Help identifying black powder rifle


June 6, 2011, 07:33 AM
Hello, first time here so I hope I am in the right forum.

I have a black powder rifle that my grandfather gave to me when I was a little kid. I think I've seen it fired once at a young age (almost 40 years ago), although I could be mistaken. I don't know anything about the gun except that I know that it has been heavily modified by its owners through the years of its existence. I've never seen another black powder rifle like it so I would love some help trying to identify it, it's place of origin, etc. Images of it are here Hopefully there are enough images to help identify. Thanks.

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June 6, 2011, 08:14 AM
It appears to be a Kentucky style half stock, possibly a homebuild or early kit. From the pics, it appears to be a smoothbore and has a tiger maple stock. The ramrod has a 30 or 32 cal shell as it's endcap(thought I was the only one that did that). The history buffs will be able to give better info, as to possible antiquity. To me it appears old, but not antique.

June 6, 2011, 08:20 AM
Excellent photos.

I suggest you try two links. First, The Muzzleloading Forum specializes in traditional firearms and has several experts in that area as members. They have a subforum devoted to identifying original muzzleloading firearms that should be useful. Use this link ( to reach the forum (it is my personal link and will give me referral credit on that forum). Look for the Firearms Research subforum under the Firearms subject and post your link to the photos there.

The second suggestion is the American Long Rifles ( forum. No referral is needed.

June 6, 2011, 10:30 AM
Ignorant answer, I finally got all the pictures to load. That is a hand forged barrel,hammered around a mandrel.front sight dove tailed,there was another dove tail, mounting barrel to stock, closer to muzzle. The hammer was reattached with an electric welder.
the ram rod furrels were soldered on, I would leave them on the chance Grandpa did it himself. Everything else is right. the action looks like a trade action looks like maybe some pins were added later. The stock hasn't been torched. Fiddleback/tigerstripe maple.It may have been shortened, to half stock. I think the trigger guard might be off another gun, but authentic none the less. I really don't see much problem with the butt plate either.:) Closer to a plains rifle than anything else. Brass back plate is intresting and might give a clue to maker. Could also be because thats what he had. Thanks for letting us see it.

Maybe it came to Alabama, with the Choctaw allies of Andy Jackson after 1812 war.(nor right after) Close to Bennets Bayou?

I'm saying old, authentic, original. Mr Bennet. I appologize for my earlier estimate based on 1 picture.

June 6, 2011, 01:11 PM
It looks like the muzzle has been "coned" to make starting a PRB easier:

June 6, 2011, 01:39 PM
In the many pictures I never noticed one of a patch box, or if maybe there isn't one. Also, rbennett, if you let us know what area this gun came from it would help.

June 6, 2011, 06:56 PM
I grew up in Alabama. I got the rifle when I was 9 or 10. It wasn't unusual for my grandpa to take goods for services so there is absolutely no history about the gun other than what I know which is the age I got it.

4v50 Gary
June 6, 2011, 07:14 PM
I think it's a modern reproduction.

First, it has a brass target style buttplate with an exaggerated extended rear. Second it has an extended iron or steel tang, which is customary for the southern rifle. The trigger is a fancier set trigger unit and cheek piece is not clearly shaped (it looks like its melting into the wood). The brass sideplate is a bit too fancy and the engraving on it is very simplistic. Odd that there is a brass sideplate on a southern rifle, but considering that things were recycled, acceptable.

It may have been a full stock rifle at one time. What suggests this to me is the gap found beneath the barrel. It may be found close to the second pipe (thimble) from the muzzle.

The most unorthodox thing about the gun is how the hammer is attached to the tumbler. It appears to be peened on, making it impossible to separate the hammer from the tumbler and lockplate. This may suggest that the gun was made before there was a revival in black powder rifle and may be made sometime between 1920s-1950s. By the late '60s, I think commercials locks were available again and one didn't have to salvage old locks like they once did.

The most important thing is how does it shoot and if it shoots good for you, that's all that really counts.

June 7, 2011, 09:35 AM
I agree with Gary that it appears that the barrel had been dovetailed for a barrel lug for a full stock. It also appears to have had the nipple barrel port gas welded shut. Some real down home cobbling to keep this gun in service.

Jim Watson
June 7, 2011, 09:52 AM
Looks to me like a once fine old rifle that has been blacksmithed - not gunsmithed - to keep it usable long after the muzzleloading era. As Gary says, 1920-1950. I think the stock was refinished to pretty it up as a wall hanger.

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