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 Guns Of The Mountain Men

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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 10th 2018, 5:57 pm

Ask about anyone what rifles the beaver trappers and mountain men carried with them and you will be told they carried Hawken guns made by Sam and Jacob Hawken in St Louis.

I thought so too. But a little more reading and google searching turned this up. I also stated in another thread that I also suspected that those eastern men who came west probably brought their eastern rifles with them and used them in the mountains. It looks like my guess was correct. And there were many more non Hawken rifles in the mountains than you would think. This article makes it sound like Hawkens were sort of scarce by comparison. Its a good read. Hope you like it.

http://traditionalmuzzleloader.com/index.php/rifles


http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/B051_Hanson.pdf

This rifle maker also supplied a lot of the rifles used by trappers and explorers and supplied trade rifles to the government. Henry lemon supplied a huge amount of rifles for a long period of time until his death and the closing of his plant.


Last edited by burlesontom on September 11th 2018, 12:57 pm; edited 4 times in total
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OldMtnMan

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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 11th 2018, 6:41 am

Not many in the know believe the Hawken stories anymore. That's why i'm going to have built an Isacc Hanes rifle. Which was one of the Pennsylvania builders.

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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 11th 2018, 4:45 pm

I hope you post some pictures of the gun when you get it.

After the stories, books and movies you would think Hawken guns were everywhere. But they weren't. They were in the deep minority compared to the other guns available. And it was surprising how many flintlock guns were ordered from Leman compared to the cap lock guns even as late as the 1860s. And for the price of one Hawken you could buy 4-6 Leman rifles.

I have been giving the Leman rifle at TVM a good looking at. Its a nice no frills rifle and that what I like. Will I get one? Who knows. I have to think about it. scratch


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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 11th 2018, 5:53 pm

They got it right in the movie The Revenant. Nothing but longrifle flintlocks in that movie.

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JLBSparks



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 11th 2018, 7:18 pm

The Revenant timeline was 1823, about the time the Hawkens were getting started. Probably not many in the field at that time.

   -Joe
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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 12th 2018, 11:12 am

"They got it right in the movie The Revenant. Nothing but longrifle flintlocks in that movie".

The guns and gear was about the only thing they got right in the movie. The time of year, the story and most everything else was a farce. Too bad. That story had the potential to be the best mountain man movie ever made.


Last edited by burlesontom on September 12th 2018, 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 12th 2018, 11:18 am

@JLBSparks wrote:
The Revenant timeline was 1823, about the time the Hawkens were getting started. Probably not many in the field at that time.

   -Joe

Yes the percussion cap had just been invented and wasn't in widespread use till 1830 or so. And the point of my post was that in the overall picture Hawken rifles were a bit player. The best of guns but just not enough of them to go around. Plus Hawken guns cost 4-6 times as much as guns from other makers.
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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 12th 2018, 7:28 pm

H.E. Leman guns: Trade Rifles, Indian Trade Rifles and NW Trade Guns covered a lot of what was being used. Charles E. Hanson, Jr. showed me a late Leman NW Trade Gun that was still in flint 30 years way past the flintlock's prime (the paperwork showed it was purchased as is in the mid 1850's). Many of those that lived in the hills and mountains weren't interested in percussion guns, they could alway find rocks that would spark, percussion caps were questionable into the 1860's according to Hanson.

I have an original late H.E. Leman fullstock percussion 36 inch barrel in.50 caliber. Also have a original H.E. Leman halfstock percussion 30 inch barrel in .52 caliber. We used both of these for examples for GRRW Collector Association Leman guns.

GRRW LEMAN INDIAN TRADE RIFLE

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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 12th 2018, 9:14 pm

Buck. You really need to post more pictures. Please.
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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 13th 2018, 10:31 am


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burlesontom



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 13th 2018, 1:32 pm

Hi Buck. I was hoping you would show some pictures of your personally owned guns.
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strong eagle



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 13th 2018, 4:42 pm

if you go to the fur traders museum just east of chadron ne you wont 

see any hawken rifles. you will see dozens and dozens of smooth bore fur trade english trade rifles in every shape and size they made. 99 percent rock locks. lots of eastern made percussion rifles of every type. up in north dak in their museum at the state capital they have a real hawken rifle. it was used to kill buffalo and could not be held from the shoulder. the barrel is about 1 and 1/2 inches in diam and the bore was 70 but most likely bigger. it had been shot so much that it has several grooves in the muzzle from the ram rod going down the bore. the wood and lock and every thing is perfect but the bore is shot out. it was shot out on cross sticks and took hundereds of buffalo. so much for the sharps only theory. its a good, one of a kind gun but again could not be held from the shoulder. the hunters shot what they could buy and hawkens were very very rare.
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 13th 2018, 5:42 pm

Strong Eagles last sentence said it. An is that not what a lot of us still do?( I am assuming he meant what they could afford!)
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 14th 2018, 11:03 am

@strong eagle wrote:
if you go to the fur traders museum just east of chadron ne you wont 

see any hawken rifles. you will see dozens and dozens of smooth bore fur trade english trade rifles in every shape and size they made. 99 percent rock locks. lots of eastern made percussion rifles of every type. 

Charles E. Hanson Jr. was a very close friend that started the Museum of the Fur Trade. I would drive 7 hours on Friday night to Chardon, stay the weekend with the Hanson's and head home at noon on Sunday, did this 4-5 times a year. Charley always had something new to show me in his gun library (very few ever got to see his library). The HBC and Northwest Trade Guns came from Europe not just England like many think, there were a good percentage that came from here too like Tryon, Leman and a few others. 

In "Success In The North American Fur Trade" (my book) which Charley and Curly G. helded with - we found (131)  manufacturers that had made at least 250 guns each. Charley had found only (51) manufactures in his book "The NW Trade Gun". 

Last count was running about 82% were flintlock or flintlock converted to percussion. What I found interesting is flintlock were still being ordered up to the 1860's per Proofing House records. HBC had single shot shotguns being made up into the 1950's, they look like an H&R single shot shotgun but stamped "HBC" on the barrels (looked at orders on these but found no manufacture).

Many of the well used rifles that are seen today have been freshened (bored out to correct problems), now smooth bores. 

Hawken brothers came into the later days of the fur trade, Leman, Tryon, and others were big player in the early days on into and right up to the end when cartridge guns were introduced. Then Ballards, Sharps, Remington single shots made their way into the buffalo era.

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   September 14th 2018, 11:11 am

@R. Boone wrote:
Strong Eagles last sentence said it. An is that not what a lot of us still do?( I am assuming he meant what they could afford!)

I sold the last two original NW Trade Guns a few years ago to a pair of guys that are collectors. One of the guys is Ryan Gale, very nice man to deal with.

    

The pre. 1810 Sharpe NW Trade Gun was originally purchased by my father for a $1.25 (high because of its condition) in 1931 and I sold it to Mr. Gale for over $3,500 in 2009. Nice profit.

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Rifleman1776



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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   Yesterday at 9:40 am

Buck, very interesting and informative post. Yes, there were many different types of long guns, not just rifles, used in the mountains. But, the Hawken has been glamorized to the point where many believe it was the only rifle a self-respecting mountain man would carry. I have been reading mountain man fiction recently (8 books in past month or so) and all give that (mis)impression.
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PostSubject: Re: Guns Of The Mountain Men   Yesterday at 3:29 pm

Agreed, that's the writer's option (until he gets questioned, then some start backing up about what they said)....  Evil or Very Mad

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