Help wanted

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Wilds Swede, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm from Sweden and I found this forum trying to find some info on a small pocket pistol I have. So I registered thinking you guys might be able to help me out.

    I got this gun from my wife's grandfather and would like to know more about it.
    Caliber is .40 (10mm), black powder pistol and I think it's Belgian.
    But do you guys know anything about year, where it's manufactured, if there's any value, anything else you might know about it.


    Here's some pictures:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mark under the barrel fitting. Looks like a crown with the letter L under the crown.
    [​IMG]

    ELG mark on the left side.
    [​IMG]

    Mark inside the handle. To me this mark looks like the letters OD or, it could be OP
    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!
  2. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    Welcome to TFF.

    A very nice Belgian made percussion muff or screw barrel pistol, dating from mid-19th century.

    They were made in large numbers by many small craftsmen, and in the U.S. this one might sell in the $150-$200 range.
  3. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    THX,

    Do you know anything about the proof marks?

    ELG

    Crown over L (looks like there is an M & L in the crown)

    OP or OD
  4. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    I don't see a lug on the barrel for the turn-off spanner - maybe due to the photo. A ring spanner sometimes fashioned at the end of one of the bullet mold handles.

    Some turn-off pistols have the barrel squared inside the muzzle to accept the turn-off lug also at one end of the bullet mold.

    The cheapest little pistols were not made for turn-off loading.
  5. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    The ELG in oval is the Liege, Belgium proofmark and the crown over L the proofhouse inspector's mark.

    Most Belgian guns of this type were made by anonymous "cottage industry" craftsmen and will not have a maker's mark.
  6. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    I'll upload an image from the front of the barrel when I get home...
  7. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    There are advantages in the turn-off design. The breech is bored with a cavity that serves as its powder measure, the ball is placed over it and the barrel is screwed on. The bore of the barrel is a little smaller than the ball which assures a good fit of ball to accurately bored barrel minimizing loss of pressure. Need for patch and wadding is eliminated.

    In longer barrels the turn-off was more accurate than the patch and ball smooth bore. Memory recalls a late 1600s English story about Prince Rupert hitting the weather cock on top of a steeple twice with his pair of turn-offs.
  8. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    Here's an image of the front of the barrel
    [​IMG]
    The splines you see only reaches about an inch into the barrel.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  9. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    It is a turn off barrel, designed to be loaded with the barrel removed. The four splines are for a " key " or wrench to fit inside the barrel to apply the force needed. Once removed, there is a cavity in the receiver that, first the powder, then the ball is place on top and the barrel reinstalled. Your gun looks to be in very good condition and well cared for. I don't think rust would be a factor, however after a 150 years the treads may be very tight. If you have a tool made to remove the barell I would remove the grips and soak the area in a penetrant first. The firearm is in wonderfull condition, some one took very good care of it. Good luck.
  10. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Your muzzle shows finesse. Most have an almost square muzzle hole - maybe thats the way they get with a lot of use. As stated above, it is common for the barrel to become almost frozen on the thread due to rust.

    Some thoughts about barrel removal, offered not as an instruction but a review of my experience over half a century. First I would decide whether best to leave the pistol as-is or get involved with 'heroic' methods.

    Per above, it is good to apply penetrant inside and outside the barrel at the frame joint and allow it to sit over night. Heating and cooling can help due to parts expanding and contracting at different rates. First cleaning any oil, I have heated the entire gun in kitchen oven (grip removed) to close to broil temperature and quickly quench the frame in cold water. Cooling the frame quickly can shrink it away thus tending to free the seizure.

    The spanner and the grip will not stand much torque without damage. To hold the barrel without damage (if you don't have a barrel vise or equivalent) I bore a hole in hardwood as near as possible to the diameter of the barrel and cut it lengthwise with the hole so as allow surrounding the barrel, apply rosin to improve traction and grip it as tightly as possible in the vise.

    Grip the sides of the frame between where the barrel joins and just behind the nipple, being careful not to squeeze the part where the mechanism is located.

    Attempting a cheerful note - your pistol looks good enough that it may never have been fired or fired very little and a little heat may loosen old grease and the barrel turn off easily. Best!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  11. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    It's not uncommon for such guns to be found loaded, so before anything further, measure down the barrel to insure the cavity in breech is empty.
  12. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    Thx for all info guys!

    The gun is not loaded...
    I have removed the nipple where the primer is placed and I could see the bottom of the barrel. The inside of barrel looks in very good condition.

    Wouldn't it be possible to just pour a small amount of black powder into the barrel and the press down a ball with right size with a tight fit and then put on a primer-cap and fire?

    I will try to remove the barrel later without damaging the gun.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Yes, you can use a screw barrel pistol like a muzzle loader, either with a ball and patch or the ball alone. You won't be able to use a ball from the mould (if one came with the gun) as it will be too big to fit into the barrel without using excess force.

    Some folks confuse those splines for a wrench with rifling, but there are screw barrel pistols made with rifling in addition to the splines.

    Jim
  14. Wilds Swede

    Wilds Swede New Member

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    Thx guys,

    I suspected this would be a good forume for information!

    Thanks again!
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