The Risley-Swinney Collection

By Larry B. Schuknecht

On May 14, 1980 The Richard Bourne Auction Company sold the important guns of the M. S, Risley and H.J. Swinney collections. The following images were taken by Mr. Hugo Poisson of Falmouth, Ma. for the Bourne Auction Co. and 8 x 10 Glossy copies were sent to Jerry Swinney for his archive. They were later passed along to Dr. Russ Gilmore and eventually made their way to me. I will arrange the images in Alphabetical order by maker rather in the random order of the Auction.

The Risley Collection consisted of Lots numbers 1 to 141, The Swinney Collection consisted of numbers 142 to 163. Lots numbers 1 to 43 consisted of sight's, gun parts, powder flasks, powder horns, small machinist tools, etc.

William Billinghurst- Rochester, N.Y.

Lot no. 48- Cased percussion "Buggy Rifle", unmarked but certainly made by Billinghurst and so identified in Ned Robert's landmark book The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle. It has a 12 3/8 inch barrel, .31 caliber with false muzzle and a full length "Wm Malcolm" scope. The gun came in a case which included a full set of tools and a detachable butt stock.

Lot no. 160- A heavy target rifle marked "W. Billinghurst/ Rochester, N. Y." It has a 31 inch barrel .42 caliber that measures 1 1/4 inches across the flats at the muzzle with the original false muzzle and bullet starter for cloth patch. It was originally fitted with a full length scope which was replaced with globe and peep sights.

Lot no.161- A buggy rifle with a 15 1/4 inch .30 caliber barrel turned for a bullet starter marked "W. Billinghurst/ Rochester, N.Y." with a full length "Wm. Malcolm & Co." scope. It came from the Luce Collection in 1948 and was also featured in Ned Robert's book.

W. Dixon- Adams, N.Y.

Lot no. 156- A light Hunting and Target rifle with a 32 inch, .40 caliber barrel stamped "W. Dixon/ Adams, N.Y./Cast Steel" It has brass furniture and a German silver patchbox, open sights with a folding peep sight mounted on a long adjustable base.

George H. Ferriss- Utica, N.Y.

Lot no. 83- Fine Target Rifle stamped "G. H. Ferriss/Utica" , .42 caliber with a 28 inch barrel and false muzzle , unmarked 12 power full length scope.

Lot no. 84- Light Target Rifle, stamped-"James & Ferriss / Utica" , 24 inch barrel, full length William Malcolm scope, restocked by John Holmes in 1946.

Lot 112. Percussion Creedmoor style Target rifle by G. H. Ferriss, marked using his last stamp with tiny letters. .45 caliber, 30 1/4 inch barrel. It was accompanied by a tool box containing a leather sight case marked "Ballard Rifle" which contained the long range sight staff. The rifle has a mid range sight staff on it with a wind gauge globe front sight with spirit level. It has the false muzzle, bullet starter and a full complement of tools. It came from the Wm. A. Luce collection in Utica about 1946.
Lot no. 113- a .49 caliber Creedmoor style rifle with a 29 5/8 inch barrel, wind gauge front sight, tang drilled and tapped for a missing tang peep sight.
Lot no. 95- Heavy Bench Rest Percussion Target Rifle, .55 caliber with a 31 3/8 inch barrel which measures 1 11/16 across the flats at the muzzle. It is Ferriss gun no. 1208 and is also stamped "R. R. Moore, Cortland, N.Y." who probably re rifled the barrel. All iron trim was nickel plated. It was accompanied by a Oak case with a full complement of tools and was purchased by Risley in 1926.

Lot no. 93- side by side combination gun marked "G. H. Ferriss-Utica, N.Y." with 30 inch barrels, the right one a .404 rifled barrel, the left one is .635 smooth bore. Open sights plus tang peep sight.

Lot no. 159- Hunting and light Target Rifle, .38 caliber with a 32 1/4 inch barrel which is 16 sided for an inch at transition from Octagon to Round. Case hardened Lock & Iron Trimmings.

Daniel Fish-New York City

Lot no. 80- Half Stock Sporting & Target Rifle, .415 caliber with a 34 inch barrel, German Silver Patch Box and Furniture. Rebuilt by Risley in the 1920's.

M. A. Gmeiner-Altenburg, Germany

Lot no. 96- .38 caliber with a 27 1/4 inch barrel made by M. A. Gmeiner und Sohn in Altenburg, Germany, The barrel was relined and fitted with a false muzzle and starter, probably by Risley in the 1920's , with it's original Mahogany case.

Karl Klinger-Carthage, N.Y.

Lot no. 162- Cased side by side Combination gun, 29 3.4 inch barrels in .40 caliber rifle and .62 caliber smooth bore. Rib and locks marked "K. Klinger/Carthage, N.Y.", open sights with a peep sight. In a brown painted wood case with tools.

