Researched for a Day and Need Help Identifying

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ChuckRock

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Hello Y'all,

My aunt recently gave me my grandfathers guns she inherited. Long story short, she sadly stored them in the garage for a couple decades because, 'I don't allow guns in my house'! Slowly restoring them to workable condition, I finally got to this black powder rifle. Searching the webs and your forums I am still at loss on what it is, or where it came from. So I'm reaching out to you more knowledgeable gentlemen and ladies to help find out what it is.

I haven't taken apart the rifle yet, but with your suggestions I will. There are no markings on the outside. It's barreled, and the hammer/trigger still works.

If y'all need anymore photos or information don't hesitate to ask! Also, any suggestions on how to clean it and get it back up and firing would me great!

ATW!
 

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ppg1949

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CR, welcome to the forum. I cannot help you but you've come to the right place for info. This forum has many very knowledgeable people who will help you. Just be patient. This forum spans the globe, so time differences kick in. IMHO, you have an original but then I'm not an expert. I'm simply basing that on the square drum that holds holds the nipple. Others will jump in with a more definitive answer. Good luck.
 

Zonie

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The "back action" lock with the mainspring behind the hammer and the deeply curved butt plate tell me the gun might have been made sometime around 1840 - 1850. That's when these features were quite popular.

As for the rest of it, it would all be guesswork. I think the length of the forend (the stock in front of the trigger) is rather unusual because it seems to be much longer than most of the rifles I've seen.
That doesn't mean the gun was once a full stock that was cut back though.
Although full stock rifles were made in the 1840-1850 time frame, the half stock rifles were more popular.
 

SDSmlf

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Welcome to the forum. One thing that you need to check is if it is loaded. If you have the ramrod (didn’t see one in your photographs) or a dowel that fits in the bore, it is easy to check if the bore is clear to the breech.
 

Flintlock1640

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The three-quarter stock is odd, especially the way it lines up with the barrel under rib and ramrod pipe. I would like to see a picture of the barrel tang and a close-up of the brass end-cap where the rib comes. The rib typically stops at the end of the stock but this seems to continue into the stock. It makes me think it has been restocked/modern reproduction. None of the screws appear to be original to me.
 

ChuckRock

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If you have the ramrod (didn’t see one in your photographs) or a dowel that fits in the bore, it is easy to check if the bore is clear to the breech.
Great suggestion! That the first thing I did before putting any part of my body over the muzzle. Took and old dowl and put down the barrel then along outside of the barrel, it was off by half an inch or so. I can still hear my Drill Sergeant all these years later yelling, "[Insert any unsafe activity/action] THEN YOU AND YOUR BUDDY DIES!".
 

ChuckRock

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Thanks ppg1949, Zonie, SDSmlf and Flintlock1640 for replying. To help better communication is there a reference sheet on terminology for parts of this musket? Black Powder rifle?

I'll take those picture when I get home.

The cut line around the block square drum and at the point of the buttplate leads me to be believe that it was remounted to homemade stock.
 

Phil Coffins

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All the details indicate to me it’s a relatively modern made home built with some parts that may be old. The builder didn’t have a clear idea of what shape to make many of the parts. It may clean up to a shooter but have some one check it out that is knowledgeable about muzzle loaders for safety’s sake.
 

ChuckRock

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[QUOTE="Flintlock1640, post: 1601993, member: 34107" I would like to see a picture of the barrel tang and a close-up of the brass end-cap where the rib comes. [/QUOTE]

I think I got the pictures Flintlock1640 requested.

20191013_224207.jpg 20191013_224515.jpg 20191013_224817.jpg 20191013_224821.jpg
 

ChuckRock

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I reackon that this is a replica of some sort:
- butt of the barrel has singular marking 'S'
- buttplate has an inscription (The best i can make out) 'RIKERN ~~NONER PA'
- Other side of the hammer assemble are the numbers '82'

There are no other markings on the weapon.

20191013_233152.jpg 20191013_233321.jpg 20191013_233334.jpg 20191013_233431.jpg 20191013_234018.jpg
 

TFoley

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Thanks ppg1949, Zonie, SDSmlf and Flintlock1640 for replying. To help better communication is there a reference sheet on terminology for parts of this musket? Black Powder rifle?/QUOTE]

A musket usually refers to a smooth-bore long arm used by the military. This may well be a smooth bore, but it unlikely in the extreme to have ever had anything to do with any military. A rifle refers to ANY long arm that has a rifled barrel, civilian or military. I have to say that notwithstanding the cruddy appearance of the muzzle, it looks a smooth-bored arm to me, ie. a shotgun or fowler.
 

hawkeye2

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I must say that's the first back action lock I have ever seen with a coil spring, definitely modern. The tail of the lock would have been secured with a wood screw in the notch of the tail and not a screw through the stock as this one has. The very thick wall pipes have been welded to the rib and then ground down, not something that would have been done back in the day. I believe it was assembled 50 or so years ago by someone with limited skills and knowledge of muzzleloaders. I have no idea which, if any, parts would have been old original.
 

Flintlock1640

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I don't think any of it is old. I agree that it is an older reproduction. A treasure from your grandfather, but more a shooter than a valuable relic. If the bore is decent.
 

ChuckRock

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Thank y'all for all your help!

To confirm I should have a gunsmith check it out before I start getting rid of the rust?
 

curator

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I recognise the lock. Dixie Gunworks sold these back in the early 80s They were from a hoard of Belgium gun parts they purchased in the late 70s. The locks were made for the African trade muskets that the Belgium gun trade was selling to central African native farmers in the 50s since their government would not allow them to own modern firearms. I have 3 or 4 of these that I got in a "grab-bag" at a blanket shoot. Not good enough for any of my build projects. This rifle is a collection of parts roughly assembled in the last 30 or 40 years.
 

hawkeye2

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The lock doesn't ring a bell but I do remember them having a large quantity of smoothbore barrels that they sold for almost nothing. I expect they were from that lot. They were so cheap I gave some thought to building a Billinghurst Requa Battery gun but good sense prevailed.

To the OP, you have nothing to loose here by stripping and refinishing the entire gun. I would start by putting all the ferrous metal in EvapoRust and then reassembling while correcting as many mistakes as you can. If the bore isn't salvageable Bobby Hoyt could possibly bore it out to a larger caliber or reline it if that weren't possible provided you wanted to shoot it.

"To confirm I should have a gunsmith check it out before I start getting rid of the rust?"
Today most gunsmiths will take one look at it, probably at arm's length, and tell you it is unsafe, not worth the cost of fixing it and that you should hang it on the wall.
 

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