[Information?] Bunney, London antique gun

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Inspiron, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Inspiron

    Inspiron New Member

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    Hi Guys


    Recently i have had this "Bunney, London" gun handed down to me. However ,not being a Gun fanatic i don't know much information about it. I have taken a few photos for you guy's to look at.


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    Under the barrels is the numbers 3 and 4 and on the handle is an inscription which looks like "HR".

    As you can see there is some damage to the top of the trigger, i am aware 1or 2 of the screw's have also been replaced.

    If anyone know's anything about these "Bunney, London" gun's then please enlighten me.

    Thanks in advance


    Brad
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  2. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    Wish I could help..try posting it at the Curios and Relics thread here at FF, You might send the pics to NRA also
  3. Inspiron

    Inspiron New Member

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    Ah , ok .

    I was slightly unsure about the section to post this under.

    NRA?
  4. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    National Rifle Assoication
  5. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    What you have is a pre-police gun or travelers gun. IF I had it in my hands to check a few thinks could tell you more but here is teh idea or close anyways.

    Back before there were a standing police force, travelers in Europe (England mainly) were known to get roobbed on the trips from one city to another by high way men. Thaat gun was meant to be carried by a traveler, one with lots of moeny by the lavish engravings and inlays plus over lays; to fend for him self in case his coach was robbed. One thing that makes me wonder is doe sboth barrels go off at once (which I suspect it does) or do the select fire between them? IF you can post a picture with the frizzen in teh up position to show the pan and inside where the hammer/striker striles, that would tell a lot. That gun could have been md by any number of gun smiths, jewlry makers, clock makers, or who knows who. IF not a reproduction (which I doubt it is) I would say itis an early 18th century piece. ONLY plase I would say to find th best answers are from people at the NMLRA. Some of them know their stuff, also there is an auctioneer on the History Channel who does a lot of reference work for them, he very well could help to tell you exactly what you have so ciontact the History Channel (I forget the mans name but his collection is VAST). Hope this helps some.
  6. Inspiron

    Inspiron New Member

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    I am not sure if this is the part you wanted a picture of, i am not sure weather the gun fires twice or once. As you can see there is almost a safety catch to open up the first barrel.

    Maybe the picture's will explain this better.

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    Closed
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    Thanks for your reply.
  7. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    That is an ODD one. The extra pis do not help at all like i thought they would, HUGE suprise to me!!! I will ask around abpout this hand gun BUT it is a defensive hand gun used t ward off highway men (robbers). I also see that part of it is missing or seems to be. There shoyld be a hammer that comes down and strikes the frizzen, the cover or safety as you called it does allow it to fire one barrel at a time or both barrels at once. You need a good book on English hand guns of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. That should help identify it. Go to the local library and see if tehre are any books they can get you through inter-library loan that will help. Still you need to know the hammer is missing, it hooks onto the piece on top that is between the 2 screws. Hope this helps, I know it is not much but man that is an odd piece.
  8. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    The 2 post have revealed the same thing. I honestly thought it was a type of boarding pistol.. Some good learning here.


    On the left side of the frame, there appears to be a thumb lever is that to cock it?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  9. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I am sure the lever is a safety, you cocked it by pulling the 'hammer', or 'cock' to the rear. If it slipped before it was all the way back it 'went off half cocked' get it?
  10. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    I agree with TranterUK as to the cocking. Actually the hammer is missing. It would sit on top of the pistol. The side lever slides a shield across over the flash pan to allow for it to NOT go off and to allow for one barrel at a tme to be shot so it seems. Are there 2 shields that cover BOTH flash holes the farther you pull the lever back? IF so it is a safety, a shield to allow one barrel to fire, and allows both barrels to be foired at once. The hammer sits in the top piece on teh pistol where the 3 screws are in a triangloe. 2 screws across from one anotehr and another back towards the web of the hand. Look at the back screw on top of the pistol where the engraving comes up toward the barrel. That engraving goes right to where the hammer piece (the piece that holds the flint) would sit into that grooved piece. IF you look at this flint pistol at this link, you will get an idea as to what pieceis missing on top of your pistol:
    http://http://www.maxarmory.com/index.php?p=product&id=1219&parent=90

    As to a bording pistol, could be BUT rather say it was not. A bording pistol woulod not have it so as to fire one barrel at a time. They would fire both barrels at once and have a laynard probably in the face one the butt to slip a laynard through so as to hang from your neck while fighting. Also it is pretty ornate for a bording pistol, more of a gentlemans piece with all the carving, inlay, and over lay on it. I am betting it is sterling silver all over it, could be wrong and be peweter but probably not.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  11. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    The Hammer is broken off, you can see where. It happened quite a lot. It is without doubt a common boxlock flintlock pocket pistol, for self defense, +/- 1800. It is not a 'boarding' pistol. I think anyone boarding a ship in this period, facing the cutlass, axe, spear and musket would be a brave man carrying that.

