What the heck is this?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by BearGFR, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. BearGFR

    BearGFR New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Garland, Texas
    A friend of mine asked me to help him identify this gun.
    It looks to be a percussion vest pistol of some sort.
    The trigger and grips are missing and looks like it may have had a trigger guard at one time.
    The only markings I can find on it are the numerals, "961", on the left side.
    It has a smooth bore and measures out to be approximately .30 caliber.

    Can anyone help identify this gun?

    Thanks much,

    Robert

    A few photos (I hope):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    It could be old, but the crudely stamped number* indicates that it is likely a modern gun or kit gun of the type sold by Dixie and others. IMHO, it is worth little or nothing unless someone just wants to fool around and try to get it working. We can see what others say.

    *Old guns, with exceptions like S&W or Colt, just didn't have serial numbers, but many makers today, even of muzzle loading repros, will put them on. Of course, with no maker name and no other ID, the serial number doesn't do much, but it is there.

    Jim
  3. bigiron1

    bigiron1 New Member

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    Feb 1, 2010
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    Not sure but it is HUGE!!! At least in the pics I am seeing.
  4. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Ohio NRA Member
    No input here, other then that is "one close up shot"!:confused:
  5. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    1,092
    Appears to be an old screw-barrel percussion pistol. The barrel screws off to load the charge and seat the barrel then you screw the barrel back on and the lightly oversize ball forms a seal. It probably did have a trigger guard at one time.

    It looks to be an original, probably not worth much as it was inexpensive and of simple construction. You could put grips on it. Dixie Gun Works may have parts. Search for "screw barrel."
  6. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    1850's through 1880's vintage, made in the U.S. It's a type of cheap pistol made by various American manufacturers, some big some small. It's uncommon to find one with the maker's name on it. If you look through Flyderman's American Firearms Guide you might find out who made it. These pistols are usually not all that valuable.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Actually, most pistols of that era made by anything approaching a factory, ARE marked; unmarked ones are usually one-offs made by a local blacksmith and essentially of no value, even though undoubtedly old. And those don't have serial numbers for the obvious reason that there was no serial production.

    Also, I don't see an indication that it is a screw barrel gun, though there may be wrench slots IN the muzzle. A screw barrel of that length would be unusual, though not unknown. Screw barrel pistols, while common in England in the flintlock era, were not at all common in America.

    If I were able to actually see the gun, I might feel differently, but for now I stand by my belief that it is modern, possibly a "kit gun" that was never fully assembled.

    Jim
  8. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Location:
    SW Florida
    Wow! I think that you guys that answered have a MUCH bigger PC than me!
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Speaking of that, BearGFR, could you possibly crop your pictures and also reduce the pixel count to something reasonable (100k bytes or so). Little resolution is lost and the pics won't take a long time to download or exceed available working memory.

    If you have Photoshop, or one of the other photo editors, the reduction is easy.

    We will appreciate it.

    Thanks

    Jim
  10. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    Aug 25, 2009
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    1,482
    Big Gun!
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