This youngster is a hybrid, a Hawken influenced English sporting rifle.
Or is it an English influenced early Hawken product? I ask the question
’cause I think that the St. Louis based Hawken Bros. were greatly
influenced by the fine quality English rifles they saw coming thru town
on the way to the Shining Mountains in the hands of early English
adventurers and sportsmen.
The flintlock here is a late English double-throated lock, typical of the genre and the times. The flintlock has been re-worked with a better spring and sear, it’s a fine sparker now.
Most English Sporting Rifles in the 1820-40 era had a walnut stock, flat shotgun buttplates, a beavertail cheekpeice, a short tang on a hooked breech, often holding a part octagon-part round barrel, a large bowed trigger guard, an ebony wood fore-end tip and of course a flintlock. The lock side-bolt escutcheon was very under-stated and very plain.
The Hawkens modified that basic design by substituting stronger maple, retaining the American styled curved buttplate, switching the ebony fore-end to iron (often silver plated- as on this rifle) and adding an extra long Double Set Trigger double bolted to a long tang.
This last is the truly unique feature of Hawken rifles, demonstrating the engineering genius of the Hawkens.
This rifle sports a 58 caliber Green River RifleWorks barrel, 30″ long, octagon to round, a super strong plain maple stock with great grain through the wrist, a flintlock hooked britch, iron scroll trigger guard and curved buttplate, German silver ovals and fore-end cap. The counter-bored touch-hole is sunsetted just right for quick ignition. The rifle is finished with deep tones, what a frontier smith might have done with maple to fake an English walnut stocked rifle. It’s lighter than most Bridger style Hawkens and should make a great hunter as well as represent a sample of what an early half stock flint Hawken might have looked like.