Flintlock fowlers were the first guns produced by gunsmiths in America. There
are a number of distinctive regional styles - New England fowlers, Hudson
Valley fowlers, British Style fowlers, "Kentucky" fowlers, and Club Butt fowlers
to name some.
This gun is a close copy of a British Style fowler illustrated in Tom
Grinslade's excellent book on the topic: Flintlock Fowlers - The First Guns
Made in America. Three guns are known to have been made by the same unknown
gunsmith, probably from the New York City area, in about 1760. The original on
which this gun is based has a reused Spanish barrel which was copied closely in
building this gun. The buttplate on these guns is a modified Brown Bess musket buttplate and the original guns all have good grade English made locks.
In building this fowler I modified a custom made octagon-to-round barrel by Ed
Rayl to the Spanish form including the name and maker's mark inset in gold. The
trigger guard was constructed from heavy sheet brass as no appropriate casting was available. The ramrod pipes were also constructed from sheet brass.
Engraving follows from the original gun with the barrel engraving executed by Mark Silver and the engraving on the brass and lock by Bruce LePage, both of whom did an exceptional job at copying the engraving on the original. The gun has near perfect balance and handles like a gun with much less weight.
Construction took 200 working hours.
The particulars are:
12 gauge bore, barrel length 52 inches, modified Rayl barrel, Chambers lock, total weight 9 pounds, overall length 70 inches. Engraving by Mark Silver and Bruce LePage, name stamps by Roger Sampson. All other work by Tom Snyder. Photos by Ric Lambert.