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Old April 22, 2009, 06:20 PM   #1
bangbangshootshoot
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Looking for info on 2 old rifles (#1)

I recently acquired these 2 rifles & wanted to see if anyone may have some insight to share. The owner had zero info on them.
Here are a few measurements of the 1st set:
-The rifle measures 51-1/2" in length
-The barrel measures 34-1/4"
-Inside diameter measures @19mm at the muzzle & @20mm at the loading chamber.
-Has "US" stamped on the butt of the stock
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN1861.JPG (204.8 KB, 168 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1863.JPG (183.2 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1865.JPG (193.3 KB, 123 views)
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Old April 24, 2009, 01:37 PM   #2
Arquebus
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Looks like a breech-loading conversion of a CW-era musket. If you can post a picture of the lock-side of the gun that would help in making an ID.
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Old April 24, 2009, 02:52 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Looks like a Zulu.
Conversion of a muzzleloading musket to a breechloading shotgun for sale to African or other tribesman.

Interesting that it is marked US, most are French or other European.
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Old April 24, 2009, 02:59 PM   #4
bangbangshootshoot
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Here's 2 more pics, hope they help.
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File Type: jpg DSCN1862.JPG (172.2 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1874.JPG (186.7 KB, 65 views)
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Old April 24, 2009, 03:18 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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I believe it IS French, back action sidelocks were uncommon on American guns. Which leaves the question of why there is a US on the stock.
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Old April 24, 2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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They appear to be one of the versions of the French M1867 "Tabatiere" ("snuff-box") conversions of their earlier percussion muzzle-loaders; these were essentially the French version of the English Snider rifle, meant as a replacement for the muzzle-loaders while the French were still converting (temporarily) to their Gras 1874 bolt-action single-shots. They were chambered for a 17.5x35mmR cartridge (some references say 18x35mmR) that is long obsolete.
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Old April 24, 2009, 05:40 PM   #7
Arquebus
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Yep, I concur with the others, French or possibly Belgian. Looks like it's been 'sporterized' by having the forestock cut back......again, a common occurence with these ols surplus muskets.
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Old April 26, 2009, 09:44 PM   #8
James K
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The conversion was done in Belgium, since those are Liege proofs on the breech block. The musket was undoubtedly European, but any further info would be on the lock plate if it has not been removed.

After the end of the muzzle loader era, most countries tried to convert their old muskets and rifle muskets to breech loaders, using a variety of systems. Muskets not considered suitable for conversion and use by the armed forces were dumped on the market at fire sale prices, and many shops in places like Liege did the conversions and then again dumped the guns in places like Africa as "trade" guns. In the process, the old guns were "sporterized" by removing part of the foreend.

The guns are interesting, and undoubtedly would have quite a tale to tell if they could speak. However, they have little monetary value.

Jim
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