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Spiff up an old gun for display?

Posted by fori (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 29, 11 at 16:34

I have an old nonfunctional gun I'd like to hang up. It's completely trashed and has no value except as a conversational piece ("How long were you tripping on THAT piece of junk before you put it on your wall?").

The finish is worn off unattractively in some spots and there is some rust. Would it be terrible to put oil or wax or something on it?

Any advice is welcome! (Just don't advise me to polish the brass!)

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

This is the problem--looks like someone left it standing in a puddle for a while:

As you move up it gets a nice almost glossy finish but that stock is ugly.

Perhaps hang a tea towel on the butt?


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Be SURE it has no value before you clean it up. My inlaws took an old and valuable gun....you know the one that passes from eldest son to eldest son and had it restored.....some yahoo filled the area where the wood was charred from the flint and spark and filled it with plastic wood, cleaned it all off to raw maple, put a coat of poly on it and polished and lacquered the brass....
Be sure what you have before you mess with it...
Linda C


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dssssssssplay?

Oh that sounds very bad!

I'm not going to try to fix it up. It's missing enough parts that that isn't even possible. I was hoping I could just apply something non-damaging like you'd put on a piece of old furniture.

After a little googling it seems that--like most of my things!--it's probably worth more parted out. Someone recently sold the lock on eBay for $200. First my car, then my vintage trailer, and now this. =P


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

fori,

By all means, do not spiff it up!!! There is no such thing as a gun like that, that can't be fixed!!! You would be surprised what gun collectors pay for various guns, despite the condition. I am a gun collector and can attest to that!!! Many collectors actually want those nicks, dings, scratches and rust or patina. I know when I look at one of my older ones, I sit and wonder what the person was like that used it, if it was for survival (food) or protection, how in the dickens they could haul that heavy thing all day, on and on.

Does it have any markings that you can see?


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Prodeced with caution on firearms. Old ones can be worth a lot more than you think they are ;-)

The first rifle I ever used was to go squirrel hunting, and the extractor was so bad one had to remove the spent shell with a set of pliers. It was a cheap little gun back in the day it was sold, designed for a boy's reach, and the stock on this one was held on by a wing and a prayer. Since it had been passed down from generation to generation, we wanted it to remain functional and it was already on its third generation of shooters. So a replacement stock was carefully whittled (yep by hand out of black walnut) the ejection mechanism re-machined, and the barrel was re-sleeved and blued. This was with no attention paid to any antique value. I found one with the same repairs made on an internet gun auction site and it went for close to two thousand dollars. LOL.

It's on generation four now and about to go to generation five.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Alright. It stays grubby! Thanks y'all.

I hung it up over my spouse's very new LCD TV to add a little class to the room (ha!). Then I twistied it to the rack for the next earthquake. As a collector, MD Irisman, can you recommend nice display rack to hold a musket tightly? I got the little brass leather-padded wall hooks but I think I need something a little more earthquake proof. I don't need to be able to get it down fast for a home invasion since I don't have room to swing it.

The marks are still legible if you squint. It's just one of those mass produced assembly-line government issue guns, marked "Harpers Ferry 1826" and "US" with the eagle. I guess it's a model 1816 maybe. It's been converted to percussion and is extremely rusty, chipped, missing bits of wood, and some of the metal thingies that attach the barrel to the wood thing are missing. We're way past mere patina here. The ramrod doesn't go into the hole all the way and probably isn't the right one anyway.

It would be a really bad idea to try to hunt with it I think. Really bad. :D Unless you're clubbing seals. I think it's meant for shooting people because it would just put a big hole in a bunny.

But you know how you can wax an old table and it looks a little nicer without actually altering the finish of the piece? That's sort of what I was thinking. But it looks okay. I just need to paint the wall behind it. Hmmm But then the television would stand out. Sometimes I get the feeling that not even the home decorating forum can help me...


