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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Recently my father-in-law was cleaning out his garage and came across his father-in-laws musket. Unfortunately, no one has any information on where it came from.
By looking at it I’m guessing it’s civil war era but it’s in a little rough shape and I’m unable to find or identify any markings on it to help me.
If any one could help identify this it would be greatly appreciated as my wife is extremely interested where it came from.
Thank you in advance.
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First off it isn't a musket. It looks to be a fowler, as single barrel shotguns were called in those days. How big is the bore and can you see any rifling or remnants of rifling in the bore? The muzzle area looks pretty rough. If there's rifling then it isn't a fowler and I'm not certain what it is. Usually dedicated fowlers have larger ramrods. I suppose it could have been made from a musket barrel. I think the period of 1850 to 1870 would cover it. Maybe a little earlier, I doubt any later.
 

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There is no rifling in the bore and it’s roughly .625”. My next question would be since the muzzle area is in pretty bad shape, as is most of the metal, is it worth anything as it sits or is it worth cleaning up as best as I can for display.
 

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As in monitary value, its not worth much. But as a piece of family history it is priceless.
There is a right way and a wrong way to clean an old firearm regardless of condition.
You can go on line and learn how to clean it or have a gunsmith do the cleaning.
 

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To add to what grc has said about cleaning, you only want to remove dirt and grime and leave the patina underneath it intact. Before you do any work on it insert the ramrod and make sure it will go all the way down to the breech. Sometimes these old guns were left loaded because the owner never knew when he might need to use it to protect his chickens from a fox or other vermin. Sometimes they were stored away loaded and black powder can remain viable for a very long time if it has been stored in a dry location.
 

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.625, that's about 20 bore. That and it looks as if the barrel might be octagon to round. Both should preclude it from being a converted musket, I think. I agree with gr and Griz as to value and cleaning.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the information, it has been very helpful and is much appreciated. I’ve found a mid 1800’s Fowler online that is very similar to this one. As grc said it’s family history so it will be taken to a local antique gunsmith to have it cleaned up to a point were it will be preserved and can be hung on the wall.
 
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