    Google antique guns, find a dealers site and go to pocket pistols, you will see many.
  12. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Even with the hammer broken off, it is worth a good it BUT there are people in the Black Powder community that can fix that broken hammer with out taking very little if any of the value away from the gun. Replacing the hammer will not be too cheap but you will regain more than it cost to replace it in value, one thing to rememebr is as ornate as the pistol is, the hammer would be ornate as well.

    TranterUK, how hard is it to buy and SHOOT oldr english wheel locks, flint locks, and percussion guns in the uK. I am looking for a pair of Scottish flint pistols from the time period of 1770 to 1780 or even Irish made ones.
  13. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Shooting original antique guns is not always a good idea. The chance of doing damage to the weapon is high as against the cost, which is also generally high. For most repros are the way to go.

    Wheel locks are the oldest on your list and very expensive, few would fire an original. Flint locks are a little more reasonable but you can still pay more than $4000.00 for an average one. The percussion locks are the most recent on your list and I know many people in the US shoot original percussion weapons. Scottish pistols are traditionally all steel and quite collectable, and thus expensive.

    Never try it without lots of homework as to the loads, size of ball etc. and only use Black Powder, light loads. I would also let a qualified gunsmith check the gun before use.

    I will admit to having fired many original firearms over the years, and had a huge amount of pleasure doing so. The oldest would have been a Brown Bess Musket c.1800. The coolest had to be an Adams 38 bore (.5") 5 shot DA only percussion revolver with an 8" barrel c.1855. Wow! :D

    I suggest you google antique gun dealers in the UK. There are several and we have a huge number of antique guns. It's about $2 to the £1 at the moment. I know people in the industry here and have helped buyers abroad before now so if you need help, shout.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2008
  14. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    The only reason I ask about older guns in the UK is because I have been shooting black powder guns for 30 years. I shoot many originals and reproductions. I own at leat 25 and probably closer to 40 black powder firearms of all types. I have shot many an original first pattern Brown Bess, several 1777 Charlevilles as well as a few fowlers that predate both those modeals. I have shot an dactually own some guns made in the US from teh time period of the late 1700s, yes rigth about the American Revolution, as well as some percuission guns fom teh 1840s clear up to the 1880s. I have a 22 caliber parlor rifle that is dated 1881, it was used to shoot for drinks in a saloon, and I rgularly shoot it. My daughter placed 4th in the St 4-H shooting sports with it several years ago. I have a very rare civil war gun, a Burden rifle, made by a man named Burden in the county I live in here in KY. he and his brothers who apprenticed under him made 50 or so for a complete company of federal soldiers from Ohio called the Burden Rifles. These Burden rifles are 38 caliber, 1/2 stock,have a 1/5" long nipple, and extremely heavy (on 1.25 flats) and every man of the unit was used as a sniper in many battles. I am well aware of shooting older VP guns but was wondering if prices had dropped a bit since last time I received one from across the pond. It was a Scottisk black watch pistol, yes all metal, but about 4" longer than teh normal as to barrel length. It was pone of a pair of horse pistols, where the other got off to is anyones guess. I have since sold it (actually gave it) to a buddy who does the British side of the Re-enactments we do. He has several horse pistols made in Ireland during the 1770s and1780s, seems many Broitish officers got their personal guns from Irish companies due to cost and due to very well made furearms. Funny how a british officer was expected to furnish his own horse pistols but then again most were men of some higher place in British society

    Yes I am very well versed in shooting older black powder guns. I do know what to watch for and have shot about every kind including an original wheel lock. Sadly teh one thing you had to watch on teh wheel locks happened on this one to the owner, he over wound the spring (wheel) this breaking teh spring. It has not been fixed due to teh fact of finding some one who knows how to fix it. they were made as fine as Swiss clocks and it takes some one well versed in the mechanics of a fine swiss clock to fix one PROPERLY.

    Used 1st pattern Brown Besses can be bought here in teh states for around $1500 to $2500 US. Now you get into more ornate or unusual gun, the price climbs extremely fast. One like the hand gun this thread is about in excellent working condition would bring in the $4K to $5K range depending on who wants is and if the over lay is silver, then it could doubloe in price.

