Need info on Mowry rifle (NOT Mowrey)


April 12, 2010, 01:53 PM
I have the opportunity to purchase the Mowry gun shown in the attached picture. I have not seen the gun in person yet, but the owner said that it's a Mowry Civil War Percussion Muskett. The owner also said that it is a 12 guage rifle. She also told me that the only writing on the gun says "Mowry 8940 12". I am not very knowledgeable on guns, but my research tells me that James D. Mowry made at least 20k muskett rifles for the military back in the 1800's, though this does not necessarily seem to be the same Springfield style rifle that he was famous for.

With that being said, I also know that there was a gun manufacturer back in the 1960's & 70's named "Mowery" out of Olney Texas that made shotguns.

This gun is a "Mowry", not a "Mowery". So my question is, has anyone seen a James D. Mowry gun from the 1800's in this specific configuration? Any idea as to its potential value?

My reason for considering this as a more potentially valuable rifle (more valuable tha his standard Civil War military rifle which can fairly easily be found for a few hundred bucks) is because this is not the style of rifle that James D. Mowry was famous for.

The thing that has me confused is that this rifle (at least in the pictures) looks alot like the Mowrey (note spelling) muzzle loading shotguns from the guy who made these in the 60's.

Thanks up front for your input!

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April 12, 2010, 02:09 PM
Boy, I would have guessed it came from Mowrey Gun Works, but as you say that's with an "e" It sure doesn't look 19th century from the photos.

April 12, 2010, 02:25 PM
Sure looks like a Mowery to me, they did make a 12 guage shot gun.
The one pictured would not be a military rifle.

April 12, 2010, 06:18 PM
It's a contemporary Mowery, not an antique Mowry. It matches the description of a Mowery in the Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms.

April 13, 2010, 06:56 AM
This is a Mowrey, made in early 1970's as near as I can tell.

Very similar to the rifle in your photo.

September 18, 2010, 08:46 PM
I have the same rifle in 45. It has Mowry stamped on the barrel, a 4 digit ser number, and 45. Those are the only markings on the rifle. It does look very much like a Mowrey with the e, but I can post pics that it is not.
And all the numbers look like they were stamped by individual stamps, not factory "roll" stamped. Mine looks like it has never been shot. I emailed shootingusa and asked them. There best guess is it's a one off hand made rifle by someone who may have been named Mowry. Let me know if you want pics.
If anyone has any ideas about manufacturer or date, please post. There is no info about Mowry other than the 20k contract 1861's, which this is not.

September 18, 2010, 08:52 PM
Forgot to ask. Mykeal, what's an antique Mowry? Could these be antique Mowrys that Mowrey copied in the 60's and 70's? The guy I got mine from stated it was his great grandfathers. Oh, and mine is all brass except hammer, trigger and barrel.

September 18, 2010, 09:56 PM
I Have a Mowrey like yours, in fact with the same tiger striped wood. According to the ser# 9183, mine was made in the 60's in Olin Texas as I'm sure your's was. These are a copy of the "Ethan Allen", style muzzleloaders. You pic's are incomplete and a bit dark, does your's have the Swiss buttplate and the horn insert on ther stock?

September 18, 2010, 10:26 PM
As I understand it, James Mowry was a gunsmith (one of many) contracted to build the 1861 Springfield rifle in the mid 1800's - those are the only 'antique' Mowry rifles I'm aware of.

More recently there is evidence of a kit gun which had 'Mowry' stamped on the barrel, made by a company named Mowry Rifle in Texas, and sold by the now defunct Wilderness Rifle Works. It's very possible this is the gun you have. Wilderness Rifle Works was located in Waldron, IN, a very small village which is also the home of the contemporary and well known Deer Creek Products, a black powder sutler; they may be connected somehow, as Deer Creek is alleged to have had parts for the Wilderness Rifle Works kits.

September 18, 2010, 10:28 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread. Mine is just like that, but all brass except hammer, trigger, and barrel. Does yours have Mowrey or Mowry stamped on the barrel? That is where the confusion is. Mine clearly says MOWRY and don't know how that would be.

September 19, 2010, 08:33 PM
Well...the gun in your pics is not from the 1800's..I have mowreys in32,.40, 50, 54 and 12 guage...They were first produced in OLNEY TEXAS in the 70's and will be stamped OLNEY on the top barrel flat. After that company shut down the Mowreys were produced by DEER CREEK in Indiania...Thes guns are not stamped Olney, But are stamped Mowrey and caliber. The Deer Creek guns could be also purchased as kits.
I have seen Original 12 guages from the 1800's and they have no markings at all....nor forearms. The originals were produced by Ethan ALLEN.

Tom Hudson
January 27, 2011, 02:29 PM
I have a Mowrey 32 - Ser# 18xxx - i bought the gun "new" in the late 80's - tom

January 27, 2011, 09:25 PM
Looks just like the one I've got in my safe...mowrey 12 gauge shotgun (which, btw, is for sale)..12 ga, half oct/half round, scheutzen buttplate, etc.

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