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Clark500
May 30, 2010, 10:00 PM
I was wondering if anyone might know anything about this rifle. I know some personal history for it (it has a pretty cool history - at least for me), but I really don't have any technical info on it: Who made it, when was it made, etc. The only technical thing that I "know" is that it is a 32 rimfire (and even that I'm not sure of). It has an amazing lack of markings... The only marks I can find are 2 possible stamps inside the trigger guard. They appear to be numbers, but they are so small that I can't really tell. Any help would be appreciated.

60284

60285

60286

Clark500
May 30, 2010, 10:01 PM
1 more pic showing octagon barrel.

60287

James K
May 30, 2010, 10:51 PM
The gun is probably Belgian (look for a proof mark of an oval with ELG on or around the breechblock) and is a modified Flobert action in that it does have a breech block and the breech block is locked into the receiver, a stronger arrangement than some other guns of the general type.

There is a mild collector interest but the gun has basically a novelty value (IMHO maybe $100-150). It should be safe to fire and .32 rimfire is, or soon will be, available in limited quantities. But I would not recommend trying to alter it to center fire or to a more powerful cartridge.

Jim

Jim Watson
May 31, 2010, 10:24 AM
It is a Warnant system Flobert, beefed up from the original design with a "trapdoor" breechblock. Still not real strong and not of very high grade metal. They were sold all over the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A large number of used guns were imported here in the 1990s, most in very worn condition. Not worth a lot of cash, so it is nice to have a story to go along with it.

Nearly all were made in Belgium, many by Peiper, which was a major company at the time.

If Jim K.'s prediction on a fresh supply of .32 rimfire ammunition pans out, there will be dancing in the streets. There are a lot of .32 rfs out there that people would like to try out.

James K
May 31, 2010, 12:07 PM
I saw on another site that someone (I think Southern Ohio Guns) was in the process of importing a batch of .32 rimfire. I don't know if it is Long and Short or just Long. I have a fair supply of the old Navy Arms ammo, but wouldn't mind getting some more.

I know some authorities insist that no smokeless powder ammo should EVER be fired in a black powder era gun, but I have done so with no problem, as the makers keep the pressures low. I do agree that some guns, like those old revolvers with paper thin chamber walls, should not be fired with anything.

Jim

Clark500
May 31, 2010, 05:47 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I had no idea where to start looking, but the info you gave me got me pointed in the right direction.

I found the exact rifle in the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog for a whopping $3.25!

This rifle's story goes like this... The rifle originally belonged to a man named John F. Morgan, whose claim to fame was that he was the last man publicly hanged in the state of WV. This hanging was attended by my great grandmother (she was only 9 or 10 at the time). I am not exactly sure how she ended up with the rifle, but I assume her parents purchased it and passed it on to her. It has been in the family ever since. Another interesting bit is that the judge who sentenced Morgan to hang (Reese Blizzard) lived only about 2 blocks from my home. Unfortunately, his home (known locally as the Blizzard Mansion) was demolished a year or two ago. The road leading to his home is still known as Blizzard Drive.

Mike Irwin
June 2, 2010, 12:19 AM
I would bet that it's actually chambered for the 9mm Flobert cartridge. Very common chambering for this type of rifle back in the day.

natman
June 2, 2010, 02:29 AM
Is it rifled or smoothbore?

Gunplummer
June 2, 2010, 03:17 AM
I would check the bore on that. I had come into one in .22 that was missing parts and used the barrel to put a liner in. The barrel was undersize slightly. I remember that because I had to take the lead on my drill down to fit. Some of that older foreign stuff had strange dimensions.

Clark500
June 2, 2010, 06:45 AM
It is rifled. The Montgomery Ward catalog for 1895 lists the caliber as .32 short rimfire.

Gunplummer
June 2, 2010, 08:27 AM
Anybody interested in a stock and trigger guard for the .22 model?

Clark500
June 2, 2010, 12:04 PM
I may be interested. Does the stock still have the buttplate?

Gunplummer
June 3, 2010, 03:31 AM
It has the buttplate but it has rust on it. The barrel channel is .750 across the flats. The trigger guard is there and I have some of the firing mechanism. Remember, I said it was a .22 originally.

srcal
June 5, 2010, 10:14 AM
I have a rifle with the markings ELG in an oval and next to that there is a star and what looks like a 7. The barrel is 5 sided and the hammer has two cocking positions. does anyone know anything about this gun and why does the hammer have this function. I know its Belgian, proofhouse is Leige, but thats all I know. I have not seen a gun like this one on any sites that show, mention the markings. I am very interested in finding out about this rifle, it was given to me by my wifes grandfather so it has sentimental value. I will try to post a picture of the rifle because all the ones I see do not look anything like mine.

Thanks

Jim Watson
June 5, 2010, 11:45 AM
A 5 sided barrel is highly unusual.
A hammer gun normally has a safety notch for carry and a full cock notch for shooting.
There are all manner of proof and inspectors' marks that show up on guns. Some of them can be tracked down, some can't.

It is going to take those pictures for anybody here to discuss your gun.