View Full Version : identify a gun from a pic

August 20, 2010, 06:45 PM
hey a guy on another forum was wanting to know if anyone could id this gun. I figured if anyone could do it they'd be on here, because I sure can't from this pic.

August 20, 2010, 07:17 PM
Awww, that's too easy! You should have fuzzed up the picture a bit to make it a REAL challenge! ;)

August 20, 2010, 07:27 PM
It appears to be an American muzzle loading percussion rifle.
Who made it is impossible to tell from the photo, and since a lot of these were hand made, even with a good photo it might not be identifiable.

August 20, 2010, 07:55 PM
It seems to be easy enough. The photo is a reverse image of a mule-ear gun.

That or it was made lefty.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

James K
August 20, 2010, 09:32 PM
The picture almost certainly has been flipped. That is usually attributed to a reversed negative, but I have recently learned that reversal is a result of the old time photographic processes, which didn't use negatives as such. That seems to be the explanation for the famous "left handed" Billy the Kid photo and probably the same is true with this picture which could well be from the same or an earlier era.

Assuming the picture is not a modern fake, the horn would seem to indicate a muzzle loader. The hammer doesn't look like a mule-ear. It is a back action lock, uncommon on American guns, and appears to be a percussion rifle.

Knowing something about the source of the picture would help, but I doubt anyone will ever identify the gun in any detail from that photograph alone.


Amin Parker
August 20, 2010, 11:52 PM
It looks like that genteman is smoking a pipe.

I collect guns and pipes so its a real treat for me to see both in the same pic.

Cant help with the gun though

August 21, 2010, 04:24 PM
thanks for the replies guys. I told the guy in the other forum good luck in finding out what the gun was, the pic isn't good enough. Jim Keenan ,like you said, I actually told him that info on the picture might help more than the pic itself.
To me it looked like a rabbit eared shotgun. I figured that was not a powder horn but more like a fox horn.

44 AMP
August 21, 2010, 11:49 PM
pic link no longer works 8/21

August 22, 2010, 10:55 AM
Works for me.

August 22, 2010, 02:22 PM
It is indeed a back action lock, and it would appear to be a single barreled weapon in that there is a single trigger. A single trigger actuating 2 percussion locks is pretty unlikely, but possible. The pistol grip and buttstock looks more like a shotgun to me, but who knows. The horn is not a fox horn. A rounded and likely turned plug with a finial can be seen at the butt. The spout appears to have a stopper, and does not appear to be cut at the point it would need to be to make a calling horn/fox horn. It is also carried as a powder horn would be. If it were a fox horn you would be blowing into the armpit.

August 22, 2010, 02:39 PM
8/22 link still works

August 22, 2010, 05:03 PM
It does appear to be a shotgun and is percussion. Lock is a back action and not a mule ear and technically can't be called a rabbit ear since is only one :D Horn is a powder horn.

August 22, 2010, 07:40 PM
Maybe an African trade musket, made in Belgium early 19th century. Seems to have a carving on the under side of the stock similar to this one:

pic (http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/373440/musket-belgium-percussion-early-19th-century)

August 23, 2010, 08:22 PM
I played around with Photoshop, and reversed the image. Looks like a Kentucky long rifle to me, but it's only a guess!


August 23, 2010, 08:39 PM
There were a very, very few longrifles made up with backaction locks. The only ones in Captain Dillin's book are swivel breech guns except for one halfstock rifle. I have never seen one with a pistol grip, and besides we have no idea from the photo whether it has a half stock or not. Likely it does.