When I was 8 or 9 (about 55 years ago) i dug up a flintlock pistol from under our house. I've kept it all these years, much of the time at the local museum. It is a bit rusted, but the trigger and striker work. There is still a ball lodged at the base of the barrel.
I'm just wondering if I should think about selling it. Where do I go? What is something like this worth?
Any comments appreciated.
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February 2, 2007, 08:21 PM
It all really depends on wether or not it's fireable, in my book. Take it to someone who knows flintlocks, get that ball removed from the barrel, and have them check if its safe to shoot. If it is safe to shoot, then shoot it! Otherwise, donating it to that museum you mentioned seems like a great idea. If you don't enjoy it, other people might.
February 2, 2007, 08:22 PM
First thing to do is have a very capable smith pull the ball, there is a good chance that there is a powder charge behind it. Black powder doesn't deteriorate with age, it maintains most of it's potency. It's worth can depend on many factors, see some one in your area that appraises antique guns.
February 2, 2007, 08:25 PM
Check out Dixie Gun Works. One of the most knowledgeable experts on antique firearms I can think of. go to dixiegunworks.com
February 2, 2007, 10:43 PM
All you need to pull the ball is a ball puller- its a srew shape jag that srews onto a ramrod- You srew the puller into the soft lead and simply pull it out.
February 2, 2007, 10:51 PM
They make a CO2 deal that'll blow the ball and powder charge out of a muzzleloader too. I don't know whether it works on flintlocks though.
The screw jag works... had to use one a time or two.
There've been, from what I've heard, a good many old muzzleloading weapons found to be fully loaded and ready to fire. While burnt black powder is corrosive, unburnt black powder is not corrosive at all. Depending on conditions over so many years of the weapon being buried under the house, it may fire, or the powder may have become inert which only takes one time of getting wet.
February 3, 2007, 01:08 AM
Sure would like to see a picture of it;
First thing you do is inject some water into the touch hole.
The ball being in there for so long will require the breach plug to be removed if it has one and if it will come out.
Or the ball could be drilled and a slide hammer on a rod threaded into ball might do the trick. But the water is the 1st thing, as the other poster stated, Black powder doesn't weaken, some state that it even gets more potent.
February 3, 2007, 01:36 AM
or the powder may have become inert which only takes one time of getting wet.
Not true. As soon as it dries it's good to go again.
However, I think those balls are the wrong calibre.
February 3, 2007, 03:00 AM
That is very nice- why not restore it and shoot it yourself?
February 3, 2007, 03:10 AM
so what IS the ballistic coefficiant of a pool ball? :neener:
That is a seriously nice piece of hardware! Colour me green!
February 3, 2007, 03:19 AM
How about a forward vertical grip and light--er--candle rail. No, I joke. Keep it. Restore it. Gold plate it maybe? Don't shoot it.
February 3, 2007, 05:07 AM
Please do not restore or otherwise do anything to it without having it examined by somebody KNOWLEDGEABLE. If it's original, that piece has considerable historical value and refinishing it will destroy much of that. :banghead:
I strongly recommend having a qualified black powder gunsmith remove the ball and charge. Depending upon the condition of the bore, that may require unbreeching it, i.e, removing the breech plug.
February 3, 2007, 08:20 AM
If it's original, that piece has considerable historical value and refinishing it will destroy much of that.
Ditto on that. Other than a gentle cleaning (and getting the ball/chrage removed), it's probably worth MUCH more unrestored. The only POSSIBLE exception would be to have it restored by someone like Doug Turnbull Restorations. Because of the extremely high quality of workmanship they do, often his restorations WILL be worth more than an "original" gun. However, his work doesn't come cheap (although worth every penny), so I suspect it might still be a money-losing proposition. If I were you I'd consider havint them appraise it, as it may be hard to find someone really knowledgable locally.
February 3, 2007, 08:42 AM
It looks pretty beatup. Could be dangerous. Tell you what, I'll buy it off of you for 20 bucks and dispose of it properly.:evil:
February 3, 2007, 09:06 AM
IMO have it appraised by an antique dealer,
you might get a lesser value if you try to restore it ....if it has little or no value ,then you can clean it up . it would make a very nice desk piece enclosed in a glass case .
February 3, 2007, 11:26 AM
That pistol exhibits all the traits of an early English Horse pistol circa 1700-1715.
Gooseneck cock, banana shaped lockplate, reverse scroll trigger, swept back grip,etc.
I agree with the other posters. Don't do anything to that pistol but have it professionally appraised by an antique dealer familiar with early American firearms.
You may have a fairly valuable piece of early Americana in your possession.
Being there is no flint in the cock jaws and the jaws are screwed down tight against each other it is probable somebody loaded a ball against the breechface without powder to prevent kids from loading the gun with god knows what and trying to fire it.
You can run a #3 wire bit into the touch hole with a hand operated drill or pin vise and withdraw to see if there is powder in the breech or just lead.
There is little chance of explosion if you go real slow and you can always flood the touchhole with oil first if you are concerned of a possible detonation.
February 3, 2007, 01:50 PM
Thanks for all the interesting information guize. I've sent an email to Dixie Gun Works asking if I can ship it to them for evaluation. I'll let you know what I find out.
I don't plan to touch it, restore it, do anything with it until I have it inspected by a qualified store. I appreciate the warnings about the black powder. I know nothing about this stuff.
Arfin, the large balls are for the Magnum version of this gun. I just had a few left over from my ML rifle.
Paco, I'd never sell it for $20. How about $25? (just kidding).
Onmilo, thanks for the info. I found a picture of a gun very much like this one that was Dick Turpin's that he used to rob people (and occasionally shoot them) in the 1700's. He was finally caught and hanged.
February 3, 2007, 01:54 PM
That is realy cool.:)
February 3, 2007, 02:26 PM
What is something like this worth?Condition is everything. Check out some of the flintlocks on the link.
February 3, 2007, 05:59 PM
on a class three?
Turn it in at a police buyback for a 50$ gift certificate?
February 3, 2007, 06:18 PM
Post those photos and a description at this place: