Value of Harpers Ferry Musket

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Sako5021, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Sako5021

    Sako5021 New Member

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    Hello all this is my first post and I would like to thank you in advance for any information you may have to help me determine the value of a Harpers Ferry Musket. What I know is that it says Harpers Ferry on the lock, to the rear, and has a U.S. Eagle holding arrows on the front. It has one brass ring holding the barrel on, and looks as "original" as one would expect. I have a handfull of pictures, which I am attempting to post now:

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    Thats most of them. Any idea of value for this unit would be greatly appreciated. I have done lots of searches online and found them from $175 to over $4,000, and I am hoping to make the owner a reasonable offer.

    Again, thank you!
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. It's in pretty rough shape, missing sling loop on trigger guard, front barrel band and loop, ramrod.

    Flayderman lists value for 'Good' condition of $1250, but this one would not grade that high.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    It appears at first glance to be a U.S. Rifle, Model 1841, aka "Mississippi Rifle". But some things don't look quite right and I think it is a "frankengun" made up from parts of several models. The stock is definitely Model 1841. A better picture of the lockplate might help determine if it is also from that rifle. The barrel is much more rusted than the lockplate, the fit of the lockplate and bolster is not quite right, and the hammer doesn't contact the bolster quite the way it should, all of which leads to the possibility that the barrel and/or the hammer are from other models (the hammer looks like a conversion hammer). The barrel of the Model 1841 should be 33", any other length would be wrong.

    In addition to the lockplate photo, an overall picture would help.

    Jim
  4. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    The barrel appears to have been shortened (or came off the another gun). It is also missing the ramrod lug, the stock may have been sanded (given the poor fit of the buttplate) and as Jim pointed out, the shape of the bolster doesn't look right. If the nipple is missing from the bolster, or is badly mashed, that might explain the poor fit of the hammer, but presence of a nipple might make it worse. Here is a good writeup:
    http://www.collegehillarsenal.com/shop/product.php?productid=695
  5. Sako5021

    Sako5021 New Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. Unfortunately I did not get an overall photo, but here are the rest I took:

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    The rear sight threw me for a loop, In my research I never saw that type -

    I do appreciate you all looking this over, and I am certain I would be able to get any additional info you may need.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  6. Sako5021

    Sako5021 New Member

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    Hoping to make an offer shortly on this rifle and just wanted to make another effort to see if any of you more knowledgable than I would be able to shoot from the hip (pun intended) what would be a fair price to offer.

    I have not heard of the "Flayderman" rating posted earlier and wonder what this rifle would be rated at in this scale? Also, if it is a Frankengun, what would be reasonable? I intend to hang it over my fireplace, and am not too concerned about all original/Franken or not. Thank you once again for looking and I do appreciate any input you could provide.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    For a wall hanger, don't spend over $200 and I strongly suspect the seller will want a lot more than that for his "genuine, original, perfect condition, Mississippi rifle".

    Jim
  8. Sako5021

    Sako5021 New Member

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    Thank you Jim I appreciate your input. Seller is open to any/all information and very reasonable to work with. However at that price it may look just as good over his fireplace as it would mine, and he may choose to keep it. In that case, can you suggest an online source that would have similar quality/condition units that I may be able to find as a substitute?

    Thanks again!
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, that "value" was based on the idea that if you just want an old gun for over the fireplace, there are lots of junker shotguns and other old guns around. Based on what I and others see, I would advise you not to pay the price of an original Mississippi rifle in about that condition ($1500 or so) for that gun.

    So if the price is more than you would want to pay for a wall hanger, and you don't really care what the gun is, or isn't, you can probably pick up some less expensive old gun at a gun show. A Russian Mosin-Nagant, say, would make just as good a wall hanger (and could be fired) at a cost of under $200.

    Jim
  10. Sako5021

    Sako5021 New Member

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    Well guys I got the rifle. Turns out there is no nipple in the bolster, making the hammer sit the way it does. Hammer goes to half cock/full cock and seems to funtion properly (I thought the hammer would have been frozen on there). The one brass ring that holds on the barrel slides freely, and it looks like a metal stop that was there is broken off.

    Cost was $375 - How'd I do?

    I would like to replace the nipple and get the proper bands on the barrel, and hopefully get a ramrod too - anyone know a parts source?

    I am also considering cleaning it up a bit - my searches showed a couple that said "lightly cleaned" which may spruce this up a bit - I do realize that would ruin the collector value of this unit, but is there any collector value to it anyway?

    Thanks again!
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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