Help identify old rifle


May 5, 2013, 04:42 AM
Me and my dad found this rifle among my grandfathers old things. We have no clue at all where it comes from and would love to know something about it.


It has a caplock mechanism, a rifled barrel and no marks from any gunsmiths that we can find. The hammer and the trigger guard is engraved.
One guy on reddit thought it might be a Lane and Reads Fowler due to the engraving on the guard and the tilt to the plate (here are references he showed me:, and some guy on reddit thought that the barrel and the mechanism is older than the rest of the rifle.

I would LOVE it if somebody could help me learn about thing rifle!

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May 5, 2013, 07:07 AM

May 5, 2013, 08:44 AM
Thank you. I very much doubt the rifle is American though, as my grandfather lived his whole life in Sweden. That said it could be from anywhere.

Why do you think it is American?

Steel Horse Rider
May 5, 2013, 09:27 AM
It would not be a fowler since it has a rifled barrel and the lock mechanism is reversed in regard to how most locks were built with the hammer towards the rear of the plate. It could have been a custom rifle but the engraving is not ornate enough, in my opinion. Have you taken the lock and barrel from the stock to see if there are hidden marks?

May 5, 2013, 09:46 AM
Looks like an old Beretta muzzleloader to me...................

Jim Watson
May 5, 2013, 10:19 AM
With no maker's or proof marks, it is a tough call.
I don't doubt it is Swedish, us Colonials didn't go in for sling swivels on sporting guns until quite recently.

It is a very plain and probably inexpensive gun. No foreend tip, no rear ramrod pipe, no patch box, no left side lock plate, no buttplate, pinned stock. I always think of a back action lock as being an economy measure although that may just be a European thing, there are a lot of military muskets and rifles with them.
The trigger guard looks nicer than the rest of the gun and may be a replacement, it is not well fitted.

May 5, 2013, 11:23 AM
Okey. I dont really feel comfortable picking it apart, as the wood is held together with very small nails.
If no one can identify it, can somebody make a guess from when it is from? Very approximately. The key here is for it to be older then 1890 for me to be able to hang it without a license.

Steel Horse Rider
May 5, 2013, 11:39 AM
I would guess it to be older than 1890 due to the design and appearance. I really don't think it would be a reproduction of anything.

Jim Watson
May 5, 2013, 12:25 PM
Agree with Steel, pretty much.
The DESIGN of percussion muzzleloader was current from the 1840s until the 1870s when centerfire breechloaders became readily available.
But muzzleloaders continued in production and use for some time because powder and ball were cheaper than cartridges. So I can't guarantee that a nameless muzzleloader is older than 1890 just because it is a worn rusty muzzleloader.

Jim K
May 5, 2013, 10:25 PM
I am not certain you could prove the gun is older than 1890, but I doubt anyone could prove it is not. The design and style would certainly make it c. 1850.


May 6, 2013, 09:28 PM
I would say that it dates from the 1845-1870 time frame and is almost certainly European. Almost all percussion rifles and single shot pistols from that era/location use the same type of back action lock that your rifle has.

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