View Full Version : Old musket/black powdergun-How can I tell it's value?

J S Machine
December 31, 2008, 08:29 AM
I have an old musket gun / black powder gun and the story I have been told was that somebody found it on a river bank here in AL. The gun has been passed down through the generations in my family, and now I have it. The gun and / or the story may be false, but I don't know for sure.

I wish I had some pics, but unfortunately I don't at the moment. The gun is about 50-55" long from the bottom of the stock to the tip of the barrel. It seems like it stil has a trigger, and the hammer is there, but it is badly corroded. The hammer actually still pivots, but the gun is in no way functional. The hole in the end of the barrel is around .75" in DIA and it has a stick or a rod (not sure what this is called) that you would pack the charge with. The stick looks like it was made and hand carved out of some type of limb or something, because it isn't exactly straight, and there are places where it is raised and it looks like there may have been a branch coming off here and there.

The stock is fairly narrow compared to other guns. It is only about an inch thick side to side at the most. it is very beat up, and looks real. The gun does not look like a reproduction antique, although I know this is a possibility. It looks authentic, but it is very hard to tell.

The gun has no visible engraving- corrosion and other things would completely mask it anyway if it even did.

What is the value of something like this? If you are unable to advise, where can I take it to get it checked out where someone could tell me?

I am in the market for a pistol, and I am selling some of my rifles and shotguns. This gun will be sold also, once I know it's value. I don't have a use for it, and I'm sure someone does. Someone offered me $50 bucks for it, but I'm not gonna let it go just yet until I find out the true value of it.


James K
December 31, 2008, 06:42 PM
Others may disagree but IMHO that $50 is a good offer. What you describe is simply a relic, a rusted out shotgun that was most likely not of much value in the first place. Its only value today would (again IMHO) be as an heirloom since it has been in your family. No gun store would be interested in buying it or taking it in trade.

If there is a museum in your area or there is a gun show around, try taking it in and asking about it, but I am afraid there will be little interest.


January 1, 2009, 10:03 AM
I had a marlin lever action that had been in a fire.It was all there ,except for the wood stock and foreend.I traded it to a gentleman at a gun show for a few boxes of shells and was happy to get that.

January 1, 2009, 10:58 AM
Well if you can post a picture, maybe we can tell if it is a civilian gun or something maybe dropped in 1864. If it is a War atwixt the States relic, it is always something that is being pursued by collectors, and might have some value as that. Otherwise if it is just something that fell out of a boat in 1891, maybe not worth so much. Those guys with metal detectors are always finding "relic" guns dropped in some battle, that are rusted hulks and if they can say it was found near such and such battlefield, someone will pay for the sad remains.

January 1, 2009, 11:17 AM
The 50 bucks was probably a pretty good deal unless it can be positively proven to have seen C.W. use. Even then it probably wouldn't go for more than 100 or so.

J S Machine
January 2, 2009, 08:16 PM
Sold for $50 this morning. Thank you for the help guys.