Help Requested on JM Davis Auction

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RyanSixer

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Hello, Muzzle Loaders. I found this forum while trying to get more info on my latest purchase. It’s so new to me that I haven’t even picked the rifle up from the auction house. I am brand new to BP so please bear with me.


Here is the info provided by the auctioneer:

Manufacturer Unknown
Full stock Kentucky rifle
1840s
Heavy Barrel
.38 caliber
“RB” on lock plate
Nose cap appears to be non-original
Estimated value $300-$500

03755FAE-F64D-46F3-9371-67070DAB5184.jpeg 006F069E-2239-4F58-8FDF-57DBAB6C037E.jpeg

Any idea on where I can get more info on this gun? I know it’s not the prettiest thing out there, but I like to imagine it had a small role in the Civil War.

Lastly, is a gun like this safe to shoot today?

Thank you all very much.
 

hawkeye2

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It looks nice but the only way to tell if it's safe to shoot is with a thorough inspection by a knowlegable individual. If it passes the inspection then it is safe to shoot with black powder or one of the black powder substitutes only. If you got it in the estimated range it soulds like you got a deal. Don't hold your breath, it's unlikely it had any connection to the Civil War.
 

8 BORE

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Looks like 21st century made to me
If it has a clear barrel with rifling and you can buy it for the estimated price. It might be ok
 

RyanSixer

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It looks nice but the only way to tell if it's safe to shoot is with a thorough inspection by a knowlegable individual. If it passes the inspection then it is safe to shoot with black powder or one of the black powder substitutes only. If you got it in the estimated range it soulds like you got a deal. Don't hold your breath, it's unlikely it had any connection to the Civil War.
Are there knowledgeable muzzle loaders pretty much everywhere? I may need to do some asking around in my area.



Needs closer inspection. Has a 'newish' look from here.
Looks like 21st century made to me
If it has a clear barrel with rifling and you can buy it for the estimated price. It might be ok
The museum said this (and all the guns sold in the auction) have been in storage since the 1960s at the latest, so I’m sure this is at least fifty years old. Were reproductions common around this time?
 

Stony Broke

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Hard to tell without more detailed, close-up pictures...but it sorta looks a lot newer than civil war era to me from a distance.
 

TFoley

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It looks to me just like a made-up CVA Kentucky kit rifle, as advertised on page 78 of my Dixie Gun works catalogue #153. The lack of patchbox, curly trigger guard, position of the backsight, lack of tenons, position of the ramrod pipes and the approximate fit of the nose cap are ALL identical. It was .50cal only, and was made in Spain, probably by Jukar. The kit sold in 2004 for $175.00.

If it was in any way connected with the WoNA I will eat my monitor with a sauce of your choice.
 

ol vern

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A lot of people got into black powder shooting in the sixties , Dixie gun works and others sold gun parts and kits
to build muzzleloaders . Some builds were awful good and some were just awful, but they went bang and that
was counted.

This one looks like a 1960 ish build to me
 

hawkeye2

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"Are there knowledgeable muzzle loaders pretty much everywhere? I may need to do some asking around in my area."

There everywhere, just ask, some even know what they are talking about. :) You might ask some of your local gun stores if there any clubs around and explain why you are asking. They might be able to put you in touch with someone. Be somewhat wary, not all gun store employes know black powder firearms.

I see no reason to believe it's anything but a mid 1800s rifle in reasonably good condition.
 

Zonie

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First off I will say that I have been building longrifles for quite a long time and I have never seen a trigger guard like the one that is shown on this rifle for sale from any supplier.

IMO the rifle looks nothing like a modern made Jukar, CVA or Traditions longrifle.

What appears to be a dovetail filler about 6 inches forward from the rear sight isn't something one would expect to see on a modern reproduction. If it is a dovetail filler that could indicate the rear sight has been moved. This was fairly common back in the day as a way to adjust the sights as the guns owner aged and his vision changed.
Speaking of the sights, they are low, as they should be. Modern builders leave the sights tall to reduce the effects of heat waves coming off of the barrel. Old, original guns had very low sights. So low that on some guns they are barely 1/8 of an inch tall. While this rifles sights seem to be a bit taller than that their height leads me to think they are of a vintage that might be seen in the 1850's.

