:  J P Beckworth rifle

Extremely good article and research.







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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 11:07 am

Yes, a full stock Hawken is correct. A half stock in flint I believe never existed unless it was converted. I sold a flint GPR I owned when I realized that.

 Not that a GPR is a great copy of a real Hawken, but having a flint in a half stock was just TOO wrong.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 11:09 am

Hawken Rifles: The Mountain Man's Choice by Baird

That was an excellent read!

Welcome to the forum as well, great to have a GRRW shooter on here with us. Be patient, the time is worth the wait!
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 2:49 pm

I have an active build going on with GRRW CA now. The process is well under way. 
That rifle is in Roosevelt, Utah as we speak.

"Authentic." To what? GRRW? (That is the way I went.) Or, accurate to some other part of 
the very rich history of that style of rifles? Lots to consider.

All of those fellas building GRRW CA are from GRRW so they will be very good in telling you 
what was normal for them. I relied on my gunsmith. 

If you are talking about historical flourishes beyond that, see all of the above. 
Buck will know, too. I'd trust what he had to say.

There is a GRRW CA group- Green River Rifle Works Collectors Association- you can join and read their newsletters.

Enjoy the process. I have. You will have direct access to a fella who has been doing this for decades. 
I have enjoyed the hell out of the convos and learned a lot, too.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 4:28 pm

@BrownBear wrote:
I'd sure add the thoughts and experiences of Doc White to the list.  He wrote a good article about Hawken's, which the GRRW Collector's Association reprinted right here.  I won't say it's the final authority, but it's sure a good addition to the story, and a great place for someone to start reading before going on to the other books.

Thank you very much for the link.  This is a very good read and much to digest.  I was hoping that a reader here would point out something very good such as this.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 14th 2017, 9:34 pm

"Accurate and Authentic"......you will get accurate with a GRRWca build. Authentic I assume depends on what you're to wanting to replicate. If a recreation of a specific historical era, then the rifle will vary depending on historical dates. Only about 10% of Hawken rifles have survived. So the commonality of flint rifles is really unknown..either half stock or full. As you know the fur trade was well on it's way to ending when the famous St Louis percussion half stocks were gaining popularity and making their way west as much for the buffalo hide trade as anything. I have only had the privilege to fondle one that Frank Sellers had. The family had been building rifles for a least of couple of generations. I once saw a fine collection of Hawken family rifles which went back to the early 19th at least and were assortment of "Golden Age" long barreled fullstock flintlock rifles. Early Hawken rifles of the fur trade era could have likely been flinters, but again so few examples survived it's hard to say. I also fondled one of the first if not the first GRRW full stock flinter and can say it caused a great desire to own one. The assortment of books you own were then, as I am sure you know were pretty much the authority back in the 70's and I can't imagine needing much more...... other than what BrownBear suggested. :rtup

Here's an informative discussion on the ALR forum:

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=8944.0

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 15th 2017, 7:35 pm

Thank you for the link.  I have been doing a lot of reading on the ALR forum and am almost dizzy with info.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 10:35 am

@BrownBear wrote:
Ruger was a serious Hawken collector (owned something like 15 of them) and had done a whole lot of research. I got too distracted looking at his collection to ask good questions.  Shocked

Doc was Bill's good friend when still stationed in AK and when back in the lower 48, Doc's spent much of his free time with these guns.  Most of the guns are now in the collection of Jim Gordon who owns a private museum east of Santa Fe. Gordon has written some great coffee table books on these guns as well as other fur trade era firearms.

SEE: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/70/322/recreation-of-the-mariano-medina-hawken-rifle-by-steve-lodding

This is a good reproduction shown about.

I have held the original Medina gun several times at the Loveland Museum, Mrs. Gates was a lady that knew Mariano better than his own family with her research and writings of him. He was Colorado's most famous mountainman, plus a very rich business owner. His son Louis Papa use to ride on our property west of Loveland, in the early 1930's he was hurt while riding this property and taken back to Loveland to recover. Some 40 years later I was working with a backhoe on the property and uncovered a leather ball that was buried. Soaked it in a bucket of water - turns out to be Mariano Medina's old breeches that his son Louis was wearing when hurt on the property. I took them to the Loveland Museum for Mrs. Gates to look at, she went crazy about these old breeches.

I wrote an article about these pants, need to find it in my file then will post it.

https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/web?q=sam+and+jacob+hawken+books&chn=1000&doi=2016-12-18&geo=US&guid=87C38451-17DF-44D1-9B9B-6DE396733C79&locale=en_US&o=APN11908&p2=%5EEQ%5Ecd20us%5E&prt=NSBU&ver=22.8.1.14&tpr=2&ts=1495383803147

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 11:25 am

That's excellent!  We have a place over on the Western Slope, so the CO tie-in is especially good.  Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 1:43 pm

@lighthorseman wrote:
"Accurate and Authentic"......you will get accurate with a GRRWca build.
Only about 10% of Hawken rifles have survived.
I have only had the privilege to fondle one that Frank Sellers had.
Early Hawken rifles of the fur trade era could have likely been flinters, but again so few examples survived it's hard to say.
The assortment of books you own were then, as I am sure you know were pretty much the authority back in the 70's. :rtup

Here's an informative discussion on the ALR forum: http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=8944.0

   Don't you love these guys "never made a flintlock" same words that thee experts use on everything they write and John Baird would jumped on it. 
   One so-called writer wrote about "the common striker and what was being made", how can a guy make such a general statement? The same guy upset Baird, so John got him to write on Hawken and did they make flint guns. Mr. Goodwin wrote an article about Hawken's and how they never built a J&S Hawken or any late Hawken in flintlock. Baird printed the article, all Goodwin's buddies jumped on the bandwagon that lasted only a few months then ....
   Buckskin report brings out an article about how Mr. Goodwin was mistaken showing a picture similar to my picture shown here. Goodwin was the laughing stock of the buckskinners for months. The followers of Goodwin were put down by the readers with letters to the editor for several issues. John set him and his followers up 1st class. 
   We had a good laugh about this at the LaVeta Rendezvous in 1981, John was walking in tall cotton (proud over that one).


