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Old December 25, 2010, 07:59 PM   #1
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Percussion Trade Gun?

Hello,
I have recently acquired a old percussion pistol that has three "B" markings on it, I assume it is the inspector marks. The tacks are brass, as I have tested them. The caliber is .54 I believe. The overall length is 14" with 8.5" barrell.

The markings are limited and I have no other info on this weapon.
Can anyone help me out with any more information please?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old December 25, 2010, 08:50 PM   #2
gmfeier
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You may want to look here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/firearms.html

They discuss the lack of oxidation around the brass tacks.
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Old December 26, 2010, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks, I appreciate your response...any other thoughts or any body know any forums that are specifically for flint lock or percussion arms?
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Old December 26, 2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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You probably need more than what you can find out. The maker may name may be lost forever because your lock plate appears to be rough, pitted from the looks of things. On the plus side, I saw many guns that had the dome pins in them that were used by American indians. You also do have the ram rod, which is lost many times.

Its a nice gun, where did you find it?
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Old December 26, 2010, 10:15 AM   #5
Clark500
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The ramrod may have been lost as it appears it has been replaced with a common nail.
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Old December 26, 2010, 10:22 AM   #6
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It's an A.H. Waters. The ramrod has been replaced with a nail as was mentioned. It originally had a hinged device to keep it from being lost. Also the tip of the hammer is broken off. The tacks are much more recent. It is however one of the first percussion pistols to be adopted by the military. Originals were flintlock later converted to percussion. Later ones were built as percussion to start with.
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Old December 26, 2010, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
The ramrod may have been lost as it appears it has been replaced with a common nail.
Quote:
The ramrod has been replaced with a nail as was mentioned. It originally had a hinged device to keep it from being lost. Also the tip of the hammer is broken off.
Wow I have got to be more observant when looking at the photos. I was looking more at the action of the gun but I did also over look the snapped off hammer spur.
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Old December 26, 2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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And the brass tacks could have been put in by anyone, perhaps to make it a decorative item or to give it a higher resale value, which is common. In spite of of all the frontier movies the American Indian considered the single shot pistol as next to worthless. You couldn't hunt with it and the weight of carrying it meant less ball and powder could be carried for the rifle.
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Old December 26, 2010, 02:49 PM   #9
Clark500
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Winchester 73,

I used up every bit of my knowledge of antique firearms in that one sentence:
Quote:
The ramrod may have been lost as it appears it has been replaced with a common nail.
What does that say about me?
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Old December 26, 2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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It is either an H. Aston or an N. Johnson, as Waters never made the Model 1842. A Palmetto gun is a possibility, but the odds are against it, and it probably could never be proven anyway with the condition of that lockplate.

But it definitely started out as a standard .54 caliber U.S. Army Model 1842 pistol, made by either Aston or Johnson. The brass tacks are usually thought of as indicating Indian decoration, but I am willing to place a small bet that more were put on by white folks on the gun show frontier than were ever put on by Indians in the old west. The gun also has had some other "repairs" (like the replacement trigger guard) and is in rough shape.

IMHO, unless some historical association can be proven, the gun has nominal value, maybe a couple of hundred as a novelty. Model 1842's in decent shape go for around $600-800; they are common guns.

Jim
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Old December 27, 2010, 04:31 AM   #11
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After looking at some more pictures I believe you're right Jim.
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Old December 27, 2010, 09:18 AM   #12
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Definitely a cobbled together military something.
Indians liked brass tacks, those could have been put on anytime.
A curiosity item at best, IMHO.
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Old December 27, 2010, 09:58 AM   #13
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Brass tacks weren't used until late in the 19th century. Early ones had square shanks but then so do some of the modern repros so no telling when they were added.
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Old December 27, 2010, 10:18 AM   #14
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Your guys information on this is EXCELLENT. I am very well versed in about all firearms, but not percussion or flintlock.
Yes, the ramrod is definetly a nail that someone has placed in there, it has a broken hammer and the trigger guard is a messed up. The tacks are brass, but dont know the time frame or whom put them on...probably white people IMHO.
I acquired it at an auction in N. Missouri for a nominal price. I really am not that attached to the gun at all and will probably sell it sooner than later. There just isnt that much provinonce on it to keep my interest.

Thanks everyone for your support.
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