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

LOL Fori. Just propping in a corner adds ambiance!!! You can pick up the rings that hold the barrel to the stock for a few dollars a piece from any gunsmith. I usually hit the antique gun shows for oem replacement parts. It is very surprising how much of that stuff is still around. From your description, a Harpers Ferry Springfield can bring a pretty penny, even if in rough condition. Why, I'd give you $300.00 for that old rusty piece of junk, yeah right, it's worth much more than that even if in rough condition.

Many of the guns used in the Civil War were converted Flint Locks to Percussion, especially early in the war. If the ramrod doesn't go all the way down, it's quite possible that it is loaded. That increases the value tremendously. Collectors love the wild thought that perhaps a soldier was captured or killed while reloading. It is also quite possible to trace the gun back to any soldier it was issued to and, more history can be associated with it. Those things are very deadly even today. I have a neighbor who is with the DEA. He was on a raid in Atlanta Ga. and a druggy shot at him with an old flintlock and just missed him and went through the door on one of the cars, a huge hole!!! He brought it home and had it over the mantle for a few months before his wife made him get rid of it by way of giving it to me!!! So now it has a story to go with it.

Guns back then were greased with animal fat. If you set it in the sun for 15 to 30 minutes, the grease will come to the surface and you can spread it around and rub it back into the wood and it will give it a better look without changing the value. It may even smell a bit like bacon, I've had a few do that.

I hate to say this because I don't want you to get overly scared. If the thing is still loaded, don't ever attempt to put a percussion cap on it and fire it because it could still explode. Gun powder lasts a long time. If it gets wet, once it dries, it is just as deadly now as it was back then and, can actually be more so.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Yeah....the old gun I have that was so badly redone had a charge in it when it went in to be "refinished"...ne careful with the ramrod!
Linda C


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Linda...even though your gun had some undesirable work done to it, it may still have considerable value. Sometimes just one part on a gun that is needed for a collector to complete another gun in their collection can raise the value real fast.

It's best to leave the bullet in the gun just for the increased value. Even way back when, there were misfires or in the midst of a battle a young soldier was known to load the gun in the wrong sequence. They would put the bullet in before dumping the powder in which made the gun a club or, if the bayonet was on it, it became a pike or spear. That was all actually part of their training. There is a tool from that era (and even for modern muzzle loaders)used to extract the bullet. Some people do that to make sure the powder is removed and then put the bullet back in, to be removed and admired periodically.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Hehehe!

Not gonna try to fire it. It's rusted up too much to even consider that. And I'm more the type to let old stuff look nice (or just look old in this case) and buy something shiny and safe for actual use. (Not to suggest a shiny new gun is always safe...I was raised with guns but never took an interest aside from a healthy respect for the attractiveness of some of the older models.)

I haven't tried actually putting the ramrod in the barrel--it just doesn't quite fit into the ramrod holder. It's not especially straight either so I doubt it'd make it all the way down.

It is becoming clear to me that if I want my living room to look nice, I need an equally rusty bayonet.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Oh yes, a rusty bayonet would really beautify the living room. A powder flask, cartridge and percussion cap pouch and belt hanging off it, or just a powder horn, might get you into "House Beautiful".


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Fori, I have helped DH spruce up some of his older gun stocks with Restore-A-Finish (yep, the same stuff we gals like to use on our tired looking vintage furniture). Then I follow up with Feed & Wax.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Without going into detail, I have a number of "antique" firearms which I still shoot. I keep the barrels and works thoroughly clean and oiled. The stocks and grips show the age of the weapons and are NEVER bothered.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I'll have to see what's in that stuff, Tuesday. Thanks for the suggestion!

Texas, are you suggesting that I oil it (what type of oil please?) or that I shoot it? :) I would like to prevent further rusting.


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rusty bits

In the interest of preservation and not performance, should I oil these rusty bits?

It doesn't look that bad without the flash, fortunately. Neither does the wall color, but I agree it needs to be painted...


