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Civil war musket

Discussion in 'Antique Firearms' started by Artilleryguy, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    I came across a barn find civil war rifle. Would I ruin it if I clean it up? Not talking “surgical cleaning”, just for personal display in “man cave”. All parts are present and functional, wood is dry but not cracked. Bayonete was on rifle when found. It just “looks” like it’s been in a barn for a long time. If it won’t hurt it, how do I do it.
    Dutch likes this.
  2. chesterwin

    chesterwin G&G Evangelist

    pictures help in suggestions.
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  3. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    Before you do anything else, Artilleryguy -- and welcome to the Forum, by the way -- take the ramrod and drop it down the barrel. If it goes all the way down, lands in the breech and rings, wonderful! There is no charge in there and you can start your restoration work.

    But if does not go all the way down and lands with a thud, stop everything and take it to a gunsmith. That thud means there is a load in the piece that has to be removed before you do anything. Your local gunsmith will either have the equipment to safely remove the load (these days, it's usually done with high pressure air through a special fitting that replaces the nipple) or will know someone who does and will refer you. You HAVE to get the charge out before you do anything else! Anyone who has ever dealt with flintlock and caplock antiques has horror stories of guns with charges in them that have been fired by accident because their owners did not realize they were loaded.

    That said, since you have no intention of shooting it, I'd suggest treating the wood with tung oil, and the metal with a CLP product. My recommendation would be Gunzilla. Use a coarse cloth (I recommend an old linen napkin for this) and the CLP to scrub off any surface rust. Use a soft cotton rag and more CLP to lightly coat the exposed metal and protect it. Soak a patch in CLP and scrub the bore to protect it.

    If you use just a little tung oil on the wood every day for two months, you will end with a hard finish that looks good and thoroughly seals the wood. It will look good in your man-cave.

    But as chesterwin says, pictures of your barn find rifle would help a great deal. Please post some?
    Wicked109 and Artilleryguy like this.
  4. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor

    Welcome to G&G from Alaska.
    Stop by the Introduction thread, and say hello.
    Artilleryguy likes this.
  5. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    58C900C7-8007-44C6-83CD-16EE7976B8AF.jpeg 58C900C7-8007-44C6-83CD-16EE7976B8AF.jpeg 71C3B8D0-1846-471A-8C00-C77E5573067E.jpeg 848CCCCE-F51E-499D-81F7-5E396C0BAAB9.jpeg B58E4E95-4226-4A4C-A910-91ABAD820AFE.jpeg 0AC3EAAA-2BEE-48CB-BEDF-C6FAEC8610F7.jpeg

    Attached Files:

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  6. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    Pics posted
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  7. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    Pics posted
    chesterwin likes this.
  8. TheWall

    TheWall Firearm Affectionado Forum Contributor

    Nice find! Welcome to the forum. Are there any stamps/printing on it?
    Artilleryguy likes this.
  9. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    JP Justice Phila
    TheWall likes this.
  10. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    186.... can’t read last #
  11. To me, and I'm no expert on old muskets, it looks like a 1853 pattern Enfield Rifle Musket. It may be a copy of that pattern. I personally would not "clean it up" until you find out what rifle it is and how much its worth. You could be destroying all value of your musket if you clean it up wrong.
  12. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I do not know the history on the JP Philadelphia muskets, but they are neat old guns. What caliber? How is the bore?

    Here is one in better overall condition, if anyone is interested in seeing it.

    I don't know enough about them to counsel you on cleaning it. I certainly think it should be cleaned up, if for no other reason than to stabilize the wood, but how to go about it without wrecking what value it may have is beyond me.
    Artilleryguy likes this.
  13. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    Ok. I figured out what the rifle is. P.S. Justice 1861 Philadelphia
  14. grizcty likes this.
  15. Artilleryguy

    Artilleryguy G&G Newbie

    Found near Confederate POW camp in NC.
    PS Justice type 1. .69 cal
    Fully functional and original. (As much as this model rifle could be)
    4 to 6 rounds in barrel (currently at gunsmith being unloaded)
    Is being lightly cleaned (removing only heavy dirt) and fully inspected.
    Appraised between $2,500 and $3,500 due to rarity.
    Dutch likes this.
  16. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor

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