View Full Version : Old Musket, need help!

April 3, 2009, 07:27 AM
I recently was given this old musket from my father in law who passed away. I have no idea if it is junk or worth restoring. My father in law had it on his wall for years and i think i rember him saying it was from africa? I would dearly love any infomation any one can give me. The only proofs i can see on it are behind the hammer and i'm pretty sure it's stamped TO if that helps. Any guesses as to age, origin or value would be great. All up it measures 1280mm


April 3, 2009, 07:30 AM
Some more pics for previous post. Thanks

April 3, 2009, 07:49 AM
Looks like it might be a trade gun from some African or Arab area to me. Maybe north africa? Lot of trade guns made in Europe and sent over. Just about anything that would shoot, sorta like the trade gun business from Europe to the american natives in the 19th and earlier centuries. I would consider it a display piece. Largely left as-is. All that it might benefit from is a careful surface dirt cleaning, maybe brass brush off any loose rust but not shine anything up! Then an overall coating of something like Renaissance wax to protect it from atmospheric effects and dust. SOme expert here might be able to narrow down the area of interest based on the appearance and decorations, but it is an interesting artifact. Probably no clearly established value for it. I mean one of those brass brushes that looks like a toothbrush, not a rotary power tool brush!

Mike Irwin
April 3, 2009, 09:30 AM
the carvings and stock make me think more likely Middle East.

Probably not much value at all.

Clean off the rust, and continue to use it as a wall hanging.

April 3, 2009, 09:34 AM
Have you run a cleaning rod into the bore to check for a load?
Very interesting musket.
As for restoring, I wouldn't. The history is in the condition.
As for Junk, Only in the eye of a hopolophobe!

April 3, 2009, 10:05 AM
Just remember you want to remove only loose dust dirt and rust. No shining up the metal bright. Leave the steel brown. It is an antique and should look like an antique to retain any value. So you are gonna have to approach the project with some thought, not just go at it with a wire wheel on a dremel tool or drill. I have seen Civil War relics that were cleaned down to the bright metal in the 60's, removing all rust and brown patina. They look like craap and lost alot of their collectors value in the process. But dirt is not a virtue. Dust neither. Unless you are gonna try to sell it as "attic found" condition, which does attract some folks, they like to get them like that and decide themselves how to proceed with any measures to improve appearance.

April 3, 2009, 10:19 AM
[the carvings and stock make me think more likely Middle East. Probably not much value at all.] - +1

JMO - From one of the 'stan's, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, or other Carpathian mountain state.

As posed above - It COULD still be loaded. I would definitely give it the ramrod length check, inside & out.


James K
April 3, 2009, 11:37 PM
I think that the guns (and I do mean guns, plural) involved are probably all of the above. I think the lock started out as the real thing, probably European. The stock might also have been part of a trade gun; the barrel appears to be of "local" make and may be nothing more than a piece of pipe.

Concoctions like that were made up in North Africa and some areas in the Middle East for sale to European and American tourists as souvenirs. If your father-in-law had travelled to that area, the old "gun" may have reminded him of his younger days, which is why he kept it. I doubt he thought it was valuable or functional, and I like to think that he is smiling at us trying to figure it out.

I wouldn't try to "restore" it (to what?) or spend time or money on it. It does not have, and will never have, any real monetary value, no matter what you do.


April 4, 2009, 04:19 AM
Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. It seems everone agrees it's not worth much. It may have to go back up on the wall.

April 4, 2009, 09:40 AM
Don't hang guns over a fireplace that is used alot, unless you don't care about the gun too much. The heat and invisible smoke and stuff will affect it over time. As to being worthless, it is in the eye of the beholder. Some folks might think it is cool or fits their decor plans and might pay a good price to hang it on their wall, others might not be willing to spend more than 20$ for the privelidge of displaying it. Like any decoration. Some might pay thousands of dollars for a Picasso vase, others find it ugly and pass on it. Certainly it has little value as a practical shooter!:) Certainly if it will disassemble easily enough without doing any damage to it, you could learn something about the lock, barrel, etc. in the process and maybe end up with it looking a little better for display. If that makes you nervous don't try to take it apart.

April 4, 2009, 09:50 AM
Unless you are overloaded with $ I would be taking the advise of others and just clean up what you can of it without trying to take it apart. Yes definately check it isnt loaded with a rod (measurement) or a bore light and just enjoy looking at it (and possibly inventing really good BS stories about it (just for fun) :D

Would be nice to find out what it is and where it came from..... so thats your homework for the next 20 years or so, then get back to us and let us know what you find out about it :D

Great collectors piece, great conversation starter ;):D


April 6, 2009, 07:56 AM
Thanks to all you guys who have given me your opinion. I now have a better idea how to go forward with this. It seems there is not a lot to do but just enjoy it for what it is.:D