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Yesterday I went into an antique shop near my house and bought an ELG black powder percussion rifle for $100. I did some research and found that it was made between 1810 and 1853 making it 163 to 206 years old. I know it's Belgian but I'm not sure of the caliber or what it's really worth. The only one I've been able to find that looks anything like it was from 1859 and was in very bad shape but the seller was still asking $800. I'm hoping to get some more information about it as far as what caliber it is how much it may be worth and if I can still get the right ammunition for it. If anyone has any good information please let me know.
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What leads to think it was made between 1810 and 1853?

They are still making these things in the 21st century.

As to ammunition, it will use loose black powder and a patched round ball slightly smaller than bore diameter, usually .010 to .015 smaller. Using an accurate set of dial calipers or inside micrometer measure the bore and let us know it's diameter.

Also post clear pictures of any and all proof marks and stampings on the barrel.
 
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I don't know anything about the firearm itself but yes, you can still get "ammunition" for it. The powder comes in a can, the projectiles are cast from lead and it loads from the muzzle. Slam dunk. Whatever it is, reproduction or not, if it's as good as it looks and is shootable for a C note you didn't get hurt.

It looks very good from one picture. Close ups of the proofs and any other stamps would be of great benefit.
 
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What leads to think it was made between 1810 and 1853?

They are still making these things in the 21st century.

As to ammunition, it will use loose black powder and a patched round ball slightly smaller than bore diameter, usually .010 to .015 smaller. Using an accurate set of dial calipers or inside micrometer measure the bore and let us know it's diameter.

Also post clear pictures of any and all proof marks and stampings on the barrel.
The proof marks on the barrel say ELG in a oval witch from what I've read means it was made between 1810 and 1853 after before that the proof mark was a candlestick and it changed after 1853. Unfortunately I don't have a micrometer but I will post some more pictures ASAP.
 

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I believe Belgium still uses ELG in an oval. Sometimes with and sometimes without a crown depending on how it was proofed.
 
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The 'Perron' or candle stick looking thing was the sole mark of proof up to 1810, after 1853 it signifies that the breeching system has been tested and isn't used on all fire arms as sole proof, so the lack of it doesn't mean pre 1853. That elg in the oval has been in constant use as definitive proof for black powder muzzle loading arms from 1810 to the present day.

There should be a letter with a star over it or a crown over it, that is a mark letting us know who inspected it and from that we can tell a range of time when that inspector worked for the proofing house.

I suspect it is from the 1920's to the 1950's and was sold by mail order houses like Stoegers.

As Sharps pointed out even if it's a more modern gun, for 100 bucks, you didn't get hurt if the bore is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
I don't know anything about the firearm itself but yes, you can still get "ammunition" for it. The powder comes in a can, the projectiles are cast from lead and it loads from the muzzle. Slam dunk. Whatever it is, reproduction or not, if it's as good as it looks and is shootable for a C note you didn't get hurt.

It looks very good from one picture. Close ups of the proofs and any other stamps would be of great benefit.
Thank you very much for the information and I will definitely post more pictures as soon as I can.

The 'Perron' or candle stick looking thing was the sole mark of proof up to 1810, after 1853 it signifies that the breeching system has been tested and isn't used on all fire arms as sole proof, so the lack of it doesn't mean pre 1853. That elg in the oval has been in constant use as definitive proof for black powder muzzle loading arms from 1810 to the present day.

There should be a letter with a star over it or a crown over it, that is a mark letting us know who inspected it and from that we can tell a range of time when that inspector worked for the proofing house.

I suspect it is from the 1920's to the 1950's and was sold by mail order houses like Stoegers.

As Sharps pointed out even if it's a more modern gun, for 100 bucks, you didn't get hurt if the bore is good.
There is only the oval with ELG and a star in it. No crown. I will add some more pictures soon.
 

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There is only the oval with ELG and a star in it. No crown. I will add some more pictures soon.
There will likely be a few more marks on the underside of the barrel, you'll need to take the barrel out of the stock to see them.
 