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I certainly don't see why you couldn't just use a good gun oil on the metal parts like you'd use on a newer firearm but perhaps applying it with a very fine grade steel wool so as not to remove patina. It would clean it up a bit, but not not strip it and should help prevent further rusting. Leave the stock alone.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I don't think cleaning and oiling the metal bits will affect the potential value of your gun. Get a gun cleaning kit. It has everything you need to do that. Don't forget to clean and oil the inside bits also. You want to stop the rust damage not "refinish" the metal. Cleaning and oiling will just remove the rust and prevent any future damage caused by it.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I happen to use Outers Gun Oil. I use a rod with a slot on one end where you can affix oil soaked wads to clean the inside of the barrel.The end that holds the wad also has a wire bruse to remove shell residue.I use hand held oil soaked wads to hand rub the outside of the barrel and the mechanism. Based on the looks of your piece, I would use gun oil and wads. I would not touch any of the mechanism with steel wool. My guns have always been rready to fire.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

If you are familiar with the history about Harpers Ferry and what subsequently happened there, you would expect to see some of the conditions your musket shows. Too much cleaning and oiling will remove some evidence of the "possible" involvement and history of that particular musket. If you could do a little checking of where the weapon came from before you obtained it, that would help determine if it indeed was involved.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Agree with maryland_irisman, hard to say what that gun has seen or where it's been.

A bit of history on Harpers Ferry arsenal, back when it was still Virginia & not West Va is here.
Discussion from a guy trying to get info on same year HF long gun, resources to check are offered.
Asking prices of some Harpers Ferry long guns that includes two muskets can be seen here.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I'm familiar with Harpers Ferry but the history of this particular weapon is probably not knowable. I'll find out where it was purchased, though. If I remember correctly, my grandfather bought it for a few bucks on a family vacation to the east coast.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

The Harpers Ferry building served as an Arsenal and Depot in a flood plane that was flooded several times and the date of yours puts it into that time period as well as John Browns raid. During John Browns raid, many were thrown into the river once it was determined the raid may have been a lost cause before the siege ended. The bottom of the stock on yours shows the type of condition you would expect to see if the stock sitting in the gun rack, would have been sitting in water. They merely wiped them down and put them back in the rack. Some of the weapons stored at Harpers Ferry were also used in the revolutionary war and the flint locks were converted with percussion mechanisms. Now that's not to say your particular gun has all that history with it, but that's s it unique, it was part of Harpers Ferry history.
I guess it depends on what part of that history you would like your gun to represent. Cleaned up and oiled, it would portray what the gun would have looked like back then. I personally would be more prone to relay the history of where it was kept, point out the damage (an implied level of proof)that suggests a little more action associated with it. The value either way wouldn't change that much.
I'll relay an example. I don't live too far from Gettysburg and things are still being discovered. The value of the items is much higher when left in as found condition. 2 years ago, the reservoirs near Gettysburg were down to very low levels. An old Union cannon was found with a broken wheel. Research revealed it was a cannon en-route to Gettysburg when the wheel broke. They traced the cannon right down to the Private who was charged with guarding the cannon until a repair crew could arrive. Rebel troops were nearby and in the report submitted by the Private, it was hidden in brush in a ravine. That ravine was later covered with water when the reservoir was built. The Private was killed in battle and of course the cannon never was recovered. The cannon now sits in a museum, rust, broken wheel and all as found and along with the story attached to it, is considered priceless. There are lots of Civil War cannons in the area that are refurbished and are not worth much (as cannons go) other than their historical value.

An old Enfield musket (used by the North and South) used in the Civil War sold near here for $200.00, it was in worse condition than yours. There were several hundred thousand of them made. The new owner did some checking and found that particular musket was used by the CSA and in as-is condition, several collectors have offered up to $3,000.00 for it.

