Author Topic: Gemmer Modified Rifles  (Read 1182 times)

Offline Dave T

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Gemmer Modified Rifles
« on: October 04, 2021, 01:02:42 PM »
Years ago (1980s) I had a "Gemmer Sharps" in 45-70 chambering.  I liked the gun but had endless problems with the springs in the action breaking.  This was back in the days when the Italian repro gun makers hadn't quite mastered spring tempering.  Gave it up when I got an original Rolling Block to restore.

Anyway, I've always like the "Gemmer" look to modified/customized BP cartridge guns.  I've seen actual photos of 1874 Sharps and No 1 Rolling Blocks so modified.  When I tried to find some more info on Gemmer and his guns I came up with this article:

https://www.gemmermuzzleloadingclub.com/john-phillip-gemmer/

Has anyone here ever seen a book on Gemmer and his taking over the Hawken Shop?  Also, anyone know of a custom gunsmith doing "Gemmer Style" modifications to rifles?

Dave

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 01:44:17 PM »

 :)  Hi Dave  :D

Actually . . . NO help.  Just carousing along being a nuisance.

Play Safe Out There

Offline Reverend P. Babcock Chase

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 03:53:27 PM »
Howdy Dave,

No Problem. Just take the forend and buttstock off a real St. Louis Hawken and stick them on your Sharps or RB. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the under barrel rib, Ramrod and ferrules. You're good to go, sort of.

Rev. Chase

Offline Dave T

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 11:32:03 PM »
Coffin,

Speakin' of playin' it safe,  rambling is generally safer than carousing.  Just sayin'!  (smile)

Reverend,

If I could do any of that stuff...I wouldn't be looking for a gunsmith!  LOL

Dave

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2021, 06:51:47 AM »
I’ve always thought that the Gemmer breachloading rifles were beautiful too.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #5 on: Today at 12:37:22 AM »

Offline Dave T

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 10:22:40 AM »
Then too on the practical side, with any kind of single shot (Sharps, RB, Trapdoor, Ballard, etc.) having a wiping rod tucked under the barrel would come in handy.

Dave


Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 12:20:54 PM »
Dave T,
That was my thinking with the Trapdoor Rifle over the carbine.    It was one of the many things that got me to buy the rifle.    That and having me look at anything cavalry oriented made horses nervous.    ;D

Offline Dave T

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 04:09:29 PM »
Although I'm not a big fan of the Trap-Door I always kind of liked the look of the Officer's Model. It as a little of that "Gemmer" look to it with the half stock fore end cap, and the cleaning rod under the barrel.

Dave

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 05:45:17 PM »
Regarding gunsmiths taking on the task of "gemmerizing" various cartridge guns, John Bergmann of Tennessee looks like an accomplished candidate...:

https://www.flickr.com/people/flntlok/


This thread also has a photo of one of his gemmerized Trap-Doors:

https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?topic=58041.msg696162#msg696162
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 10:33:29 AM »
Great info Cap'n!  Thanks for the links.

Dave

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #10 on: Today at 12:37:22 AM »

Offline Jack Wagon

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2021, 12:55:26 PM »
I too am a fan of the Gemmer style breechloaders. This is my Spencer carbine that had been converted to a mountain rifle. It features a 26" octagon barrel, cleaning rod, set trigger and the tang drilled and tapped for a sight. The caliber was changed from 56-52 to 56-46 rimfire. Jw







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Offline ndnchf

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2021, 06:12:52 PM »
I'll join the "me too" movement. I've long been a fan of the Gemmer conversions. I'm also a big rolling block fan. I've toyed with the idea of having one made. But never pursued it.

I like the the look of a shorter barreled Gemmer style saddle rifle. Here is an idea that has been rattling around in my head. I have this original heavy .44-77 Remington #1 sporting rifle barrel. It has a damaged chamber and been cut to 23.25".  I thought of having it relined to .50-70. Of course I could just have it rebored to .50-70, but that would require the barrel to be shortened further, and rethreaded due to the longer .44-77 chamber. Then fit it to a military #1 action. Add a rib, thimbles and wiping rod, maybe a finger extension off the back of the triggerguard. Not sure how I would make the stocks, I'm not a woodworker, so would probably have to farm that out.

Here is the barrel, and my original #1 sporting rifle before the barrel was removed and replaced with a new 32" Green Mountain .44-77 barrel. That short, heavy barrel is quite imposing. I think it would look quite at home as a Gemmer conversion  :)

"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2021, 07:01:56 PM »
"Has anyone here ever seen a book on Gemmer and his taking over the Hawken Shop?"

Yes; the book "Hawken Rifles: The Mountain Man's Choice" by John D. Baird has info on Gemmer.
"As long as there's lead in the air, there's still hope..."
Frontiersman & Frontiersman Gunfighter: The only two categories where you can play with your balls and shoot your wad while tweaking the nipples on a pair of 44s.

Offline Dave T

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2021, 12:15:10 PM »
ndnchf,

The idea of making a "Gemmer style" RB 50-70 carbine/saddle rifle is way cool!  If you decide to do it please post the progress of the project here and elsewhere.  I always enjoy reading about your projects and watching your videos.

Dave

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2021, 03:27:03 PM »
ndnchf,

The idea of making a "Gemmer style" RB 50-70 carbine/saddle rifle is way cool!  If you decide to do it please post the progress of the project here and elsewhere.  I always enjoy reading about your projects and watching your videos.

Dave

Thanks Dave - will do.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Big Goose

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2021, 05:56:01 PM »
Howdy all.
   Here's a pic of my Gemmer style rolling block. Not a carbine , rather its a 34" barrel 50-70 buffalo gun
Big Goose

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2021, 06:12:44 PM »
Big Goose - that is my dream Gemmer, a 50-70 rolling block. Please post a few more photos. Did you build it? Details?

Thanks 😊
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Big Goose

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2021, 07:58:51 PM »
Yes, I built it back in 2005,  original 1869 Remington action, 34" Green Mountain barrel. Had Lee Shaver chamber it in 50-70.   Did the wood work utilizing a "Jim Bridger" Hawken stock blank from Track of the Wolf.  It sure shoots well,  a bit on the heavy side when carrying it for deer hunting, but will kill a bison (and has)  ;)
 I'll have to take a few more pics and post them.  but here's a bunch of nice Gemmer buffalo guns at one of our annual September buffalo match.

Offline Big Goose

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2021, 08:17:02 PM »
I should add that my Roller is the third on in the picture,  the top two are built on 73 Trapdoor actions(not my work, and I'm not sure of the maker), and the 4th and sixth were  built by John Bergmann on third Allin conversion actions( some of the nicest work I'm aware of.). The Sharps is an older Pedersoli Gemmer 45-70, and is a fine shooting rifle.
 the bottom is my original frontier Spencer conversion, relined by Robert Hoyt in 56-50 CF.  ( likewise has killed at least two bison in this century)  Anyone wondering about the killing ability of a Spencer should know that the 385 grain boolet will completely penetrate a 1400 pound buffalo cow!  On Whitetail deer into the left shoulder and out the right hip!  Just need to be mindful to keep your shots within 125 yards which is really all I'm comfortable with open sights anyways.
 oops I probably just drifted this thread some....
Big Goose

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Gemmer Modified Rifles
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2021, 08:20:47 PM »
What a wonderful family portrait - thanks!
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

 

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