Discussion in 'Firearm Identification' started by Schyler Rippie, Apr 15, 2019.
I’d call it a southern mountain rifle with a British military lock. The lock could be an early replacement.
It's a muzzleloader for sure...There's no way you'll load a cartridge in it, or nock an arrow upon it.
It has to be a muzzleloader.
People were not as picky about making stuff right and could make guns from mismatched parts. There seems to have been many makers that made fantasy pieces in the old days. Many old guns were made before “ ‘Pennsylvania- Virginia- SMR-Tennessee- transitional- Ohio- early plains- late Plains- Carolina.....’” were invented. Many of these makers never knew what school of guns they made, and violated all the rules.
Shush don’t tell any one you have an SMR with a musket lock
It could be something that was recently made either using a original or a replica Bess lock which would make it out of place in this area of the forum. (This area is for real antique guns that were made pre 1866.)
That said, it also could have been made any at any time that a Bess lock was available so for the moment, I will let the topic continue.
The lock is of the British P 1777 style.
I am a little suspicious of the lock because the double line engraving around the end of the sear screw coming through the lock plate is rather crude. However, this could be because P1793 and later India Pattern Besses were allowed to be more crude due to the emergency of the Napoleonic Wars. A good view of the inside of the lock may help to better identify it. The sideplate is also of a military style and could be from a musket that the lock was also were cannibalized from.
I realize it has a rear sight, but is the bore actually rifled or is it a smooth bore?
If it is a smooth bore and large enough caliber, this gun would have inexpensively met the requirement of the 1792 Militia Acts. There were LOADS of guns made from cannibalized military parts to satisfy the requirements of that law for the militia. Matter of fact, many guns that have been described as "made up from parts for the AWI," were in fact made up to satisfy the later 1792 Militia Acts.
I appriciate the feedback. You are one of the only people that made any sense to me. I dont much about old fire arms. The story on this piece is truly an interesting one. My Grandfather was lineman in texas for many years. In the 1970s he was running a telephone wire through an old house. He poked a hole in the wall and there it was, sitting between two studs. The older man he was working for offered it to him as payment for the job. My Grandad took it. That is all i know about it
Interesting gun with an interesting story.
Thank you. Thats why I am so curious to learn more about it.
I hear you, if it were mine , I try to find out as much as I could.
Well first the engraving on the lock behind the cock isn't that far off from a 3rd Model Bess, although the "TOWER" is a bit small..., BUT what bothers me is the engraving of the crown. There's no acceptance mark between the crown and the hole... so I'd say that's unlikely to be a British military arm...
A proper lock has this
Your lock is missing this mark and I don't think it shows signs of removal but signs of never having been there...
Add to that the lack of a full set of ramrod pipes, the stock nose doesn't allow for a bayonet and there is no nose cap, plus I don't see a thumb escutcheon on top of the stock's wrist, so..., I think what you have is an African trade gun, perhaps Dutch or Belgian. Those two nations made a lot of Bess muskets for England under contract, which were later approved by the Army and given several stamps. (If your barrel bears proofing marks I bet they are not British.) British slave traders on ships often traded guns at the slave markets, and the guns the slavers wanted were Bess muskets. However, the slavers didn't really know how to tell the difference between a true Bess and a second rate (less expensive) copy of a Bess...since the Dutch and Belgians were already making guns of that pattern, it was a simply thing to knock up some bogus engraving and "Bess-up" the copies.
So likely circa 1860's and probably entered the US from leftover specimens off a Southern slave ship...when the Yankees began to blockade Southern ports, they'd empty the ship, and who knows what happened to her ???
Additionally the side plate and trigger guard are wrong and there are no sling swivels or provision for them. I don't see a bayonet lug and the stock has a cheek piece. I believe Loyalist Dave has the best explanation.
Could it be possible the lock and side plate were copied from a Baker rifle? The side plate looks right for that.
Yes the side plate is very "baker". The cocks on many but not all Baker rifles were double throated.
Thank you sir for the excellent feedback.
Side plate looks early Dutch to me ...
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