Earl Loomis-East Hamilton, N.Y.

Lot no. 91- A New York State percussion half stock hunting rifle with a .375 caliber barrel 30 1/4 inches long. Black Walnut stock with German Silver furniture.

Lot no. 89- Percussion half-stock hunting rifle marked "E. Loomis" .38 caliber with a 30 1/2 inch barrel, 12 German Silver inlays, plain sights and a "Remington" bar lock.

Morgan James- Utica, N.Y.

Lot no. 97- A fine 3 barrel Percussion Combination gun stamped "M. James-Utica, N.Y." , 30 3/4 inch long double top barrels are .620 caliber smooth bore and the lower barrel is .370 caliber. Heavily engraved, with all of it's tooling in a double case, each half having it's own lid.

Lot no. 94- Unmarked heavy bench rest target rifle made by either Morgan James or George Ferriss but probably by Morgan James, 27 1/2 inch .53 caliber barrel which measures 1.895 across the flats at the muzzle, full length scope with all of it's loading tools. Originally made to use a round cloth patch in the 1850's or 1860's and altered to a cross paper patch by Horace Warner probably in the 1870's.

Lot no. 92- M. James-Utica, N.Y. double barrel rifle, .41 calber with 33 1/2 inch barrels, open sights with a tang peep sight.

Lot no. 86- Small scale target rifle, attributed to Morgan James, .34 caliber with a 21 1/2 inch barrel, crotch Walnut stock, James type Scope.

Lot no. 85- Light target rifle, >45 caliber with a 29 1/2 inch barrel, stamped "M. James / Utica" and "M. S. Risley" and was re-rifled by Risley in the 1920's.

No Lot No. (not cataloged)- The photograph was marked by Swinney as "Risley's M. James-Utica, N.Y. Shooter-Altered".

O. B. Marsh-Norwich, N.Y.

Lot no. 90- Exceptional Quality Half Stock Target Rifle with 30 inch .415 caliber barrel with false muzzle and bullet starter, German Silver globe front sight and tang rear sight, and all of the furniture.

Seth Millard- Lockport, N.Y.

Lot no. 103- a Maynard model 1882 rifle with an original barrel chambered for the .25-21 Stevens cartridge and customized by Seth Millard with a 28 inch second barrel set in the Model 1865 Maynard .40 caliber thin rimmed cartridge. It has an unmarked full length scope and a full set of loading tools for both calibers. It was accompanied by a wooden machine rest or shooting bench made by Millard. This rifle and Bench and the Millard rifle shown in the Ned Robert's book came from the Luce collection in 1948.

Click HERE to read more about Seth Millard.

Patrick Mullin- New York City

Lot no. 154- a 10 ga. side by side shotgun with 30 inch barrels it has Birmingham proof marks and was probably imported in the rough and finished in the Mullin shop in the 1870's.It came from the Luce collection in 1948

Remington- Ilion, N.Y.

Lot no. 158- a combination side by side gun, 31 inch barrels, right-.38 caliber rifled, left-.65 caliber smooth bore. Locks marked "Remington" , German Silver furniture, Open sights characteristic of Remington sights.

Lot no. 147- Remington Hepburn #3 Match & Short Range Target Rifle, Factory "B" quality, .38-40 caliber with a 28 inch barrel.

Lot no. 66- Remington Rolling Block Creedmoor Long-Range Target Rifle, .44-77 caliber with a 34 3/4 inch barrel, serial no. 1871, the case is lined with green cloth and contains the name "J. O. Williams" on the cover.

Unmarked-Possibly Charles Stuart-Binghamton, N.Y.

Lot no. 153- an Over-Under combination gun with 29 1/2 inch barrels in .38 rifle and 12 ga., it has open sights and a folding tang peep sight.

R. C. Turner- Unknown

Lot no. 87- Light Target Rifle- simply marked "R. C. Turner" possibly from the Syracuse, N. Y. area, .36 caliber, plain stock with globe and peep sights.

Charles Werner- Rochester, N.Y.

Lot no. 157- In the Bourne Auction this was listed as possibly being a Civil War Snipers rifle. It has a 30 inch barrel with an integral bayonet lug, turned for a bullet starter and is .45 caliber . All parts are numbered "15". It has a hooded globe front sight, open adjustable rear sight and a Tang peep sight that is adjustable for both windage and elevation.

Zettler Bros.-New York City

Lot no. 155- A Percussion Schuetzen Rifle, .45 caliber with a 31 3/8 inch barrel turned for a bullet starter, stamped "Zettler/ New York". It has wind gauge spirit level globe front sight and a short vernier tang sight hinged to the base which is part of the top tang. With a scroll trigger guard, double set triggers, Schuetzen butt plate and bar lock with sculpted hammer, it shows it's German influence.