Standard Wilson in
right hand version. This gun features our 6 barrel interchangeable system. Gun
comes with a choice of 30 inch, 36 inch or 41 inch barrels in 20, 24 or 28
gauge and .50, .54 and .58 rifled barrel.
The Wilson features a very
nice engraved 6 inch lock. The frizzen on this early lock is unbridled, as
most early flintlocks were. Era is about 1740. Wilson worked from 1729 to
1750, so we cannot exactly date this gun.
Close up view of bow
arrow/quiver emblem engraving. Note the tang bolt which tranverses through
trigger guard to attach to tang.
Hand forged style trigger
guard and single pull trigger. Note how all screws are timed ( lined up with
axis of gun)
French style stock
architecture found on Wilson, which also has a French style butt plate.
Left side of butt area
showing slim graceful wrist area
Close up of top of comb and
butt plate finial.
Close up of engraved finial
which matches the lock engraving. Sorry for the blur!!
Top view of tang area with
typical raised beaver tail carving. Note London stamp on top flat of barrel.
Beautifully detailed dragon
sideplate and double lock bolt system used on early flintlocks. Rear screw
holds in tail of sideplate.
Angled view showing overall
slimness of wrist and lock region.
Nice high ribbed thimble with
all ribs tightly inletted.
The Wilson English Chief’s Grade Trade Gun
As the name
implies, this style of firearm was manufactured for the “Indian” trade in
North America and elsewhere. The typical “trade gun” was a smoothbore
flintlock with a simple pull trigger. The elements of this simple style gun
allowed easier production when such large numbers of firearms were required.
Early English style trade guns featured a straight wrist, comb, belly line and
simple strap butt plate. Bore sizes generally ran from about 16 gauge down to
28 ga, with the predominant gauge being about 24 ga., roughly equivalent to
competitors with the French for the native Indian trading and warring allies,
the English established trade routes competing with French voyageurs to reach
the inner areas of this continent.
different Indian tribes all eagerly sought out traders with firearms and some
thought French trade guns were of higher quality. Responding to this trade
threat, the English builders changed the stock architecture from the straight
English stock architecture (as described above) to the French architecture and
a French style butt plate replacing the strap style butt plate. In essence,
this fooled the Indians into accepting the English guns as the desired, higher
quality French guns. The English did indeed respond and build higher quality
guns when the Indians demanded it. The standard trade gun barrels, with 7-8
inch octagonal flats transitioned to a round taper, were retained for the
manufacture of these firearms.
Wilson was an English firearm manufacturer working from 1729 until 1751. He
designed the Chief’s Grade Trade gun to fit this new demand and actually
improved the lock quality by incorporating an internal bridle to keep the
parts aligned. The new improved lock and a “stock free from knots and cracks”
were 2 of the improvements made to help the competitive trading with the
French voyageurs. Although trade guns were not dated, from records showing
Wilson’s active years, we can accurately date this gun in the pre-French and
Indian war era. Wilson’s sons took over the manufacturing after Richard
Wilson retired and continued the family tradition. For a documentary
Wilson trade gun picture, refer to “Colonial Frontier Guns” by
T.M. Hamilton, pages 78 and 79. This gun is referred to as the O’Connor gun.
functionality and charm of these light powerful guns is still reflected in
modern times with many shooters preferring these versatile old smoothbore
styled guns to compete with, hunt with and carry whenever the opportunity
arises. They may be called just “trade guns”, but the value of these types of
firearms to handle shot or round ball shooting is still appreciated.
Current Guns Available