    As to the American revolutio, why is it the British are so anal when it comes to researching their military archives from that time period. a friend who was in the US Army was stationed in England for a bit. he went to research a certain battle we re-enact each year here in the states to get the Brits view of what happened (the indians and teh Brits slaughtered the KY militia that day0 but he had to jump through hoops, and ittook fore ever to see the few records on teh battle. he was in a room and guarded at all times while reading them also. he and i thought it very odd but at least wegot the otehr side's view of teh battle.

    Thanks for the info, I will look up some old contacts I ahd in teh antique BP firearm business (some in the UK, some in Ireland, and one in France) and see if they have any thing I would be interested in that I could afford with things as high as teh are here now.
  15. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Well JJmitchell, I hadn't realised we were so anal about military research. I cant say I've had that problem, :) not after a good English breakfast anyway.

    Your right about the British officers at that time having to buy their own kit. The uniform alone made up a large part of the cost. In addition they had to buy rank and promotion, taking another officers place when he retired or was killed. It's no wonder really that they did so badly against the Americans.

    Given your experience with older guns, and you clearly have a few, I hope you wont mind If I ask you some thing's, for example the revolutionary army were armed with which long guns. Really, I have never been clear on that one?

    By the way, while I realise you have been a member here much longer than me, you will have to excuse the way I write. Having written for the shooting press I am always aware anyone can read my copy, and write with that in mind.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2008
  16. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    No problem with the writing. Just excuse my spelling, I have lots of nerve damage to hands and arms. Brain tells hands what to do, hands tell brain that they do what tey want! Comes from a bad wreck on my HD that forced me to learn to walk and do many othr things again at the age of 31 so me 17 years ago.

    As to what teh colonists were armed with, supriseingly it was the british who armed them so it was the first pattern brown bess! During what we call teh Frenck and Indian War, I believe the British call it by anotehrname, the british shipped thousands of brown besses to the colonies to hand out to militias and natives that were loyal to the Brits. When teh Brits marched on lexington in April of 1774, they were marching to confiscate a cache of Brown besses and powder that had been issued to teh Mass. militia back in the 1750s and 60s. The brits knew that war was a brewing and like Hitler (hate to use that SOB as an example) they knew that the populance neded to be disarmed to crush the up coming rebellion. So the first pattern brown bess was one onf the long arms used a lot. By the way, teh miliria or Minitmen were actually short of balls to shoot so all night before the brits marched on Lexington, the colonists wives sat up melying down pewterplates to make pewter musket balls, jus a little know fact many do not know. They also use rusty nails, glass, rocks, and anything they could drop down te barrel at the siege of Boston. The British Surgeons actually said that the colonists shooting such things set up infection in teh wounded and infection killed more than actual bullets, but getting off subject there. Anotehr long arm that was used was the duth fowlers from the late 1600s and early 1700s. The dutch flooded teh colonies with them to trade to natives and trade to colonists as well. anotehr arm that was present was the early French military musket which looked a lot like teh Dutch Fowler and actually can be concidered a cousin to teh Dutch Fowler. many an English Dog Eared flint lock, a fore runner of the Brown bess was used being it came over with many of the colonists. Also teh German short Jaeger (sp) rifle was used in some quanities buit the new long rifles made here in teh colonies, most in PA, mountains of VA, southern mountaisn of NC and SC were used by different colonial militias although they wee hard to load. These long rifleswith rifled barrels were mostly used as sniper guns on the sides of the battle because the colonists learned early on that if the British Commanders were taken from teh battle, the british soldiers went into a state of confusion for the most part. This sniping was a HUGE matyterof disagreement between the 2 armies, teh Britoish thought it very un-civilized to shoot at officers first, they felt that officers were needed to keep the troops in form less the battle fiel;d be a form of mass confusion! so you had the colonial invented long rifle rifled flit lok used as well. Another arm that wa sused was teh 1763 French Charleville 69 cal. smooth bore musket that the King of france sent over by teh thousands as aid before actual men and ships wee sent. Whane the french Army entered the fray, some of the neer 1777 charleville muskets were used but very few, most of the fremch troops still were issued the 1763 Charleville. Anotehr gun used was the Spanish made guns. These guns were of caliber from 62 caliber clear up to 72 caliber. They were not as many as otehrs but still used. One long arm that has been over loked is what wecalled the Freedome Musket. It was made very closely in lookd to the Brown Bess but it was in a full .80 caliber! anotehr Broitish gun tat the colonists used was teh 65 caliber officers musket to some degree.
    In a list here are the guns used:
    Brown bess first pattern 75 caliber smooth bore
    British Officers musket or carbine 65 caliber smoothe bore
    early british dog lock muskets in 72 to 75 caliber smooth bore
    French 1763 Charelivilles in 69 caliber smooth bore
    Early fremch miliary muskets in 62 caliber smoth bore
    both brotish and frence fowlers and/or trade muskets in 54 all the way to 75 smooth bore calibers
    Dutch fowlers in a variety of calibers all smooth bore with smallst being around 50 cal to as big as 75 cal smooth bore
    Spanish trade arms in smooth bore from 32 cal smooth bore to as big as65 cal smooth bore
    German Jaeger rifled short rifles in calibers usually lare with 69-72 rifled being teh norm.
    The Colonila Freedome musket in 80cal smooth bore
    The colonila invnted rifled long rifles in calibers from 20 caliber to as large as 70+ caliber rifled
    Also the German Hussens brougt over the german muskets that they wee armed with, have not read any reference material as to nail down caliber.

