View Full Version : Help With Old Musket Identification

December 23, 2008, 03:12 PM
I am unable to identify this musket or where it might have come from. Here is what I do know:
1. 50" overall with 35" barrel. It may have been cut down at some point, but I'm not sure. The photos may help to clarify it.
2. Raised, rounded sideplate.
3. The triggerguard end is shaped like a large acorn?
4. The Buttplate tang also has a unique shape.
5. The first 9" of the barrel is shaped in a soft-edged octagonal form. This is followed by two (nearly) concentric circles and the remaining barrel is round. Metal is thin. .69?
6. Flintintlock to percussion conversion.
7. The wood is checkered on the wrist of the rifle stock and forward of the triggerguard.
8. The front part of the forestock, forward of the tail pipe, has nicely shaped, molded wood.
9. The wood is more red in color than I have seen before. Is that the wood or the type of stain? The wood appears to have been lacquered.
10. The wood has been damaged by beetle (east coast).

Photobucket (55 images) at:


December 23, 2008, 04:45 PM
Very nice. Yours or a museums? There appear to be proofmarks on the barrel, which I cannot identify, but that would indicate to me not made for purely commercial use in the US. Either military or a country that required proofing of firearms and stamps to prove it. But the fancy decoration is not military IMO. How about a closeup of the lock? Any writing on the lockplate? I could be wrong, I am not the expert here, but I get the feeling, not American made. That does not preclude the conversion being American I suppose.

December 23, 2008, 07:23 PM
The lock is unmarked. The gun looks civilian to me as well, although there was one sling swivel (curiously) in the buttstock. I looked through George Neuman's Battle Weapons of the American Revolution and didn't see anything exactly like it, but there were somewhat similar Dutch rifles.


December 25, 2008, 05:08 PM
If it is smoothbore, I might almost think it something like an English Fowler. If you get good closeups of the proof marks on the barrel, someone can presumably identify country of origin from that. It certainly is not in the American style, to my eye. Still English makers usually put their name on the guns somewhere, so I am suprised at the lack of text engraved anywhere. The guys at the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association in Indiana might comprise one of the bigger groupings of experts involved in this sort of thing. They have a fellow who identifies old rifles for people in his columns each month. If guns of that sort are your area of interest, a membership will get you an interesting magazine about old iron. Not merely a collectors interest mag, involving shooting old iron and reenactments, primitive treks and encampments, etc.

December 25, 2008, 09:34 PM
That odd-style stock with the cheekpiece makes me think it might be German/Pennsylvania Dutch, but it's hard to tell without a hands-on look at these sorts of things.

December 25, 2008, 11:19 PM
Still, can you get a better picture of the round proof mark with the X shape appearing in it, or look at it under magnification and sketch it? That might be the main clue if there are no other marks on it. That might be useful to the non expert eye as there are similarities to me, in English, French and German types in the appearance, nothing to my untrained eye to give it away at first glance like an expert could do.