Can anyone identify this device on this flintlock pistol???

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Bishop54, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i wonder if it could have been a matchlock conversion?

    real stretch there I guess...
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    No indication that the gun was ever anything but a flintlock. I believe it is French.

    Jim
  3. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    I appreciate all the brainstorming guys. I'm stumped, my Father is stumped, and all his gun friends are stumped. It's like no one has seen this before. It's quite exciting but frustrating that we may never know who made the gun.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    FWIW, I think who made the gun and who put on that gadget may be two different people. The "thing" may well have been some inventor's idea and he just used that pistol as his "test bed." Are there any markings on the lockplate or on the barrel that could help identify the original maker or the country of origin?

    Jim
  5. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    I'll get proof mark pictures on Sunday but my father says there's one that consists of a triangle with a dot inside. I'm sorry but that's all I have for you until Sunday.
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Have to admit, it is interesting. There were a lot of interesting designs during that era, some caught on, such as percussion caps, others such as shooting square bullets at infidels didn't.:eek:
  7. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Here's the skinny - as someone touched on above. It is to allow the pan to be primed while the frizzen is open and the hammer down. Most flint locks when primed and 'ready' must have the hammer at half cock to carry it safely. For long storage some people think that constant strain on springs is undesirable. So - this device allows the gun to be primed for quick use, with the hammer down, frizzen open and springs relaxed. It is a rare feature, second one I know of.

    French, I agree.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I think rhmc24 has the answer.

    Jim
  9. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    Ok that's wonderful information. So we know now what the use is for and you guys are pretty sure it's French, we're getting there. I'm excited! I'll still post the marking on Sunday and maybe we can get it narrowed down some more. My Dad is mulling a $1500 offer for the gun so I'll tell him to hold off. Looks like he might have a goodie.
  10. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    As promised here is a picture of the proof mark.

    [​IMG]

    A person on another forum thinks it's a gun cobbler together using very old parts. Most of which he thinks are Austrian in origin.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    First, that mark means nothing to me; let's see what others might have on it.

    As for the origin, could be Austrian. Without clear markings on the lockplate or barrel, it is often very hard to tell the origin of a gun of that era. That butt style is often considered French, but it was certainly used elsewhere.

    As to a gun "cobbled together", it doesn't look that way, but better pictures will be needed to be sure. A key is whether the lockplate and barrel fit the stock and are fitted to each other, also whether the other parts fit correctly. The earlier pictures concentrated on the frizzed and pan, natural since that was what you were seeking information on, but closeups of the lockplate and the muzzle on both sides should either prove or disprove whether it is a parts gun.

    Jim
  12. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    Good points Jim, I'll be sure to post more pictures a little later today.
  13. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    More pictures as promised.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Those pictures do cast doubt on the originality of the pistol. Note that the rear of the lockplate inletting was clearly intended for a different shape of lockplate, the muzzle end of the stock has been cut away for a different style of front band, and the poor fitting of the trigger guard. When was that done? Quite possibly in the long past; the "inventor" of the pan cover may have acquired what was then a put together gun to work with, or someone may have put an experimental lockplate on an old gun that happened to be handy.

    I see no means of tracing the origin of the gun, and can only say that unless someone turns up a patent or a description, we will probably never know where the gun came from or whose idea the cover actually was.

    Jim
  15. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    The 'cobbled together' clincher for me or major modification is the screw forward of the trigger guard, without exception (my experience. that period) the front attachment should be with a tab up into the stock, held by a cross pin & to a lesser extent, the aft screws. Muzzle treatment likewise questionable.

    Offsetting that is the apparent skill and workmanship, particularly the grip treatment, all possibly explainable as an original French style pistol with barrel shortened and trigger guard replacement. I can't see enough of the lock inlet to have an opinion.

    All of which is beside the point about the lock pan cover 'anomaly'.

    I agree the pursuit of useful info about its history is likely an excercise in futility.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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