View Full Version : Help Identifying Old Firearm

November 23, 2009, 10:22 PM
Hey all,

My grandfather died a few years ago and just now was I told that he left me something. It is what appears to be a very old beat up rifle. I really don't know very much about guns and was hoping to learn about how old it is and who made it.

The finish is almost completely warn away but I closely examined the metal parts with a flashlight and found the following symbols. I drew them here. They may be different than I drew, it was very difficult to see them.

I also included a picture of the gun. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

November 23, 2009, 10:23 PM
Here are a few more pictures.

November 24, 2009, 09:54 AM
It looks like a Tabatiere ("snuffbox", because the gun opens up like a snuffbox) conversion of a muzzle-loader to breech-loading single-shot form; several countries did this after muzzle-loaders became obsolete, and after those breech-loaders became obsolete, many of them were again converted to single-shot shotguns and sold around the world as "Zulu"-type shotguns, in trade for whatever they could get. Are there any markings at all on the lockplate, near the hammer? This gun looks like it may have originally been French.

November 24, 2009, 11:08 AM
The star over M is often reported on Belgian weapons, so usually in conjunction with the ELG in oval.

Edit: Looked up the date, the Belgian mark is 20th century, unlikely to be connected with this gun

James K
November 24, 2009, 10:27 PM
Right on, SDC. It is French, the Model 1857 transformed (converted to breech loading) 1867. I believe that model is unique among French military long arms in having a trigger that is curved rather than almost straight.

A picture I have shows the Tulle arsenal marking on one behind the hammer, so that could be something to look for.