Jim Bowie's Rifle
(Click on any photo for
The inside of the Golcher lock is in excellent condition for a piece
of case hardened iron over 180 years old. The lock tumbler was replaced
by some nimrod who had no concept of how a precision lock works and the
wrong tumbler was installed. We will make an attempt to install an
original tumbler in this lock to the hammer will have the proper orientation
to the frizzen.
The outside of the lock is in very good to excellent condition with
the hammer jaws holding a flint I would guess has been in place for close
to 100 years. This fine English Golcher lock has a deeply pitted
flash pan showing considerable use and shooting, but is still in very good
This overall view shows the cotton string repair holding the cracked
stock in place.
The left side of the grip is worn, but in great condition for a rifle
180 years old. The escutcheon on the opposite side of the lock is strange
to me and could be a decoration for the trigger pivot pin, but I will not
know until I have a chance to take this historical document apart.
The gold Eagle on the cheek piece is mostly intact with the right wing
partially broken and bent.
This view of the right side of the grip shows the beautiful flat wraparound
flat checkering, silver wire nails and graceful design of the walnut stock.
The wrought iron butt plate is heavily pitted, but completely intact
and perfectly fitted to the butt stock.
This top view shows the extensive silver wire nails bordering t
he flat checkering.
The ramrod guide thimble in the wood stock has three gold bands inlayed
in keeping with a rifle belonging to a very important man.
Left side barrel wedge escutcheons are finely engraved as opposed to
the right side escutcheons which are plane..
The rear sight is a low profile stag horn style with scallop decoration.
Barrel wedge escutcheons are plain on the right side.
The ramrod thimble's are in very good shape and are tight.
The front sight is a typical, tiny piece of silver.
Rifling is Eight lands and eight grooves which was typical for the
time. The rifling was cut by hand pulling carbon cased iron cutters
guided by spiral grooves cut into wooden mandrels. The barrels were forged
by hand around a mandrel and reamed with hand made reamers to the proper
caliber. The grooves were then cut by pulling a single cutter through the
The top of the Bowie rifle has a gold plate with the initials
"JHB" engraved into the plate. The plate is completely intact with
no chips or scratches.
This photo shows the heel of the butt-stock where there was once
in engraved, inlayed plate. The plate was more than likely silver
which would match the silver plate on the toe. The three screws you
see might have held the plate in place, but I believe they were typical
screws that were in place to strengthen the weak part of the butt.
The immediate purpose for the screws is not apparent. The inlay was
The toe of the butt has a small piece of the nicely engraved silver
inlay still in place. There is also a screw exposed as there is on
the heel which I believe is much to large for the delicate inlay.
I believe the screw was place in that position to strengthen the stock
in an area that was prone to cracking when the rifle came in contact with
a hard stone or similiar surface. Many antique rifles have this part of
the butt cracked if it is not reinforced.