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 J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 4:13 pm

Turkey Snout...for what it's worth, if I had one built, I'd go with a half stock gun with a 36" .62 caliber barrel with an English lock with waterproof pan and a fancy patchbox like the one on the Smithsonian gun.  Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 4:15 pm

FrontierGander wrote:
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?

That does not make sense, because there's more labor involved with additional inletting with longer barrel channel, additional pins needed to hold barrel to longer stock, and additional ramrod pipes inlet. 

When we first priced out GRRW.CA labor Carl Walker was building J&S Hawken GRRW.CA #H..02 CA (a full-stock .62 cal. convertible [flint/perc.], 1-1/8 inch across the flats of the barrel 36 inches long). When he saw we had missed the cost difference between a half-stock and this build a full-stock - he was yelling about the extra amount of time it would take. I had to buy him lunch to settle down and get him back to work.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 7:11 pm

lighthorseman wrote:
Turkey Snout...for what it's worth, if I had one built, I'd go with a half stock gun with a 36" .62 caliber barrel with an English lock with waterproof pan and a fancy patchbox like the one on the Smithsonian gun.  Very Happy
I can understand the appeal of a rifle of the S Hawken period, but my interest is in the fur trade prior to 1830.  And I would suppose that most of the guns in the Rockies were Indian trade flinters.  But I have my head set on getting what I imagine would have been a rifle by J & S Hawken.  The GRRW.CA H03 fairly well fits my needs along this line.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 7:29 pm

Below is a post on AmericanLongRifles Forum about a late, full stock Hawken flinter:]
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=8944.0

Quote :

Pics of the Smithsonian Hawken - an 1850 era Sam Hawken built rifle





As noted The Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly, vol13, issue 4 , 1977 has an article on the Kennett Hawken (another 1850's era fullstock - it's in the School of the Ozarks) which includes info on and photos of the Smithsonian Hawken....they sell scanned copies of the article alone. The lock is clearly a converted flinter and all other signs point to the gun being originally a flint. The tacks on the wrist are part of a repair and the fore end cap is Schnabel shaped.

Here are the best pics I have of the Kennett




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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 22nd 2017, 8:04 pm

Many of the early mountaineers that dreamed of cashing in on the fur trade were no more than folks that were wanting to better their lives. Many of those that ventured westward into the Rockies came with whatever they had and in many cases that was a smoothbore musket that they carried or a family member had used in either the Rev. War or the War of 1812. Hanson wrote about this in several of the Quarterlies. I wrote a book on the NW Trade Guns with Hanson and Curly G. - "Success In The North American Fur Trade". We got lucky with having the U. S. Library of Congress list it as a must have book for students of the fur trade. The three of us figured if we had 500 books printed that would be about right for the numbers we could sell. Well it sold better than expected with three printing. Charley Hanson and Curly G. thought there was approximately 50 major builders of NW Guns, once we started additional research we found about 176 producers that built at least 250 guns a year.  Fun stuff ...

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 8:21 am

Hard to convince some that many smoothies came west......"rifles or nothing". I agree with you Conner (not that you need me to) but the fur trade had promises of making a fortune, even though the reality was usually much different...........so they brought what ever they had. I think a fur trade impression with a "surplus" musket or rifle is an excellent impression. I also believe that most Hawken rifles were made for the buffalo hide market.....which replaced beaver by the 1840's......I could also imagine that a good number were purchased by "pioneers" going west on the Oregon or California trails.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 9:22 am

True, and I agree with that. However, if just one trapper in the fur trade era had a Hawken. We can feel good about owning one, or even a lousy replica of one.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 10:24 am

Bear Claw wrote:
True, and I agree with that. However, if just one trapper in the fur trade era had a Hawken. We can feel good about owning one, or even a lousy replica of one.

I posted this last summer, need to correct pictures???  : 


http://furtradebooks.tripod.com/those.that.carried.htm


There's Lemans and Hawkens carried by some famous guys.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 10:32 am

I knew a lot of them, but not that many. Plus, it says that's just a few of them.

 I know had I lived in those days i'd have had one. I'm not much of a drinker, so I could have saved enough from that to buy one.

