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Help identify muzzleloader pistol

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by velocette, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    My brother has a double barrelled percussion cap pistol of approximately .70 caliber. It appears to be built like a shotgun but with rifling like a (modern) cannon barrel or perhaps like a Marlin microgroove - that is many grooves.
    It is clearly a damascus twist barrel & very well made. On the top, between the barrels in gold it has "Canon A Rubans"
    No other markings are to be found, not on the locks, barrels, trigger guard butt etc. No makers name either.
    any ideas as to age etc? This pistol came from my grandfathers gun collection many years ago.
    More photos are available


  2. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Well-Known Member

    Take the barrels off and look for proof marks on the barrel bottom, that should help as to where it was made.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The writing on the rib, "Canon A Rubans" is French for "Ribbon barrel", or Damascus barrel.

    But my guess is the gun is Belgian.

    As jaguarxk120 said, drive out the wedge and lift the muzzles upward.

    The barrels will unhook from the breach-block, and you should find proof marks on the undersides of the barrels.

    Once you have the proof-marks, the gun can be positively identified as to country of origin.

  4. AJumbo

    AJumbo Well-Known Member

    Pull the ramrod out, then remove the wedge, and the barrels will lift upward, and hopefully, out. GO SLOWLY- a lot of these old guns may not have had the barrels removed in decades, and the wood surrounding them can be quite brittle.

    Beautiful piece! If it was mine, and sound, I'd have to light it up at least once; it would get a thorough inspection from a reputable gunsmith beforehand, though.
  5. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    Folks, thanks for the suggestions.
    the pistol is now in northern NY with my brother.
    In two months he will return to south Florida for his
    winter 6 months & bring the pistol with him.
    At that time I will VERY carefully remove the wedge
    and look at the underside of the barrels.
    And just incidentally gently clean the metal and wood
    parts of the rust and dirt. NO removal of patina just the
    obvious surface rust. Then coat it with a bit of Eezox
    to preclude future rust.
    I'll re-post then.

  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Renaissance Wax for rust prevention. It's PH neutral and used by museum conservators worldwide. You may apply to it wood, metal or leather.
  7. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting-looking gun.
  8. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    Okay folks;
    The pistol has come into my (temporary) possession.
    With the barrels removed, there is between the barrels, an oval stamp about 1/8" top to bottom with an S inside the oval.
    On all major parts there is I4 stamped. There are no other stampings on major parts save the I4, no markings save the I4 on either lock, but the hammers, lock plate are marked I4
    On the left barrel underside about 2" forward of the breech is a stamped star about 3/32" dia. Also on the base of the left barrel is the word
    ROWN? or BOWN?
    The ? is to signify a letter that has been defaced which only has its top there which could be a Y with its base leg missing.
    All exterior screw heads have been engraved with a fan shape. All visible smooth parts have been engraved. The ends of the screws that go through the pistol (one top to bottom, one side to side for the locks) have their ends engraved with a small star like engraving. (not the slotted end which has fan like engraving)
    The barrels are rifled all the way back to the breech with what appears to be cannon style rifliing.
    Fit & finish are just beautiful & it has very little rust, no pits just surface rust. It's bore is 0.77" or 19.6 mm.
    I hope this may add some information to the search.
    Thanks in advance

  9. 303tom

    303tom member

    Looks like an Bonnet to me................
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Any chance of getting good pictures of the bottoms of the barrels?

  11. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    No pictures for a while. My camera is gone & a new one will be about a month away. I'll see if I can borrow a freinds camera for some shots.


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