View Full Version : Trade Gun. Better than hot biscuit

October 27, 2008, 11:17 PM
And I say that as a big fan of hot biscuit. I picked this one up from GB. Used to be the rifles were far more expensive than the smooth bores, but now it's the other way around. Still I wanted one and bit the bullet with Aunt Sarah's bucks. Glad I did.

This is a 12 ga. old northwest style trade gun. It has a big Lott lock on it and a sturdy barrel. The mechanism is incredibly simple. In many ways it's like an 18th century AK-47. Used to arm the "insurgents" of the day. These things don't have a great rep for accuracy but even with undersized cast .690" patched roundballs I got solid results in test shooting. I am confident I can get solid accuracy out to 75 yards with larger size roundball.

There's really very little that can go wrong with it, compared with more complex caplocks from later eras. The barrel is a tube with a little hole in the side for the flames from the flash powder to go. When the soot builds up, you just push a piece of copper through the hole and clean it out. I didn't make enough balls to torture test it but I will have a bunch more next time.



October 28, 2008, 04:02 AM
Very nice, I like a Flinter for sure but ATM all I have is cap locks but one day I'll save my pennies to get me a nice one.

Very nice lines it has, congrats on your find.

4V50 Gary
October 28, 2008, 07:44 AM
Smoothbore guns can be quite accurate at 75 yards. Prof. Lawrence Babits (Devil of a Whipping) scored four out of five hits at 75 yards on a man sized target. He was loading and firing as quick as he could too. One interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg told me that when they benchrested their replica Brown Bess, they consistently struck a man sized target at 100 yards. The trick - everyone practiced. That was not something the soldier of the flintlock era did much of as it was considered a waste of shot and powder.

October 28, 2008, 07:50 AM
Smoothies can be alot more accurate then some folks know ..I`ve got a friend that only shoots a smoothie ...he took first place this past year at Davy Crokett Rendevous with it ...shooting against 64 rifles .....ask him if a rifleman has an edge ...The right lube , patch , and powder charge seperates the men from the boys .

October 28, 2008, 11:07 AM
Here's what we all need. Double barrel Flintlock

October 28, 2008, 11:37 AM
Don't see these that often and that's too bad. These truly are a thing of beauty and appreciated. :)

Be Safe !!!

October 28, 2008, 12:05 PM
After using this thing a bit, and comparing it to my caplocks, I have to wonder why anyone stopped using flints. The mechanism is absurdly simple. English flints are best, but many other types of flints and rocks will serve well enough.

I guess wet weather created problems, but with a flint you just have a knee over the lock or put a fresh charge in the pan before firing. If wetness gets to a caplock you're out of action for a while, esp. with a complex patent breech. With the flinter there's just a simple hole to be cleaned out from time to time, and a pan to brush.

October 28, 2008, 12:40 PM
Very nice find, wish I could get my hands on something like that.

October 28, 2008, 01:57 PM
Hey Cosmo,

Here's s silly question. Is there enough room there to comfortably get your finger in the trigger guard?

And while I am thinking about it. Is that a BUNNY RABBIT there on the top of the barrel? What kind of proof is that?

The Doc is out now. :cool:

PS, yes, it looks like one cool, fun gun!

October 28, 2008, 03:13 PM
That trigger guard is great, it lets me shoot it with gloves on. Since it's been in the single digits here.

That's a sitting fox, which in this case is the mark of a fella called Curly Gostomski. It isn't a 100% Curly gun, though. Which is how I could afford it. It's Curly parts in a replacement stock. Shoots square, which is the main thing.

October 28, 2008, 04:24 PM
Very nice Cosmo.
Hey kwhi43 how bout some full length pics of that SXS. That's some purdy wood.

Fingers McGee
October 28, 2008, 06:52 PM
Very nice guns. I've always liked the graceful lines of a flinter and have drooled over a few doubles.

October 28, 2008, 06:55 PM

October 29, 2008, 02:57 AM
That is beeyootiful.:cool:

October 29, 2008, 09:31 AM
No offense Cosmoline but the 'fox-in-the-circle' (as well as the tombstone fox' are marks of the firearms made for the big trade companies for Native American sales. The Hudsons Bay Company is a prime example.

For anyone who wishes to combine business with pleasure (or vacation with pleasure), stop by the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska. They have the largest collection extant of the different versions of Trade Guns.

Back in the 60s and 70s I used to meet up with Curly at various rendezvous' and paw through his wares. He was the first one (other than custom) to put some effort into recreating the NW Trade Gun. It went by the name of Northstar. The company 'North Star West', which is a direct descendant of Curly's original organization is located at: http://www.northstarwest.com/

There are many books on the Hudsons Bay Company, North West Company and American Trade Companies that are very informative and include details on this subject and many others. Good winter reading.

October 29, 2008, 11:51 AM
I know that. This particular fox stamp was Curly's, as several others have confirmed. It was the current head of Northstar West, Matt Denison, who theorized these were probably Curly parts on a different stock. Whether they were originally part of an all-Curly gun or sold for a special project nobody knows. The original owner's name of "G. Shriener" is on the barrel.