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I'm happy with the rifle regardless of age. There are some things about it that tell me it it's a mote modern rifle such as it has machine screws and modern looking sling swivels but either way I'm really happy to own it and I hope I can find out what caliber it is so I can fire it! It would definitely be a fun alternative to my AR15.

There will likely be a few more marks on the underside of the barrel, you'll need to take the barrel out of the stock to see them.
Gotcha! I did take it to a gun shop and then guy there said he thinks it's probably a modern rifle or anold barrel with a new stock. I'll post a bunch of pictures when I get home.
 

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Given that it resembles a military musket but has no bayonet lug that I can see in your picture, I'd suspect one of Stoeger's imports from mid last century, and yep they are indeed a lot of fun to shoot. we have quite a few black powder addicts that will be most glad to share our addiction.... um, knowledge with you if you decide to have (or already have had it) it examined by a knowledgeable gunsmith and it's been declared to be safe to shoot.
 

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Given that it resembles a military musket but has no bayonet lug that I can see in your picture, I'd suspect one of Stoeger's imports from mid last century, and yep they are indeed a lot of fun to shoot. we have quite a few black powder addicts that will be most glad to share our addiction.... um, knowledge with you if you decide to have (or already have had it) it examined by a knowledgeable gunsmith and it's been declared to be safe to shoot.
Awesome! Thank you so much for your help and (addictive) knowledge. I'm 33 but I've been shooting since I was 3 and have fired everything from a BB gun to a 50ca"If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons."

I've only owned one black powder and it was an Italian reproduction of an old Colt Navy revolver that was a lot of fun to shoot so I was thrilled to find out that it is in good firing condition and I can't wait to see that puff of smoke. I will definitely post a lot more pictures as soon as I get home and again I can't thank you enough for your help and knowledge as I love anything to do with firearms.
 

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Looks like you fell into a sweet deal. Doubt if it's an antique - but the great news it appears to be a shooter. I don't see a rear sight, and the butt plate looks more like a fowling design than a rifle. Is it a smooth-bore? So many BP long arms were imported in the 50s, 60s and 70s it could be a replica of just about anything. A smooth bore is OK for shot pellets, but a smooth bore at anything over 50 yards is a dicey proposition at best.
 

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Looks like you fell into a sweet deal. Doubt if it's an antique - but the great news it appears to be a shooter. I don't see a rear sight, and the butt plate looks more like a fowling design than a rifle. Is it a smooth-bore? So many BP long arms were imported in the 50s, 60s and 70s it could be a replica of just about anything. A smooth bore is OK for shot pellets, but a smooth bore at anything over 50 yards is a dicey proposition at best.
Yeah it is smooth bore and it only has a front sight post but no rear sight so I thought it may be a long barrel shotgun but still not sure.
 

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Yeah it is smooth bore and it only has a front sight post but no rear sight so I thought it may be a long barrel shotgun but still not sure.
That is what makes me think this is a modern rendition of what they used to call a 'fowling piece'. That is basically a long barreled shotgun for taking game for the table. Loaded with shot, it was used for flying game. With a solid lead ball it was used at close range for deer or bear.
 

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Why the heck are you quoting something from a communist? If it weren't for capitalists you wouldn't have that rifle.
 

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Why the heck are you quoting something from a communist? If it weren't for capitalists you wouldn't have that rifle.
Sharps - ???? "Communist"???o_O I ****KNOW**** you are not talking about ME. They used to pay me to kill those SOBs. (And I liked it!):):):):)
 

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Lol we know you don't go quoting communists unless you wish to show them for what they really are Jim, I think Sharps is referring to this...
"If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons."
I'm assuming Concord is quoting that to illustrate why he chooses to keep and bear arms.
 

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No sir Jim, I was definitely not referring to you!!! I apologize for not being more clear. Griz quoted the part from Concord's post I was referring to. When it referred to "cutting up.....capitalists" as logical that could only have come from someone with either a communist or socialist bent. Maybe I'm reading into it wrong but....it says what it says.
 
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