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US Sharpshooter Target Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Twlunt, Nov 14, 2017 at 10:01 AM.

  1. Twlunt

    Twlunt Member

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    373AEC64-7BEE-4940-879B-F90145E9B05C.jpeg 02CA48DB-CA89-48C5-BBDE-2865265AD9B7.jpeg 9CFB3B81-8EC7-423D-B765-EA50DAE4EB7F.jpeg 8E4D80C5-1B72-4BC9-A724-5348AAC2E6D6.jpeg 0725E406-568F-4B27-AE7D-CE0F71029D9B.jpeg 3B866734-D744-4FCF-AA50-6EAB154E66A6.jpeg 013E09DE-CF1C-4F8E-B312-5044BF90C687.jpeg 88564995-2AC7-4206-B9BE-EC18DA35F585.jpeg 7D903D84-22E3-48AB-BA5E-0FAF2C0EEE41.jpeg EE505470-CB44-4200-98B2-4FB30EEB8ECF.jpeg Hello! I am the great great grandson of a soldier who fought with 2nd Regiment USSS and opted to bring his personal Target Rifle to war. I know some about the weapon but I don’t know the value or the caliber. Im also interested in the Smiths. There are 2 names stamped on the barrel. O.Huse of Manchester New Hampshire and M.W.Long of Bangor, ME.
    Anything you can tell me about the weapon would be appreciated!
    There’s a box that has the mold, starter, swage and powder also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 11:50 PM
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  2. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member

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    A very nice typical sharpshooters rife. Some pictures of the lock and the marks would help a great deal.
     
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  3. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member

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    Posted while I typed. Great pictures.
     
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  4. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member

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    I see you already posted this rifle on a different site and got 72 responses. What didn't they tell you that you still want to know.
     
  5. Big Mak

    Big Mak Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Wow! What a treasure!

    Look at the rifling! Jeebus!
     
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I agree with Old Guns, you got some really great information from that Civil War forum. It looks like they answered every thing you asked.
     
  7. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    The rifling you see is in the false muzzle, it was hand filed deeper at the crown with rifling files to make the bullet easier to start.

    Very nice rifle!

    I had the opportunity a couple years back to do some restoration work on one that was very similar to yours, the one I worked on had no history or provenance to go along with it, none of the accoutrements and the false muzzle was lost to history.
     
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  8. Big Mak

    Big Mak Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting Grizz! Off to google False Muzzle!
     
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  9. Big Mak

    Big Mak Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Ahh! I see now. it blocks the front site to prevent accidental discharge with the device in place too!
     
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  10. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    The ones that didn't have a sight blocking device sometimes got launched down range by shooters who forgot to take the false muzzle off before firing. ;)

    A false muzzle is reamed and rifled in place on the barrel and then the crown of the false muzzle is dressed in the manor that the shooter or gunsmith deems the best for the type of bullet shot and the use the rifle will be put to.

    It prevents any contact with the true crown by loading or cleaning rods so the rifle maintains a perfectly cut crown and the bullets are loaded in perfect alignment with the bore.
     
  11. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Wow!! The only place I've seen one of those is in pictures in Ned Roberts book and a couple from a fella in Florida years ago!!! What an absolute treasure! You still have the sugar loaf bullet mold!!!! If at all possible I'd be shooting that rifle! Those rifles and shooters were amazing in the 20 and 40 rod matches of those days.

    Ok Tw, I have a couple questions. Do you know if that picture of your predecessor has been published in any books? He looks familiar to me and the only reason would be I've seen it in a book somewhere. One for Griz...was the sugar loaf bullet loaded naked or paper patched as in the cross patch used so often on those rifles? It's been so long since I read about them I've forgotten.

    Geezo Pete what a cool rifle!!!!! Good for you Tw!!!
     
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  12. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Sharps, I've never shot picket from a rifle but from what I understand they were loaded without a patch just the same as you would have loaded one into your Colt's revolver. Colt supplied molds that cast both a round ball and a picket ball.

    The end of the piston starter would have been turned to match the ogive of the bullet, the bullet is then slipped into the piston starter, the starter slipped over the false muzzle and the bullet is started straight and centered in the bore.

    The false muzzle looks to be machined for patched round ball as well as the picket bullet, that recess machined into it is designed to center a round patch and the grooves are filed deeper to make it easier to push the ball into the bore.

    Picket bullets were notorious for flying less than straight if the bullet wasn't loaded straight, gasses escaping under the "high side" of the flat base would send them off course and make them tumble, that extremely short bearing surface made sure that a crooked load stayed crooked. Thus the need for the piston starter and a perfectly flat crown with a sharp 90 degrees to the bore face, the false muzzle protected that perfectly machined crown.

    Not all picket rifles had false muzzles, some just have the outside of the octagon barrel turned round at the muzzle to accept a piston starter.

    TW, until I was given the task of restoring one of them I'd only ever seen them in pictures, how lucky you are to have one in your possession that you have provenance of and family history for.

    The one I worked on had no provenance tying it to the Civil War and no known history behind it but it was very much like to yours in style.
     
  13. Hawg

    Hawg Well-Known Member

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    Man that's a nice old rifle and to have all the accessories for it is awesome. Almost unheard of.
     
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  14. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member

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    Actually a fair number of guns like this survive complete with the accessories due to the fact that they were fitted to a case and carried / transported in the same case. They were not front line guns but were used at a fair distance during the war and in peacetime they would have been well cared for as a target rifle of the highest quality. Then when the time came to put them away they went in the closet in the case still complete. The case and accessories add a great deal to the value as the loading tools for the particular gun are impossible to replace.
     
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  15. Twlunt

    Twlunt Member

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    E15AB030-35B4-4389-9494-C213891769B7.jpeg EB5A7455-06C8-4926-BF12-A81C5FFDF307.jpeg
    Both of these horns are in the box. The upper pic is much smaller. Maybe the size of my hand. The lower is about the size of a bottle of cognac. I can’t imagine the small one would hold enough for war. What is the incremental adjustments on the nozzle? Control the pour?
    Btw- there’s still powder in the small one. Should I dispose of it?