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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Jim Baker, Indian Scout 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Jim Baker, Indian Scout  (Read 5177 times)
Bruce W Sims
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« on: June 15, 2015, 08:42:59 am »


Good Morning, Folks:

I have referenced a book I just finished reading a few times in different threads and thought
I would put out some information, post a few pics (Gawd Willing) and ask a couple of questions.



This is a picture of the "borrowed gun" that supposedly disfigured Jim Bakers face in 1865. Anyone ever heard of a piece like this?



This is probably the clearest picture I've found of Jim Baker and is the one I would like to build my scout personna around. Note the beard so this is after 1865.



Now the fun begins. Take a look at this rifle and compare it to the other pics. In the book narrative it is described variously as
Bakers' "favorite rifle", "he made the stock for it" and  is identified as a SHARPS. Not all of the rifles pictured appear to be the same rifle to me. Anyone have any thoughts?



Another rifle pic.....



Jim Baker's hats..... the brim looks far smaller than see in the other pics. I wonder if its even the same hat.



I included Jim Baker's knife because he was supposed to have made it himself.



Lastly about the clearest pic I have of Baker and his rifle. Note the botas

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 09:21:51 am »

Did anyone catch my question about the rifle pictured here?  Anyone?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 10:23:36 am »

Bruce,

Yes, I did.
The sling looks to be set up similar to the first photo of Baker's Sharps.
However, the butt plate looks to be different. This could be because part of Baker's shirt sleeve is covering up the butt plate in the second photo. The photo just isn't clear enough to say, in my opinion.
I would guess both are Sharps Rifles, but I couldn't say which model type.
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
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Blair Taylor
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ChuckBurrows
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 10:41:11 am »

 Like most frontiersmen Baker owned more than one gun in his long career. For instance in this painting of Jim (1860's?) - http://a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/16/5d89dc25f4f8beed8bd6b7da8d3655c4/l.jpg - the rifle appears to be a product of the Hawken Brothers shop.
The image of the muzzleloader you pictured above - this style rifle (with individual variations) was made in the thousands by several different makers of the period. The image above with Jim holding his favorite rifle sure looks like a Sharps, which were used by some mountain men as early as the early 1850's - mtn man Bill Hamilton notes in his book that when he and his group reached the Calif Gold Fields in IIRC 1852-53, they traded in their Hawken rifles for Sharps rifles and then used the barrels of their Hawkens as pry bars!

As for hats the same thing - Jim wore different hats at different times.
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aka Nolan Sackett
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Blair
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 11:12:11 am »

Chuck,

All of what you say are very good points.
However, those Sharps rifles and carbines that pre date the introduction of the New Model 1859/'63's, do not lend themselves well to being converted to center fire cartridge. This is because of the "slant" breech and block designed receiver system.
Neither Photo shows the receiver section well enough to tell.
Mention of the cartridge caliber of Baker's Sharps Rifle maybe of some help in identifying the Model type?
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 08:27:48 am »

You are great! Absent a decent picture (discounting the painting) is there a location
that would display this period of firearms? What I was thinking of doing is taking
pictures of these pieces and comparing them to items on display. The Bill Cody
Museum in Wyoming was one thought unless you folks can think of someplace better.
Certainly the idea would be to approximate what Baker used with its modern counterpart.
Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Major 2
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2015, 05:55:24 am »

Here is bit clearer print of the photo , the above cut and pasted from a book is grainy.

Based on this photo and the now visible cartridge belt,   I'd say the Sharps is a 74 and the tang sight is clearly seen.
In the second photo the octagon barrel is becoming visible.....


* jimbaker1.jpg (193.32 KB, 480x717 - viewed 148 times.)

* jimbakerrotator.jpg (40.67 KB, 700x500 - viewed 148 times.)
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2015, 10:29:21 am »

Many thanks!!

I'm a Used Book Store fiend and stumble over a book on old firearms
yesterday. Based on what I saw there I had been preparing to put my
money on a "New Model 63". I was thinking that trimming the stock back a
bit might have been what was referred to as making his own stock in the
picture.

How did you get those clearer pics....or was it just the luck of the draw?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Major 2
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2015, 10:57:06 am »

Google is your friend

put " Jim Baker, Indian Scout " (your title not mine) in the search engine , select Images .....

