.50 caliber. 36″ double-keyed hook breech octagonal barrel. SN: NSN. Browned finish, iron furniture, German silver escutcheons, walnut half-stock with pewter nose cap. Unmarked single screw percussion lock with double set triggers, barrel marked “H.E. DIMICK/ST LOUIS”. Heavy barrel measures 1″ across the flats at the muzzle with an exaggerated snail shaped bolster and a long wasp-waisted two-screw tang. Plain iron oval patchbox, scroll shaped triggerguard with finger extension, crescent iron buttplate and plain toe plate. Buckhorn rear sight, dovetailed German silver Rocky Mountain front sight blade. Ramrod an old wood replacement. A wonderful and essentially untouched example of a prototypical Plains Rifle by one of the most notable of the St. Louis makers.
Horace E. Dimick (1809-1874) was probably the most prolific of the famed St. Louis makers of Plains Rifles. A direct competitor with the famous Hawken shop, Dimick produced his variation of their famous plains rifle, as well as smaller caliber sporting and hunting rifles, target rifles and even delivered a lot of roughly 1,000 rifles that were used to arm Birge’s Western Sharpshooters (14th Missouri Volunteer Infantry) which was later redesignated as the 66th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Those Dimick rifles did yeoman’s service during the first 12-18 months of the Civil War in the Western Theater, in particular at battles like Fort Donelson and Shiloh. Dimick also imported large numbers of guns from England and Belgium and offered these guns with his retailer mark on them along with American produced guns like Metropolitan Navy percussion revolvers. Next to the Hawkens, Dimick is probably the most famous of the St. Louis Gun makers.
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