View Full Version : Mystery Long Rifle

October 25, 2010, 09:34 PM
I have a problem and maybe you all can help. My father in law called me tonight and wants to know if a gun he found in his sisters house is valuable. As far as I can tell it is a Kentucky/Pennsylvania long rifle. The photos I have are poor quality because he is old and I used Skype snapshots of our video chat session where he showed me the rifle. A couple of things immediately stood out. One: there is not a single mark of any type anywhere on this rifle that can be used to identify its maker or origin. Two: the rifles stock is very basic in appearance with no brass or inlay at all except for the buttplate. Three: The rifles forestock length is not consistent with any of the pictures in any of my guides. What I can tell for sure is that it has two triggers, finger notches on a long curved trigger guard, an octagonal barrel both inside and out, rifling groves in the barrel, and there is a metal band that wraps around the tip of the forestock and the barrel like on a ruger 10/22 that is grey in color. As far as age goes I can only verify that the gun can be traced back only 30 or so years. That is when it came into his sisters husbands possession. Also my father in-law told me that there are two holes drilled in the underside of the barrel just in front of where the forestock ends. My question is... Is this a kit gun from way back or a broken restocked gun?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Oh yeah, it,s loaded too!

Mike Irwin
October 25, 2010, 11:56 PM
Determining value of such a rifle often requires consultation with an expert.

Without knowing anything about the markings on the gun, it's simply impossible to say whether it's valuable or not.

October 26, 2010, 04:58 PM
Close in shots of markings would help, proof marks,any lettering.Friend swore he had an original Kentucky rifle hanging over the bar when he bought the place.It was probably worth a fortune,he could retire on it.One night i climbed up on the bar,took in down,glanced at it,and hung it back up.Told him don't sell the farm just yet,never seen a Kentucky rifle with (SPAIN) stamped on the barrel.

October 26, 2010, 05:11 PM
There is not a mark on this gun. Until I can get back to visit in December and take a look at the underside of the barrel I can't say for sure but there is nothing in plain view. There is a complete lack of EVERYTHING on this gun. No extra brass or inlays, no cap pouch, no engraving. Nothing. My father in law is ****** at me because he said he saw one online for $999 and that is what he assumes it is worth and why won't I give her $999 for it. Honestly I hate the internet sometimes. Also, not shown in those crappy photos is the fact that the barrel is completely exposed about 1/4 of the way and there is a grey matallic band that wraps around the barrel and stock. All of the pictures in my reference books show the kentuckys with full length stocks that go to the muzzle. I am thinking that this was broken and repaired. Back to the lack of markings though, there is not a single engraving on any piece of metal. Could this just be a kit gun or a poormans model? Also ehat do you think of the trigger guard? Am I correct in assuming that this is Kentucky/Pennsylvania style?

Jim Watson
October 26, 2010, 05:40 PM
The double set triggers look to be of period style.
I have not seen a trigger guard with that hook spur, though.

There are a lot of half stock percussion rifles out there; it might be a repair with a split full stock cut back or it might have been made that way.

The inletting around the front of the lock plate looks rough, surfaces look patinated, hammer spur is not checkered.

I think it may be original but a plain, inexpensive gun not well preserved.

Not MY $999, for sure.

Edit: I thought about the possibility that it was a drum and nipple conversion from flint but the lockplate does not look long enough. Pictures are not good enough to see where a pan and frizzen used to be mounted.

October 26, 2010, 05:41 PM
Well, IF it's real the price wouldn't be all that off, if you compare the guns here (http://www.armchairgunshow.com/otsMP_cap_and_ball.htm). The lock on your gun looks like a former flint lock with the piston seat screwed into the side plate with horizontal firing hole, what might indicate against a modern kit gun. But there are so many condition questions on old guns that it's hard to tell the difference from a $300 wall hanger to a $2000 candidate for original rifle shooters.

4V50 Gary
October 30, 2010, 10:05 PM
I beg to differ that it was a conversion from flint to percussion. I don't see any holes on the lockplate that suggests a frizzen spring on it.

It was mentioned that the front of the barrel is secured with a barrel band. This is very unusual for a non-military gun. I'm wondering if that was a repair because the pin or wedges beneath the barrel weren't holding the gun (barrel to stock) together.

How about a full length photo.

Any patchbox or a grease hole on the side. Take a picture of the cheekpiece too. Betcha it's some sort of schimmel/poor boy.

Mike Irwin
October 31, 2010, 05:43 AM
agree with Gary and Jim, that gun was originally caplock. The lock was not converted from a flintlock.

October 31, 2010, 03:31 PM
Too little known about it to make a determination. Trigger guard is typical as is the sett trigger. But new made castings are copies of old originals. The pic doesn't help.
If old it could have been made by a local builder who has not artistically inclined. But, in fact, the old squirrel/barn/Southern/hog/Poor Boy/whatever rifles can have high collectors value because they often did not survive. Fancy presentation guns were carefully preserved. Workin' barn guns were not well cared for as they were just tools.
Or, it could be a throwed together kit with zip value. Get better pictures.

October 31, 2010, 04:19 PM
The triggers are an original style not usually associated with run of the mill kits. It could be an original, a modern custom build or a good quality kit gun. Hard to say. Need better pics to even hazzard a guess.

4V50 Gary
November 2, 2010, 10:12 PM
Where's the full length photo of the gun?

You can't just a gun just from the lock or the trigger guard.

Let's see both sides of the stock too.

November 5, 2010, 11:07 PM
I got to tour the J.D. Davis Gun Musuem just outside of Tulsa OK.
Mr. Davis had an incredible collection of "Kentucky" rifles.

There were numerous displays of 15-20 rifles by location. You could see by display that the style, the hardware, all varied by date and location. Southern rifles noticeably had little to no hardware on them.

Cannot say much of anything about the rifle in the pictures. There is just not enough information.

Your father in law is greedy. You are under no obligation to give him any money for anything.

If he wants a $1000, let him find a buyer.

James K
November 6, 2010, 12:45 PM
How did your FIL get the idea that you should buy the gun, no matter what it is worth? Unless you slipped up and told him you would buy it, you have no obligation to do so, period. If you want some amusement, tell your FIL that the gun is worth a million dollars but you don't have that kind of money and he should take it to a gun show. They'll laugh him out of the place and you will get to enjoy his ranting.

P.S. Divorce may follow.