I notice a lot of them have repairs on the stock at the wrist area. Was that from using them as clubs?

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 12:17 pm

Absolutely! ......

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 2:25 pm

Bear Claw wrote:
I notice a lot of them have repairs on the stock at the wrist area. Was that from using them as clubs?

Used for a club or falling off a horse.
 
   I have a '94 Winchester carbine made in 1929, carried by the wife's grandfather in CO and UT for 50 years while working in sheep camps or guarding the herds. The old gun had a bent magazine tube and had a blacksmith's welded tang, so I took it to my friend that's a gunsmith. He told me he could straighten it without hurting the 80 years of wear. 
   When I picked it up was informed the old gun had a bent barrel plus other repairs throughout it's life. To be safe he replaced the firing pin with one that was broken (looks the same just the pin is broken off). We both felt something heavy had to have hit the barrel to have bent it.
   Once home got to looking at some of the old pictures of the wife's relation and found this rifle in a scabbard. His horse had probably taken a spill and bent the barrel. 


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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 23rd 2017, 3:46 pm

conner wrote:
We both felt something heavy had to have hit the barrel to have bent it.
   Once home got to looking at some of the old pictures of the wife's relation and found this rifle in a scabbard. His horse had probably taken a spill and bent the barrel. 

I'm with you. Seen an awful lot of rifles with broken stocks or bent barrels from horse wrecks. Seen some survive pretty rough treatment too, so you never know till the dust settles. But horses will be horses, whether they take a spill or simply take it into their bony heads that it's time to lay down and roll around a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 25th 2017, 10:16 am

I have been looking through my Great Gunmakers for the Early West by Gordon and there are pictured several J & S Hawken fullstock rifles.  All are converted to caplock.  One rifle has an ornate brass patchbox.  It also has a patent breech.  The trigger guard also has more fancy finials than is shown on other J & S rifles.
If you know which particular rifle (pictured in Vol. III) that I am referring to, do you have any ideas about this rifle?

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 27th 2017, 4:29 pm

James D Gordon states in his book, Great Gunmakers for the Early West (vol I), that the Hawken was born from from the Harpers Ferry Model 1803.  That statement was stunning to me!  So I have now broadened my research to the Harpers Ferry 1803.  I have previously abhorred massed produced, government issue guns but this idea has given me pause.  Maybe I have ignored similar statements in my reading 3 or 4 decades ago, I do not know.

What do you fellers think about the relationship of the Hawken to the 1803?

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 27th 2017, 5:43 pm

Well...possibly as the family was employed by Government armories. A long time debate is whether Lewis equipped the "Corps" the now famous 1803 half stock Harper's Ferry rifle or a simple alteration of the full stock 1792 contract rifle. I did quite a bit of research on it back 17,18 years ago and came to the conclusion that it was the 1792 contract rifle with a 6" shorter re-freshened barrel with sling adapters. But the 1803 HF became quite popular...carried by Pike's expedition in 1806 and it armed nearly all the rifle regiments during the War of 1812. One of the reason's I took that position was because the Corps has more difficulty killing the big bear.....than Pike's group....I concurred the reason being the 1792 rifles were .49 caliber, probably frenshened to at least .50 cal. while as we are certain Pike's group carried the 1803, the .54 caliber guns were far more effective...IMHO! Smile If the "Brother's" modeled the Plains rifle after the 1803, it took them a while to do it...if I understand the dates correctly.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 27th 2017, 6:00 pm

lighthorseman, thanks for the information.

The Hawken brothers were producing rifles in St. Louis in the 1820s, which was after the production of the Harpers Ferry 1803.  Guess I need to do quite a bit of research on the Harpers Ferry rifles made until 1818 and Jake's association with that armory.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 29th 2017, 12:18 am

Full piece from the NRA Museum:

The Hawken name is well known to students of the 19th century American West, as well as to firearms collectors.  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, George and John were all employed for a time at the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia beginning in 1807 and continuing until 1818.  Jacob later relocated to Missouri, settling first in New Madrid in 1819, then in St. Louis a year later.  By 1821, he had gone into business with gunsmith James Lakenan, who had come to Missouri from Henrico County, Virginia after working at the Virginia Manufactory of Arms.  The experience gained by both men in the armories of Harpers Ferry and Richmond was reflected in the rifles produced by the pair, which were patterned after Virginia iron-mounted military and hunting arms.  These patterns continued to influence the design of later Hawken rifles.   Jacob Hawken continued in the business after Lakenan's death in 1825.
 
