Gun and Game Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This musket has been handed down in the family over several generations. The family immigrated to Canada in the early 1800s from Ireland, and have resided in the Kingston / Frontenac County area (North shore of Lake Ontario) since. As there is no indication that the family was involved in the fur trade, we assume the gun was acquired and used on the family farm as a utility weapon for hunting and defence.

I am particularly intersted in learning about the history of the gun, especially date of manufacture and whether it was a flintlock conversion. I realize that documentation is scarce, so any information is appreciated.

I have also uploaded photos and a sheet of specs for your reference.

Thanks in advance for your time and help.
specs.jpg
specs.jpg
BoreCloseUp.jpg
Forestock+Guides+Rod.jpg
Fox+CircleMark.jpg
LockPlate.jpg
LockPlateSide.jpg
ProofMarksCloseUp.jpg
Wheeler+SonMark.jpg
SidePlate+Trigger.jpg
ProofMarks+SidePlate.jpg
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
34,210 Posts
Welcome to the Forum from the Peoples Democratic Republic of New York, Maximum Bob.

I'm not a blackpowder guy, and there are plenty in the Band of Fellers more educated in the old smokepoles. But I am wondering whether it is a flintlock conversion. Somehow the fittings on the right side of the action don't look right to me for that. Based on the time you said your ancestors came to Canada, I agree they would have been more likely to own a flintlock; percussion cap firearms and/or conversions did not become common until the mid-1830s. I think it was built from the start as a percussion gun. The proofmarks will tell us the tale in the end, I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the Forum from the Peoples Democratic Republic of New York, Maximum Bob.

I'm not a blackpowder guy, and there are plenty in the Band of Fellers more educated in the old smokepoles. But I am wondering whether it is a flintlock conversion. Somehow the fittings on the right side of the action don't look right to me for that. Based on the time you said your ancestors came to Canada, I agree they would have been more likely to own a flintlock; percussion cap firearms and/or conversions did not become common until the mid-1830s. I think it was built from the start as a percussion gun. The proofmarks will tell us the tale in the end, I think.
Thanks Cyrano. Good info to have on the fittings. Regarding the date, I'm not sure when the gun was acquired. My guess was that it may have been around 1840, so your comment on the action may very well coincide with my guess. Looking forward to getting more pieces of the puzzle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,184 Posts
That is an Indian NW trade gun. The circled fox facing to the right indicates a NW Trade gun. The plugged 3 holes indicate the placement of a flint lock Frizzen spring. These were the most popular smooth bores in Canada 1630-1680. It is a 20 Ga smooth bore. That was large for a trade gun. The preference was a .540 bore. The Native Americans did not care for rifles. And rifles do not appear on the Frontier in general use until after 1776. These smooth guns were passed down thru the decades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,107 Posts
it looks like a bit of saddle, or lap, and hand wear.
I'd say it has some miles on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That is an Indian NW trade gun. The circled fox facing to the right indicates a NW Trade gun. The plugged 3 holes indicate the placement of a flint lock Frizzen spring. These were the most popular smooth bores in Canada 1630-1680. It is a 20 Ga smooth bore. That was large for a trade gun. The preference was a .540 bore. The Native Americans did not care for rifles. And rifles do not appear on the Frontier in general use until after 1776. These smooth guns were passed down thru the decades.
Thanks for the comments Jim Bridger. I appreciate every detail I can get.
 

·
God, Guns, Glory
Joined
·
34,246 Posts
Welcome to G&G from Alaska.
Stop by the Introduction thread, and say "hello".
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChaZam

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,992 Posts
Very interesting, OP and Mr. Bridger.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
34,210 Posts
That is an Indian NW trade gun. The circled fox facing to the right indicates a NW Trade gun. The plugged 3 holes indicate the placement of a flint lock Frizzen spring. These were the most popular smooth bores in Canada 1630-1680. It is a 20 Ga smooth bore. That was large for a trade gun. The preference was a .540 bore. The Native Americans did not care for rifles. And rifles do not appear on the Frontier in general use until after 1776. These smooth guns were passed down thru the decades.
See what I told you about the proof marks, Maximum Bob?

Jim, is this a musket or a fowling piece? Or could it shoot both ball and shot, not necessarily at the same time? (I'm not sure the Native Americans ever discovered the virtues and vices of the buck-and-ball load, which continued in military service in the Union Army right through the Civil War in units that had smoothbore muskets. A couple of historians credit the breaking of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg to the Irish Brigade built around the Fighting 69th blasting the Rebels at close range with buck and ball from their smoothbore muskets.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jim Bridger

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,107 Posts
it would/could have been either as necessary.
most 'fowling pieces' were 2 barreled, this was more utilitarian.

even as late as the cartridge shooting 73 springfield guns were used as both a solid bullet rifle and a shotgun depending on the circumstance.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
34,210 Posts
it would/could have been either as necessary.
most 'fowling pieces' were 2 barreled, this was more utilitarian.

even as late as the cartridge shooting 73 springfield guns were used as both a solid bullet rifle and a shotgun depending on the circumstance.
I know in India and Egypt some Martini-Henrys were refitted with smoothbore barrels and used for hunting birds and as riot guns in 14 gauge. Later, the action was refitted to shoot standard 2 3/4" 12-gauge shotgun shells. But the Martini-Henry was either a rifle or a shotgun; the rounds used in the 14 gauge shotguns really were not compatible with the standard rifle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rocky7

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,184 Posts
See what I told you about the proof marks, Maximum Bob?

Jim, is this a musket or a fowling piece? Or could it shoot both ball and shot, not necessarily at the same time? (I'm not sure the Native Americans ever discovered the virtues and vices of the buck-and-ball load, which continued in military service in the Union Army right through the Civil War in units that had smoothbore muskets. A couple of historians credit the breaking of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg to the Irish Brigade built around the Fighting 69th blasting the Rebels at close range with buck and ball from their smoothbore muskets.)
It was a smooth Bore dating earlier than rifled long arms. These were "Trade Guns" very close to the English Fowler. A Military Musket was a larger caliber with a heavy stock and thick wrist. They were used for bayonet combat. Most collectors refer to these as "Trade Guns".
France and England were competitors for the Indian trade. France offered the "Calves Foot" Fuzee De Chase. The Fuzee was very sought after. The only Hardwood in France was fruit woods. These were often panted with a coat of heavy black pant.
So far as know these guns were used with round balls under wads of Trade blankets. That is why the 28 Ga/55 caliber was popular. During close quarters combat the black powder and burning blankets would smoke up every target.
These Trade guns with modern safe barrels are fun. Shooting an original can be very dangerous.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
744 Posts
What did the trademark of the Hudson's Bay company look like?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top