Antique Muzzleloader

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dusty, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    I couldd be wrong, but something about that rifle suggests German manufacture, in the 1700's.
  2. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    CP

    according to Jim and Buffalo Chip, you are not wrong. thanks for your input.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Rifling dates to the 15th century, even before the flintlock system. It was not common for military arms because rifles had to be loaded carefully, usually requiring a patch or some method of expanding the ball into the rifling where smooth-bore "muskets" could be loaded just by dumping in powder and ramming the ball.

    But rifling was common for hunting and target rifles in Germany for centuries and since it was mainly German gunsmiths who immigrated to the U.S., they naturally brought the idea with them. The result was the American rifle, called either the "Kentucky rifle" from where it was used, or the "Pennsylvania rifle" from where the earliest ones were made.

    That rifle, in fact, looks quite a bit like a Pennsylvania rifle, and I thought at first that was what it was.

    The barrel is shorter and the caliber larger than the typical American rifle, reflecting both the cost of lead in the (then) colonies and the distances involved for the pioneers; the smaller caliber allowed more shots for a given weight of lead.

    Incidentally, it has been often said that German rifles were heavy and clumsy, and that they did not use patches and so needed thick iron ramrods. I submit that that German rifle is light and clearly has a wood ramrod. The patchbox, like the early American ones, has a sliding wood cover, not a brass one like later American rifles.

    Jim
  4. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    thank you for the very interesting explanation of what I was wondering about, Jim.

    do you have any idea what the piece may be worth? if not, could point me in the direction of someone or some group like this who may have?

    and, if you do have some sort of estimate of value, where might I put the piece up for sale?
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I really have no idea of the value of that gun. I tried checking a couple of German sites, but I saw nothing that old and of course, like most firearms of the period, it would have been the product of a small shop with limited priduction. If I had to guess, I would say $2000, but please understand that that is a wild guess. Letters to museums (with good 8x10 color photos might get a response, but I am not sure the value would make that approach worthwhile.

    Jim
  6. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    While you're examining the bore, measure with the ramrod to insure there's not an ancient load in there: It's amazing how often there is, and even 200 year old black powder can stll be good if it has remained dry!
  7. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    Well, I'll take a wild guess over a tame guess any day - especially when it's that amount. If you run into anyone who is interested in a
    H. Schafer-small shop in Mayence-1750-converted flintlock for the low, low price of, oh, let's say $1995 for starters, let me know. I'll be checking back. I'm pretty sure there's someone somewhere willing to pay something for this piece. Thanks for all your help and interesting factoids.
  8. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    hrf

    thanks for the tip. i've done that and it appears that it's clear. i wonder if it would be worth more if there was an antique load in it. probably not.

    p.s. wanna buy a real old gun? probably not.
  9. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    Dusty--I'm fairly certain that what you have is a "club butt" Dutch rifle from the middle-early1700s converted from flintlock to percussion. It could be Pennsylvania Dutch--is there a Mayence in PA?

    People were a bit smaller back then and I suspect the stock was lengthened to accommodate a large man and the patch box lengthened (or added) as well. The trigger guard doesn't look quite right forward of the trigger. It appears to have been repaired and unlike the other brass, it is "proud" of the inlet--sticks up above the wood.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  10. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    Buffalochip

    Mayence is the French name for the city which is now Mainz, Germany. I did a web search and could find no Mayence in PA.

    I'll do some more poking around, but, at this point, I think this is a rifle from Germany.
  11. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    Actually, in this instance, Dutch is in reference to Deutscheland (and not the Netherlands) and Dutch = German. So, we are in agreement.
  12. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    I need to find a good, reputable place where I can sell this rifle. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  13. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    Can anyone out there recommend a reputable dealer/broker/etc. where I can sell this piece?
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    You could try Googling antique arms dealers for someone in your area. If there are any large gun shows in your area, there will usually be antique arms dealers. Get some bids if you can; those guys don't give out a lot of free help and didn't get the money for top notch collections by buying high and selling low.

    Jim
  15. dusty

    dusty New Member

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    Thanks for the info, Jim. I've googled and found several antique arms dealers, so i've got something to start with.
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