Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > My new 8-bore flintlock, any info? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: My new 8-bore flintlock, any info?         Reply with quote

I just inherited, among other things, from my grandfather a old flintlock rifle. Since I have been impressed with the amount of information at this place I was wondering if anyone can tell me anything more about this gun.

Here is what I know. It is a flintlock with a set trigger. I believe it is an 8 bore rifle. the barrel is rifled so its not a punt gun. it also looks like its a solid steel barrel (as compared to a "Damascus barrel") It doesn't look like a swamped barrel but it is slightly tapered.

So I was told that my grandfather called it an "Australian Buffalo gun" but not sure if that truth or just an tall tale.

Over all the rifle is in bad shape and it doesn't look like it was a top quality piece to begin with.

my brother was saying I should get the gun appraised before I try to restore it because it would be a shame if my cleaning effort ruined the patina (he watches too much Antiques Roadshow) but I think most of the screws holding the lock to the stock are not original and the front site is not original as well.

So with out further ado, the pictures

The photo doesn't do the gun justice. It is a big rifle. About 53.5 inches long with the barrel at about 37 inches.


The bore is about 13/16 which is 8 gauge.


Those are the only markings on the gun


Close up of the action. There may be some writing there but it is all but faded out.


The other side of the action
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK...

First, does the rifling go all the way down the bore? You will need a bore light or small flashlight to determine that and, if there is a lot of dirt/gunk in the barrel you may not be able to see all that much. From your measurement, the gun appears to be 11 bore or about .75 caliber. The set triggers and lock are a mystery to me, as are the proof marks, which do not appear to be British from the era in which the gun would have been made. I do not have the reference material to check but they may be Belgian. Belgium was a center of gun making activity for much of the muzzle loading era.

There was a thread on the forum fairly recently concerning what was supposed to be an American 18th c. fowling piece, which turned out to be a gun made up from various antique parts. You may have something similar but better photos would help determine that.

Listen to your brother. You may not have anything here but then again you may have an extremely rare and valuable piece. Don't do anything to it until you know for sure. By the way, run the ramrod down the bore to be sure it isn't loaded before you look into the barrel. A lot of old guns were put away loaded and black powder maintains its volatility for a very long time.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mullins





Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I had to guess, I would say that it is a trade gun made in the 19th century for trade in Africa. I once had the chance to buy one very similar to this one about 15 years ago. They were made as late as the 1890's in flintlock to trade to natives.

I cannot tell from the photos, but are you sure it is a rifle? It looks like it has a smooth bore on my end.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin, Yeah I did check to see that the rifle was truly unloaded and it was. I have heard of such things happening. Someone takes there their granddads old muzzle-loader down and fires a cap threw it to clear the pin hole only to find out the gun was still loaded.

It is rifled at least at the end. It didn't show up in the picture but there is some rifling present. When I get home I'll look and see if the rifling goes all the way down.

As for the bore diameter I don't think that picture had the best measurement in it. I can't find my calipers to get a better measurement Mad They seem to have walked off some were.
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking at the rifling. it looks like it goes all the way down but it looks like straight grooves.

The lettering on the side looks like R*ROT H1 - The H1 look like super script added extra and the * is some letter I can't read


Paul I do think it is a trade gun as well. Most likely a souvenir one of my granddads friends picked up some were and he got it in a trade.
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also think it could be a trade gun, many of which were made in Belgium. However, I am a little mystified by the set triggers which are, in most cases, a fairly expensive option. The grooves in the barrel, which has rather thick walls, are also a mystery. The stock architeture, what I could see of it, seems to be well beyond the flintlock years. How about a photo of the buttstock area to just forward of the lock. That might reveal something.

My next door neighbor in a town where I used to live bought a muzzle loading double barreled shotgun at an auction a number of years ago. When he brought it home he asked me to come over and look at it. The first thing I did was run a cleaning rod down the barrels and discovered that they were both loaded. I used a worm to pull the wadding, the shot fell out and we wet down the powder charge before we scraped it out. You cannot be too careful. That gun had probably been loaded for 100 years but if we had been able to get the powder out without wetting it down it would have gone off when an ignition source was introduced.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure if this is common for older guns but with that rifle the set trigger has to be used. and man is it touchy once the set trigger is set. the newer rifle with set trigger i have used the set is optional.