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Blair
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 11:22:55 am »

Bruce,

Also the butt plate (on the stock Major 2 re posted) is not the standard semi-crescent butt plate usually used by Sharps.
It is more like the butt plate one would find on "Gemmer" (old Hawken Shop type style) altered sporting rifles.
The stock alteration may not have been something he did himself but something he had done by a professional gunsmith. This is just one other thing to consider?
My guess would be to go with an M-1874 Sharps Rifle that looks and fits best into what you can see in this photo.
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2015, 08:38:36 am »

Thanks, Blair: thats what I have in mind.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 11:46:10 am »

Bruce,

Check out www.davide-pedersoli.com
Click on the British flag in the upper right corner to get everything in English.
Then click on Rifles and the click on Sharps Rifles.
They offer a pretty wide selection of Sharps of all types.
Should you find something to your liking, let me know and I will post the info for Pedersoli's major US importer.
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 08:43:40 am »

Thanks a lot, Blair:

Not to pick nits, but I have been looking over the field (Pedersoli, C-Sharps, Shiloh, etc)
and have yet to find a piece that has the sort of stock I am seeing. I'm not
thinking of the buttplate as much as the foward loop for the sling, Would you
think that such a characteristic might have been an exception or an option offered
on, say, the sporting model. Honestly I am just not seeing a lot of Sharps models
that include a sling, even the Military carbines. Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 09:08:29 am »

Bruce,

Within the Sporting style Rifles, sling swivels were not what I would consider common.
This seems to be an option that the owner could have added or had added at almost anytime.
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Major 2
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015, 09:12:29 am »

Here is an option

http://www.lodgewood.com/SharpsSmithSpencer-Swivel-Base-Reproduction-for-Original_p_1277.html

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=5610&osCsid=kvdvmenqau4j7hrsft71ogppj4
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2015, 10:02:34 am »


Thanks for the links, Major....

On page one there was a SHARPS Infantry Model that had a long stock and a swivel....

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2015, 12:47:16 pm »

Bruce,

I know the Sharps model you are referring too in your last posting.
I have no clue as to what you mean by "on page one".
Page one of what are you referring too?
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2015, 04:32:55 pm »

Bruce,

I know the Sharps model you are referring too in your last posting.
I have no clue as to what you mean by "on page one".
Page one of what are you referring too?
My best,
 Blair

Oooopppsss..... nothing like being vague, right? I was referring to the first link that
Major provided. (http://www.lodgewood.com/SharpsSmithSpencer-Swivel-Base-Reproduction-for-Original_p_1277.html)

On the first page of that site, on the upper left, is a picture of a SHARPS referred to as an "Infantry model". Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2015, 12:36:05 pm »

Bruce,

How are you doing with your Jim Baker impression?
Anything on a Sharps rifle yet?
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2015, 01:54:34 pm »

Last week I ran across a Hawkens Plains Rifle at a gun store for right around $600.  Undecided

But I think I am holding out for an 1874 or 1877 Sharps...probably a Pedersoli or Lyman.

Haven't gotten beyond that. I'm pretty sure I will be making my own knife, though
a'la the picture I provided earlier. I've also been looking at botas but so far everything seems
just a bit too "Hollyweird". We'll see how it goes....

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Davem
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2015, 02:42:01 pm »

Maybe some other Jim Baker experts can jump in but....I thought he used cedar to re-stock the rifle. The only cedar I am aware of is too soft but I was told certain cedar heartwood sections are strong.  The famous painting- that was done late and as I recall, I thought he got decked out in old grab to relive the era.  Might be the same thing with the botas.
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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2015, 10:14:48 am »

Bruce,

Check out www.davide-pedersoli.com
Click on the British flag in the upper right corner to get everything in English.
Then click on Rifles and the click on Sharps Rifles.
They offer a pretty wide selection of Sharps of all types.
Should you find something to your liking, let me know and I will post the info for Pedersoli's major US importer.
My best,
 Blair

When all is said and done I find myself gravitating towards the Infantry or Sniper model....moreso the sniper model
because of the double set triggers and would prefer the 45/70. I've seen them as low as $1000 and even $860 (gawd knows what THAT would get me  Roll Eyes) but I'm thinking I would rather have one NIB. I'm pretty sure this would be acceptable if I
decide to get serious about joining one of the groups here. Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Blair
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2015, 12:01:25 pm »

Bruce.

The choice of the model type is of course yours to make.
The percussion or cartridge Military Model Rifle is not what you see in the photos you posted of Jim Baker.
45-70 would be acceptable for the long (er) range shoots, but not for the Main Match Rifle.
Again, it is your choice. My suggestion would be opt for the main match rifle first. And depends on how much you wish to become involved with this sport.
My best,
 Blair
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A Time for Prayer.
"In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
Blair Taylor
Life-C 21
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