What is this? Collection Muzzleldrs Hawken Rifle Identification

SDolson822

Cadet
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
I am aware that this is not in any way a civil war firearm, but I figured the time period is close enough that maybe someone in these forums would be able to offer some help.

There is a Hawken rifle in my house, which was purchased by my 3rd Great Grandfather when he and his family moved to Missouri from Westmoreland County, VA sometime in the 1840s. I know this rifle is definitely a family heirloom and is quite old, but can't determine where or when it was made, or if it is even an actual Hawken or a knock-off. I have examined it pretty closely and was unable to find any form of etching, carving or stamping that could offer any information about it. If anyone has any idea how I could potentially ID the rifle, it would be extremely appreciated!

I have more photos and the gun on hand if needed.
20210316_171553.jpg

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SDolson822

Cadet
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Edit: After I did some gentle cleaning of the gun, I saw a very faint stamp on the barrel. Appears to say --M.A. Co. NY--
That is the only marking I have found on the gun. I did many searches online and have come up empty-handed. It's kind of a longshot, but again, if anyone knows what M.A. Company is from NY, I would be grateful for some info!
 

KianGaf

First Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
I am aware that this is not in any way a civil war firearm,

It was on the list of ACW firearms on Wikipedia that's what brought me here. I know that list isn't an exact science but it might have seen some service early in the war or with militia. When you consider that John Burns used his 1812 flintlock at Gettysburg its possible.
 

Dave DuBrucq

Corporal
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Location
Tennessee
I'm no expert on Hawken Rifles, although I did at one time own a 50 cal reproduction. Your rifle is in remarkably good condition for it's age. Although I can't speak to it's value, you have a provenance and I am betting given it's fine condition it is a piece of considerable value. have it appraised and insure it, it is a real treasure!
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
I am aware that this is not in any way a civil war firearm, but I figured the time period is close enough that maybe someone in these forums would be able to offer some help.

There is a Hawken rifle in my house, which was purchased by my 3rd Great Grandfather when he and his family moved to Missouri from Westmoreland County, VA sometime in the 1840s. I know this rifle is definitely a family heirloom and is quite old, but can't determine where or when it was made, or if it is even an actual Hawken or a knock-off. I have examined it pretty closely and was unable to find any form of etching, carving or stamping that could offer any information about it. If anyone has any idea how I could potentially ID the rifle, it would be extremely appreciated!

I have more photos and the gun on hand if needed.
View attachment 394441
View attachment 394442
Do you know the caliber ? Hawkens are supposed to be .50 caliber and up. I am no expert but I haven't seen an actual Hawken rifle with the style of lock plate yours has . They usually have 2 barrel wedges or keys as well . If it isn't a Hawken I wouldn't call it a knock off . It looks to be a beautiful half-stock hunting rifle in amazing condition . Is there any pitting at all around the lock or vent ?
 

SDolson822

Cadet
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Madison county NY ??
I was thinking it would mean a company with the initials of M.A., but that could also possibly be it.


I'm no expert on Hawken Rifles, although I did at one time own a 50 cal reproduction. Your rifle is in remarkably good condition for it's age. Although I can't speak to it's value, you have a provenance and I am betting given it's fine condition it is a piece of considerable value. have it appraised and insure it, it is a real treasure!
Beautiful gun, whatever it is...and it almost looks new.
Yeah I agree, it is a really cool piece. We tried to have it appraised some time back, but we were unable to get any specific ideas on how much it is worth due to having such a small amount of info about it.


Do you know the caliber ? Hawkens are supposed to be .50 caliber and up. I am no expert but I haven't seen an actual Hawken rifle with the style of lock plate yours has . They usually have 2 barrel wedges or keys as well . If it isn't a Hawken I wouldn't call it a knock off . It looks to be a beautiful half-stock hunting rifle in amazing condition . Is there any pitting at all around the lock or vent ?
Yeah after doing some digging I found the correct name for the type of gun is just a Plains Rifle, with Hawken being the most famous brand. I have already concluded this is not a Hawken, but it is still considerably old. I am unsure of the caliber, as the muzzle is so worn down you can barely make out any rifling anymore. However I measured it and it appears to be somewhere in the ranges of .42 - .48 caliber. There is a bit of pitting, but it does not appear to really have done damage to the gun itself, the action and hammer all still work. See pics below


Extra images of the gun. some photo are a bit blurry, it's difficult to photograph some of the smaller details.

The front sight is a bit loose and has chipped slightly, it appears to be a piece of either ivory or bone.
Pitting around the barrel, as well as burnt varnish and greyed wood behind the hammer, I presume from the heat.
A photo of the stamp, located between the hammer and the gun's rear sight. It is a bit hard to make out in the photo, but it does for sure say M.A. Co. NY
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Thanks all for coming and sharing your thoughts!
Also if anyone wants extra pics of other parts or details, feel free to ask.
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
I was thinking it would mean a company with the initials of M.A., but that could also possibly be it.




Yeah I agree, it is a really cool piece. We tried to have it appraised some time back, but we were unable to get any specific ideas on how much it is worth due to having such a small amount of info about it.



Yeah after doing some digging I found the correct name for the type of gun is just a Plains Rifle, with Hawken being the most famous brand. I have already concluded this is not a Hawken, but it is still considerably old. I am unsure of the caliber, as the muzzle is so worn down you can barely make out any rifling anymore. However I measured it and it appears to be somewhere in the ranges of .42 - .48 caliber. There is a bit of pitting, but it does not appear to really have done damage to the gun itself, the action and hammer all still work. See pics below


Extra images of the gun. some photo are a bit blurry, it's difficult to photograph some of the smaller details.

The front sight is a bit loose and has chipped slightly, it appears to be a piece of either ivory or bone.
Pitting around the barrel, as well as burnt varnish and greyed wood behind the hammer, I presume from the heat.
A photo of the stamp, located between the hammer and the gun's rear sight. It is a bit hard to make out in the photo, but it does for sure say M.A. Co. NY
View attachment 399368View attachment 399371View attachment 399370View attachment 399369

Thanks all for coming and sharing your thoughts!
Also if anyone wants extra pics of other parts or details, feel free to ask.
Thanks for the new images . M.A. Co. NY might just be the barrel maker . The Hawken brothers initially made their own barrels , but later used other manufacturers . It's a good possibility other gun makers would do the same .
 
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