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Old January 10, 2014, 03:09 PM   #1
cutty76
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Join Date: September 2, 2009
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Western Arms Santa Fe Hawken

I have an unfired 54 Cal Hawken rifle made by Uberti under the name of Western Arms Corp. Santa Fe NM. It is a Jedediah Smith Commemorative edition numbered rifle (#301 of 1000). I purchased this rifle in 1981 in Alamogordo, NM. The story I was told at the time was that Western Arms had been involved in a copyright battle with Winchester (Winchester Western) and lost, and all guns had to be sold by a certain date or be destroyed. It is a beautiful rifle and appears to be very well made. If I recall, it has an 8 groove barrel, with lands twice as wide as grooves. It has a 1 in 66 pitch. Supposedly, rather than copy the old Army .54 with its inherent inaccuracy due to shallow grooves, the builders duplicated the average .53" base of the Hawken brothers for this period. Any other info out there? Is there any market for these?
Leadballz
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Old January 10, 2014, 06:31 PM   #2
Don McDowell
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As I recall they were heralded as very good Hawken copies, and it sticks in my head they used a .526 ball, or some odd thing a bit smaller than most of us shot in the 54 hawkens built on Douglas and Sharon barrels. They weren't around for very long, and I believe the same outfit marketed some really good Colt model P clones.
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Old January 11, 2014, 02:21 AM   #3
AJumbo
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Join Date: February 6, 2009
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Right around 1985 my dad and three of his friends bought this same rifle in kit form (without the commemorative markings) from Track of the Wolf, which I ended up assembling. They were supposed to have premium curly maple stocks, but only one of the four really showed consistent tiger stripes. We settled on .520 round balls with heavy ticking patches, and they displayed fine accuracy. Finding .520 balls was a hassle, and none of the guys wanted to cast balls, so they each sold their rifles. I have no idea where those rifles got to.

I've read in more than one journal that the Hawken brothers rifled every barrel they made at 1:48"; apparently, their rifling bench was only capable of that twist. I don't know to what depth they cut their grooves.
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Old January 12, 2014, 12:32 PM   #4
Will5A1
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Join Date: May 17, 2006
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Phil Meeks, forum name Mtn Meek on the ALR forum, has published the best info regarding these rifles:

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/...?topic=22049.0

There has been a lot of misinfo and legend regarding them, but they are good rifles and shoot well. You can get cast .520 or .526 balls from Track of the Wolf, I have two of them and would be interested in yours if you decide to sell it.
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Old April 15, 2015, 06:38 PM   #5
dmiyazak
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Join Date: April 15, 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutty76 View Post
I have an unfired 54 Cal Hawken rifle made by Uberti under the name of Western Arms Corp. Santa Fe NM. It is a Jedediah Smith Commemorative edition numbered rifle (#301 of 1000). I purchased this rifle in 1981 in Alamogordo, NM. The story I was told at the time was that Western Arms had been involved in a copyright battle with Winchester (Winchester Western) and lost, and all guns had to be sold by a certain date or be destroyed. It is a beautiful rifle and appears to be very well made. If I recall, it has an 8 groove barrel, with lands twice as wide as grooves. It has a 1 in 66 pitch. Supposedly, rather than copy the old Army .54 with its inherent inaccuracy due to shallow grooves, the builders duplicated the average .53" base of the Hawken brothers for this period. Any other info out there? Is there any market for these?
Leadballz
I used to have one of these and enjoyed the no frills look. I lost mine when my mountain cabin burned down in a forest fire. I would love to buy one if someone has one for sale.
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