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Old 19th October 2018, 01:07 PM   #1
Lenny
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Question Query about a musket

Dear Friends,
I attach two photographs of a musket that I recently acquired showing the butt and the lock. I will post an overall picture later...It is .75 calibre smooth bore, with the stamp 'Lon [indecipherable]on the plate. It has a flintlock mechanism, though the cock is missing. There is no apparent way of attaching a ring or socket bayonet because the wood under the barrel extends to within one quarter inch of the muzzle

I am guessing that it dates to about 1690-1700. What puzzles me is the size of this thing: 5 foot 8 inches from butt plate to muzzle which seems to be too big for a standard foot soldier's musket. Yet it is not ornate or even well finished enough to be a hunting weapon (I think) Any ideas?
Best,
Lenny
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Old 20th October 2018, 07:50 AM   #2
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Thanks Lenny, would love to see more pics of various aspects of the piece, including an overall view. Would it be too much trouble to take the lock off to photograph the internal mechanism?
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Old 20th October 2018, 07:21 PM   #3
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Per the rules Lenny, we need at least a picture of the whole thing for context.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 01:57 PM   #4
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Default Musket

Thanks Battara, I am experiencing difficulty attaching it but will get back to you
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Old 23rd October 2018, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Thanks Lenny, would love to see more pics of various aspects of the piece, including an overall view. Would it be too much trouble to take the lock off to photograph the internal mechanism?


Hi Philip, I would not want to take off the lock but will get a full photo uploaded. Thanks!
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Old 23rd October 2018, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default Photo of Whole Musket

Here goes and thanks for your patience
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Old 24th October 2018, 10:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Thanks Lenny, would love to see more pics of various aspects of the piece, including an overall view. Would it be too much trouble to take the lock off to photograph the internal mechanism?



Here is an overall view Philip. I would be very slow to take off the lock; I would not have the tools or skills.
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Old 25th October 2018, 10:41 PM   #8
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Default How big is big?

First thing that comes to mind is whether it is necessarily a military weapon. I'm looking through Robert Held's The Age of Firearms (1957) at the moment, and note that some pretty large fowling pieces, full-stocked in the manner of military muskets, were made in England and Holland in the 17th cent. On p 81, fig 171 is a line drawing of a Jacobean-era piece, first half 17th cent., with a caption quoting an old text, "five foot and a half or six feet long with an indifferent Bore under Harquebus", the last point being interpreted by Mr Held to be somewhere between .63 and .80 caliber. The length of your gun falls within the parameters described, although the design of your stock is a bit more modern than fig 171 shows. Have you measured the bore diameter of your piece?

In fig 192, p 92 are photographs of two big fowlers with stocks more resembling yours, one is Restoration-era English, 63 in. overall, the other Dutch, 65 in.

Keep in mind that though these guns were used for shooting birds (generally, big ones like waterfowl), sporting practice of the era did not object to taking them sitting. The art of wingshooting is thought to have originated in Italy or somewhere else in southern Europe, and by the 18th cent. it became THE way to take birds of all sorts among British sportsmen. And the gun makers there have come up with designs which in terms of proportion and ergonomics have become a sort of world standard, still followed by high-end makers of sporting arms today. If you're not familiar with Robert Held's book I suggest you read it because he covers this topic in excellent detail, replete with historical anecdote and excerpts from the shooting literature of the day.

Do you have some close ups of the outside of the lock? Any markings anywhere?
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Old 26th October 2018, 09:05 AM   #9
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Hi Lenny,
Welcome to the forum from a fellow Irish member (not many of us here on the site, I am Kildare based)

A lot more pictures would be necessary to get much more information, read the introduction posts on image sizes and you will be fine.

That is one big gun, are there swivels for a sling as these are generally indicative of being a military weapon.

I hate taking locks off as it is so easy to damage the screws. from your first image it looks as if the screw holes are empty so there is probably not a lot inside anyway but there could be markings.

Are there any proof marks on the barrel as these are great at dating period of when the gun (or barrel ) was manufactured.

Lots more pictures please.

PS this thread would be better in the European section of the forum so the moderator will probably move the thread, don't take this personally as it will help the conversation grow.

Regards

ken
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Old 7th November 2018, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
First thing that comes to mind is whether it is necessarily a military weapon. I'm looking through Robert Held's The Age of Firearms (1957) at the moment, and note that some pretty large fowling pieces, full-stocked in the manner of military muskets, were made in England and Holland in the 17th cent. On p 81, fig 171 is a line drawing of a Jacobean-era piece, first half 17th cent., with a caption quoting an old text, "five foot and a half or six feet long with an indifferent Bore under Harquebus", the last point being interpreted by Mr Held to be somewhere between .63 and .80 caliber. The length of your gun falls within the parameters described, although the design of your stock is a bit more modern than fig 171 shows. Have you measured the bore diameter of your piece?

In fig 192, p 92 are photographs of two big fowlers with stocks more resembling yours, one is Restoration-era English, 63 in. overall, the other Dutch, 65 in.

Keep in mind that though these guns were used for shooting birds (generally, big ones like waterfowl), sporting practice of the era did not object to taking them sitting. The art of wingshooting is thought to have originated in Italy or somewhere else in southern Europe, and by the 18th cent. it became THE way to take birds of all sorts among British sportsmen. And the gun makers there have come up with designs which in terms of proportion and ergonomics have become a sort of world standard, still followed by high-end makers of sporting arms today. If you're not familiar with Robert Held's book I suggest you read it because he covers this topic in excellent detail, replete with historical anecdote and excerpts from the shooting literature of the day.

Do you have some close ups of the outside of the lock? Any markings anywhere?




Hello Philip and thanks for your reply....I suspect you are right. The bore is .75 calibre the standard (if one can say that) military bore but it is 5 foot 8 inches long from butt plate to muzzle which seems a foot longer than a more usual military grade weapon. I attach a close-up of a marking on the lock. I ma also going to get my hand on Held's book.
Best Wishes
Pádraig
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:17 AM   #11
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Thanks. Wow, it's pretty worn but I bet what remains says "London". Too bad there isn't more to it.

I agree that it's quite long for a regulation musket, and not massive enough nor large of bore to be a rampart-gun which certainly would have had a military role. If it's indeed London-made, perhaps a forum colleague who is more familiar with British gunmakers and their marks can look at it, and from context, tell you more about the piece.

Do you have Pollard's History of Firearms (1983 edn) Claude Blair was the general editor of this very informative and well illustrated anthology of articles covering the subject from beginnings to the present, with chapters proceding century-by-century.
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Old 11th November 2018, 02:20 AM   #12
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Looks like a fowler too me.
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Old Yesterday, 10:25 PM   #13
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Could it be African trade gun? These were made up into the early 20th century, usually in Belgium, and often with spurious stamps and markings.
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