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.  Best known for their heavy octagonal-barreled "Plains Rifles" with bores up to .60 caliber, Jacob and Samuel Hawken also produced light sporting rifles, shotguns, and pistols.  Initially the brothers made their own barrels at their forge near St. Louis with the help of hired workers, but later, they followed the trend of buying factory-made barrels, which enabled them to increase production and possibly to reduce their workforce as well.  Locks were both made in the Hawken shop and purchased from other sources, while stocking operations were most likely carried out by the brothers and their employees.
 
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.
 
Manufacture of Hawken pistols was limited to the years prior to the Mexican War, and these sidearms were carried for the most part by overland explorers and military officers.  Pistols ranged in price from $8 to $18 each, while rifles were sold for approximately $20 for plain full-stock examples to $38 for best-grade arms.  Shotgun prices may have been as low as $10.
 
For the period from 1821 to 1855, gun orders accounted for about 60% of the income realized by the Hawken brothers.  Jacob and Samuel Hawken also produced stocks and repaired guns in addition to manufacturing their own arms.  The firm also provided other goods and services to fur traders, outfitters, and related businesses of the period, most notably the American Fur Company.  Legend has it that westward-bound trappers and traders stopped by the Hawken rifle shop to place their orders, but these guns were most likely purchased by outfitters and fur companies and shipped west for re-sale.
 
Although the Hawken name is often associated with the mountain men and trappers of  the period before the Mexican War, the popularity of these guns peaked in later years, by which time the buffalo had replaced the beaver in economic importance.  The Hawken rifle established a reputation as a well-made and reliable hunting arm suitable for taking bison, bear, and other big game.  The discovery of gold in California and the exploration of overland routes to the Pacific also contributed to the demand for these rifles.
 
Sales of Hawken rifles peaked in about 1855, then slowly declined over the next ten years in the face of competition from military rifles and from the products other armsmakers including Colt and Sharps.  Accounts indicate that Samuel Hawken had the opportunity to market Samuel Colt's products as well as his own but that he refused, even though he could undoubtedly have made a profit from Colt sales.
 
Samuel continued to operate the business after Jacob's death in the cholera epidemic of 1849.  In addition to his business ventures, Samuel was active in the civic affairs of his adopted hometown, both serving on the fire department and, on at least one occasion, he was a candidate for Mayor of St. Louis.  The later history of Samuel's life and enterprises is unclear, with sources indicating a variety of different outcomes to his life's story.  Upon his retirement in 1854, Samuel may have sold the business to J. P. Gemmer, an employee of the firm.  Other sources indicate that Samuel's son, William S. Hawken, and William's business partner Tristram Campbell, took over the firm, with William continuing with the business after the 1856 breakup of the partnership until he was forced to close the shop in the aftermath of the Panic of 1857.
 
Still other sources claim that the business passed to William L. Watt and Joseph Eterle, who later sold it to Gemmer.  In any event, both Samuel and William relocated to Denver.  Once again, there are conflicting accounts in this chapter of the Hawken saga.  William again entered into the business of manufacturing firearms in Colorado, and Samuel may have done so as well.  Sources claim that Samuel returned to St. Louis in 1861, while William remained in Denver.  Samuel died in 1884 at the age of 92, and William followed him to the grave in 1900.
 
The Hawken rifle has achieved legendary status in the history of the pre-Civil War American West.  Unfortunately, most of the Hawkens produced have not survived to the present day.  Over the past one hundred years, numerous authors have written about these arms and their popularity with the trappers, explorers, hunters, and prospectors who tamed a continent during the 19th century.  As with most legends, myth has become intertwined with fact, and many accounts indicate that just about everyone who ventured to the Rockies before the Civil War carried a Hawken rifle on their trek.
 
