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Mike

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
12,606
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Wood Co.
#21
http://www.nramuseum.org/gun-info-research/hard-to-identify-or-value-firearms.aspx
ANTIQUE FLINT & PERCUSSION GUNS - "BLACKPOWDER," "MUZZLE-LOADERS," etc.
Original handmade flintlock & percussion ("cap & ball") firearms. These are original antique muzzleloaders that are made by individual gunsmiths or small manufacturing concerns, usually prior to the era of mass production, but sometimes well into the mid-19th century. There are literally thousands of small individual makers, and often such guns are unsigned with no sure way to identify the maker. In these cases, an expert hands on inspection may result in a reasonable estimate of value based on such factors as probable maker, condition, quality of construction, style & extent of decoration. Some may have considerable value, in thousands of dollars. Others, such as well worn no name double barrel shotguns of average quality & low condition may be worth well under $200.
Some general considerations for antique flint & percussion arms by small makers:
  • Generally, signed guns will bring more than unsigned. The gunsmith is generally considered to be the name (if any) that appears on the barrel. Often gunsmiths purchased pre-made locks from small manufacturers, especially during the percussion era, and the name appearing on the lock will often be the lock supplier rather than the gunsmith.
  • In the U.S., American-made guns tend to be more desirable and more valuable than others, especially from the flintlock era. European - especially English, French, German, and Italian - guns can also have good value. Generally, but not always, Belgian-made guns will have a bit lower value ("ELG" proofmark indicates a Belgian made gun.
  • The type of gun will impact value. Among American-made guns, generally flintlock will be worth more than percussion (guns that started as flintlock, were converted to percussion, and more recently converted back to flintlock will bring less than original flintlocks); full stock will be worth more than half stock; rifles tend to bring more than fowlers. There are many exceptions to all these generalizations.
  • "Tourist" guns - These are often North African, Mid-Eastern, or Balkan in origin. Flint and other early pattern gun have been made in these regions for sale to tourists for centuries, and are still being made today. They are often artificially aged and sold as old guns. The majority that show up in the US tend to have little value beyond decorators, altho some of the older ones may have some value. They are often very ornately decorated with mother of pearl and wire inlays, although the workmanship will tend to be crude. Some will copy European designs, including copying makers' names. Others will have distinctive regional features.
 
#23
That is definently not a kit gun. I agree with sam that it is an ohio rifle. The lock and poured pewter nose cap point to later type period. It could range anywhere from 1880's to 1970's. It could also be marked on the bottom of the barrel. Plenty of gun makers didnt mark their guns at all. Also if you find a marking on the lock or barrel that might not nessary be the person that built the the finished rifle.
 
#24
A few other things i noticed about your rifle. The hammer on that back lock percussion action is held on by a pin instead of a screw. This is fairly uncommon. It could be a repair or a less expensive lock. If you could identify the lock maker that will might give you a clue. It is also possible someone used the lock off of a post civil war shotgun and modified it.
20200214_052550.jpg


Back lock style actions show up on two types of rifles. Inexpensive general store guns and target rifles. They are a later design of percussion lock design. Back locks were cheaper to make so that is way they show up on less expensive rifle. They also have a faster ignition than other lock styles. This is because the mainspring is behind the tumbler. This gives the lock more power and a slightly faster hammer fall. This is why the backlock shows up on target rifles patterns like the ohio rifle.

Another thing i noticed is the stock on your rifle is very thick around the wrist. This points to either a less experienced gun builder that carved an out of proportion stock or a target shooter who specifily wanted it that way.

Jack lewis (Cincinnati) and Homer Bailey (west portsmouth) both had large collections of ohio rifles. Unfortunately they both passed away with in the last few years. There is an ohio muzzleloader gunmaker reference book out there that ohio lists gun makers by county. I dont think it even has a published title name. I have seen two copies of that book though. That is all the information i can think of. I used to hang around this small circle of old muzzleloader builders and target shooters when i lived in Portsmouth, Ohio. Most of this old guys where reclusive didnt own a tv, microwave or cell phone types.

Here are a few rifles built in similar style to yours
https://www.icollector.com/Percussi...37-octagon-barrel-back-action-lock-b_i9481524


https://www.gunsinternational.com/g...ck-percussion-long-rifle.cfm?gun_id=101098010
 

Johnny44

Junior Member
28
32
27
#29
FIL took gun in. As ohiosam said, great, fantastic guy. Short synopsis:
Heavily modified, as much as 11” off the barrel.
As pointed out above, the pin was another modification.
A New York/New England style (?) gun from mid to late 1800s. Germans and Finnish (?) came from New York/New England and continued west or up to Michigan.
Modified because they didn’t buy new parts just fixed it with what they had.
Not worth much which is fine by me.
Do not even think about trying to fire it.
Clean it up and hang it on the wall.
When FIL brings it back I’ll have some more.
 

"J"

Bass fishing aficionado....
Supporting Member
40,204
12,642
205
Davie County, NC
#30
FIL took gun in. As ohiosam said, great, fantastic guy. Short synopsis:
Heavily modified, as much as 11” off the barrel.
As pointed out above, the pin was another modification.
A New York/New England style (?) gun from mid to late 1800s. Germans and Finnish (?) came from New York/New England and continued west or up to Michigan.
Modified because they didn’t buy new parts just fixed it with what they had.
Not worth much which is fine by me.
Do not even think about trying to fire it.
Clean it up and hang it on the wall.
When FIL brings it back I’ll have some more.
Good attitude about it. Display it and make it a family heirloom