By Lars Dalseide | November 25 2012 14:54

Sharing history by way of a Family's Hawken Rifle on NRAblog Rewind

Back in 2010, right around Thanksgiving, the Dieckmann family of Kansas presented the curators of the National Firearms Museum with one of their heirlooms ... an 1850s era Hawken Plains Rifle.

Here's what happened:


Museum Director Jim Supica, David Dieckmann with his family's Hawken Plains Rifle, and Senior Curator Doug Wicklund. Fairfax, Virginia - A rare Hawken rifle is joining a display at the NRA's National Firearms Museum. Inside the The Prospering New Republic gallery, the rifle will find it's place inside the case that depicts a scene in the Hawken family's famed frontier gunshop.

Even among these galleries of historic firearms, this new addition stands out. The gun is a family heirloom dating back generations to when it was purchased by Florenz Dieckmann from the Hawken gunmakers in 1850s St. Louis. Dieckmann went on to fight in the Civil War for the Union forces, and lived in Union, Missouri. The gun was passed down from father to son, time and again, all the way to his great-great-grandson David Dieckmann.

Dieckmann, staying close to his roots, still lives in the same region of the country in Kansas. He decided the historic piece should be shared with the public, and entrusted that responsibility to the National Firearms Museum.

"We tell the story of Americans and their guns," said Senior Museum Curator Doug Wicklund. "This particular firearms is special. It's special because we know where the gun has been all along. We can tie it in to a specific moment in time."

An engraving on the top of the barrel is still clearly visible: "S. Hawken St. Louis." It marks the gun as made personally by Sam Hawken, instead of William or Jake Hawken. Just the third Hawken firearm ever donated to the Museum, it adds a sweeping new element to the Hawken display. Until now, the display had focused on the big booming guns that were sent West to bring down elk and buffalo and bear.

Samuel Hawken Plains Rifle

Read the whole story of the Hawken Rifle Donation to the National Firearms Museum

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