While the Hawken brothers undoubtedly produced many rifles, some of which did find their way to the Rocky Mountains and beyond, many other Hawken rifles were purchased and used by residents of Missouri and surrounding areas.  Jacob ans Samuel Hawken weren't the only source for these arms, as many westward-bound adventurers were outfitted with firearms from other makers in St. Louis, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and even Europe.  Nonetheless, the quality of Hawken rifles and their association with such notables as Jim Bridger, Jeremiah Johnson, and Kit Carson cannot be overlooked, and these arms rightfully occupy a prominent place in the history of the United States.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 29th 2017, 7:38 am

Some of these photos (including the labels) from the Cody Museum in Cody, WY I posted before, but I thought they might be interesting shown along with this thread:




I have many other photos of guns from the fur trading period as well as later periods. If anyone wants some, just let me know and I will email them to you.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 29th 2017, 12:50 pm

Thank you very much for the wonderful posts.  I glean new information with every post.

My interest in muzzleloaders back in the 70's was centered on the Pennsylvania longrifles.  Very little attention did I pay to the plains rifle, iron mounted rifle, contract rifles, or Indian trade rifles.  Boy! did I have a total misunderstanding of the relationship and importance of different lines of rifle development back in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

I now have a profound admiration for the Harper's Ferry 1803 rifle in respect to the plains rifle.  Since starting this thread I have purchased and read:
Weapons in Early American History by Gordon and Taylor
Longrifles of North Carolina by Bivins
An Intimate Look at the American Longrifle Its Art and Evolution by The Kentucky Rifle Foundation
Great Gunmakers for the Early West by Gordon

I have another couple of books which should be delivered next week:
The Northwest Gun by Hanson
Missouri Gunsmiths To 1900 by Victor A Paul

Somehow or other I have to settle in my head the importance and place of the Dickert, Leman, Deringer, Hawken, etc with respect to the Rocky Mountain fur trade.  Learning new things is misery, but a pleasant misery.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 29th 2017, 6:29 pm

turkeysnout wrote:
..... I now have a profound admiration for the Harper's Ferry 1803 rifle in respect to the plains rifle.  Since starting this thread I have purchased and read:
Weapons in Early American History by Gordon and Taylor
Longrifles of North Carolina by Bivins
An Intimate Look at the American Longrifle Its Art and Evolution by The Kentucky Rifle Foundation
Great Gunmakers for the Early West by Gordon

I have another couple of books which should be delivered next week:

The Northwest Gun by Hanson
Missouri Gunsmiths To 1900 by Victor A Paul

Somehow or other I have to settle in my head the importance and place of the Dickert, Leman, Deringer, Hawken, etc with respect to the Rocky Mountain fur trade.  Learning new things is misery, but a pleasant misery.


I have been thinking about the requests to do another printing of "Success In The North American Fur Trade". Now looking at a possible e-book deal rather than having to do hard copies that cost you funds up front, and you cross you fingers they sell and you regain your investment. They wouldn't cook up very well for supper......


"Wind River Man" by David Wright.
About our cover.

It has been an on going discussion as to what helped bring back the interest of the Northwest Gun during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Was it “The Museum of the Fur Trade”, articles in the museum “Quarterly” journals or books such as “The Northwest Gun” by Charles E. Hanson, Jr., “Firearms on the Frontier” by T. M. Hamilton, “Trade Muskets or Northwest Guns” by Pryor Mt. Bill Newton? Or was it this beautiful painting by David Wright?

Hanson and many others felt it was this work by David Wright that helped revive the interest in this gun once again.  Thanks David for the use of this beautiful outstanding fine print “Wind River Man”.

The neat part of using this picture is while in The Museum of the Fur Trade library (Charley's office) he was showing me some original parts he had found belonging to NW guns.  The phone ran, Charley was talking about moc design and legging beadwork design for a period correct mountain man. After he hung up he informed me "that was David Wright preparing to do this painting and was wanting to run his ideas by me" past Hanson. A year later the painting came out I bought three of them, six months later needed a cool picture for the book mentioned and ask about getting permission. David's reply was "can you say PLEASE Buck", he got the first printed copy with Charley and Curly getting #no.2 and #no.3.  Then after a dozen of the first books went out the U.S. Library of Congress listed it as a must-have book for students of the North American Fur Trade and did a free copyright for me in 1995.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 30th 2017, 11:42 am

Great story!

