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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I came across this forum today, while trying to find some info on a rifle I have. I like antique percussion rifles,mainly makers from ohio just because thats where I'm from and I find it interesting. This rifle is a .25 caliber I can not fine any maker marks or signature,so I know this is a shot in the dark. I'm curious to see what anyone thinks, and to hear suggestions on what to research to find out. Anyway
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here is the rifle.
 

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PHD is short for PaleHawkDown. He's one of the longtime members of the Forum, and is expert on blackpowder guns. I'd like to hear him on that rifle of yours.
 

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just my thought, and it's only a thought from a gut feeling.
but i think that's a barrel off a winchester lever rifle [probably was a 25-35 at one point] off a model 94 or 64.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
just my thought, and it's only a thought from a gut feeling.
but i think that's a barrel off a winchester lever rifle [probably was a 25-35 at one point] off a model 94 or 64.
The barrel is about 36 inches I don't know if winchester made a barrel that long. I had a few guys at the log cabin look at it the think it's 1850-1880
 

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that's stretching it for a factory rifle, but back in the day you could just get them to make what you wanted.

the main thing i'm seeing there is good work but the drawing and carding on the barrel don't quite match up.
it's a nice rifle either way, and like i said it's just a gut feeling i'm getting from the pictures, and from the dead on measurement.
 

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Absolutely no help incoming:

I can't even tell you how old it is, because it seems to be made out of all commercial parts, which were made anywhere from 1850 through the 1890s. That appears to be a commercial barrel, a commercial lock and commercial brass. The tang appears to be locally forged, as does the nose cap.The rifle is an "Ohio Valley" pattern, but that narrows it down to being made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky or West Virginia. I think we can rule out Tennessee - unless it was later on that timeline, based on the liberal use of commercial hardware - and Indiana based on the overall quality of the work, and the upper 3/4 of Ohio for the same reason.

I also can't tell if it was always half-stocked. I suspect it was since all the steel matches, but there appears to be an incongruous cap at the end of the forearm that doesn't match the the rest of the gun. The silver color is OK, and typical for the W.V., Kentucky, and Ohio guns, but I've never seen that design before.

Based off the caliber, cheek rest, and length, this would look to be a target rifle, rather than a small game rifle.

This is all conjecture, however, as "Ohio Valley" guns are notoriously hard to track down.

For some reason, every immigrant German or English woodworker, blacksmith and farrier seemed to move to the Ohio Valley and set themselves up as "guns makers". With the liberal use of commercial parts, I would almost suspect that this is such a gun made by someone comfortable with wood work. The stock shows professional woodworking skills, but the rest of the gun is basically a very well made "kit". That would explain why it wasn't marked, as most "real" gunsmiths of this era had at least passing familiarity with engraving or stamping.

In summation:
Probably 1850-1880-ish - no later since pretty much only "Appalachian" and "plains" rifles were still being made with these parts by the 1890s, and I would go so far as to say no later than 1870s for most regions because of the use of pins rather than wedges.
Probably narrowed it down West Virginia, Ohio, or Kentucky.
Mostly off-the-rack parts
Made by a talented amateur

That's my best educated guess, insufficient though it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Absolutely no help incoming:

I can't even tell you how old it is, because it seems to be made out of all commercial parts, which were made anywhere from 1850 through the 1890s. That appears to be a commercial barrel, a commercial lock and commercial brass. The tang appears to be locally forged, as does the nose cap.The rifle is an "Ohio Valley" pattern, but that narrows it down to being made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky or West Virginia. I think we can rule out Tennessee - unless it was later on that timeline, based on the liberal use of commercial hardware - and Indiana based on the overall quality of the work, and the upper 3/4 of Ohio for the same reason.

I also can't tell if it was always half-stocked. I suspect it was since all the steel matches, but there appears to be an incongruous cap at the end of the forearm that doesn't match the the rest of the gun. The silver color is OK, and typical for the W.V., Kentucky, and Ohio guns, but I've never seen that design before.

Based off the caliber, cheek rest, and length, this would look to be a target rifle, rather than a small game rifle.

This is all conjecture, however, as "Ohio Valley" guns are notoriously hard to track down.

For some reason, every immigrant German or English woodworker, blacksmith and farrier seemed to move to the Ohio Valley and set themselves up as "guns makers". With the liberal use of commercial parts, I would almost suspect that this is such a gun made by someone comfortable with wood work. The stock shows professional woodworking skills, but the rest of the gun is basically a very well made "kit". That would explain why it wasn't marked, as most "real" gunsmiths of this era had at least passing familiarity with engraving or stamping.

