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Old September 18, 2018, 04:31 PM   #1
token24a
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Identifying percussion pistol

Hi,
I recently purchased this pistol at an auction (hey, I thought it looked neat) but I'm having a hard time figuring out what it is.
I did find a Belgium proof mark on the barrel (oval with a crown that has ELG with a star under it) and the barrel says "Made In Belgium".
Other than that I can't find anything on it.
Any help figuring out what this is?
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Old September 20, 2018, 02:58 AM   #2
arcticap
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Is it a smoothbore?
What's the caliber?
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Old September 20, 2018, 07:08 AM   #3
mapsjanhere
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Country of origin labeling started at the end of the 19th century, well past when a gun like that would have been state of the art. This looks like a reproduction, probably 20th century.
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Old September 20, 2018, 10:42 AM   #4
token24a
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articap: it is a smooth bore, however I do not have an inside micrometer to help determine caliber

mapsjanhere: that actually answers a question I had: when did they start labeling origin on barrels. Thanks for the answer! That particular proof mark was used from 1893-1968, so it that coincides with the country of origin labeling.

To my untrained eye the fittings look a little to crude to be the work of an accomplished gun smith. Possibly of pakistani origin, maybe a Khyber Pass special? Although I don't see the point of trying to pass off the gun as "original" Belgian by going through the process of marking the barrel without at least attempting to forge a much easier makers mark elsewhere on the firearm.
I did scrape the brass in an inconspicuous spot and it is in fact solid brass, not plated. Not sure if that matters or not?
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Old September 20, 2018, 11:01 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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I find such things for sale in the 1911 ALFA and 1939 Stoeger catalogs. Sold in the industrialized world as novelties and decorators, there was still a market for muzzleloaders in colonial lands.

One period writer said that tribal smiths had found that the tubular steel steering column out of a scrapped Vauxhall made an adequate musket barrel with "bore approximating arquebus."
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Old September 20, 2018, 12:37 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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The "Made In Belgium" wasn't required by anybody when percussion locks were the standard. The Gun Control Act of 1968 mandated it, Stateside. Anything made in Pakistan would not have that either.
"...oval with a crown that has ELG with a star under it..." Number 13? Means the barrel at least was made there. Issue is that everybody and his brother plus all their cousins and friends made stuff like that in small shops all around Liege prior to W.W. I.
http://www.hunting.be/wp-content/upl...roof-Marks.pdf
"...do not have an inside micrometer..." Your reloading Vernier calipres will do it.
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Old September 20, 2018, 01:01 PM   #7
arcticap
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Using a tape measure could help to estimate the bore size.
I was just curious about it.
It's a handsome pistol...
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Old September 20, 2018, 03:29 PM   #8
token24a
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The history surrounding firearms is fascinating. Thanks again to everyone who has shared insight on this. I'm not expecting to have a definitive answer as to when and where this came from but I am hoping to at least narrow it down.

Jim Watson I'll have to see if I can find those catalogs online to look through them.

T. O'Heir great input on the country of origin stamps on barrels. So it sounds like quality would vary greatly from shop to shop which would explain a rougher fit and finish and why it may or may not have a makers mark?

arcticap: using a tape measure I got 7/16" bore size, or 0.4375". 11mm ball?
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Old September 20, 2018, 04:59 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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There was a US law requiring national origin marking on guns in 1903.
Shows up on early Luger imports; although I don't know if it would apply to a muzzleloader.

1911 and 1939 catalogs on line? Not likely, I got reprints from Cornell.
https://www.cornellpubs.com/index.php
Don't get too excited, the EXACT gun you show is not in either of mine.
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Old September 21, 2018, 10:33 PM   #10
Model12Win
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I think the inset bird on the side is quite charming. An interesting piece, no matter the origin.
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Old September 22, 2018, 10:18 AM   #11
token24a
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Thanks Jim, I'll take a look at that site. Wasn't expecting to find an exact match but trying to find something with similar styling to maybe help narrow it down.
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Old September 22, 2018, 04:07 PM   #12
arcticap
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Both the bird and the fish are powerful symbols that have a [religious] meaning.

Bird - https://www.ancient-symbols.com/bird_symbols.html

Fish - https://www.christianitytoday.com/hi...sh-symbol.html

https://www.whats-your-sign.com/symb...s-of-fish.html

Last edited by arcticap; September 22, 2018 at 04:27 PM.
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