Closer inspection would provide certain marks that would be unique to your gun, especially under the barrel, just because of where it was. Like I said, to a collector like me, knowing the history of where it came from and the period it was there and the possible proof of it being involved in either flooding, raids or even John Brown's Raid, I would pay more for it the way it is than if it were all cleaned up. You and others might see more value in it, being cleaned up. Since it is prudently unlikely to ever be fired, it's current condition would cause much more thought and conversation than otherwise. It all depends on your preference, of course, what you want sitting in your living room.

Like I said, if you want that nasty old rusty dirty thing out of there, send me an email and I'll certainly help you get it off your hands, AS IS !!! :)


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Soooooo....you wouldn't sand off this guy's initials?

Just kidding! But it does look like it was used before it was neglected.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Dang, the amount I had in mind to offer you just went up....those aren't a users initials!!!!


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Don't be a tease! What do you know!!??

(I haven't gotten in touch with my father so I still can't verify where my grandfather got the thing. Darn irresponsible empty nesters out there having fun and whatnot!)


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

lol, fori! :)

Might be my eyes, but that doesn't look like initials. It looks like the number "11" and an insignia after it (like a calvary unit or something) ?

This is very interesting! :)


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I'll start by directing you to this site but, I'd rather give you money for it and I would pay the shipping!!!!
http://www.nps.gov/archeology/sites/npsites/harpersFerry.htm


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

You're being coy...


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I'm still hung up on that being an insignia. And bleary eyed, started 2 1/2 hours ago at 4:30 a.m. :o
(And just now saw maryland_irisman's comment it's not a user's initials.)

Thinking aloud, indulge me?... It's not cavalry as I used as an illustration earlier, they used sabers. Infantry used crossed muskets. It's dated 1825, and if that's an "11" then likely for 11th Infantry? So why the "tepee" over the crossed guns? At least it looks like crossed guns under a tepee to me. If marked affiliated with a specific infantry can one conclude that musket was involved in a military conflict? It would have to have been after 1825, so Mexican American War (1846-48), Civil War (1861-1865), possibly "Indian Wars" of 1870s-80s. By 1898 and the Spanish American War the musket would be almost 50 years old and so not used...?

But then there's the evidence of water with all the rust.
maryland_irisman's link says the Harpers Ferry area was prone to flooding when Washington chose it, and floods ravaged arsenal grounds after the Civil War.

So, it's really rusty and the stock looks like it's been water logged. But someone carved in the stock. If in a flood or submersed in river water then odds are better it likely didn't leave the Harper's Ferry area? Sooo, my guess is was used by someone in the 11th Infantry. Gun would have been 36 years old at onset of Civil War. So maybe a favorite gun of a middle-aged Harper's Ferry local, or passed down to a son by that time. It could well have been there during John Brown's raid or subsequent Civil War before it got so wet.

One more thought...11th Mississippi...The Inspector-General reported from Harper's Ferry May 23 that the Mississippians were clamoring for rifles in place of the old muskets they had. The Eleventh, he said, took pride in its appearance and was soldierly.

Maybe when the 11th Mississippi arrived at Harper's Ferry in Spring 1861, a soldier found/stole or otherwise claimed it? Then got hold of a rifle so pitched it? hmmmm...

Still fascinated, but have to get to work now...

Hope this link works. It's the Encyclopedia of United States Army insignia and uniforms. There are tons, and I haven't found one like it yet...


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I had hoped the last web site I sent would have explained what the mark is. As explained, it is an inspectors or armorer's mark which was usually stamped into the wood, most times on the stock. There are some earlier ones stamped into the lock mechanism on the left side, on top of the barrell or on the butt plate. It is obviously easier to do it into the wooden stock and that became fashionable. During the 20th century, there were metal tags imbedded into the stock. Different countries used different methods. You'll find many British weapons, such as models of the 303 Enfield that might have the tag in place with a date or, you may find a round dot on the stock where the brass medallion has been removed and in some cases, filled in.

