The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 7, 2018, 08:04 PM   #1
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
antique muzzleloader ID help

Hello,

I would like to know if anyone could help ID a gun I inherited.
I attached a couple pics. It is about .35 caliber and I did feel any rifling when cleaning the barrel. It is percussion gun and has no ID marks anywhere. I took off the barrel and looked underneath and all. There is engraving on the side plates that look like leaves sort of. I could supply pics of the engraving. It is a heavy octagonal barrel. It has 2 triggers that still function, to get the hammer to stay back you cock/pull the big rear trigger then the small front trigger fires. The small front trigger has an adjustment screw. It is a nice light trigger pull. It was in an old farm house in Indiana, probably my great grandfathers gun.
Any info or guesses would be great,

Thanks!!

a guncloser.jpg

whole gun.jpg
mike.shoaff is offline  
Old January 7, 2018, 09:01 PM   #2
Irondog54
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2017
Posts: 7
I'm going out on a limb and saying it's a smooth rifle. The main purpose being versatility. The gun could be loaded with wad and shot for small game, and patched ball for larger game. Despite the lack of rifling, the ball load could be very accurate within 50 yards. I built a 54 cal-28 gauge flintlock smooth rifle just to fill those needs. I've taken several turkeys with my shot load, and my .530 patched ball is pretty accurate.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 68930BCA-AF3F-44E7-BE7D-BD6F068A713A_zps7bog3s9i.jpg (195.5 KB, 62 views)
Irondog54 is offline  
Old January 8, 2018, 01:00 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 10,282
"...did feel any rifling..." Did not? You should be able to see rifling. A percussion musket(that's what Irondog54's "smooth rifle" is. There being no such thing as a smooth rifle by the definition of 'rifle'.) would be unusual for the time period of percussion locks, but it might be. Might be a shotgun too.
"...has 2 triggers..." One of 'em a setting trigger?
"...no ID marks anywhere..." Indicates it might be home made. At one time all kinds of stuff was made by small smithies all over the U.S. That's how the Hawken boys got started. Makes it almost impossible to ID it.
The stock appears to be cracked, so don't even think about shooting it.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old January 8, 2018, 01:18 PM   #4
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 1,521
"Smooth rifle" was a term used in the flintlock era for a smoothbore gun that had furniture and sights like a "rifle gun". Seems like an oxymoron, but that's what they called it. That's an awfully small bore for shot - are you sure there's no rifling?
ligonierbill is offline  
Old January 8, 2018, 07:22 PM   #5
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
rifling

I took another look with a better light and I think I do see rifling.

Yes the one trigger is kind of like a set trigger. The hammer does not lock back until you pull the larger rear trigger. Then the small trigger in the front fires it.

There are some cracks in the stock. I would like to fix it up some but may not shoot it. May be a wall-hanger. I saw some guns on-line that were very similar. They had many identical parts like the trigger, butt plate, side plates etc. These guns were made by a gun maker from Bloomington IL around 1870. I think that is probably about when it was made.
mike.shoaff is offline  
Old January 10, 2018, 03:08 PM   #6
noelf2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 14, 2008
Location: Stafford, VA
Posts: 2,343
It wouldn't have originally been a smoothbore. I've never seen a set trigger on a smoothbore gun. Either the barrel has / had rifling, and it's just worn down, or the barrel was re-bored to get out bad pitting and such. Should move this to the Black Powder and Cowboy Action forum to get some expert help.
__________________
Liberty and freedom often offends those who understand neither.
noelf2 is offline  
Old January 10, 2018, 05:58 PM   #7
mapsjanhere
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2,802
Looks like a German set trigger in a US style stock, seen a couple on the web as made on the East Coast 1850 - 1870 as light hunting rifles.
__________________
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.
mapsjanhere is offline  
Old January 10, 2018, 09:13 PM   #8
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks for all the input!
I believe it does have rifling.
I would like to have it repaired a bit and get an appropriate ram rod and keep it for display.
Thank you,
mike.shoaff is offline  
Old January 11, 2018, 03:18 PM   #9
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 1,521
You can do the ramrod yourself. Try Track of the Wolf for hardware and get a good piece of hickory. I don't know if you are in Indiana where the gun was found. There is a smith who advertises in Muzzleblasts in Batesville, Randy Grumkemeyer (rggunsmithing.com). I have not worked with him. I have worked with Michael Lea in Columbus, OH (no website - [email protected]). He did a great job rebuilding the lock for an old gun my brother had. Have fun with it!
ligonierbill is offline  
Old January 14, 2018, 08:45 PM   #10
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,080
Can you please provide a photo showing the tag
And one of the other side of the stock where the lock screws go into the stock
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 15, 2018, 08:02 PM   #11
gwpercle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 774
Guns this old could have had rifling but now it might be covered in crud. Black powder is very corrosive. I had to scrub one from 1873 several times with lots of elbow grease to be able to see what was left .
To me it looks like a rifle, that at one time had rifling, the 35-36 calibers were correct for the "Long Rifle" and the double set trigger , only found on a rifle.
Smooth bores were generally larger 58 to 70 cal.
Have it looked at by an expert.
Gary
gwpercle is offline  
Old January 16, 2018, 01:10 PM   #12
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,080
My library has no books on gunsmiths of Indiana. You might want to go to Conner Prairie in Fishers, IN and see if anybody there can help. Go during their Arms Making Workshop (generally October). Either that or go to Friendship during the National Shoot (May) and show it to people there.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 16, 2018, 02:41 PM   #13
Model12Win
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 5,866
Very nice hawkins gun!
Model12Win is offline  
Old January 16, 2018, 06:29 PM   #14
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,601
A percussion musket(that's what Irondog54's "smooth rifle" is. )

Being smoothbore doesn't make a gun a musket. Muskets were infantry guns with bayonet lugs and they kept calling them muskets after they were rifled for MiniƩ balls. The term even stayed in use when breech loading cartridges were introduced.

Here's the 1873 Winchester Musket.


There was also a long barrel full stock .22 caliber training rifle version of the 1885 Winchester single shot known as the "Winder Musket"

Short barreled carbine style military guns were referred to as "musketoons".
__________________
Hanlon's Razor
"Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence and organization."
B.L.E. is offline  
Old January 17, 2018, 10:37 PM   #15
prof marvel
Member
 
Join Date: March 9, 2011
Location: over the hills and far away
Posts: 26
T. O'Heir wrote:
>>There being no such thing as a smooth rifle by the definition of 'rifle'.

Yes, Monsieur O'Heir there *is* a smooth rifle

Get Thee the excellent Shumway book to learn of them!

Smooth Rifle circa 1760-1770

George Shumway, in his excellent book Rifles of Colonial America, writes of the smooth rifle:

"Here is a splendid example of English gun styling applied to the building of an American longrifle. It's overall appearance is that of an English smoothbore gun of the third quarer of the 18th century, but it is a rifle complete with almost all the features that a rifle usually contains. The slender stock is shaped very much like an English smoothbore, the only modification being the inclusion of a small cheek-piece and a patchbox with a sliding wood cover. The brass funiture is fashioned in the English style."

The latest research indicates the original rifle in Shumway's book was made by John Newcomer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
------------------------------------------------------

HOWEVER, as other's have pointed out, this is actually a midwestern ( or prairie) half-stock. Most likely built after 1840 ish when heavy half-stocks were popular for target shoots and turkey shoots. I recently obtained one built by an Iowa gunsmith, mechanic, and inventor, and the only record of hisexistance is a newspaper account of a fellow winning a local 40-rod shoot and proclaiming his .40 cal rifle would snuff candles all day at 20-rods.

yhs
prof marvel
__________________
Professor Marvel's Traveling Apothecary and Fortune Telling Emporium
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods, and Picture Postcards
Supplying useless advise for All Occasions
prof marvel is offline  
Old January 18, 2018, 06:48 AM   #16
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,601
Am I the only one who hates it when people refer to all muzzle loaders as "muskets"? I own at least a dozen muzzleloading firearms, both rifled and smoothbore, but I don't own a single musket. My smoothbores are all fowling pieces or shotguns.

