Early 19th century Flintlock Fowler converted to Percussion

Last updated: 10 January 2017

Configuration


.54 caliber smooth bore - 57.5" O/A Length - 43" long barrel - cherry stock - brass furniture


Stock forend tip - silver front sight (no rear sight) - hickory ramrod and front pipe

Octagon (15.5" long) to round barrel
Double line moldings along forestock barrel and ramrod channels


Rear ramrod entry pipe


Trigger guard plate with engraved finials


Escutcheon affixed to top of stock wrist


Butt plate with engraved finial


British style buttstock


Flintlock with sliding bar safety converted to Percussion using new hammer and drum/nipple


H NOCK over WARRANTED stamped on lock plate


Liège proof/view stamp
E over LG over star in an oval cartouche
on top of the barrel near breech


Stamping on left side of barrel near breech


Marking on right side of barrel near breech

Notes

I think this gun was originally fabricated by an American Gunmaker as a Flintlock Fowler using imported parts in the early 1800's -- not earlier than 1810 for that was the year the Liège proof mark stamped on the barrel was introduced -- and subsequently converted to percussion by an unknown Gunmaker at an unknown time.

This gun has several characteristics that are often found on Fowlers produced by New England Gunmakers as described and illustrated in FLINTLOCK FOWLERS, The First Guns Made in America - Chapter Four, New England Fowlers (NE 1 - NE 54).

American Gunmakers of this period frequently used mixed and imported parts - sometimes even re-cycling parts from discarded guns.

The great majority of early American Gunmakers did not have either the equipment or raw materials to manufacture locks or barrels. They also frequently made some of their own brass furniture components out of sheet metal stock.

Henry Nock was a well known London lock maker as well as a gun maker and the lock on this gun may have been originally made by him and marketed as a stand-alone flint lock that was subsequently converted to percussion by an unknown gunsmith. On the other hand the H NOCK over WARRANTED stamping on the lock plate may be spurious - added to a Birmingham made lock to enhance its sale ability.

Guns like this one were often used by members of the Militia during the War of 1812 and the early days of the Civil War when firearms were in very short supply.

They were also widely used by Farmers, Settlers, Prospectors, Fur Traders and Indians (trade, treaty and gift guns) on the American Frontier during the War of 1812, the War with Mexico, the California Gold Rush, the Civil War and the Western Wagon Train migration (until the advent of the trans-continental railroad in 1869).

This gun is fairly typical of those sold in the Indian trade by the the Pierre Chouteau & Company of St. Louis.

References


Link to the Historical Arms & Accoutrements Directory