Can anyone identify this muzzle loader?


September 5, 2006, 03:27 PM
I am the 4th generation to own this rifle which dates it back to the late 1800's. There are no markings of any kind to identify the year or manufacturer so any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Can anyone identify this muzzle loader?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Old Fuff
September 5, 2006, 04:29 PM
The style suggests that it was made sometime during the period 1820 to 1850.

These rifles were made by individual gunsmiths, rather then in a factory, and many of them are unmarked. It does not appear to be a flintlock-to-percussion conversion, and very few such rifles were made after the Civil War.

September 5, 2006, 07:23 PM

I would agree with Old Fluff, the rifle is mid nineteenth century in style but could have been made anytime within a range of a few generations. Have you posted this at the American Longrifle Forum? Chances are that someone there will be able to make an attribution to a regional style or even a maker.

Nice furniture on it.


September 5, 2006, 08:39 PM
Where are you at Boonezai? That gun kinda has the sleek lines of a Vincent. They made them up into the 1920's.

September 5, 2006, 10:05 PM
I am in Greenville, SC. As far as I can tell the rifle originally belonged to my Great-Grandfather who lived in Tennesse for awhile before moving to Indiana. So it's hard to tell where it came from.

September 5, 2006, 10:13 PM
It appears tohave the lines and general characteristics of a southern mountain rifle. Probably made between 1850 and 1900 in Tenn. or the Carolinas.

4v50 Gary
September 5, 2006, 10:46 PM

On the muzzle, are those holes I see? I'm wondering if they're decorative or for a false muzzle. If for the latter, you've a target rifle there and if that's true, start looking for a bullet mold, swage, false muzzle, bullet starter and maybe even a patch (or paper) cutter.

Old Fuff
September 5, 2006, 11:26 PM
I noticed the marks on the muzzle, but decided there were too many to be holes for a false muzzle's guide pins.

But don't I wish...

4v50 Gary
September 5, 2006, 11:34 PM
Concur, but with the unfocused picture, I'd thought I'd ask just to make sure. False muzzles generally had only four pins to hold them in place.

September 7, 2006, 12:25 AM
Allow me to demonstrate my ignorance here but what is a false muzzle? I will try to make a more clear picture of the end of the muzzle if that helps identify anything. Also, I will be bringing it to the gun show in Greenville, SC on Sept. 9th in case any of you plan to be there.

September 7, 2006, 12:34 AM is a better pic of the muzzle. The holes seem to be decorative.

1911 guy
September 7, 2006, 08:19 PM
But you may want to try posting this on . There are some hardcore enthusiasts there that will drool to see an original in fairly good shape. Likely get some answers from them.

Edit to add: A false muzzle is an attachment that is used to center the bullet to the bore when loaded. This gives greater accuracy because a caddywhampus lead bullet will deform to the bore and be non-concentric if not centered. Most often used with conical bullets, but I think some of the serious target shooters used them for round balls, too.

4v50 Gary
September 7, 2006, 10:37 PM
Yep, decorative only. Holes for false muzzles are generally drilled deeper. Secondly, virtually every false muzzle or photo of a false muzzle that I've seen has a lollipop that sticks up from it and if you were to look through the sights, you would see the lollippop and not the target. This was done to remind the shooter to remove the false muzzle.

Going off topic, there was a good target gun displayed at the Smithsonian American History Museum before it closed. It had the false muzzle, bullet starter, etc. and was accredited to a Berdan Sharp Shooter. I told them that the owner belonged to the First Battalion New York Sharp Shooters and provided them with the unit history. I didn't tell them that I had more than that though. They'll get the rest of the info when I send them a copy of my book (which is still in the editor's hands. :( ). That museum removed the gun collection for remodelling and the entire museum is closed for two years.

If you want to see guns, go to their Museum of the American Indian. They've over 100 guns displayed including one belonging to Geronimo, Red Cloud, Chief Joseph. How the G-3 got there escapes me though.

If you enjoyed reading about "Can anyone identify this muzzle loader?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!