In summation:
Probably 1850-1880-ish - no later since pretty much only "Appalachian" and "plains" rifles were still being made with these parts by the 1890s, and I would go so far as to say no later than 1870s for most regions because of the use of pins rather than wedges.
Probably narrowed it down West Virginia, Ohio, or Kentucky.
Mostly off-the-rack parts
Made by a talented amateur

That's my best educated guess, insufficient though it is.
I figured it would be ohio valley, the guys at the log cabin said pretty much the same thing. I was pretty intrigued by the cap on the forearm too I have never seen another design like that either. There is possibly an initial on the top flat of the barrel, I want to think is is a BW or SW but you can't make it out clear enough to tell weather it is a scratch in the barrel or actually an initial. But it is a nice rifle and the mystery of it make it neat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ohiorifle: Sir; stop by Introduction

share a few words about yourself:

share a few words about yourself;

Thanks,
Craig
Well my name is Travis I'm 32 years old, I live in ohio. Married with a little girl. I am an avid hunter and angler. I collect guns I can't seem to get enough of them even though my wife thinks otherwise lol. I am a heavy equipment mechanic by trade, play with some old race cars as well. I'm glad to be part of the forum and look forward to learning and seeing new things.
 

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Well my name is Travis I'm 32 years old, I live in ohio. Married with a little girl. I am an avid hunter and angler. I collect guns I can't seem to get enough of them even though my wife thinks otherwise lol. I am a heavy equipment mechanic by trade, play with some old race cars as well. I'm glad to be part of the forum and look forward to learning and seeing new things.
Welcome to the forum Sir!
 

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Absolutely no help incoming:

I can't even tell you how old it is, because it seems to be made out of all commercial parts, which were made anywhere from 1850 through the 1890s. That appears to be a commercial barrel, a commercial lock and commercial brass. The tang appears to be locally forged, as does the nose cap.The rifle is an "Ohio Valley" pattern, but that narrows it down to being made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky or West Virginia. I think we can rule out Tennessee - unless it was later on that timeline, based on the liberal use of commercial hardware - and Indiana based on the overall quality of the work, and the upper 3/4 of Ohio for the same reason.

I also can't tell if it was always half-stocked. I suspect it was since all the steel matches, but there appears to be an incongruous cap at the end of the forearm that doesn't match the the rest of the gun. The silver color is OK, and typical for the W.V., Kentucky, and Ohio guns, but I've never seen that design before.

Based off the caliber, cheek rest, and length, this would look to be a target rifle, rather than a small game rifle.

This is all conjecture, however, as "Ohio Valley" guns are notoriously hard to track down.

For some reason, every immigrant German or English woodworker, blacksmith and farrier seemed to move to the Ohio Valley and set themselves up as "guns makers". With the liberal use of commercial parts, I would almost suspect that this is such a gun made by someone comfortable with wood work. The stock shows professional woodworking skills, but the rest of the gun is basically a very well made "kit". That would explain why it wasn't marked, as most "real" gunsmiths of this era had at least passing familiarity with engraving or stamping.

In summation:
Probably 1850-1880-ish - no later since pretty much only "Appalachian" and "plains" rifles were still being made with these parts by the 1890s, and I would go so far as to say no later than 1870s for most regions because of the use of pins rather than wedges.
Probably narrowed it down West Virginia, Ohio, or Kentucky.
Mostly off-the-rack parts
Made by a talented amateur

That's my best educated guess, insufficient though it is.
You are underrating yourself, sir. For an "educated guess," you've narrowed down the probable origin and era of the rifle very well, and explained your reasoning.

I knew there were companies that sort of subcontracted to the big gunmakers in Connecticut's "Gun Valley," but I never made the mental jump to the fact storekeepers and gunsmiths could order components and have them shipped out to them, and then build their own rifles out of pieces parts. I suppose I have this view of frontier gunsmiths as being akin to wizards in the story books, who built and repaired firearms almost by magic!
 
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You are underrating yourself, sir. For an "educated guess," you've narrowed down the probable origin and era of the rifle very well, and explained your reasoning.

I knew there were companies that sort of subcontracted to the big gunmakers in Connecticut's "Gun Valley," but I never made the mental jump to the fact storekeepers and gunsmiths could order components and have them shipped out to them, and then build their own rifles out of pieces parts. I suppose I have this view of frontier gunsmiths as being akin to wizards in the story books, who built and repaired firearms almost by magic!
There were numerous commercial lockmakers. Most of the ones in America were located in New York, Connecticut or Pennsylvania, but the bulk of them, in general, came from Britain. I have also seen Belgian, French, Thuringian and Hessian locks on American guns.

I actually saw a Pennsylvania rifle with an elaborate, ornate, and over-complicated Hessian-style percussion lock last weekend at the gun show. I didn't get the chance to ask the guy about it, though. Every time I tried to wander over there I would get called back to my tables.

Weirdly, a lot of the Ohio Valley and Appalachian gunsmiths would (crudely) make everything from scratch except the lock. I never understood that. A good barrel is more important, and harder to make, than a lock, and more likely to cripple or kill you if you get it wrong. You can make a Hopkins and Allen style "lock" out of three pieces of scrap metal and three screws.
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