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 Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop

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RonC
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Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty
PostSubject: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-03, 16:56

The proprietor had taken in a few commercial muzzleloaders (T/C and Traditions) and a custom, Frankenstein muzzle loading rifle from the estate of a recently deceased individual.
I decided to check on the flint lock's maker's name. He was W.G. Sutter, a gunsmith out of Ruff Dale, PA who was building long rifles from 1940's through the 1970s. A search on his name told me that he mostly made locks, but did make several rifles. He supplied locks to Dixie Gun Works.
The rifle is HEAVY. Probably made for supported shooting. Most of the weight is forward of the lock. As a 45 cal, most of the metal is left in the barrel, and there is a lot of barrel, 42".
Also, the stock has a lot of excess wood and is quite bulky, but the workmanship is good.
The patch box does not seem to be of the same era as the rest of the rifle.

Criticisms aside, the price was too good to pass up. Here it is. All comments and critiques are welcome.
Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter11
Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter13
lock.
Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter15

Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter18
Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter12
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-03, 20:47

A beauty!
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-03, 20:47

Very neat.
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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-03, 21:22

I do feel very fortunate.
Originally, I wasn't going to buy it and was just looking around. The gun shop owner didn't know much about muzzleloaders so I showed him how to clean the bores of all the rifles from the estate. All the rifles bores were filthy! I came back the next day with a field ram rod, patches and a container of water with detergent in it and cleaned all the rifles.  I also brought a bore scope (Harbor Freight). After cleaning, I could see that the bore of this rifle was perfect.

It will take a little work to bring the rifle up to snuff. The trigger is very heavy. The hammer and flint will not drive the frizzen all the way back. I need to find a bolt that holds the upper and lower jaws and flint together. There is a regular, modern bolt that does the job but doesn't stand up high enough to grip to cock the hammer.
Ron

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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 08:11

One of these days I'm hoping to stroll into a shop and discover an abandoned lefty side lock in .45.  Not had much luck yet... but always looking for a unique find like you did.  

RonC, do you know what kind of wood is on the smoker...and how "HEAVY" is heavy Question
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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 08:20

Marty,
I am looking for opinions on what wood it is. Is it walnut? I don't know my woods well enough to judge.

My plan is to weigh it today. First, I have to locate a front end loader to pick it up. Very Happy It is by far the heaviest rifle I own. I have to hold it far up on the stock to balance the front end weight. This rifle needs to be shot off a table.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 08:33

I'll draw a tight-fitting patch up the barrel and try to determine a twist. It looks like a slow twist.

Of course I had no intentions of buying another black powder rifle when I went into the shop, but I just couldn't fight the muzzleloader bug once it bit. The shop owner always treats me well and the price was very reasonable, so I didn't even negotiate.

My guess is that it was built in the 60s or 70s, but I have no evidence to support that. It was either not used much or cared for so well that it looks like it could have been built 5 years ago. The lock looks almost new from the exterior and mildly used inside. There are a few, but only a few use marks on the stock. As I mentioned, the bore looks great. Wish I had a little history on it.

Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 08:55

Hi Ron
The wood looks to be walnut from the picture. It has beautiful figure in it. Nice looking rifle. I bet our friend Jack Brooks could help you with getting the lock going. Of course I know that thought has already crossed your mind. Glad to see the gun buying spirit is still there. Al

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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 10:05

That be my guess as well BigAl52 on being walnut.
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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 11:04

I have a weight on the rifle.
The scale said that I weigh 150 and the gun was less than I expected - only 10 lbs.
OK, I shouldn't lie. After all, I am not a politician. I do not weigh 150 (not since middle school). My weight is closer to zwei hunert und mumpety mumph. Still, the rifle is about 10 lbs.

Using the method of measuring the twist by pulling a tight patch on a rod that rotates freely through the bore, I found that there was about 1/2 rotation in 41 or 42 inches. I suppose the twist is 1/66 to 1/70 or so.
Al, your muzzleloading acquisition disease is contagious! Very Happy 
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 14:11

As clean-looking as the lock is, I thought it might be in unfired condition but you said the bores were all dirty so that thought is gone.

It looks pristine.

If it's too heavy, send it to Bobby Hoyt to bore out to a .54 or .58. That will lighten it up.