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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 2:30 pm

Buck,

 I researched until I ran out of leads. I talked to anybody who would talk to me. I'm sure Hawken made flintlocks. What I was trying to find was a half stock in flintlock. I'm of the impression all the flintlocks Hawken made were full stocks.

  What do you say? Was there ever a half stock flintlock?

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 6:24 pm

@Bear Claw wrote:
Buck,

 I researched until I ran out of leads. I talked to anybody who would talk to me. I'm sure Hawken made flintlocks. What I was trying to find was a half stock in flintlock. I'm of the impression all the flintlocks Hawken made were full stocks.

  What do you say? Was there ever a half stock flintlock?

I'm like you, everything written has said "fullstock flintlock for Hawkens", I asked John Baird and Charles E. Hanson, Jr. the same question and got the mentioned reply per their knowledge and research.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 6:49 pm

turkeysnout,

Carl Walker build a copy of an original "J&S Hawken" full-stock flintlock in .50 caliber seen 
​at the Denver Museum of Natural History. I have you​r​ request for a rifle like this with Carl as your gunsmith.

As mentioned its in .50 caliber with a 34 inch barrel, 1 inch across the flats, dark stained maple, all metal dark brown including nose cap​, weights approx. 8 lb. 6 oz.  ​Doc White claims most were walnut that he has seen, not many were maple like this original. 

There are pictures on this site of this rifle.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 7:39 pm

Considering the Hawken family history, many many flintlocks were made by those gun makers. How many 1820-1840 Hawken flintlocks, that seems to be the question no one knows.
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 21st 2017, 7:44 pm

You would think a picture, or someone describing it would have appeared by now.

 One thing is for sure. If some kind of proof isn't found it's hard to have an argument there was one just because Hawken made a lot of rifles.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 6:43 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
You would think a picture, or someone describing it would have appeared by now.

"The earliest J. & S. Hawken rifle order that can be documented dates from 1831, and in that year and the one following, orders for 18 rifles were placed with the company.  Both half- and full-stock models were available.  Some of these were flintlocks, but percussion arms account for the bulk of their production." NRA Museum

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 10:14 am

Yes, but that proves nothing. It's the kind of info i'd find too. I never could find half stock and flintlock words together.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 10:57 am

@Bear Claw wrote:
Yes, but that proves nothing. It's the kind of info i'd find too. I never could find half stock and flintlock words together.

Usually that combination of words was a custom built firearm, not run of the mill knock them out production guns. 

I have seen a few southern early rifles that were half-stock and flintlock. The (those-in-the-know {in their own mind's status} claim the guns were full-stock, damaged and made into half-stock. How would you ever prove something like that unless written in a journal of the owner as to what happened.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 10:59 am

I think it was the mountain mans sketch book that said this, but im not 100% sure.. I read that the full stock hawken was actually $18 cheaper than the half stock. Not sure how that makes sense?
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 12:16 pm

In my research, I did find a half stock flintlock plains rifle, but it wasn' a Hawken.

I guess that would cover the Lyman GPR, because they never claimed it was a copy of a Hawken. Of course, I found that after I sold the GPR flinter thinking it wasn't a copy of a real gun.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 4:00 pm

Similarly the 1792/94 Contract rifles approximately 3500 were built, but today there are only a couple that can be authenticated and I believe both were converted to percussion. 1rst we know the family was in the rifle building business for some time in the flint era. "The family's association with gunmaking began with brothers Christian and Nicholas Hawken, of Hagerstown, Maryland, who established themselves as makers of "Kentucky" rifles.  Christian's sons George, John, Jacob, Samuel, and William later followed in their father's footsteps. Three of the brothers remained lifelong residents of the Hagerstown area, while Jacob and Samuel headed west. Jacob's younger brother Samuel originally established a business in Xenia Ohio before joining Jacob in St. Louis after the deaths of their father and Samuel's wife in 1822.  Initially, Samuel started his own gunsmithing shop, but the two brothers entered into a partnership three years later. The earliest J. & S. Hawken rifle order that can be documented dates from 1831, and in that year and the one following, orders for 18 rifles were placed with the company.  Both half- and full-stock models were available.  Some of these were flintlocks, but percussion arms account for the bulk of their production." (NRA Museum) Only 18 rifles built that first year compared to 3,500 "U.S. Contract rifles" built in 1792 and '94. It's not hard to imagine first that...as the article says "Both half- and full-stock rifles were available....some of these flintlocks." Secondly as the average of 10% survival only a couple of that first years production might have survived to today.....maybe no flinters at all survived. If I wanted a flintlock half stock Hawken, my biggest challenge would be to try and find a very early model to see what the lines were and specific furniture. ......the Carson/Bridger guns looked a whole lot different than the one original I've held.

Another question is.....during the period that the "brothers" were building guns in Missouri...what guns were the rest of the family producing back in "long rifle country"? A rifle barrel with Hawken engraved could be either from Sam and Jacob.....or could it be from George, John and William?

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