St. Louis Sporting Rifle

Andy54Hawken

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So what we have here is a fancy Sporting Rifle of the 1840s to the 1860's.
One could also call it a Plains Rifle or Mountain Rifle due to the caliber.
Most Plains or Mountain Rifles were in calibers of .47 or larger.....

Its a .50 caliber , walnut , half stocked percussion rifle...with some "extras"
The "extras" being :
Checkering is on the wrist of the stock...
Two gold bands inlaid near the breech...
A fancy brass inlay on the underside of the forearm...
A Finely engraved patch or cap box...
Fancy side plate...

F.E. Seiferth was the maker of this rifle.
He had a shop in St. Louis from the 1840's to the 1860's
This rifle still gets shot today at times in various rifle shooting matches or at rendezvous.

Enjoy the pictures below...:D
( if you click on the pictures , they get larger )
Andy
DSC06619 (1).jpg
Right side of the rifle.
DSC06621 (1).jpg
Detail of the back action percussion lock.
DSC06622 (1).jpg
Detail of the patch / cap box...this particular design is often called a "Pineapple" .
DSC06628 (1).jpg
Inlay on the underside of the forearm...this is at times called a "wear plate"...used to keep the saddle from rubbing away the forearm.
Also it can be used to cover a "Oops moment" , when drilling the ramrod channel in stock.
DSC06632 (1).jpg
The engraved side plate...also note the gold bands near the breech and the "St. Louis" stamping ahead of the bands.
 
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Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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Very cool and beautiful.
Looking at the lock works, was the rifle in rough shape when it came into your hands?
Not so bad...
The stock had some shrinkage...and dents and dings....
The wrist area and lock bolt side of many muzzle loaders , tend to take a lot of abuse .
There is quite a bit of finish wear near the lock...this is from percussion cap flash and erosion.
Common sense and judgement played a role in just what to repair or refinish in this rifle for sure.

What was done was :
A careful light cleaning....
The rifle's breech plug was removed and cleaned then re-installed...
A new front sight made and installed....the one that was on the rifle when I got it ...was plastic...:eek:
The lock internals were given a good cleaning.
Andy
 
Another fascinating "live history" lesson- really makes the room what it is! Thanks, Andy for sharing that rifle with the rest of us, it is a real piece of American history- if only it could talk.... what does it weigh? And, wasn't .50 cal a bit undersized for the plains rifles, they being usually .53/.54 cal and up? (So I have heard, Im no expert on the subject)... Very nice rifle!:)
 
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Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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Another fascinating "live history" lesson- really makes the room what it is! Thanks, Andy for sharing that rifle with the rest of us, it is a real piece of American history- if only it could talk.... what does it weigh? And, wasn't .50 cal a bit undersized for the plains rifles, they being usually .53/.54 cal and up? (So I have heard, Im no expert on the subject)... Very nice rifle!:)
Thank you...!

Here is a very broad general rule :
Depending on the time frame...a "mountain rifle" was in the .47 -.52 caliber range for the "classic" mountain man / rendezvous period , circa 1800 - 1840...from the 1840's and beyond...the calibers got larger as the fur trade focused on the buffalo hides....calibers from .53 - .60 were seen more often.

With that said...
If one looks long enough you can find almost any caliber for any time period or even location.
The average caliber in my collection is about .47 caliber.
Rifle calibers in the collection , range from .32 - .69 caliber.
Andy
 

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