What Is Your Favorite Pre-Metallic Cartridge Firearm


January 31, 2014, 05:13 PM
Pick a firearm you like that was made before metallic cartridges became all the rave. For some exception Pin-Fire ammo can be included. For grin and giggles I'll pick a handgun and a rifle.

My favorite handgun is the LeMatt revolver. Nine .44 caliber shots with a 20 gauge shot (granted if you wanted it to work you'd have to fire it first). Granted a close second would be one of those 20 gauge double barrel pistols I heard the Germans would run around with on horseback.

My favorite rifle is the Dreyse needle rifle. Sure the Chassepott (*spelling) was a better example but the Germans got there first and even when the French had one of those Militarusse artillery pieces the Germans proved it was about who had the bigger cajones in the fight then the better rifles.

I keep hearing about a Confederate sharp shooter having a muzzle loading big SOB of a rifle that weighed around twenty pounds and could reach six hundred yards with deadly efficiency and was known to fell many a men at four hundred years. I'd like me one of those if I couldn't get a needle rifle.

I'm sure some wisecrackers are going to be cliche and pick the Colt Dragoon, and why wouldn't they. In their day they were awesome cap-and-ball guns.

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January 31, 2014, 10:04 PM
The Kentucky long rifle.

And the 1860 Colt Army revolver.

Historically, to me, nothing else strictly American even comes close.

The LeMatt is a only footnote in history.
And the Dreyse needle gun was too.


January 31, 2014, 10:06 PM
I'm a fan of the 1847 Walker and 1848 Dragoons ... so call me a wisecracker. And the Uberti replicas are still awesome guns; always draw an audience at the range.


January 31, 2014, 10:26 PM
Definitely an original Colt Walker. My pockets aren't deep enough for one...yet.

January 31, 2014, 11:04 PM
A nice Pennsylvania, Lancaster County school, roman-nosed tiger maple stocked, 40-inch-brown-barreled, .45 caliber, English 3/4 inch flint-throwing double-set-triggered flintlock rifle, with German silver furnishings and pins, long barleycorn front sight with buckhorn rear sights. Accoutrements to include a nice Iroquois pouch with double horns, primer/main charge, a hand-forged cast-iron patch knife, and linen for patching.

For a pistol, I'll take a nice Tower pistol, preferably, in a larger caliber than .50". They 'hang out' so nicely.

January 31, 2014, 11:59 PM
Long gun would have to be my 20 balls to pound fusil de chasse smoothbore. Ball or shot, what's there not to like.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/FdC35.jpg (http://s3.photobucket.com/user/TANSTAAFL-2/media/FdC35.jpg.html)

February 1, 2014, 12:21 AM
Wheel gun?
My '58 Remington that I've been carrying since Jimmy Carter was president.
Smooth bore?
A Belgian flintlock trade gun has that position
It has been a heavily modified CVA Blaser, but I'm beginning to lean toward a T/C Hawken.

February 1, 2014, 12:45 AM
Colt 1851 Navy revolver, first handgun I ever fired. Still my favorite.

As far as a long gun is concerned, I always wanted to get my hands on a Ferguson breech loading rifle. Not too many of those floating around, so I will probably not be handling any in the near future.

February 1, 2014, 02:45 AM
There is a really cool frontloader I know where is that has side by side 16bores and a 32 cal rifled barrel tucked in under the weld seam of the shotgun barrels. It's basically a drilling but it's all front load triple hammer triple trigger. If the pricetag wasn't written on a scroll I would own it. That is the coolest gun ever. Forget your fancy newfangled breech loaders.

Jim Watson
February 1, 2014, 05:47 AM
A Small Bore Target Rifle, a la Gibbs, Rigby, etc. from the late 1860s before the upstart Americans started using breechloaders. The Pedersoli "Gibbs" is a reasonable approximation.

A pair of duelers. Maybe one smoothbore, one rifled so I can compare the practical accuracy.

February 1, 2014, 05:56 AM
Hard to pick an all time favorite, currently this pair is reigning supreme.

