Help Identifying this Gun, is it a Musket and Where was it Made?
I was hoping that someone out there might be able to help me identify this gun which I picked up from an antiques fair a week ago. I was told by the dealer that it is military which seems most likely from the research I have done. What I would like to know is whether it’s a musket or a rifle (as I lack the expertise to determine this from what I see up the barrel), the model type, and which country it was made as I’m not completely sure but I think I might be British.
I have included a few pictures which I hope will help explain. These also include a couple looking in the muzzle of the gun. Hopefully someone will be able to determine from these whether it is a musket or a rifle.
Here are some specs which may help;
Looking up the barrel there is no definite sign of any rifle grooves or lands, there is one groove which runs centrally down the inside base of barrel and a series of small groove marks on the top left and top right of the inside of the barrel. I wasn’t sure whether these were from manufacture, the firing of ammunition, or purposely created. None of these grooves appear to curve round the barrel as I have read should be the case if it is rifled, they all run in straight lines. The front sight’s wield protrudes slightly into the barrel (visible in pic 3). I’m not sure what the purpose of the base groove would be? I have tried to take pictures of these grooves.
The gun is clearly a percussion model. From my own research it seems that it is based on the Pattern 1853 Enfield British Musket. It has similar fittings and is of the 3-band type, though it appears to be shorter than the standard 55” model (measuring in at 49”), is of a larger bore, has a fixed rear site (see pic), and has no acceptance marks. Because of this and the fact it had a crown stamp but no cipher, I was wondering whether it might possibly have been made by a British sub-contractor contracted under Enfield with the purpose of it being exported to the US during the civil war?
Any help on determining whether this gun is a musket or rifle and its origins would be most appreciated. If any other information is require just let me know. Hopefully the pictures will provide more description.
Thanks so much,
1. Full Length Right Side
2. Close Up of Crown Stamp on Lock Plate
3. View up Barrel
4. View Up Barrel - Central Groove
From the crown on the lock I would assume it is an Enfield Rifle Musket, Pattern 1852 in cal. .577 using the Pritchett expanding bullet. It was the first rifle to be generally issued to British Troops and the last muzzleloader. It was used in the latter part of the Crimean War and in India. It was replaced by the Snider conversion, which be indicated by the missing letters on your gun, and then by the Martini Henry breechloader. The next Enfield to appear was the Enfield-Martini .402 rifle of 1886, which used Metford rifling. Your barrel doesn't appear to have standard rifling, but early rifles had non-spiraling grooves cut in them to collect powder residue, and not to impart spin to the bullet. I would send off a letter and your pictures to the NRA and they would probably be able to give you a more accurate description of what you have. All in all your rifle appears to be in very nice condition for it's age - I wouldn't attempt to shoot it, because those lines inside your barrel just might be the metal strips that were hammered around a mandrel to form the old damascus barrels, and if that is the case, they will separate and peel like a banana, but it is in much nicer shape than any I have seen from that time period.
Thanks so much for the help guys.
RL357Mag, I will do as you suggested and contact the NRA, thank you very much for your info.
Slickrick214, the nose cap does appear to be brass but the butt cap seems to be iron.
It was a real nice find at the fair, has the general wear and tear marks; a few scratches, small dings and dents, but I really liked it. It's not just a great display piece but it's also the thought of where it has been during its lifetime. I believe i've inherited the interest from my father who is the owner of what he was told was a gamers rifle (though no grooves appear present), also a percussion. He was given it by his dad as a young boy along with two powder flasks, one brass and copper, and the other brass and leather. They were all found under the seat of an old derelict cabin on a hill which was being taken down in Shropshire, England.
Anyway, back to mine, has anyone a theory on why it is shorter than the standard 55" Endfield model, measuring 49"? Perhaps made specially for someone other than the army? And what's the reason behind the lack of acceptance stamps and makers marks on the other parts of the gun, there appears to be no marks on the barrel, butt, or stock compared to other examples I have seen. Might it have been made to be shipped abroaded to troops elsewhere rather than used specifically by the British troops because of the lack of marks?
Here's some more pics that I couldn't fit in the last post;
1. Full Length Left Side
2. Close Up of Lock Plates Worn Makers Mark (Hope you can see it)
3. Muzzle and Nose Cap
4. Rear Sight
Just a guess---17mm is 16 bore. It's possibly a "trade gun", although it seems a bit
short, or it's a "foragers gun"---a shotgun built on the military pattern for the purpose
of obtaining food for the troops.
Just a general question...
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It is an oddity with the short barrel and three bands. It has three groove rifling like the early 53 Enfield but if it was a short rifle or Naval gun it would only have two bands and the bayonet dock would be on the side of the barrel. It should have the makers name and date in front of the hammer. Most of these weren't stamped very deep so may be faint or gone.
it looks to me like a replacement barrel it doesn,t have the correct enfield front or rear sights they look like a springfield made to fit if you look at the nose cap the stock has been cut.also if it has 3 bands it is considered a musket a 2 bander is a rifle.
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