So as the thread goes along, we keep seeing new pictures of more revelations concerning the life and use of the weapon. That's why no one can assess a value on any old object without inspecting it, in hand. There are more things I would like to see on the weapon but, what I have seen so far indicates what I might be looking for will be there. I'd give 600 bucks for it as is and from what I've seen so far. If there are other marks on the barrel, butt plate and other parts of the gun, then I could better assess whether I would give more or, less. One thing that indicates it is of an older vintage is the open eagle stamped on the lock plate. I would be looking for any other "cartouche" that may have been stamped into the gun through the years. As mentioned earlier, some of the weapons at Harpers Ferry were used in the revolutionary war and later "modernized" up through the Civil War. Some are so plentiful they aren't worth much, others are not so plentiful.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Are you hinting that the mark on the stock means it was stamped at Wagner's Warehouse and it's a Revolutionary piece reconditioned for the Civil War?


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I'm trying not to hint or make any solid statements because I don't want to give a faux impression the gun may be real valuable or not so valuable until more is known. Only closer inspection would confirm that.
When the mark was stamped, it indicated a fully functional weapon. Other marks would indicate the specific travels of the weapon either from or back to Harpers Ferry. Knowing those things can help determine what battles or skirmishes the weapon could have been involved in thus helping to better assess a value. It could have remained in the arsenal and only issued for guard duty. Or it could have been tentatively issued to a soldier who said "I don't want that old thing, give me the one next to it". I had an occasion where I did that myself while serving our country.
Generally, the weapons were gathered and turned back in when not being used. The Union kept very detailed records and were aware of which weapons were missing. If the weapon fell into CSA hands and was kept in a closet somewhere after the war, then it has much more history that needs to be looked for. U.S Military records could help confirm that. It could then be more likely to be sold at an estate sale rather than be destroyed by the government or sold overseas when more modern weaponry was deployed. I also have in my collection, vintage weapons that were obtained (bought or traded) from American Indian reservations, there are tons of them there. The folks know what they have and the value just as you or I. However, most do not part with them and I salivate when I see some of them. So grabbing more information from certain parts of a vintage gun, wear patterns and other markings tell a whole story.
There are tons of smiths out there that will take a reproduction re-enactment gun and make modifications (grinding and stamping)that will fool even an expert into thinking it is original. There's certain things a collector looks for and to give away all the secrets in an open forum will only further arm a "forger" so without the gun in hand, it's best not to make a solid assessment, only to suggest what might be, is better. I can say that if that particular gun were cleaned, missing parts replaced, the stock finished, I would only want to give 150 - 200 bucks max for it. Even though I would give 600 for it as is, I've never seen the other side of it. It could be totally missing or, certain things would tell me it's a repro, modified and stressed to look old. Then I'd really wake up with the "oh-no's" huh?


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Hrmm. Well I never had any reason to doubt it was anything other than a Harpers Ferry musket made around 1825 (not '26--oops) and later modified (but not a LOT later). Except for the firing thingie which has definitely been redone, it looks like a US model 1816 all over. In addition to the date on it, you can tell it's not US Revolution or 1812 era because the stock has a sort of a particular shape that other US models don't have. It has sort of a utilitarian look.

That mark seems awfully large and crude, like a W. II made with a knife, but I dunno. There is stamp on it that does look official. Oh, and this side does have another missing part:

It would be nice if a listing of marks and where they were put was available, but I suppose all that raiding and flooding and burning wreaks havoc on records. Any marks on the metal parts are probably nothing more than pits now, anyway.

I asked and was informed that it was purchased about 60 years ago probably around Gettysburg but my father was about 10 and doesn't really remember for sure.

I could take more photos for fun if anyone is interested, although it's sort of long and hard to photograph. :) But I won't mess with it. Okay, I just might try to remove the paint from the end of the barrel. The paint it happily removed from every wall it leaned up against!


