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Old Musket Identification

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Cory Hickerson, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Cory Hickerson

    Cory Hickerson New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    First off I would like to start by saying I no very little about firearms so please excuse my ignorance.

    I have an old musket that was acquired by my father years ago somewhere in New England. From the little research I have been able to do on my own my guess is it is some variation of a Brown Bess.

    The barrel is 39" long and the overall length is just over 55".

    There are two markings/stamps on the breech end of the barrel. From what I've been able to tell they are King's Crown and King's Crown over Scepters proof marks.

    The side of the lock shows STETIENNE and another mark which appears to be a joined HB with some decoration above it.

    The stock of the musket has another stamp which I cant make out but it looks like there is a 1600 or 1800 as part of the stamp.

    There also is a carving or stamp of LM17B No.19 in the stock.

    I would appreciate any insight the members of this forum could give me about the history of this musket.

    Thank you in advance!

    Cory
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Be patient. Someone will be able to answer your questions.
     
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  3. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    St. Etienne is where one of the French proof houses was/is located. Early martial arms are not a field of interest for me so I'm not of much help, however, I wonder if perhaps it's a cut down Charleville? I can't make out the stamps on the barrel good enough to compare them to anything but none of my personal references have martial proofs. I can just about assure you someone will be along who will know.
     
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  4. Cory Hickerson

    Cory Hickerson New Member

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    Thank
     
  5. Kippy

    Kippy Well-Known Member

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    It is a flint lock. They were made and used for a long time... 247550_orig.jpg
     
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  6. Cory Hickerson

    Cory Hickerson New Member

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    Thank you! I realize the pictures aren't great but I am almost certain the barrel marks are the kings crown with a GR and arrow pointing down and the crossed sceptres but I am curious how the English marks would relate to a French proof. Maybe the musket was parts from multiple muskets? Thanks again for your help.
     
  7. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Someone with much more expertise will come along and be of far more help than me, but my first impressions from the general shape of the butt stock and the hole in the front of the trigger guard tells me that this is likely a French military musket that was "sporterized" or cut to remove excess weight for sporting/hunting use.

    Military muskets most often had an attachment on the front of the trigger guard bow for the carrying sling. I believe that I see that hole for the rear sling swivel. If I had to take a silly guess, I'd bet your rifle's bore would measure at about .69 caliber. Good luck and keep us posted as to what you discover!
     
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  8. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  9. Cory Hickerson

    Cory Hickerson New Member

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    Thank you! Is there an easy way to verify the cal of the musket?

    Yes, your link is one of the proofs I see. The other is...
    http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/1045/1/STAMP-GR-CS

    I'm really curious about the HB because I can't find it anywhere online.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  10. Kippy

    Kippy Well-Known Member

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    The crown looks like some of the other gun french crown markings. Screenshot_2016-01-07-15-51-00.png
     
  11. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier Well-Known Member

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    That was a "Charlieville"/ 1742 French 17.5 MM or .69 caliber musket. These were made at Charlesville.
    This would have been a 3 Band 10 lb. musket. It was the American Musket for Soldiers Of The Line during the American Revolution. These muskets were retired by the French 1840. They were replaced by the Perc. Cap Mdls.
    The American Military used the French Metric gun threads to repair these arms. Our Military would continue the French Metric thread in firearms until the post civil war era.
     
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  12. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    The "Crown over HB" on the lock? First off that isn't a Bess Lock and I don't believe it's even British. The stamp could be an inspectors mark, an armory stamp for storage....who knows, unless someone might stumble onto it or who or what it is.

    As far as measuring the bore the best would be with a dial caliper. 75 cal. is 3/4 in. so you should be able to get pretty close with a tape measure across the muzzle. 69 cal. is so close to 11/16th's it may as well be.
     
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  13. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Well-Known Member

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    Stock & brass are very Brown Bess-ish, certainly not French. Even the characteristic bulge in the fore-end is typically English. Very non military is its fore end cut off. It should & probably had a full stock out to about 4" onf the muzzle. Not to get critical of the caliber, there were several bore sizes, musket (Brown Bess). carbine, pistol & maybe others. Also there were several long guns with smaller bores but their stock shape, brass furniture of same design but of a different size appropriate to the type of gun. With clearer photos and/or cleaner, better impressions the various die marks will probably prove English.

    The lock is a different story, obviously French. Why/how a French lock on a typically English gun, especially looking like it belongs there, I have no idea. I can probably ID the crowned HB & if I do, will post it here.

    I've owned a few English & French guns of the period & worked a few dozen for clients.

    Below my oldies, pix taken 1960s --

    [​IMG]
    Second & third & fourth from the left are English --
     
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  14. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    rh, I thought the Bess was always 75 cal., evidently no so? I wonder who stole the bulb on the forearm from whom, the British steal it from the Germans, (Jaeger rifles), or the Germans from the British.....or a parallel development?
     
  15. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Are we all a little confused yet? The crown and the STETIENNE stamp on the lock plate appear French, and the one stamp on the wood looks to me to be a stylized Lion of the English Crown. The heavy butt looks to be similar to a Brown Bess musket. I am completely confused on this one. Could this possibly be a 'parts gun' made up from both French and British muskets?