Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Earliest Stalking Rifle Info Req

  1. #1
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gloucester
    Posts
    160

    Earliest Stalking Rifle Info Req

    Hi

    I`m doing a bit of research and looking for info on the earliest rifles used for stalking in the UK , I guess muzzle loaders were the first , any info, suggestions and links appreciated .

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by TikkaFan View Post
    Hi

    I`m doing a bit of research and looking for info on the earliest rifles used for stalking in the UK , I guess muzzle loaders were the first , any info, suggestions and links appreciated .

    Cheers
    Specifically rifles or just firearms in general?

    i seem to remember when reading 'children of the new forest' they mentioned stalking deer with matchlock muskets during the 1600's

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    7,000
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Quote Originally Posted by TikkaFan View Post
    Hi

    I`m doing a bit of research and looking for info on the earliest rifles used for stalking in the UK , I guess muzzle loaders were the first , any info, suggestions and links appreciated .

    Cheers
    Sounds like fascinating research!

    I'm sure you'll get lots of responses, but try to get hold of a copy of "Hunting & Stalking Deer in Britain Through the Ages", by G Kenneth Whitehead. A great historical reference for all things deer-related and where most of the information below can be sourced.

    I presume you are talking deer stalking here, rather than hunting? If so, it may pay to focus on Scotland, rather than England, since it is generally accepted that modern deer stalking as we know it originated through Queen Victoria's fascination with all things Scottish.

    In terms of the law, the 1685 Act in Scotland finally permitted the use of "fowling pieces" for hunting, prior to which they had largely been prohibited. For example the Act of 1551 specifically prohibited the use of firearms in hunting, and any person found using one for killing game would lose his life and "forfeit his moveable goods"!

    So maybe a start would be to look at the firearms of the 17th and early 18th Century, though doubtless they were also being used before it became strictly legal to do so. So rifled flintlocks, for example, of the type seen is the works of artists such as Gainsborough with his portrait of Mr & Mrs Robert Andrews (Mr and Mrs Andrews - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), even if the sitters here were in Suffolk and not Scotland!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gloucester
    Posts
    160
    Thanks chaps , what I`m looking (I should have explained better )is info on the earliest rifles and ammo specifically built for deer hunting/stalking in the UK , not military firearms used for hunting.
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Visiting some of these might shed some light on early hunting firearms?

    Leeds | Royal Armouries
    Tower of London | Royal Armouries

    Regards

    JCS

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    7,000
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Quote Originally Posted by TikkaFan View Post
    Thanks chaps , what I`m looking (I should have explained better )is info on the earliest rifles and ammo specifically built for deer hunting/stalking in the UK , not military firearms used for hunting.
    Cheers
    If you look at the early flintlocks, they were actually built for sporting purposes rather than military. So although the British Army was using muskets like the Brown Bess from the early 1700's, they didn't trial rifles until the Ferguson in the late 1770's and the first widespread adoption of the rifle didn't come until the Baker rifle from 1800 onwards.

    So the early flintlock rifles would still be the place to look.

    If you're thinking more about "classic" deer stalking, then I'm afraid it's probably back to Queen Victoria and the early to mid 19th century, with rifles such as the one seen in "Highland Gillie and his Pony" by William Allan (Highland Gillie and His Pony - Sir William Allan - The Athenaeum). For example Prince Albert gave a Royal Warrant of Appointment as Gun and Rifle Makers to Westley Richards on July 1st 1840. Westley Richards were building rifles from 1830 onwards (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/n...19-Westley.htm).
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 06-01-2016 at 17:58.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to keep them operational in Scottish conditions? We complain about our scopes fogging up!

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    Posts
    7,000
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to keep them operational in Scottish conditions? We complain about our scopes fogging up!
    It must have been horrendous

    But in those days it was the difference between having some meat on the table and going without, so I guess they were pretty diligent about making sure when a shot presented itself they could take it!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    If you look at the early flintlocks, they were actually built for sporting purposes rather than military. So although the British Army was using muskets like the Brown Bess from the early 1700's, they didn't trial rifles until the Ferguson in the late 1770's and the first widespread adoption of the rifle didn't come until the Baker rifle from 1800 onwards.

    So the early flintlock rifles would still be the place to look.
    I am very interested in what firearms the Scots had then, and how common they were, what they cost, etc.

    The British Army preferred muskets because they were less expensive to make and faster to reload. Major Ferguson took his own breechloading flintlock to America as a commander of British troops there, and was a very good shot with it. He was killed at the battle of King' Mountain, South Carolina, during an attack by a mix of local militia and Overmountain Men from Tennessee and North Carolina, who had marched all night from the Cowpens, about forty miles away, for a surprise dawn attack. These men were armed with "Pennsylvania long rifles" made by German and Swiss gunsmiths. Ferguson was hit by perhaps as many as twenty shots of .45 and .32 caliber ball from 100 to 150 yards, before he could fall to the ground. But it would not be until the 1840s that the U.S. state militias would start using rifles ( there was no standing army until 1861, no national guard until 1912).

    The reason I go into this is that almost all the American combatants that day were Scots who had migrated from Pennsylvania to Virginia and the Carolinas prior to 1760, or recent Ulster Scots come by ship to Charleston for free land after the treaty with the Indians in 1769. Some of the muskets brought from Scotland have barrels or actions from Germany, and some are marked from Dundee.

    A local library has a collection of rare books, including hunting books from England. One of them was published during the reign of Elizabeth I, and shows her in a woodblock cut, riding a horse through the woods with a firearm of some sort, and another of her using bow and arrow. A local gunshop here has an over-under British flintlock smoothbore for sale, in .58 caliber, suitable for ball or shot. I will go take a photo of it. A local museum has local firearms from colonists, from the 1620s onward, including matchlocks, then flintlock rifles beginning in the mid-1770s.
    Last edited by Southern; 06-01-2016 at 21:34.

Similar Threads

  1. Does any have info on this rifle,????
    By chrisc in forum Rifles & Calibres
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 25-12-2014, 14:23
  2. not stalking just some info
    By Tyler in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 14-11-2013, 21:33
  3. Earliest evidence of my developing enthusiasm for stalking unearthed!
    By Pine Marten in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-05-2013, 09:17
  4. hakko rifle scope help or info needed
    By nipper shines in forum Introductions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 29-03-2013, 17:30
  5. sporting rifle putting out wrong info
    By gadget in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-05-2011, 01:22

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •