Cant Identify This Muzzleloader "The Conjuring"

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Went up to Burrville, Massachusetts with my daughter to the haunted house that was the basis of the movie "The Conjuring" . No we didn't see any ghosts lolol, but what I did see was a particular percussion cap muzzleloader. The tour guide stated it was used back in the 1700s for local hunting pheasants. Hmmm 1700's? percussion cap? I refrained from questioning him thinking a flintlock would be more appropriate as PC didnt come by until the early 1800's Anyway I went back and took some close up shots of it. It did have an octagon barrel.

So i come here to you all on what type of PC Long Gun is this, and am I correct on saying that PC were not around back then. Maybe a ghost switch one out, lolol
 

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Two things, hanging an antique rifle on bare metal is a no-no and what's up with the money in the powder horn?
I'm sure there are enough history buffs here onsite and it will be interesting to find out!
 

deermanok

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Pheasants aren't native to Massachusetts.
If the guy knew what he was talking about, he might have said turkeys, that would have been more believable.
I don't think cap guns were invented until the early 1800's.
 

Rancocas

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Another thing - there were no pheasants in North America in the 1700's. Except, possibly, a few in private collections. What we now know as the common ring-necked pheasant was introduced into North America, I believe, in the 1890's. The gaudy birds originated in China and Korea.
As for the rifle (and due to the full octogon barrel, I do think it is a rifle) and so it was not likely to be loaded with bird shot for hunting upland game birds or waterfowl.
Going further, the percussion cap didn't begin to come into common use until the 1830's - 1840's. So this rifle cannot be any older than that. However, from the style I will venture that it is was more likely made in the 1850's or even later.
 
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Thanks, for the feedback. The money in the powder horn was played out by the Guide as a “thank you to the spirits” where as some people shove money in it. (Nope, we don’t tip ghosts). It was an interesting house and history the ghost part well I’m not a true believer of yet. But it was a quality time spent with my daughter, she’s getting married next month. She’s all into this stuff. Me? It was fun and the curiosity hit when I saw the rifle.
 
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The buttplate and triggerguard do not look Rev War period, more Golden Age--perhaps 1790 to 1815. From what I can see the lock appears to be an original percussion lock, not converted from flint, so that would put that after maybe 1820. The stock is unusually cut back at the muzzle. The whole thing screams to me to be a restock of various cobbled together parts probably done around 1820 to 1830. Any other opinions?
 

TFoley

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Percussion cap = late 1820's in Europe, mid-to-late 30's in the Americas. Most of those people living outside of what was generally termed 'civilisation' and as we all know, there was a huge non-urban population, would have hung on the ignition method with which they were most familiar - the flintlock. The shooter could generally find a rock to use as a flint, but he'd turn over a HUGE pile of rocks before he found a tin of caps.
 
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I think the double set triggers and the butt plate are defiantly rifle in origin , certainly not a trade gun or shot gun .
The first Pheasants were introduced into the USA in 1733 but failed to thrive , it wasn't until the mid 1800's that they Gained a foothold .
 

BillKilgore

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To me, it appears the ignition was modified to percussion after the gun was originally made. There is a large flat area of wood in front of the lock plate and the plate appears to overhang the original rear mortise. The rear inletting also looks much cruder than the rest.
1670071036123.png
 

Loyalist Dave

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To me, it appears the ignition was modified to percussion after the gun was originally made. There is a large flat area of wood in front of the lock plate and the plate appears to overhang the original rear mortise. The rear inletting also looks much cruder than the rest.
View attachment 180005

You are correct about the crude inletting job at the back but that may be from some ham fisted person trying to get the lock out for service. One can see two clear spots where something like a nail or the tip of a steel awl was inserted and leverage was applied and so the wood was depressed. IF the rifle was converted, the lock plate would show the locations where the flint pan was removed, and the frizzen spring, etc. IF a new lock was mounted with a new drum going into the old touch hole, the installer would need to work both with trigger position and be bound on lock position due to the previous touch hole... more than the back would show inletting issues.

It was likely put together from older parts with a new lock, and perhaps a new barrel. I think that the stock is short of the muzzle because of past damage and repair, the broken bit removed and the cap installed to prevent future damage. It's possible the stock nose was damaged during building. You can see the damage to the stock just before it enters the nose cap, BUT note how the nose cap meets the stock, so the stock was that way when the nose cap was installed.

The "provenance story " is balderdash. While the hardware may be 1790's in some places, the stock shape is much more post 1800 in my mind. The lack of definition and thickness of wrist to where the comb starts is one hint, I think...

LD
 
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I was also thinking that it might be a flintlock conversion to percussion too. But then it could also be a fake display gun made to look old. But like already mentioned it could be a parts gun made from what was available at the time.
 
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