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

I love the pictures and do study them frequently!!! I hope that most who are interested and have been following the thread, have been doing some research, I can tell Linda has. Stuff like this gets very interesting when more is learned. It also helps in other areas of the antique world. Someone collecting might see an object incorporated on to something else like a door lock and say "hey, that is an old flintlock hammer that's locking that door, I need one for a gun I'm fixing up!!!".
Now, this doesn't mean your gun is involved just because of missing parts. But after floods or raids, the weapons were more or less thrown into a pile and work commenced to sorting good from bad. After that sorting, work began to clean up and restock the "arms room" (in today's vernacular). As a weapon was chosen from the "good" pile, it was inspected and if a questionable part needed replacement or a part was missing, it was stripped from one of the guns in the "bad" pile. Not all parts were interchangeable. If a part was missing that through time and battle was determined as "not necessary for the battle worthiness" of the gun, it was further inspected, cleaned, stamped by the inspector and placed in the gun rack. So you may very well see a gun that saw much action that had a missing part. Missing screws and other parts in and around the lock mechanism were considered crucial. I see one critical missing part from that side of the gun. However, the exact OEM replacement part is widely available and wouldn't change my mind more than a few dollars in either direction. I see certain things on the gun that do indicate it is not a reproduction. But then again, there are reproductions that are quite valuable, depending on when it was reproduced and who did it!!! Confusing to some now!!! American people love souvenirs and right after the Civil War, many people wanted something. Even then, due to lack of the real thing in certain areas, many fakes were produced right in that time period, especially to tourists who came to view the gore. Some of the fakers are known and their fakes are desired just by the quality of the fake. There is one faker's gun I would love to have in my collection. The last one sold for $7,500.00. So now you have fakers, faking a fake!!!!

But, this gun still looks original. There is one place you can look for important marks, but I would suggest you not do it. Any modern markings (other than rubbed off wall paint) would cause a collector to shy away. I would suggest leaving the wall paint!!! Looking at any layers can actually help date and even where the gun could have been stored at various times. Looking under the barrel where it is fixed to the stock can reveal a lot also.

Something to think about...dirt under, inside and around an old weapon is probably battlefield dirt from a senselessy bloody war!!!! That adds another level of value to some collectors.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

fori,
You'd be amused at what is going on behind the scenes here!!! I'm getting emails from collectors who have been following your post asking me not to give out any more detailed information. Some of us already have a bidding war going on, you'd think it was up for auction and I was the owner!!!
You might want to find a local gun appraiser in your area to take it to. You'll be very hard pressed to find any that would give you a fraction of the info I already have either on line or, over the phone.
There are some who you can ship them to that will give an appraisal but I recommend not going that route. My recommendation has only to do with what I personally would or would not do and not as a judgement of any of those appraisers.
My personal feeling is the more people are interested in the hobby, the higher the values will go so, other than some really specialized info., I'll continue to offer information on your fantastic find!!


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Thanks, MD! That's very funny! I appreciate the info and I'm certainly not going to sell it. I just want to hang it up! :P

I had it hanging in my bedroom as a kid. My dad wouldn't let me have his super awesome colonial era (and quite pretty) musket so he gave me this one. He's a history buff and appreciated its origin but assumed it hadn't much value due to condition (and that my mom wouldn't want it on display).

I'll try to figure out an album with some higher resolution photos. Any suggestions on particular bits to photograph? And gee I need a long skinny camera! Here's the large missing part, the last band (?):

Pulled out the rod and found another hole in that spot:

And some maybe marks, maybe pits:


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

The missing band is no problem, there are thousands of those that have survived. See those 2 marks in the last picture? They are cartouche's. The first one closest to the trigger may be the very first one added to the gun, after it was completed and considered functional. The second may be it's inspection and acceptance by the government armorer. I'd have to look at them under a mag glass. How about the butt of the gun, does it have a plate? I'm suspecting it doesn't. Guns made for the military had very little in the way of un-needed decor. I do have a really nice ole musket that was refinished many years ago and looks real nice, I'll trade ya!!!!


