Help IDing French Percussion Lock
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default Help IDing French Percussion Lock

Found this old rifle at my Grandparents house my parents just bought. Not a lot of markings on it. Any knowledge base around here?




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Old 01-12-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:25 PM   #3
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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Some info I gathered on another board.

Quote:
I should add that it looks like a cut down (the stock I mean) trade musket, is it smooth bored (no rifling in the barrel)? I'm gonna bet it is. It appears to be from the period of the 1840's through the middle 1850's, there are some machine made parts on it (screw heads are very evenly cut, either machine made or a master gunsmith made them) and the lockwork main flat spring is external and hand made. That's a bit unusual, the lockworks are more commonly found inside the stock behind the lock plate, instead of on the outside of it.
So far, its shaping up to look like a 1816 French Cavalry Rifle that was converted at some point from a Flint Lock to Percussion Lock. The Crown and Cross symbols were used the the French, but they were also used by the Swiss during the late 1700's and up to the mid 1800's. But the rifles shape, lock, etc. look more like the French CR than a Swiss Infantry Rifle.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola85 View Post
Some info I gathered on another board.
I agree with the info already given on this rifle,
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:28 PM   #6
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Default ID old French rifle

I agree. When I saw the pictures, I immediately thought of the Napoleonic War-era flintlock rifle replicas on our site--the shape is very similar. I attached a picture so you can see. The ones we have are Circa 1806-1807, though, and they are definitely flintlock type, so if it was converted to a percussion lock, that would put it forward a few years.

1807_french_flintlock.gif  
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:19 AM   #7
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Another response I got

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I'll have to look up the inspection marks on the barrel, but it looks more Spanish than French to me.

The lock is a miqulet style, in that it has the mainspring on the outside. You see this in Spain and parts of Eastern Europe (like the Caucasian mountains, but their locks are shaped differently). It doesn't look like it was converted from a flintlock to me. Percussion miqulets that were converted from flint usually have a flat spot on the top, front part of the lock where the pan used to be, yours doesn't seem to have been modified in that way.

Since it has such a mix of styles and that distinctive carving to the butt where the wrist flows into the butt area, my first thought was that it was perhaps a Belgian gun, but those aren't Belgian markings on the barrel.
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Well, I looked up those marks and they aren't French, Belgian, Swiss or Spanish official proof marks. They could be an individual maker's trademark or a city inspection mark though.

After checking the see if it is loaded, take the barrel out of the stock. There might be more marks underneath. The Belgians usually put them underneath. Notice the little spur shaped thing sticking out of the front of the triggerguard bow and curving downward? That is typical Belgian.

I'd date it somewhere in the 1850's-1870's, based on overall style. Try taking the lock off and look for marks inside the lockplate.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I bow to your superior expertise. Since I deal only in replica guns, unless it is one of the guns we have a replica of, I am usually not that familiar with them. I recognize a few of the maker's marks, but the one pictured on that gun did not resemble anything I had seen.

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Old 01-13-2011, 02:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola85 View Post
Another response I got
the fleur de lys proofmarks are too crude to be of a known gun maker,it's an individual makers mark,the fleur de lys is used by Canada,France , Swiss,Spain....,I never seen a lock like this before,with the mechanism on the outside, and I think that the barrel is not rifled,difficult research with this kind of guns,and then you have the gun makers from afghanistan and India ,these guy's will make copies of any gun you can think of an option that I don't rule out on this gun
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:45 AM   #10
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Ugh. Never thought this process would be so difficult. Maybe I need to contact a museum curator.

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