Antique Cane Gun - No Markings

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by northernva, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    I recently acquired the below antique cane gun. I do not have the barrel, just the handle. It appears that it would be cocked using a key of some sort. I have searched and can't find anything like it. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jax, Fl.

  3. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
  4. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Need for a separate key to arm the gun (?) seems odd. Is there a firing pin or striker visible inside? Have you tried turning the square shaft to see if it's under spring pressure or "cocks"?
     
  5. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    Looking down the barrel their appears to be a hole where a pin would extrude. The button as shown in the second pic is spring loaded, and appears operable. I havnt tried to turn the square peg. It does appear to be under tension
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    A lot of confusing questions come to mind on that one. What is inside the "barrel" stub? If there is an inside hammer what does it strike? Or could it be an air gun or possibly one with the powder charge ignited by compressed air? If so, what is the hole in the side for?

    Jim
     
  7. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Active Member

    807
    Dec 1, 2010
    Ardmore, OK
    Curious, ingenious construction, asymetrical 'frame', a metal plate both sides, wood scales of different thickness. Looks like the grip 'frame' may be separate from the breech (threaded) piece, may attache a-la hook breech method seen on perc rifle-pistols, what looks like a screw from the bottom to hold the periphery 'frame' to the breech. Hard to be sure what are parting surfaces and what are not. The pictures, good as they are, could show more views and better lighted, a shot into the breech, for example. Imagination tends to run riot.

    Looking at the screw heads on the right side vs. the other side, they don't seem to align. Seems the right side screws probably screw into metal. If I had it I would take the screws out and get a look inside.

    Having conjured up a few weird designs myself, I'm intrigued by this one.
     
  8. dustydog

    dustydog New Member

    209
    Sep 2, 2011
    Have seen a couple of these before.If the groove on the top gives access to a nipple,they were produced by a gunsmith in the Richmond,Va. area around 1850.One had traces of brown lacquer remaining on the barrel(smoothbore).Did up a barrel for one for a fellow out towards Hopewell out of DOM tubing,and he shots it with 20 grns. FFG and a .310 round ball.
     
  9. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    If a key required to cock it, not very practical for self defense and must have been a "poacher's" gun?
     
  10. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    I will take some more pics tonight. Very interesting about the Richmond connection. The Kane gun was obtained from a long time Richmond area family. Do you have a name of the gunsmith by any chance?
     
  11. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    Below are some new pictures of the cane gun. I opened it up and there is definitely a working cocking mechanism. The square peg cocks the hammer, and it looks like, when triggered it would hit a nipple. It almost looks like someone would open the gun up, put a cap on the nipple and then screw it back together.

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    Gun opened

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    Cover

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    Both cover and gun – no markings

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    Gun cocked

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    Looks like a nipple to me

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    Screw barrel 1

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    Screw barrel 2

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  12. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    I suspect the grooved piece at top is meant to swivel aside to access the nipple, but maybe rusted in place now?
     
  13. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    No that part is solid. The only way to access the nipple is to unscrew the cover
     
  14. northernva

    northernva New Member

    8
    Jun 1, 2012
    I suspect someone would put a cap on the nipple and close the cover. The mechanism does have a half cock position. I suspect the cane would be carried in half cocked.
     
  15. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    So the user had to carry both a key to cock it and a screwdriver to cap it??

    We need more input from dustydog, who's the only one so far that's seen other examples.
     
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