Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3071: S. Hawken St. Louis Half-Stock Percussion Rifle

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Desirable S. Hawken St. Louis Half-Stock Percussion Plains Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000

Desirable S. Hawken St. Louis Half-Stock Percussion Plains Rifle

Manufacturer: Hawken
Model: Percussion
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 48
Barrel: 30 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: brown
Stock: maple
Item Views: 886
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 56
Class: Antique

Jacob and Samuel Hawken are among the most famous makers of American muzzle loaders and were active in St. Louis from 1825 to 1855 and are best known for their half-stock "mountain rifles" and "plains rifles" that have long been associated with the mountain men of the fur trade. Their wares are known to have been used by General William Ashley, the American Fur Co., Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, and other famous western figures. Jacob died in 1849, and Samuel continued the business for several years and the shop was later taken over by J.P. Gemmer. The barrel has a silver blade front sight with a brass/copper dovetailed base, a notch rear sight with long tang, "S. HAWKEN ST. LOUIS" stamped on top, and a casehardened breech and straight standing breech. The tapered upper tang extends the length of the wrist. The scroll engraved lock is secured by a single screw that passes through a tear drop shaped washer on the left and is tripped by a set of adjustable double set triggers. The iron trigger guard leaves ample room for the triggers. The buttplate and toe plate are also iron, and the latter features a finial that coordinates with the trigger plate. The stock has an iron forend cap and a shallow cheekpiece with an "1853" dated Seated Liberty Dime. Many of the features on this rifle match the Samuel Hawken rifles shown in "The Hawken Rifle" by Bob Woodfill.

Rating Definition:

Very good with a period shortened barrel, replaced extensively refurbished lock, dark blue-brown patina and applied finish, mild pitting, and general mild overall wear. The stock is good with nice figure, some gaps around the lock, minor tension crack at the lock screw, crack at the toe, and mild scratches and dings. Mechanically fine. A highly desirable S. Hawken St. Louis marked percussion rifle. These rifles are among the most famous American firearms of the 1850s and 1860s. Many of the West's most famous mountain men and guides are known to have used Hawken rifles.

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