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Old February 16, 2015, 10:37 AM   #1
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info for c. 1840s squirrel/trade rifle

My stepson inherited an old family heirloom in the form of a rifle which was handed down through the generations, but whose history is lost due to the passing of the last of those generations.

I know little about muzzle loaders and net research can quickly get confusing. Here's what I have figured out so far...
it's a percussion ignition lock
seems to be about 40 cal.
trigger guard, butt and other appointments were iron
full stock
" *J*M* " stamped on the barrel.

It seems consistent with the firearms that went west to the frontier from the mid 1830s to about the 1850s, can anybody point me to a good source of information for more research?
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Old February 16, 2015, 10:41 AM   #2
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Start by posting pictures.

If you can attend the National Shoot at the Ben Avery Range near Phoenix, AZ, I'm sure you'll find some experts there. The shoot is 3/3-3/9.
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Old February 16, 2015, 10:56 AM   #3
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I'm working from my tablet. I have a couple of pics but they're too big and the resoluton isn't that great anyway. If I can figure out how to change the settings so TFL will let them attach I'll post them.

Perdasoli makes a reproduction ".Alamo rifle" that shares many similarities in appearance.
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Old February 16, 2015, 08:25 PM   #4
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CVA makes or made an excellent repro squirrel rifle.
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Old February 16, 2015, 08:48 PM   #5
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I'm not looking to buy a rifle, I mentioned the Perdasoli because its lockwork is very similar in appearance to one on my son's rifle. His rifle is probably 175 years old... I'm hoping to find a good source of information regarding its origins.
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Old February 17, 2015, 12:26 PM   #6
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A lot of guessing going on here . . . it could be anything from the description.

Without pictures . . . it's a "could be, might be, probably is".

Not being sarcastic or critical . . but photos . . . good ones . . of the entire rifle, the furniture, the stock shape, both sides of the butt stock, the lock side and the opposite side where the lock bolt goes in . . all those things will give possible hints as to the origin of the rifle. There were many "schools" of rifle making, many geographical styles, etc. that can help identify or at least give a hint as to the origin of the rifle.

Your guess on the 40 caliber gives a hint that this was made for areas where small game was the usual fare on the table . . . but that too, is a guess. Full stock . . does it have a nose cap? Iron or poured or none at all. Does it have an entry pipe or none? Etc. All those things help in the identification of any rifle and can help at least to give a possible area of origin which could be anywhere from New England to the Carolinas to Kentucky/Tennessee, etc.
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Old February 18, 2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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Based mainly on the lock work, but other factors considered, my best guess is it's a Pennsylvania long rifle from the period of roughly 1836 to early 1840s.

A cousin of the late owner is coming for a visit in few weeks, he is a history professor at a state college. I'm hopeful he has some knowledge of their heritage that can shed some light on the old relic.

I fully understand the issue of pictures but can't figure out how to achieve the high resolution needed and comply with TFL's limits on picture size at the same time, especially with this darn tablet. I'm thinking of ditching it for a laptop that has a (wonder of wonders) usb port. Then I can actually use a dedicated camera without having to go to a different computer, download pics, then email to the tab, then download again, then attach if the settings are correct.

Last edited by oldscot3; February 18, 2015 at 07:35 AM.
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Old February 20, 2015, 09:12 PM   #8
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Upload them to photobucket then copy and paste the img tag in your post,
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Old February 21, 2015, 07:13 AM   #9
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PM sent to you oldscot3
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