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc194/StrawHat/Long%20Guns/Burnside/09fc0859-8ed7-4125-aead-0e9402f0789b_zpsddf6c02c.jpg (http://s214.photobucket.com/user/StrawHat/media/Long%20Guns/Burnside/09fc0859-8ed7-4125-aead-0e9402f0789b_zpsddf6c02c.jpg.html)

I know, the Burnside is a cartridge firing rifle but it is still percussion. The 1860 is always a good choice.

February 1, 2014, 06:21 AM
1863 Sharps Cavalry Carbine

Savage/North Revolver

February 1, 2014, 06:27 AM
1) Colt Model 1860
2) Ferguson Breech Loading Rifle

February 1, 2014, 09:48 AM
Lorenzoni repeating flintlock.

February 1, 2014, 01:17 PM
Hard to choose just one of any type. Percussion Sharps, original type Hawken 52 or 54 cal, Colt 3rd Dragoon, Colt 1860.

February 1, 2014, 02:44 PM
Awesome so far. Knew I wasn't the only one who had an affinity for non-metallic cartridge firearms. Sure LeMatts and Dreyse needle rifles are footnotes but they still made it into the history books in their day and age. If it hadn't been for the Mauser brothers and their ingenious design the needle rifle may have had a longer life but when you also consider the fact that the German army was using them in 1860 when Americans were still largely using muzzle loader firearms, the Dreyse had a distinct advantage in its time.

The French needle rifle also survived numerous refurbs and saw almost another fifty years of service as I recall.

Vern Humphrey
February 1, 2014, 02:45 PM
I have two Kentucky Long Rifles, one made in Berks County in the 1840s, and one made by Bob Watts of Stone Mountain, Georgia (look him up in Foxfire.) I also have an M1848 Colt Pocket Revolver. My deer rifle, though is a Lyman Deerstalker Carbine.

February 1, 2014, 02:48 PM
Basics on the Ferguson breechloading flintlock - YouTube
► 1:26► 1:26
Aug 29, 2008 - Uploaded by blacksmithju
A close up on the workings of the Ferguson breechloading flintlock rifle.

36 caliber under hammer pistol.

February 1, 2014, 02:49 PM
Long guns would be a toss-up among these three.

.45 late Lancaster
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/hanshi_photo/fee0776b-3619-4bd0-b6cf-48dd9a1b3020_zpsd8daf6bf.jpg (http://s599.photobucket.com/user/hanshi_photo/media/fee0776b-3619-4bd0-b6cf-48dd9a1b3020_zpsd8daf6bf.jpg.html)

.50 early Lancaster
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/hanshi_photo/PICT0624-3.jpg (http://s599.photobucket.com/user/hanshi_photo/media/PICT0624-3.jpg.html)

and this .36 Southern Mountain Rifle.
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/hanshi_photo/PICT0550.jpg (http://s599.photobucket.com/user/hanshi_photo/media/PICT0550.jpg.html)

As for hand guns I favor the Colt 1862 .36 Pocket Police. Don't have one yet but have had a couple of full size c&b revolvers over the years.

Vern Humphrey
February 1, 2014, 03:06 PM
Ferguson breachloading flintlock
Interesting. My five-times Great-Grandfather, Captain Moses Cavett, was one of those who killed Ferguson.

Claude Clay
February 1, 2014, 03:09 PM
1862 pocket police, hands down as i have an original plus colts traditions set and a brace for the range.

February 1, 2014, 03:28 PM
Arquebus, Americas first gun, the gun of conquest.

February 1, 2014, 10:47 PM
My circa 1800 "walk late" "london" Flintlock
http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a202/stacerdamen/1470105_10101290860093124_2063804802_n.jpg (http://s12.photobucket.com/user/stacerdamen/media/1470105_10101290860093124_2063804802_n.jpg.html)

February 3, 2014, 08:13 PM
My colt.

February 4, 2014, 11:24 AM
I have probably read too many Bernard Cornwell books because the English Baker Rifle is the only one for me:


I need to get a repro of a Baker rifle. Then's time to go snipe some Frog Voltigeurs and follow up with a bayonet charge.

