Goin to look at a musket, need advice - pics inside


December 23, 2010, 01:13 AM
So I'm going to get to take a look, in person, at this gun in the next couple days. The guy selling it tells me he thinks it's a Charleville. That's about all he can say about the gun.

Can you guys tell me anything based on these photos? Is it an 18th century Charley? Does it look like it was refurbished by an arsenal or private party maybe? Original? Replica? Etc...? Also, what should I be looking for when I see it in person? Would this gun fit the category of being a gun that "could" have been in the revolution? Value...?

Some info: Bore measures at .58 inches so I would guess it to be 58 caliber. The barrel is about 36 inches but the whole rifle is almost too long to photograph up close. Belgium proof marks on the barrel near the lock. All barrel bands are marked "53" and the lock is marked "85".









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December 23, 2010, 07:23 AM
The Belgians were crafty (and very good) at mixing and matching parts. I have a caplock Belgian rifle that started life as a flintlock.

December 23, 2010, 08:21 AM
By your description and photos, I can tell you it is definitely NOT a Charleville.

Caliber is wrong (Charlevilles are .69 cal with 40 inch barrels), stock furniture is wrong, stock appears to be a stained hardwood, not walnut, Charleville barrels are round not octagon, etc.etc.

To me it looks like a pieced together replica.

December 23, 2010, 01:45 PM
Something else, No frizzen face ever had ridges on it like this. The frizzen
face must be smooth. Looks to me like a cheap India made wall hanger.

December 23, 2010, 07:28 PM
Agreed on the frizzen. Also, what is the story with the barrel? Looks like it was welded and smoothed out or something just behind that proof mark, maybe two inches in front of the lock.

December 23, 2010, 07:46 PM
If it's like my Belgian rifle, it has no breech plug. Instead, the end 4 or 5 inches of the barrel is the plug - it was welded on to the end of the barrel. The seperating line isn't as visible on mine, but it's there.


December 24, 2010, 04:33 AM
Stock appears to be quarterswan Beech, consistent with some European Long arms for when Walnut was not used.

Does seem to have Belgian Stamps.

Not made in 'India', but, might have been a Trade Musket I s'pose.

Looks genuine...whatever it is!

December 24, 2010, 07:23 AM
Check out Infantry rifle no. 1 & 5.


December 24, 2010, 07:30 AM
I think you have found it. You convinced me it's a Belgian musket alright.

December 24, 2010, 07:39 AM
What the H*#ll is going on with the "Corrugated" frizzen? :scrutiny:

All the replicas I've ever dealt with are marked "Black Powder Only" on the barrel, Back in the day,1800's, NO need to specify black powder, there wasn't anything else. :D

Looks like it could be a nice wallhanger, or a Grenade. :what:

December 24, 2010, 08:28 AM
Researching a Belgian gun can get pretty involved and tricky (but interesting and fun), especially when you base the research on a photo or two. Check out these emails that I received after sending a pic to a Belgian gun expert:
(I had the barrel of this gun relined recently by Bobby Boyd in PA and it's now an excellent shooter)

3rd email:
"The shape of the breech is not exactly what I expected and after talking to a fellow collector who is an known expert on the subject the conclusion is that your gun is a parts gun. M1853s were transformed in 1867 into Albini Brandlin breechloaders with new barrels at a new caliber of 11.67 mm (instead of 14.62mm). Yours is one that has been refitted afterwards with an incorrect Dutch M1841 percussion breech; the rifling has also been removed which explains the caliber and the wood that was added to the sides between the breech and the rear sight. The gun is probably not worth more than what you paid for it but as a shooter it is fine. The work has probably been done in Liège in the late 19th century (very well actually, since the gun is actually beautiful)and as such it has historical interest. My friend had never seen anything like that.
Best regards

2nd email
"It is definitely a M1853 Belgian rifled musket. It is a derivative of the M1841 musket. The rear sight is different from the one in my first link because they tried several models over time. I think yours is the last model.
I don't get how the caliber could be .56 because it originally should have been 17.5 mm or 0.69
The book I have, called " Les Armes réglementaires belges depuis 1830" ( Belgian Army guns since 1830) gives these dimensions: overall length 1.47 m, weight 4.45 kg.
What is possible is that this gun has been resold for export by the Liège gunsmiths after its length of service or is made from parts from an army gun.
To check if this is truly a Belgian army gun it should have a GB in a circle on the barrel near the breech, and the same date on the barrel "1859" (left side), and possibly a round cartouche on the butt (right side), with the inscription "manufacture d'armes".
Out of curiosity, where did you find it, and what was the price?
André, Brussels, Belgium."

1st email
It is a military or rather, it WAS a military piece before a clever gunsmith merged it with a Dutch M1841 breech. It started as a M1853 rifled musket, was then converted by the Belgian Army into an 1853/67 ( an Albini breechloader). All the markings are Belgian military markings. The 59 on the lock indicates the original gun was made in 1859. My first reaction was to identify it as a M1853; but a close picture of the breech showed my first guess to be incorrect. The rifling has also been removed. M1853/67 guns are fairly common, but M1853s are rarities...because the conversion work was done so thoroughly, there are only a handful left.
I hope this makes it clearer...

December 29, 2010, 08:06 PM
If you head to the N-SSA's site where they shoot these as well as all other War of Northern Aggression (civil war) guns in live fire competition you'll get more info then ya know what to do with. Try posting your pictures on PhotoBucket.com as they won't ban your pictures because they are guns.
Hope this helps,
N-SSA ====> http://n-ssa.org/phpBB3/

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