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-04, 22:23

I think I have the frizzen problem resolved.
First, I used a slight amount of lubricating oil on the various screws on the lock.  A strike by the flint then sent the frizzen a little further back.
I polished the surfaces where the springs contact the lock plate. The hammer and flint moved father down the frizzen. Then I loosened the sear screw and bridle screws so all moved freely. Voila, Viola, Walla (or however that French term is spelled)! The hammer completed its movement and the frizzen went all the way back.
There were sparks aplenty
Ron

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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-05, 07:29

I neglected one photo of the stock. Here is the carving on the left side:
RonFound an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter20

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-05, 11:46

man that is one hell of a rifle! Looks like its built like a tank.

Walnut? I was thinking cherry? Im not sure though, the lines in the wood just dont scream walnut.
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-05, 17:54

I have learned on other muzzleloader sites that there are strong feelings on one side or the other for rifles like this. Some like its uniqueness and solid build. Others despise any gun that is made of parts from different periods.
Strong eagle like it and said that there is a history of "thrown together" rifles such as those he saw in Deadwood. On another site, a fellow said he hoped I didn't pay too much for this piece because he thought it to be worthless.
My thought is that it was made in the 70s or late 60s, before our hobby had readily obtained, detailed descriptions and books on historically accurate configurations of muzzleloaders. An alternative possibility is that it may have been an early kit rifle from Dixie Gun Works.
Regardless, I just learned a lot by working with the lock and fixing the problems with it.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 14:05

This was not a thrown together rifle, have seen several on collectors sites made by this gentleman.


W.G. Sutter (Worthe G.) born in RuffsdalePA in 1896. As a young boy began working with his grandfather John C. He began making rifles flint and percussion in the 1920's. Hand made from muzzle to butt, outstanding workmanship of the old school. Also made locks. Featured in an article in Muzzle Blasts ...

This was one of Sutter's handmade locks Ron very common for the day.

Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Wg.sutter
W. G Sutter at work.

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Last edited by Buck Conner on 2018-02-20, 14:20; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 14:13

@strong eagle wrote:
....  it has been proven by science that the dumber you are the more you think you know everything .... 

One of the best sayings that fits about everything is .... "The older I get the better I was" ...  ear bug

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 14:36

@RonC wrote:

  1. I decided to check on the flint lock's maker's name. He was W.G. Sutter, a gunsmith out of Ruff Dale, PA who was building long rifles from 1940's through the 1970s. 
  2. A search on his name told me that he mostly made locks, but did make several rifles. He supplied locks to Dixie Gun Works.
  3. Also, the stock has a lot of excess wood and is quite bulky, but the workmanship is good.
  4. The patch box does not seem to be of the same era as the rest of the rifle.




  1. W.G. Sutter was born in 1896. As a young boy began working with his grandfather John C. He began making rifles flint and percussion in the 1920's with your thoughts he would have been in his mid to late 60's. Dixie Gun Works was started in 1954, Turner was a family friend from the late 1940's he bought locks from anyone that was in the business.
  2. Sutter made a lot of complete guns, as well as parts, one of his biggest incomes was from repairs and making parts no longer available. Look at the back wall and the Savage revolver and pistol hanging to his left (probably in for repairs).
  3. To me Ron this looks like a restocked gun (the Roman Nose style of butt stock was gaining in the muzzleloading circles about this time). Just a guess, it was probably not that large if we could see the original stock. Jack Gardner was pushing this Golden Age design about that time through Dixie's catalogs.
  4. That's correct, probably from the late 70's early 80's (after market piece).

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 14:54

That is valuable information, Buck!
I can always count on your vast experience and depth of knowledge of muzzle loader history.
Thanks,
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 15:01

Here's some of Sutters work.

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=3246.0


http://rowleyauctions.hibid.com/lot/59799-66481-39131/w--g--sutter-flint-lock-50-cal-muzzle-loader-wall/

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 16:02

Here's a good comparison of an original Sutter rifle and your my friend.

Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Sutter11

Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop 56882240
Look at how flat the top of the butt stock is when compared to yours Ron.

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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-20, 20:46

The bend at the wrist is straighter on the photo you found. Mine seems to have a more gradual curve to it.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-21, 07:23

If your referring to the arch on top of the butt as "a more gradual curve", that curve is called a "Roman Nose".

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-21, 09:33

Buck, I am referring to the transition from the top of the stock just behind the lock to the buttstock as it passes through the narrow wrist.
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop   Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Empty2018-02-21, 10:07

Found an interesting flint lock at a local gun shop Noses

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