Arkansas Paul
February 4, 2014, 11:32 AM
For me it's hard to beat the full stocked Kentucky's.
For handguns, I'm partial to the 1851 Navy Colt but also like the 1860 Army.
The double action Starr is also neat and was ahead of its time.

Shanghai McCoy
February 4, 2014, 11:48 AM
The Baker was modeled after the German jaeger rifles and, with that sword bayonet, does have a certain cool factor. (Big Bernard Cornwell fan here too..)
I'll nominate the 2 band Enfield rifle as another British muzzleloader to the list.

February 4, 2014, 12:00 PM
I've always liked the 1861 Springfield rifle, and the St. Louis Hawken rifles, too. I own neither, but think I probably should.

February 4, 2014, 12:07 PM
I like 17th century wheel locks. They're so much classier and elegant than flintlocks. They have quicker lock time too.

I really have a thing for Japanese matchlocks. They were the best firearms in the world in their time, based on, but more advanced than the European matchlocks from which they were copied.

As far as newer guns go, I like the Remington Zouave rifled musket and the Colt Walker, the .44 magnum of cap and ball revolvers.

February 5, 2014, 01:28 AM
I guess it was my time in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, because I've always wanted a pair of 1805 Harper's Ferry pistols.

For a rifle, one of my friends from high school used to do Revolutionary War re-enactments (he played a Hessian) and had a beautiful jaeger repro with set triggers. Don't remember the caliber, but always wanted one after seeing it.

February 5, 2014, 04:23 AM
The colts are ok but for me the Remington 1858 is more accurate for me. It loads a round ball or a conical pretty easy and right out of the box most replicas are tack drivers. The colts look a little cooler if you just want a pretty looking old style revolver. If you want a shooter you cant beat the Remington.


February 5, 2014, 05:13 AM
Rogers and Spencer revolver followed by the Colt 1861 revolver.

February 5, 2014, 10:53 AM
> Dreyse needle rifles are footnotes

True, but though every part of the Dreyse had been done before (bolt action, paper cartridge, etc), all bolt-action rifles are descendants of the Dreyse.

A lot of things get invented over and over before they finally take off. The Dreyse is the one that made everyone wake up and take notice, and then get to work trying to improve upon, while earlier designs were largely forgotten.

February 5, 2014, 11:20 AM
Ok so my shopping list just got longer and longer. I showed my fiance the thread and she brought up Blunderbusses and was quite adamant about it. I tried showing her a few models and she just shrugged her shoulders and went Blunderbusses (this is why the Fables video games are a bad idea).

Granted I may buy her one for Christmas this year to also go towards her January 2015 birthday as well. Just a fun gun not meant for doing anything else than wildly discharging 30 grains of FFG down range with some lead shot.

It's weird when you see how much some of the modern reproductions cost versus more modern metallic cartridge designs.

Granted if I get her a Blunderbuss I'm going to make a concerted effort at getting a LeMatt.

February 5, 2014, 11:35 PM
I think I'd like a Howdah pistol replica very much indeed.

Pete D.
February 6, 2014, 07:41 AM
This long gun.,,,16 gauge flintlock fowler:
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/0897b08e.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/0897b08e.jpg.html)
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/6522b03f.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/6522b03f.jpg.html)
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/6a871707.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/6a871707.jpg.html)

And this .50 caliber cap lock:

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/20CCE81D-5292-4743-AFA5-2DAC183A57F3-1960-0000028D2326D5C2.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/20CCE81D-5292-4743-AFA5-2DAC183A57F3-1960-0000028D2326D5C2.jpg.html)

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2014, 04:06 PM
I think I'd like a Howdah pistol replica very much indeed.

Hmmm . . . do you know what it costs to feed an elephant?

February 6, 2014, 06:23 PM
Hmmm . . . do you know what it costs to feed an elephant?

I'm hoping a replica elephant doesn't eat much. Or crap much. :evil:

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2014, 06:34 PM
But remember, you also need replica mahouts and replica tigers.:neener:

February 7, 2014, 02:47 AM
This One:


Pedersoli 12 ga double. OK it's made in the 20th century but it's my favorite cap 'n ball arm. 1860 Army is a distant second.