    IN short, the british used the Bess mostly as did the Colonials BUT there were firearms of all calibers, from several different countries including Colonial mamufacture, and if it shot a projectile; chances are it was used in the fray some where!!!!

    I have LOTS of reference material and books on teh American revolution being I re-enact it. I will dig out some of the better title and pas them titles on so you can maybe find them in the UK through inter Library Loan program if you hav eone inthe US. I know we do here in the states. Like I said earlier, I found it very interesting that some of the best known and beter established hand gun makers in teh 18th century were located in Ireland, mostly in the Dublin area. Many of the English officers horse pistols you see here in the states were made in and around Dublin Ireland.
  17. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Many thanks for taking the time to write that jj, quite the eye opener. Don't worry about spellinks. I'd rather read the facts spelt wrong that a load of rubbish written to perfection. By the way, I have fallen of a few motorcycles myself. When I was a young m/cycle courier in London we used to say 'If you don't fall of occasionally your not trying hard enough'. We were paid by the job. More jobs = More money. See the problem there?

    And another thing. I think I am right in saying loyalists in the rebellion went north, into Canada. They should have gone south and left the frozen waste to the rebels. Then I could go live in Arizona in the sunshine instead of Ottowa in the snow.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2008
  18. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Sure glad you could read it, I tried and truely found out how bad my spelling was. Bad days and good days. Good days I can walk and do things like this, bad days I am bed ridden. That wreck is what kept me from Graduate School, was accepted in the 2 nearest me inany of my 3 diciplines: Math, Physice, and early American History. had plans on getting a PHd in History first, then math, and finally physics but as the saying goes," the best laid plans of mice and men ..." well it fit me to a tee! I will go through my post and do some spelling check as well as fixing here maybe tonight. I am sure you get the jest though, seems the British armed their foes with teh same arms they were using to quell the Rebellion as is with many a british Colonial rebellion all over the globe. It was once said that the sun NEVER set on the British Empire and in the UKs heyday, that was so very true with the UK having colonies all over the world and on every continent!

    As to sending the Broitish NBorth to Canada, if not for the Spanish/french having a strong foot hold south, I say tat would have been an option. With the British heading to thenorth as it were, it did one thing, it stopped the United States from EVER invading Canada. we tried many times in the War of 1812 but neevr had any success. The British took Canada in the F&I war (or as the Brits call it the 7 years war) but we colonists could never take Ccanada for some reason. Other than taking land from Mexico, we actually bought most of the United states from the French and the Russians! Had it not been for the British and otehr European monarchies fighting so hard to stop Napoleon(sp), we would not have been able to buy the Lousiania Territory. I wrote a Senior Thesis on that subject to get my degree in History. It was mostly by pure blind luck of being in the right place at the right time that we were able to buy the Lousinia Territory. Many think it was a strategic coup but in fact it was pure luck! Funny how much of the world has been influenced by the British and their policy of colonialization.
  19. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Indeed jj, it's true. That such a small island as this could have done so much is quite something. But that's ancient history, we don't have any real influence on the world of today, do we?

    I don't have a degree in history as you do, but do have a suggestion. I have always believed that Britain has benefited from its racial and cultural mix. It's a mix that goes back beyond the Romans two thousand years ago and continues today.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2008
  20. Yup, in the words of the famous British military toast of the period: "And here's to bloody wars and sickly seasons." ;) Cynical perhaps, but service in His Majesty's military in the 18th century was by no means a picnic. Promotion was slow and the pay abysmal. I understand things are a wee bit better these days. ;)

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