Pinfire, rifled barrel blunderbuss?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by micromontenegro, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    I really hate to make my first post without pictures- those will come late this afternoon-, but I need to ask, as I have never seen the like of this "blunderbuss" I bought last night.

    At first sight, it is a shorty (think DAG) breechloading blunderbuss. Pinfire, about 16 gauge. About 60-65mm chamber. Underlever lock. But then it gets weird: the first four inches or so of the barrel are deeply, quick-twist rifled! then, you have about five more inches of smooth, flaring bore. Kind of a reverse Paradox! It could be that the smoothbore section is separate, as a barrel extension. The gun looks like a well-made one, and fit seems excellent to me.

    The only markings I could find last night were Le Perron and a crowned D, both in the lock below the barrel. The gun once had a silvery finish, most of it gone now, and is liberally but roughly engraved. The stock is nicely chequered, and its furniture is, I think, silver or silver plated.

    It has a spring-loaded part on the top of the barrel that- I think- serves both as a safety and as an extractor. Maybe as some kind of sight, too.

    I was thinking this was some kind of ornate flare gun until I saw the rifling.
    What do the experts think? Thanks in advance for your replies!!!!

    Of course, you will have pictures as soon as I get home from work. And BTW, my name is Santiago, and I am writing from Caracas, Venezuela.
  2. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Santiago - Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a very interesting item you have there. We looking forward to seeing some pictures. One question - are you saying that the chamber is actually 60 to 65 mm in diameter? I'm pretty sure you mean .60 - .65 INCHES, approximately 16 ga. shotgun bore.
  3. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    Sorry, Jim- in my haste I neglected to write that the chamber is about 60mm in length. It is, indeed, about .65 inch. in diameter.

    Thanks for the welcome! :)
  4. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    Crafty Belgians.

    I have seen a small number of flared-bore guns that had the initial section rifled then the remainder toward the muzzle smoothbore. Of course, since the bore flares outward rifling would be useless once the bore diameter becomes larger than the projectile, so typical rifling won't work on that type of gun.

    [​IMG]

    Would love to see pictures of yours.
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Interesting!
    The flared muzzle supposedly was meant as an aid to loading in muzzleloaders.
    (You could quickly toss on a handfull of most anything that would fit the bore.;) The flare doesn't really help with dispersion.
    Now, why would it be on a breechloader?? My WAG might be that the "paradox" rifling would disperse the shot and maybe the flare would restrict it before it got too far out of line.

    Of course it could have been just for the intimidation factor and the rifling was to give a little more with slugs.
  6. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    Designed to fire both ball and shot pinfire cartridges.

    The flare on the blunderbuss was primarily to ease speed of loading while mounted or moving, or in close quarters. The practice of loading scrap iron, stones, etc, was not commonplace since it often damaged the barrel; however, loading round shot was easier with the flared muzzle.

    In the mid-1850's it was believed that the flare would in fact disperse the shot pattern widely. Haven't seen the pictures of this particular gun yet, but judging from the description I would imagine it was designed as a personal defense firearm capable of firing both shot or 16ga pinfire ball cartridges.

    Think Howdah.
  7. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    That's what I've been thinking
  8. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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  9. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    What I saw last night as a crowned D is in fact a starred D!
  10. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    1860-1870 Buenos Aires Pinfire Blunderbuss Made in Buenos Aires Argentina. The rifled bore. Uses a 19mm bullet. The shell being 6.3cm in length.

    Value I don't know.

    The barrel flare was for intimidation only. Not for shot or anything else.
    Came in two styles , pistol grip and rifle stock.
    Most have a E. Paris stamp on the barrel.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  11. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    The only remotely similar thing I have ever seen, was a pistol grip one marked Buenos Ayres indeed. But I thought that was a distributor marking, as the spelling was wrong- Ayres instead of Aires. Maybe it was period spelling? And why the Liege proof?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  12. micromontenegro

    micromontenegro Member

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    Update: It miked at 19x63mm like grcsat said. Of course, nominal chamber diameter for 16 gauge is 16.2mm...
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  13. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    I have absolutely no explination of the Liege proof mark. And what is odd is that there should be at least a couple more proof marks other than the liege. Starting to think maybe its not a liege mark.

    However I did find a value in one of my "OLD" books. $4,000 US

    Please remember that by seeng the pics. We are making an educated quess and I most certanly can be wrong.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  14. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    The ELG Liege proofmark may be on underside of barrel at breech end. (Maybe can be read with a mirror?)
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    If there was a market anywhere in the world for a gun, no matter how odd or unusual, the Belgian makers would try to fill it, so I would not rule out a Liege source, even if similar guns are known to have been made in Argentina.

    The "perron" alone on the breech indicates final black powder proof; the oval ELG will normally appear on the barrel. The "star [letter]" is the initial of the inspector and can be any letter.

    Jim
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