Are these what your are looking for?






Some other photos can be seen here
http://s621.photobucket.com/albums/tt300/basilisk120/Flintlock/
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is a single set trigger if you must set it to fire the gun. Double set can be fired by setting or simply pulling the front trigger. There appears to be a hole in the trigger plate for a now lost adjustment screw. The absence of that screw should mean a heavier pull, not a lighter one.

I still don't know what you have there.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Victor Lavenstein




Location: Rhode Island, U.S.A.
Joined: 03 Jan 2008

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 04 Dec, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps this was a gun put together for the African trade around the 1820s-1830s? The stock has a shape popular with Boer settlers, commonly referred to as "Baboon Butt". Later 19th century proofs might even indicate the gun was meant for native purchase... Liege manufacturers were still producing flint guns for that part of the world towards the end of the century.

Victor

"Always carry a firearm east of Aldgate, Watson."
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Fri 04 Dec, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tried to edit your photo of the proof marks so I could get a better look at it but was unable to transfer it intact to my photo shop. Now that I think about it, the top mark looks like an upside down Birmingham proof mark from the late 19thc. Since you are displaying the barrel muzzle downward, the mark would be upside down! It looks like it but is lacking some of the characteristics. I have no clue what the other mark is.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon 07 Dec, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Lin for your help

It does look like the outline of a Birmingham Proof Mark if you turn the barrel right side up. So one more quick question. Could the other mark be a Birmingham Black Powder Proof Mark? Would the gun have both marks?
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec, 2009 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joel Minturn wrote:
Thanks Lin for your help

It does look like the outline of a Birmingham Proof Mark if you turn the barrel right side up. So one more quick question. Could the other mark be a Birmingham Black Powder Proof Mark? Would the gun have both marks?


It is unlikely to have two proof marks. The other might be a maker's mark. On military firearms you find proof marks, inspectors marks, etc. but not on civilian pieces, which is what this appears to be.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mullins





Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Tue 08 Dec, 2009 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Joel Minturn wrote:
Thanks Lin for your help

It does look like the outline of a Birmingham Proof Mark if you turn the barrel right side up. So one more quick question. Could the other mark be a Birmingham Black Powder Proof Mark? Would the gun have both marks?


It is unlikely to have two proof marks. The other might be a maker's mark. On military firearms you find proof marks, inspectors marks, etc. but not on civilian pieces, which is what this appears to be.


IIRC all British firearms, be they civilian or military of this period bear proof marks.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Mullins wrote:
Lin Robinson wrote:
Joel Minturn wrote:
Thanks Lin for your help

It does look like the outline of a Birmingham Proof Mark if you turn the barrel right side up. So one more quick question. Could the other mark be a Birmingham Black Powder Proof Mark? Would the gun have both marks?


It is unlikely to have two proof marks. The other might be a maker's mark. On military firearms you find proof marks, inspectors marks, etc. but not on civilian pieces, which is what this appears to be.


IIRC all British firearms, be they civilian or military of this period bear proof marks.


You are right. What I should have said was that you will find proof marks on military and civilian firearms of the era, but only military guns have inspectors and view marks, etc.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Thu 11 Jul, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have learned a bit about this rifle that I thought I would share.
the straight rifling was a thing for a while and may have been invented as a way to reduce the effects of fouling. It seems to have been part of the transition to true rifiling but did stick around longer than may have been expected.
The straight groves are also seen on fowling pieces as an attempt to get better shot patterns at distance but this rifle doesn't look like a fowling piece.

The barrel is British made (as shown with the proof marks) more proof of that is the band on top of the barrel which is a sign of a quality barrel or a feature put on quality rifles.

On the front of the trigger guard is an inverted acorn which was found on the British gun from late 1700 to early 1800's. It was replaced by an inverted pineapple.

The front sight which I thought was a bakealite replacement is likely an orginal and made of horn or Ivory.

The cock is not an orginal as it doesn't fit the lock

So here is where things get a bit interesting. Despite all of the British bits the over all look of the gun is classic German or Dutch and doesn't look or feel like a British piece.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > My new 8-bore flintlock, any info?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum