View Full Version : Help Identifying Flintlock

December 9, 2010, 10:46 PM
I'd be interested if anyone can enlighten me on this piece. I posted some of these pics n another forum and, while people were convinced it is a replica, they weren't sure what it was a replica *of*. :) I got this from my Dad. I know he had it in about 1960. I don't know anything about how he got it or what he *thought* it was. It's a smooth bore. .75" bore diameter. Barrel length is 38". Overall length is 56".

Thanks a ton for any insight/info anyone could provide.


Overall view:

Left side of stock:


Bottom of stock:

Barrel stamps:

December 9, 2010, 11:46 PM
The crown over BP and crown over BP say Birmingham 1925 - 1954. So, you got a 12 gauge shotgun replica made in the first half of the 20th century.

December 9, 2010, 11:56 PM
Thanks a lot.

When you say "Say Birmingham....." do you mean those specific marks help you place it in that timeframe? Or do you mean that '12' has some significance? I'm trying to learn / interpret markings like this.

Thanks again.


4V50 Gary
December 10, 2010, 12:02 AM
A back action lock that has a separate flint mechanism? Barrel bands too? It looks like it was cobbled together from leftovers to sell for the African trade. Still, it appears to be well made.

December 10, 2010, 07:44 AM
Yes, made in England in that time frame. Before 1925 they used a cursive font for the stamp, and after 1954 they abandoned the BV stamp.

Jim Watson
December 10, 2010, 09:07 AM
Agree with Gary.
A back action lock with the frizzen on a separate plate looks to me like it was downconverted from percussion to flint to make a trade musket. I think it was probably reamed out to smoothbore from a surplus rifle musket, too. The broad barrel bands and spring retainers were military standard in those days.

The back action lock and finger groove trigger guard tang look like French design. Probably a British outfit bought up French surplus to modify and proof in Birmingham for the African trade market.

The checkering is suspiciously nice for a real trade gun, I am thinking of an inexpensive wall hanger. Stoeger sold stuff like this up into the 1970s and I bet Dad got it that way.

December 10, 2010, 08:02 PM
Can someone explain the term "African trade market"? I'm not familiar with it.



December 10, 2010, 08:59 PM
The stock and barrel hardware have an Austrian Lorenz look, especially the nose cap. However the lock plate outline doesn't. Weird but definitely military origins for the hardware.

Jim Watson
December 10, 2010, 09:27 PM
explain the term "African trade market"?

In the colonial era it was usual for trading posts to sell obsolete weapons to native tribesmen. It let them hunt more efficiently without posing any military threat to the colonial government.
Flintlock muzzleloaders hung on in that market for a long long time.