Early Hawken Flint Rifle,
.54 caliber, 38" Green Mountain barrel,
flint lock, curly maple, iron trim, cracked stock
by John Bergmann
Part Number: AAR-370
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This fullstock Hawken rifle is offered as a fixer-upper at a lower price, because there is a significant crack through the lock mortise. The rifle appears to be in unfired condition, beautifully shaped, neatly fitted and finished, and signed on the top flat of the barrel by the popular muzzle loading gunmaker, Mr. John Bergmann. Stocked in nicely figured tiger stripe maple, this hand made flint Hawken rifle is trimmed in iron furniture, all of which has been browned to match the lock and barrel. Weighing in at 9.6 pounds the fullstock rifle has a trigger reach of 13-1/4" making the gun well suited for today's average size shooter.

The .54 caliber 1" straight octagon 38" Green Mountain barrel is cut rifled with eight equal lands and grooves. The deep rifling has a slow 1 in 70" twist, for tightly patched round balls. Finished a dark chocolate brown the barrel has been signed by the builder, J.F. Bergmann, and the left oblique flat is stamped .54 near the breech. Internally the bore is bright and ready to shoot. A silver blade front sight set in a copper base is dovetailed 1-1/2" behind the muzzle. A semi-buckhorn rear sight is dovetailed 9" ahead of the breech.

The curly maple stock is stained dark with an oil finish. The stock has a significant stress crack that starts 1" behind the lock bolt and follows the side plate up through the lock panel. It then extends all the way through the lock mortise, and comes through on the lower front of the lock panel before extending 2" into the forearm. The stress of the wood expanding two different ways has forced the barrel to pull forward and we note a gap between the breech plug and the tang. It is recommended that this rifle be properly repaired before firing. Firing the rifle in its current condition could cause extensive damage.

Correctly trimmed entirely in iron, in the early Hawken style, this rifle has a modestly curved early buttplate, to minimize the recoil from the big .54 caliber bore. Notice the long tang, with two tang screws that anchor the tang to the long trigger plate, reinforcing the wrist, a classic feature of rugged Hawken rifles. Screw slots of the tang bolts are neatly aligned with the barrel, a nice touch. Another nice feature is the flint hooked breech, which allows easy cleaning. Removing the three barrel keys, with thumb pressure, allows the barrel to be lifted from the stock for cleaning.

Our bottom view shows the toeplate and early Hawken double set triggers, which are made with a very long trigger bar. Two screws enter from the long steel tang, re-enforcing the wrist from above and below. The steel sandwich along the wrist was a desirable feature for the Mountain Man, when trapping in Colorado. Notice the early Hawken triggerguard, with flat grip rail, which follows the wrist. The cheek piece tapers to the rear, to recoil away from your face, a wise design for a big bore rifle. The smooth chocolate brown finish of the barrel, lock, and iron trim are complimented by the golden undertones of the figured curly maple. The 7/16" diameter ramrod is fitted with an iron tip to accept 8-32 cleaning and loading accessories. The ramrod passes through two browned ramrod pipes and a matching entry pipe. A browned muzzle cap protects the end grain of the forearm.

This fine Hawken flint rifle is fitted with L&R's best Ashmore flint lock. The lock has a dark brown finish to match the barrel and furniture. Notice the waterproof pan with drains on either side. The frizzen spring has a roller bearing, for fast lock action. Both features found on late flintlocks. We recommend our #FLINT-ENG-6 3/4" knapped English flints for best performance in this lock. The single lock bolt is surrounded by an early Hawken tear drop sideplate escutcheon. The stainless touch hole liner brings the main charge very close to the priming flash. This vent is perfectly centered over the pan, correctly positioned to find the hottest center of the ignition flash.

The early long bar double lever double set triggers are my R.E. Davis. The stress crack has pulled the lock downward, so the set trigger cannot be set while the lock is in half-cock. This will have to be addressed when repairing the stock.

With a significant crack through the lock mortise, this rifle will need to be repaired before firing. Order it for a ten day visual inspection. You will be delighted. Else if it does not fit you, return it in unfired condition for same-day refund. Postage is your only risk, when you order any one-of-a-kind gun from Track, whether new, used, or antique.

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Ten day inspection begins at delivery. Send your approval. Else return it for same day refund, if not delighted. Postage is your only risk.

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