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 30th 2017, 1:55 pm

The only reason I brought this book up was most folks don't have an idea of the numbers of early production seen in North America of firearms delivered with just government contracts and manufacturers in our country. 

Here's an example of firearms supplied for a few years from 1813 to 1816. Remember this was firms with government contracts, not counting the numbers being supplied to the trading firms and individual traders which in several reports doubled the government numbers.  Remember we were also in a war at this time - War of 1812.

TYPES OF WEAPONS PRODUCED
Shown below is a list of weapons produced for each year of the four years of contracts. 

ARMS
1813
1814
1815
1816
TOTAL
COMMON GUNS
2,911
5,595
3,806
344
12,656
CHIEF'S GUNS
3,448
2,934
3,645
91
10,118
RIFLES
0
801
737
0
1,538
PISTOLS
531
1,319
786
0
2,636
 
_____
_____
_____
____
______
 
6,890
10,969
8,974
273
26,948
For other archives you may want to check the Canadian and British sources. They should have detailed information on supplies or shipments as well as related items sent to the Indian Trade and who issued them.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   May 30th 2017, 2:03 pm

THIS IS A LIST OF SOME OF THE BETTER KNOWN MANUFACTURERS [they not only made NW Guns but also had muskets (smooth bore & rifled), plains style rifles, double barreled shotguns and pistols (available in flint and later in percussion). These firms were here and abroad.

BARNETT                                                            BARNETT & SONS
BLAIR                                                                   BOND
BRAIZER                                                             F. BRAIZER
BROOK                                                                BROOKS
CH & S CO.                                                          DALES
DAWES   (same manufacturer DAWSE)       DAWSE
DERINGER                                                          DeHUFF
E & W BOND                                                       GEOTZ
GALTON                                                               GILL
GRICE                                                                   KREPS
HAMPTON                                                           HOLLAND
HOLLIS                                                                 HEYLIN
DICKERT                                                             HENRY & CO.
HEYLIN                                                                HENRY
HENRY & SON                                                    JONES
JOYNER                                                               KETLAND & CO.
KETLAND & ALLPORT                                    KETLAND - WALKER & CO.
GHRISKEY                                                          LEMAN
LOWNDES                                                           MORRIS & GRICE             
MOXHAM                                                            PARKER
PARKER FIELD & CO.                                      ROLFE
R & R SUTHERLAND                                       WHEELER
R. PRITCHETT                                                   R & W HOLLIS
SANDWELL & JOYNER                                   SANDWELL
SARGANT & WILSON                                      SHARPE
SPENSER & CO.                                                 SPIES & CLARK
SUTHERLAND                                                   SUTHERLAND & ANDERSON
TRYON & SON                                                   TRYON & CO.
TRYON, MERRICK & CO.                                TULLE
CHANCE                                                              WISE & CO.
W. GRICE                                                            WHATELEY
WHEELER & SON                                             R & W WILSON & CO.
WILSON & CO.                                                   W. CHANCE & CO.
W. CHANCE SON & CO.                                 WILLETS & HOLDEN 

Did anyone notice HAWKEN wasn't mentioned, they weren't the only game in town.   :Grace

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turkeysnout

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   June 1st 2017, 9:39 pm

Well, I received my copy of The Northwest Gun by Hanson, 1955.  It is signed by Hanson and is copy number 2.  I was totally shocked to find that the content and text of this book is reproduced by Hanson in another of his books.  It is word for word, if I am not mistaken.  I might not have purchased it if I had known this.

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PostSubject: Re: J & S Hawken GRRW build - educate me!   June 2nd 2017, 6:56 am

turkeysnout wrote:
Well, I received my copy of The Northwest Gun by Hanson, 1955.  It is signed by Hanson and is copy number 2.  I was totally shocked to find that the content and text of this book is reproduced by Hanson in another of his books.  It is word for word, if I am not mistaken.  I might not have purchased it if I had known this.

PM me, lets talk about this one.

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