February 7, 2014, 03:23 AM
Long gun by far my favorite is the flint lock American Long rifle in full curly maple .

For handgun, the Colt 1862 Police (4") .

February 7, 2014, 08:58 AM
any blunderbluss. still trying to find one

February 7, 2014, 10:55 AM
Not sure if this was the intent of the question -
I'm going to go way way out and say the cannon.

probably caused the largest change in fortification and defense design since the invention of the siege weapon.

If you want to get really nit picky - all long arms and handguns are really just the result of the effect of miniaturization.

February 7, 2014, 01:22 PM
Hawkins Plains Rifle. Colt 1851 Navy.

February 8, 2014, 09:20 PM

Mario Medina Hawken

The Lone Haranguer
February 9, 2014, 08:45 AM
I'd say the Colt 1851 Navy.

February 9, 2014, 09:09 AM
The Lone Haranger says: "The King is a Fink!" :):p:):p:):eek::):neener:

February 9, 2014, 12:15 PM
For a rifle, I'll go with a Kentucky long rifle or an 1853 Enfield 3-band rifled musket.
For a handgun I'd take a Colt 1861 Navy.

February 9, 2014, 01:46 PM
Rifle would be a Kentucky Long Rifle in 36 or 45 cal
Pistol would be a 1858 Sheriff model

February 9, 2014, 08:47 PM
1858 Remington.

Gaucho Gringo
March 9, 2014, 10:35 PM
For all around use, a muzzle loading shotgun preferably double barrel. It can shoot lead shot or patched round ball or whatever else you can load in the barrel. Small rocks, gravel, broken glass, nails, marbles, tacks or whatever sharp or weighty objects that fit the bore make for deadly projectiles when propelled fast enough. Not for long range but for close in nothing can beat it IMO.

March 10, 2014, 02:53 AM
I have a Model 1812 Eley Whitney flintlock with .690 smooth bore that fills the slot at this time.

I always wanted a nice long rifle in flint and curly/tiger stripe maple. Never could afford the right one.

March 10, 2014, 09:07 PM
The Kentucky long rifle.

And the 1860 Colt Army revolver.

Historically, to me, nothing else strictly American even comes close.

I think I'll go with this. I must say btw that I've seen some spectacular long rifles in this thread. I liked that Baker rifle too. It would be great if I could find a rifled replica some place.

March 10, 2014, 10:00 PM

Any traditional American rifle, preferably with some leather and a tomahawk to go with it.

March 10, 2014, 10:33 PM
*watches as a ghost with a Cherokee tomahawk takes out 20 Redcoats.*

Bwana John
March 10, 2014, 10:53 PM
16" /50 caliber Mark 7 :cool:


It doesn't use a metallic case :neener:

March 10, 2014, 11:34 PM

March 11, 2014, 04:51 AM
Noah says:

The Ghost! "Aim small, Miss small." "Lord make me fast and accurate."

March 12, 2014, 01:28 AM
Handgun is easy. My favorite by far is the Colt 1851 Navy. If'n it was good enough for Wild Bill it's good enough for me.

Now, the long gun is a little harder. I'd love a .36 cal Pennsylvania flintlock squirrel gun or a .54 cal Hawken percussion rifle but if I had to pick just one I'd go with a .62 cal Northwest Trade Gun with a 42 in barrel.

March 12, 2014, 08:25 AM
My only "pre-metallic cartridge firearm" is a Brooklyn Arms Co. Slocum revolver from 1863.
It was passed down to me by a very dear family friend.
So I am a little biased, but I would have to say that one is my favorite.

March 12, 2014, 04:49 PM
The Ghost! "Aim small, Miss small." "Lord make me fast and accurate."

Off topic-ish, but if you like The Patriot, I like The Last of the Mohicans even more. Gorgeous music and scenery and some very nice riflecraft and knife and tomahawk battles. Less of a "movie" than the Patriot, more of an old time story. The book is good too.

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