Need help identifying a long rifle


July 2, 2008, 10:48 AM
Greetings and salutations~

this muzzle loader rifle was passed down to me from my great, great, great grandfather and I believe he owned it around the mid 1800s. So far I'm unable to find any indication as to its make or model and was hoping one of you kind folks recognized anything about the rifle or could point me in the right direction to find out this information.

Thanks a bunch!

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July 2, 2008, 01:37 PM
First, welcome to THR. Next I would caution you to check and make sure that old gun does not have a load in it. So many of the old guns were left loaded without a cap or charge in the pan so they could be put into action quickly. Hundred years later someone pops a cap and they go off with sometimes disasterous results.
I can't tell if the gun is rifled or not. Measurement of caliber would also help.
Hope someone with more knowledge can help. A piece of history like that is always more interesting if you have some information on the builder.

July 2, 2008, 02:56 PM
Thank you Sir,,, you're right about the "loaded gun" thing. My grandfather took it in to be inspected/appraised and they found a load in there. It has since been cleaned out.

I believe I was told it is a .50 caliber but I'll try and verify that,,, can that be determined by measuring the bore?

thanks again, and I'll try the forum as well...

Jim K
July 2, 2008, 03:47 PM
I think your idea of the date is about right. It is a product of the end of the muzzle loader era, a half-stock (rifle?) probably made around 1850. A better picture of the lockplate might show if it was converted from flintlock, but I don't think it was.

The lock appears to be a commercial lock, and probably the barrel is too. By that time, there were almost no gunsmiths actually making guns of that type. They bought barrels, trigger groups, rough stocks, locks and stock hardware from the big suppliers like J&D Little, in Pittsburgh, and put the guns together. Locks were usually from Philadelphia or England (Elwell was common).

Further than that, I can't help unless you can turn up a name somewhere.


July 2, 2008, 04:07 PM
A photo of the whole gun would be helpful. However, this looks to be a conversion of a flintlock to percussion. The stock also looks to have been cut down to its current length. I imagine that at one time, this gun had a full-length stock and the under-rib is an addition. The hole on the front end of the lock leads me to believe that this is the case as that might be a screw hole for a frizzen spring. Another possibility is that this is a new lock put onto a conversion of a flintlock. Any idea of which end of the lock the mainspring is on, behind or ahead of the hammer?
The double set trigger and thinner stock also indicates that this was once a hunting gun and not a military model.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

July 2, 2008, 06:05 PM
It might help to know where the original owner lived, and whether anyone has searched the gun for any maker's markings and found anything.

Here's another forum where you can inquire to see if anyone recognizes it.
They're in the process of moving but it's currently still up and active. Click on "bulletin board" and ask under the heading "antique gun collecting".

Their new website is up and running simultaneously too using newer software, but not everyone has re-registered there yet. So feel free to register and post under both sites. (One is .com and the other is .org):

Good luck. :)

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