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Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49 (Read 2232 times)
Mike65
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Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Dec 16th, 2013 at 10:32pm
 
I have a Stevens 49 that has a two prong cast aluminum butt plate.  The plate is original to the rifle and is serial number matched.  Best guess on the manufacture date of the rifle is 1896 or '97 based on the 7 o'clock extractor and the way the barrel is marked.

Given the relatively high cost of aluminum and newness to general public in the late 1800's does anyone have an idea as to when Stevens first offered these plates and how common were they?

Mike
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slumlord44
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #1 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 1:32am
 
The only ones I am aware of were nickel plated cast iron or possibly brass. It could possibly have been aftermarket of made by someone and they stamped the serial # on it. Anyone else seen one?
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Redsetter
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #2 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 12:00pm
 
Looked through some Stevens catalogs for some reference to this, but found nothing; if this were an experimental plate, or special order, however, there'd be no catalog listing for it.  Though I've never seen one, I do have a vague recollection about such a plate being mentioned by someone I know--possibly Gary Quinlan, whom you might call for further info.

Taking the trouble to stamp the ser. no. on an aftermarket part is certainly possible, but it would be unusual--something most gunsmiths & owners just wouldn't think important.
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7groove
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #3 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 12:53pm
 
Mike65
Back the early 1970's I had schuetzen and swiss butt plates cast in steel, brass and aluminium for most of the Ballard, Winchester, Stevens rifles along with Pope, Schoyen, Zischang, etc. styles. Possibly the butt plate you have could have been one of mine. The heavy swiss butt plate would have been correct for the Stevens Model 49.
BW Darr
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The more ballistic research I do convinces me all the more Schoyen, Pope and Peterson had it right over 100 years ago.
 
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marlinguy
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #4 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 5:53pm
 
I haven't ever seen a Stevens aluminum swiss buttplate that was factory, but I try not to say "never" anymore!
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waterman
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #5 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 7:33pm
 
How common was anything made of aluminum in the 1890s or early 1900s?

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slumlord44
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #6 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 8:07pm
 
A second on the not saying never when it comes to Stevens. They are impossible to predict if nothing else.
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #7 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 8:44pm
 
waterman wrote on Dec 17th, 2013 at 7:33pm:
How common was anything made of aluminum in the 1890s or early 1900s?



Most high quality fly reels were aluminum by the early '90s.  Also certain kinds of camping equipment, such as pots, mess kits, etc.  Wasn't as widely used as now, of course, but had ceased to be exceptionally expensive.
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Mike65
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #8 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 10:58pm
 
According to Gary Quinlan, whom I spoke to at length about this rifle, it was probably ordered and set up as a gallery rifle.  Originally in .22 short it is fully engraved and has a windage adjustable front sight.  The rear was gone when I purchased the rifle.  Gary did tell me good luck on finding the correct rear sight as he has only seen a couple in all of his years of collecting.

The reason that I mention the above is that the butt plate is actually a fairly rough casting, not polished at all, but may have had some sort of finish or plating applied to it at some time a long time ago. 

Mike
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frnkeore
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #9 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 11:11pm
 
Quote:
How common was anything made of aluminum in the 1890s or early 1900s?


It became fairly common in the early auto's. I saw a 1910 Buick that had a lot of cast aluminum parts on it, including the complete, two piece  crankcase. It was very enlighting to me. I'd though of it as a 30's and later material, like the Canadian Ford alumium heads.

BTW, that's a beautiful rifle, Mike.

Frank
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Redsetter
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #10 - Dec 17th, 2013 at 11:29pm
 
frnkeore wrote on Dec 17th, 2013 at 11:11pm:
It became fairly common in the early auto's. I saw a 1910 Buick that had a lot of cast aluminum parts on it, including the complete, two piece  crankcase. It was very enlighting to me. I'd though of it as a 30's and later material, like the Canadian Ford alumium heads.


That reminds me: two pre-WWI cars I've seen in antique car museums had aluminum bodies; problem is, I can't recall their names.  They were luxury cars, but more or less production models, not custom-built.  One of them might have been the Lozier, most expensive American car of its time.

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40_Rod
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #11 - Dec 18th, 2013 at 8:39am
 
I know that Pope furnished aluminum butt plates when he was in Jersey City. I do not know if the use of aluminum proceeded that time. I am also pretty sure that Pope only had his butt plates cast up.
My bet is someone replaced a either missing or damaged plate with a Darr aluminum plate.

40 Rod
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marlinguy
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #12 - Dec 18th, 2013 at 11:44am
 
Mike65 wrote on Dec 17th, 2013 at 10:58pm:
According to Gary Quinlan, whom I spoke to at length about this rifle, it was probably ordered and set up as a gallery rifle.  Originally in .22 short it is fully engraved and has a windage adjustable front sight.  The rear was gone when I purchased the rifle.  Gary did tell me good luck on finding the correct rear sight as he has only seen a couple in all of his years of collecting.

The reason that I mention the above is that the butt plate is actually a fairly rough casting, not polished at all, but may have had some sort of finish or plating applied to it at some time a long time ago. 

Mike



I own a Stevens very similar to yours, except for the buttplate. Same caliber, engraving, checkering, and DST. Mine has a Lyman windage adjustable 103 tang sight. The Stevens H style tang is most likely what it had stock, and they sure are tough to find!
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buchsenmacher
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #13 - Dec 18th, 2013 at 7:44pm
 
I have Mike's rifle in the shop for some work so I thought I would post some pictures of the buttplate.

The plate is aluminum, with a light brass plating or wash of some sort. It is serial numbered to the rest of the gun and at this point I have no reason to believe it isn't original.

I'm afraid that's about all the insight I can offer on this quandary.

Steven Durren
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slumlord44
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Re: Aluminum butt plate on a Stevens 49
Reply #14 - Dec 18th, 2013 at 8:26pm
 
Sure looks like an old original piece to me. Sure does not look like aluminum to me though, but I am sure it is.
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