I'm not sure when exactly the term "musket" fell out of use, but the Mosin Nagant with its long full stock and bayonet mount certainly fits the style of a musket. Perhaps it left the vocabulary when the rapid reloading and accuracy of breech loading rifled guns made the tactic of volley fire followed by a bayonet charge suicidal.
__________________
Hanlon's Razor
"Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence and organization."
B.L.E. is offline  
Old January 21, 2018, 07:41 PM   #17
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
more pics

Sorry I had not checked in for a while.
Thanks for all the replies, it is great to find out some things about the gun.
I have some more pics as requested.
Some of the pics are with the barrel off. I think there is rifling in the barrel after looking with a better light. I saw no markings anywhere on the gun though. I would like I will have it fixed up a bit. I may try making a ramrod as suggested in one post. The nipple is flattened but I think the rest could be original. Thanks again.

opposite trigger side.jpg

barrel off1.jpg

barreloff2.jpg
mike.shoaff is offline  
Old January 21, 2018, 08:41 PM   #18
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,601
Some rifles had coned muzzles to make starting the patched ball easier. These often look like smoothbores from the muzzle. Also, wooden ramrod wear often obliterates the rifling near the muzzle. Dirt embeds in the wood and acts like a lapping compound causing wear at the muzzle. It's why serious target shooters use stainless steel loading rods with bore guides instead of wooden ramrods.
__________________
Hanlon's Razor
"Do not invoke conspiracy as explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence and organization."
B.L.E. is offline  
Old January 22, 2018, 10:06 AM   #19
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,764
Quote:
Very nice hawkins gun!
Where, did I miss something?
Hawg is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 12:31 AM   #20
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,080
It's some sort of Southern rifle. I don't know why the tang is straight. It should be bent to conform with the stock. is there a greasehole and may we see if there's a cheekpiece?
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 11:06 AM   #21
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,764
Quote:
It's some sort of Southern rifle. I don't know why the tang is straight. It should be bent to conform with the stock. is there a greasehole and may we see if there's a cheekpiece?
I'm not seeing either one in the pics but the pics could be better. The tang appears to be bent at the screw hole and cracked.
Hawg is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 07:45 PM   #22
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
The tang at the rear of the barrel is bent and sticking up. The side plates are not fitting right in the recesses for them, it is missing the barrel band at the muzzle end. I would like to get it repaired but keep the old look. I attached a few more pictures.
Thanks,

opposite hammer.jpg

mid gun.jpg
mike.shoaff is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 08:19 PM   #23
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,080
Samuel Glover of Tennessee's Sullivan County made a similar rifle. The stock opposite of the lockplate has a similar shape as does the escutcheon that secures the lock screw. However, the forearm is different and toe line is straight and not fishbelly shaped (or is that camera angle?). The trigger guard is different but a lot of times those were salvaged from other guns. Glover also had a cheekpiece. See page 112 of Jerry Noble's Notes on Southern Long Rifles, Vol. 2. From James B. Whisker's Gunsmiths and Allied Tradesmen of Tennessee, pages 34-35: Samuel Glover was born in 1830 and was a gunsmith from 1860-89 near Bluff City. He may have been associated with John Glover of Johnson City. Samuel was married to Elizabeth (born Eliza Pile of Beaver Creek Post Office of VA).

From David Byrd's East Tennessee Hog Rifles, Byrd puts Glover's birthyear as 1827 and year of death as 1912. Most of his rifles used sideplates and often installed patch boxes in his rifles. During the Civil War Glover was in the Confederate Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He is buried in Blountville, TN. See page 57 (and illustrations up to page 66).

Rueben Luster (see Byrd) also carved some stocks relief panel like yours, but no escutcheon is seen (see page 101). Christopher J. McInturff used a similar upside down escutcheon, but the relief panel in more round. Ditto with Squire Runion (see Byrd age 135-138).

It is noteworthy that the relief panel is cut off near the wrist. This is unusual.

The above is not a positive identification of your rifle. More research is required. If you ever get to Woodbury, KY, you should show it to Hershel House and ask for his opinion. BTW, do not do any restoration on the stock. It's took early for that.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 08:57 PM   #24
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,764
By barrel band I assume you mean ramrod thimble? It looks like the lock plate fits the mortise pretty well but is sticking out. Maybe there's a piece of broken wood or something behind it preventing it from fitting flush.
Hawg is offline  
Old January 24, 2018, 09:21 PM   #25
mike.shoaff
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2018
Posts: 7
Great information, thanks!
Would it be a good idea to just have the stock glued where it is cracked? I would not want to touch the finish. At the bottom of the barrel there must have been some small steel loops that are broken off. The loops were engaged by pins thru the stock to secure it. I thought of maybe having those fixed.
Thanks,
mike.shoaff is offline  
Reply

Tags
antique , antique muzzleloader , identification , muzzleloader , unmarked gun

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13615 seconds with 11 queries