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

This is very interesting!

As explained, it is an inspectors or armorer's mark which was usually stamped into the wood, most times on the stock.
I read about the inspector's mark at your link, maryland_irisman, but didn't ponder much on it because the mark on the stock look hand-carved to my eye rather than stamped. And I guess when I thought of inspector's mark I was looking for something more 'crisp' for lack of a better description. But then maybe that was as crisp as the stamp got back in that era? Or maybe exposure to water altered it...?

At any rate, I find this all fascinating. My father was a huge Civil War buff and also loved his guns. Though he taught me to shoot as a young girl, and I still enjoy it today, it's only been since I've gotten older that I really started to share his interest in our Civil War. He's gone now and I miss him, this discussion reminds me very much of one that would happen with him. It's also a learning experience and I'm glad fori started it. :)


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Plate as in sheet of metal, sure. Plate with something pretty or informative? Nope:

Tried looking at the cartouche with my hand lens but it hurt my eyeballs. A 14x coddington just might not be the tool for this.


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andthneplay?

Moonshadow (dangit now I'm singing mooooooonshadow moonshadow), it's not that crisp! It does look handcarved (the W thing). You can sort of see where the carving went over. Maybe it shows better with the flash...maybe not.

Compared to the other one which is clearly stamped, serif and all, and tiny...I don't know. This looks more like some guy bored with a pocketknife.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

The butt, from this angle, doesn't appear to have much wear, looking at it from different angles would give more detail!! Most times, I use a regular jewelers eye loop but sometimes have to go to more power to get definition on some of the stampings. You want to trade for my nice clean shiny musket?
Moonshadow...I love history and the Civil War is one I spend most time on. The artifacts are plentiful, new information of the era become known constantly as older collectors pass away and the stuff becomes available. Even as a kid, disregarding some of the various reasons for discontent at the time, I always thought it was the most senseless war, right here against our own people that could have been otherwise resolved. So bloody, so senseless yet so many innovations in militarism that are still used in some form even today. I have joined a few excursions from time to time searching farms and ravines in this area, looking for artifacts. There are caves in the area here that were used at various times during that war. Folks are always looking for caches but the problem being, many were booby trapped and are quite dangerous from explosions or other damaging action even today. I'd love to find something like that cannon I mentioned earlier. I do have quite a collection of bullets, swords, bayonets, belt buckles and other medallions found on a friends farm nearby. A lot of soldiers personal items have been found also. Just like this musket fori has here, one can sit for a time and just wonder who had it, what their daily life might have been like and if they ever made it home. It sure gets the imagination going. And to think, towns people would find a vantage point and gather and watch a battle, with picnic lunches and all.

Just as TEXASREDHEAD, I love occasionally shooting the ones that I have that work. Just wondering how someone could carry that thing all day along with all their other gear and then the noise, the kick and the reloading in a stressful situation and still hit something (with the earlier guns). It's a thrill.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

You'd have better luck trying to trade irises for it.:)

Hm. Only have these pictures on computer at the moment...

I apologize for all the little bits and pieces. There really is (almost) an entire musket here. It just doesn't fit in my camera!


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Well, there are several acres of Iris here!!! Bearded Iris of all colors, smells and varieties. Have tons of double bloomers that blossom in the spring and again in the fall!!! Very expensive but need to be thinned anyhow, willing to trade!!!! Rows and rows of them.


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RE: Spiff up an old gun for display?

Okay...might as well add on here...

I asked Santa for a bayonet. I don't know if he'll come through but if not, I can manage without him.

I have a display problem!

There is the pretty side of the gun and it's not the bayonet side. Is there some magical device or method for wall hanging guns with bayonets?


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