View Full Version : Need help Identifying a Flintlock
June 12, 2010, 09:14 AM
first time here, and I was hoping I could get some help in identifying a Flintlock that my grandfather owns. All I know of it's history is that my Great-Grandfather owned it prior and kept it mounted on a wall. On top of the barrel is a stamp that I believe says "Made in Belgium" though part of it is obscured/doublestamped. I've included a few pics of the barrel stamps (right side and left). Total length is about 5 to 5.5' long, with a bore between .5o and .58 caliber. I didn't have any way of accurately measuring it at the time.
My great-grandfather had two flintlocks, one was a replica, the other supposedly genuine, and my grandpa doesn't know which one he has.
I can try to answer any questions you have.
thanks for your help.
The images are clickable to enlarge to the full size. If you would prefer, I can email them to whomever would like.
June 12, 2010, 09:29 AM
The pictures do not come up for me.
June 12, 2010, 10:11 AM
Is there a better way to post them?
June 12, 2010, 01:01 PM
June 12, 2010, 04:04 PM
I think you're using the insert link button by mistake.
Right click on the image.
Choose "copy image location".
Push the "insert image" button on the reply here in TFL.
Right click and "paste".
June 12, 2010, 04:59 PM
[ was hoping I could get some help in identifying a Flintlock that my grandfather owns.]
[On top of the barrel is a stamp that I believe says "Made in Belgium" ]
[My great-grandfather had two flintlocks, one was a replica, the other supposedly genuine, and my grandpa doesn't know which one he has.]
clue: - "Made in Belgium" = replica.
June 12, 2010, 05:09 PM
Not necessarily a replica. America has imported firearms since the Revolution. Research the Charleville. We took the Brown Bess from the Brits. And, the imports didn't stop then. Imports have continued since.
We really need to see pics to help. Hint: click on the paperclip.
You can send pics to the G.M. Davis Museum in Oklahoma, the curator might help.
June 12, 2010, 06:27 PM
Made in Belgium is not something you'd find on an original piece. Certainly we had imported guns in the New World. The Dutch, Spaniards, French and English brought in guns to trade with the Indians (and locals). Germanic or Swiss also brought their rifles or rifle making technology here too.
It's also possible (but not probable) that a worn barrel was replaced with a fresh Belgian barrel. It's not probable because it was not unknown for a gunsmith to ream out an tired, iron barrel and then re-rifle it to make it shoot accurately again.
June 12, 2010, 10:13 PM
IIRC, the original US country of origin (COO) law dates to the early 1900's so a "Made in Belgium" marking would not appear on a flintlock firearm in their period of general use. Since antiques are exempt (no, an original DaVinci painting does not have to have MADE IN ITALY stamped into it), any flintlock with the COO stamp would be a modern reproduction.
June 13, 2010, 07:49 AM
Ah, there we go... Didn't see the attach file icon before :P
When I took a look at the firearm last weekend, I noticed that it was a smoothbore, and not rifled. And I can tell you that I am fairly certain my bore measurement was wrong (only had a piece of graphpaper at the time)
I'll give my G-pa a call today, see if i can get more accurate measurements on the length and bore.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is a replica, and while a little disappointing, it would make it more likely that the weapon is taken to a range and used after we get it cleaned.
I do appreciate the comments and the help.
June 13, 2010, 08:13 AM
The gun has the standard Belgian proof marks as introduced in 1891 (cursive EL and ELG over star in oval). Since that is way past the time flintlocks were produced, it's clearly a reproduction.
June 13, 2010, 09:33 AM
The back action lock with the frizzen on a separate plate looks like the inexpensive wall hanger - plinker muzzleloaders that Stoegers used to sell from the 1930s up into the 1960s.
June 16, 2010, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the inputs!
@mapsjanhere do those stamps trace to a single company by chance?
June 17, 2010, 07:50 AM
No, proof marks are usually specific to the proof house, in your case, the one in Liege, which is the only one in Belgium and handled all proofing for the country. Since the firearms manufacture was centered around that city that wasn't much of an issue.
If you're interested into the subject, look for Wirnsberger's "standard directory of proof marks", I pulled mine of ebay for $10.
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