The thickness of the wood on the comb and forearm in front of the lock makes me think it was made sometime after 1850. Prior to that most longrifles were much more slender and graceful.

Unless we are talking about a genuine counterfeit longrifle I can't imagine anyone making a longrifle that is missing some wood on the forestock like the one in the picture. Notice on the right side view, the lower area of the side barrel flat is totally exposed.

I for one, think the gun is real.
 

Baxter

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Appears to be a very plain work-a-day rifle with some wood missing on the right fore end; looks like a long splinter is missing. For me, that is very off-putting, considering the price, if the rifle proves to be modern-built. If truly an 1840's build, it is forgiveable.
 

hawkeye2

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Zonie, I believe we were looking at the same features and came to the same conclusion.

The gun was in storage at the museum since the 60s, CVA opened their doors in 1971, Traditions much later than that.

Missing wood alongside the barrel and ramrod channel is fairly common on a gun that saw a significant ammount of use. It doesn't affect the function but does bring the price down.
 
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RyanSixer

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Quoted to grab y’all’s attention. Pictures incoming!

Do these marks or features give you any better ideas?

Two concerns: it looks like something’s blocking the barrel about four inches deep. The barrel and the front end of the stock aren’t connected in any way, and it feels like I could pull the two apart quite easily.

8BB39E7E-2315-49D7-AD23-7A07F9C5AA35.jpeg 75E9933B-A2AA-40D5-8966-9CFDBE89478E.jpeg 8A8C1C0A-41D5-4362-8586-A9B85B5BA721.jpeg 8393162E-ED01-4F1A-8899-374AB226516D.jpeg D08B784E-6FDF-424A-8DBC-3FD627D9D4ED.jpeg 778B6FD0-CAFE-4AAC-8B90-765BBD9420B3.jpeg DEAEAFB0-B96F-4A54-B1D8-709921D67DE5.jpeg
 

8 BORE

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Quoted to grab y’all’s attention. Pictures incoming!

Do these marks or features give you any better ideas?

Two concerns: it looks like something’s blocking the barrel about four inches deep. The barrel and the front end of the stock aren’t connected in any way, and it feels like I could pull the two apart quite easily.

View attachment 12898 View attachment 12899 View attachment 12900 View attachment 12901 View attachment 12902 View attachment 12903 View attachment 12904
Looks like a wall hanger only
 

TFoley

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If I had seen images that good to start with, my erroneous opinion would not have been 'opined'.

To me, that shows the proof of offering GOOD pics from the get-go.
 

RyanSixer

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If I had seen images that good to start with, my erroneous opinion would not have been 'opined'.

To me, that shows the proof of offering GOOD pics from the get-go.
Wish I would’ve had ‘em, but I didn’t pick up the rifle until late yesterday afternoon!

Regarding the “blocked” barrel, I used a hook and fished out this piece of wadding from about four inches in the muzzle.

7ED0468C-95B9-4178-B632-1B82AC9A7009.jpeg
 

crankshaft

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Back in the day, when the collection was hanging on the walls of the hotel, on every floor, guys would come in with an old rifle, when no one was looking, exchange it for a better one off the wall.
And walkout. So the locals say.
 

Pete44ru

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ALWAYS check if an old muzzleloader is still loaded ! !

Below the patch that was blocking the bore, there could still be a charge, just waiting to ignite.

I check via running a ramrod downbore until it stops, then marking the rod at the muzzle.

The marked ramrod is then laid alongside the outside of the barrel, noting where the end that was downbore stops outside the barrel.

If the end is about at the ignition channel, it's most likely unloaded, but if it falls short more than an inch or so - beware, and run a worm down there.
 
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