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Old December 6, 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
moosejaw
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Help Identifying this Pre-Civil War Rifle

Please help me identify this Pre-Civil War Rifle.

Etched in the barrel are the years 1823 and 1833.

Thank you.

http://imgur.com/a/ooibz
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Old December 6, 2013, 05:19 PM   #2
tahunua001
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we'll need much more detailed photos than that.
we need close ups of the lock, muzzle, and engraving, and then it needs to be taken out of the stock so that we can see any proofs on the barrel.
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Old December 6, 2013, 05:30 PM   #3
moosejaw
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Ok, I will try to get some more detailed photos. Any suggestions or clues so far?

EDIT: More images. Best I can do with my camera.
http://imgur.com/fguvAQf

http://imgur.com/fguvAQf

http://imgur.com/Ha01ki7

http://imgur.com/xIKGEOM

Last edited by moosejaw; December 6, 2013 at 05:55 PM.
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Old December 6, 2013, 07:20 PM   #4
PetahW
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.

It might help if you took pics of the rest of the gun, and not just the lock.


.
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Old December 6, 2013, 07:58 PM   #5
Hawg Haggen
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That's a nice full stock percussion. The clean out screw and the lock screw are not original and its a shame someone defaced the barrel. Percussion caps were not around in 1823 and that was definitely never a flintlock. My WAG is it was made between 1840 and 1860.
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Old December 6, 2013, 09:01 PM   #6
moosejaw
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There were a few pictures in the album of the whole rifle.
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Old December 6, 2013, 10:30 PM   #7
James K
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Something is definitely missing there. That type of back action lock almost always butts at the front onto the bolster or a fence. It does not just end in the wood or in the air like that one does. As for a conversion, that would be about impossible; I have never seen a back action flintlock and the mechanical requirements would seem to make one very unlikely.

It is pretty certain that the lock is original to the rifle; back action locks are uncommon on American rifles, but not unknown.

But I think that rifle had some other type of bolster and that the common drum type is a replacement. (The cleanout screw appears modern.)

It is a full stock sporting/hunting rifle of around 1835-40. I can't explain the 1823 and 1833 dates. The latter would be possible; the former not at all.

Many of those percussion rifles, full or half stock, were made in small shops and often even signed ones cannot be traced since there is no information on the maker. Unless the OP has some other source of information, the maker and date/place of manufacture may never be known.

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Old December 7, 2013, 01:01 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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Rightly or not, I always figure guns with back action locks are of later manufacture than bar action guns.
The dates probably don't have anything to do with the age of the rifle. Maybe the birthday of the first owner and his brother. Who knows?
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Old December 7, 2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Easily possible that the barrel was taken of an earlier flintlock, the horizontal fire hole would fit. The lack of fitting around the lock speaks of a less than sophisticated gun maker assembling the gun for parts.
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Old December 7, 2013, 11:23 AM   #10
moosejaw
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I appreciate everyone's help thus far. I do not have any understanding of guns in general so this is a great learning experience.

I guess I'm asking if there is any consensus on the date or the type or the manufacturer? I'm looking to possibly sell the gun and would greatly like to have as much knowledge as possible. This gun belonged to my late husband and was used in the Civil War by one of his ancestors, according to family folklore. He received a certificate from the Secretary of War Stanton and President Lincoln for his service in an Ohio Volunteer regiment.
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Old December 7, 2013, 10:07 PM   #11
OcelotZ3
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It seems the etchings are accompanied by initials?

Could it be owner initials & birthday?
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Old December 8, 2013, 08:40 AM   #12
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret
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Selling it.

Include those framed documents in the deal and ask $875. Someone who wants it on the mantle will be happy with it. Someone like the experts above will see that the authenticity is questionable BUT might take it for less.
The details are not on your side on this one. "Who made it and when? " Who knows? We don't know if it was made this way with spare parts or altered later.
Call it a 'percussion swivel-bore from the mid 19th century from Ohio' and leave it at that

Last edited by Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret; December 8, 2013 at 08:56 AM.
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Old December 8, 2013, 03:56 PM   #13
trigger643
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I'm pretty much with the others on this. Although the lock appears it could have been original to the stock (or another smaller lock and the area enlarged later?), the barrel doesn't belong to the rifle and does appear to be an earlier flint lock barrel that's had the frizzen and pan replaced with a nipple.

Bubba has been working on guns for over 300 years, that's a fact.

Still, a neat old gun.
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Old December 8, 2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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The set trigger means that this lock would have originally been on a target rifle, but is the bore rifled now?
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Old December 9, 2013, 12:48 AM   #15
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The problem with a claimed Civil War association is that while there might be proof that the ancestor served in that war, that does not provide any proof that this rifle was carried in the war, by him or anyone else, or even belonged to him.

Since that is not a standard military rifle and probably is not even the standard .58 caliber, it is not very likely (close to impossible) that the rifle was carried in the war. (It would be like a soldier in Afghanistan carrying a Winchester High Wall in .32-40 - not impossible, but darned unlikely.)

BTW, set triggers were often used on hunting rifles, not just on target rifles.

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