Very old and Loaded

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by rcurrent, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. rcurrent

    rcurrent New Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    OK, I have an old smooth bore that's been loaded for probably about 70+ years, and have a couple of questions.

    Should I be concerned?

    How should I go about clearing whatever is left in there?

    I have no intention of ever trying shoot it, just a wall hanger, but I'd really like for the wall it hangs on to stay in one piece.

  2. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Can we assume that this is a muzzleloading gun?

    If it was properly loaded back when, it is still capable of firing, but not without either a percussion cap (if a caplock gun) or priming powder for the pan (if a flintlock).

    I would not recommend a novice fool around with a loaded gun like this. If you want to make the gun 100% safe you can take it to a gunsmith. Any gunsmith can pull the bullet and powder charge for you for not much money.

    This probably isn't necessary for safety, however. Without a separate percussion cap or priming the gun will not fire.

  3. rcurrent

    rcurrent New Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Sorry. Yes, it's a muzzle loader, about 32" barrel and about 0.7 bore. It is percussion, and the nipple is just about completely gone. The only markings I've found are "Real Twist" on the barrel, and "Dayton" on the lock plate. Probably not worth much to anyone but me, one of those family things. I would not trust it with any gunsmith I know.

    Not exactly a novice, but have never dealt with really old black powder, and just don't know how dangerous that stuff is.

  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    This might be considered a little picky, but it does not need a percussion cap to fire. It just needs some heat source coming in the nipple. Stupid teenager with a Bic lighter would do it.

    If it was mine, I'd unload it.
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    i wouldnt be afraid to put a cap on it and shoot it. worst that could happen is it just fizzes. if that happens then take you some wd40 and shoot it through the nipple and soak (really soak) the powder charge with it. then dont worry about it
  6. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    Binghamton, NY
    If you have access to an air compressor you might be able to rig something up to just blow the ball and powder out. That's how game wardens used to do it here in New York. They had some gadget to make sure you where using the "right" type of projectiles. Course now we can use sabots and whatnot. But it's still possible.
  7. He says as he looks up and sees daylight thru

    the new hole in the ceiling and roof.....
  8. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    What about a ball screw on the end of a ramrod? Or if it is a shot load, could not it be gotten out with a patch screw, and some digging and dumping? What about removing the barrel and soaking the breech end, stading it in a coffee can full of a light oil? I guess a gunsmith would do, but for me that is 75 miles away. I like the compressed air idea, too. So take your pick.....

    Regards, Kirk
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
  10. rcurrent

    rcurrent New Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    He says as he looks up and sees daylight thru

    the new hole in the ceiling and roof.....

    One of the concerns I have!

    From what I can tell, that stuff is about as ready to go BANG now as it ever was, and probably no more likely to. I'm certainly not going to do that on purpose, and hope to not do it accidentally.

    For the time being, I think I'll just leave it alone.

    Thanks all.
  11. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    why does it everyone thinks i would shoot it inside? *shakin my head*
  13. Tanselman

    Tanselman New Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    If it were my gun, l'd put about an ounce of WD-40 or other penetrating oil down the barrel and let it soak. It will kill the black powder and stop any chance of mishaps, until you have time to remove the load. Shelby Gallien
  14. williamd

    williamd New Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    I was given one that my GGGP used in revolution. 1863 Springfield by A.Jenks of PA. Had an old charge in it. I sat it in diesel (receiver down) for a week. Put in padded vice and screwed the bbl off. That charge was such a mess that I doubt it would have ever fired, but .... After I got most of the old charge gunk out I had to ream the chamber area to rid it of build up and bring it back to 58 cal. Even managed to use old nipple! Essentially original except forward wood piece is missing. Shoots nice! No reason not to shoot them. 58 cal ball or bird shot in mine. Just have to plan ahead a second! :)
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