Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by archieclement, Aug 27, 2017.
This was found hidden in a wall of a CW era house we tore down, was wrapped in sackcloth. No Manufacturer marks, over/under rifle shotgun, 2 hammers 2 triggers. 4ft 1 inch from front to stock, both barrels 34 inches long, incredibly front heavy
Assume its not military, but does anyone know anything about the style?
Your over/under is a type very common to the New York State, Pennsylvania, and Michigan areas. Jacob Harder was mentioned. He was a prolific maker having a factory which produced all types of percussion era arms. Because it was a full time business all of his arms are very well marked. Your O/U has a rather unusual set up for the nipple on the left barrel, and with the large gap at the top of the lock plate and misalignment of the hammer, I am almost of the mind it may have been a replacement lock at one time.
just trying to learn whatever I can about it, a mystery to me is the house was one of my ancestors, but the name on the stockplate isnt
What is the name on the stock? How might that person have owned the house at a different time, or how might they have interacted with your ancestor?
There were several Pennsylvania gunsmiths making these over-under combination rifle/shotguns. One was Jacob Harder of Athens then later Lock Haven Pa... another was Brown & Hirth of Pittsburg.. a novelty idea and design at the time. I would reexamine the weapon closely for any further markings and clues thereof...
Its a Betts not positive on the initials they are so flourished hard to tell, They never owned the land before we did, My family came from KY, so if its a Penn gun style no idea on the interaction. My relative served in the CSA, though the union would have probably treated him as a guerrilla , 1st Northeast Mo Cav under Porter in 62, I suspect his family hid the gun while he served
That is a nice over/under gun. Well made, and it looks to be in good condition. I know the unit. The 1st Northeast Missouri Cavalry. A good unit. It looks to me like a Penn. style rifle. my family brought a long rifle Penn. /Ky rifle. Mine was made in Ky. My friend wrote a book about Porter. I had the original book at one time. Great thread. thank you for posting.
1. Is each bore clear? In that there are no charges left?
2. Can you measure the inside diameter of each bore? Calipers?
3. Sometimes the locks are marked, but to remove locks on double guns there's a bolt that has to be loosened first (see red arrow below).
If you take the left hammer to full cock, it should reveal the rest of the bolt head. You'll see tons of vintage muzzle loading shotguns with cracked stocks around the locks, where folks trying to take them apart forced the issue without knowing/caring about this bolt.
when we found it both barrels were loaded, we took to a guy who removed the loads and made repro ramrods for it, not going to take it apart, you can see where the arrow you added the wood has puled away from the lock a little, shot gun on bottom looks 12 gauge, rifle not sure if .45 or .50 don't have calipers, assume hand rifled as the rifle bore looks octagon, when I toured the old browning gun shop they said that occurs with hand rifling
I'm glad you linked back to this thread from the "Frank James Revolver" thread. I had completely forgotten about this great find of yours. I'm enjoying it all over again. This was a fabulous sporting arm in its day. Let me ask to clarify: You think it's a rifle / shotgun combination? I have seen over / under guns of this period, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a rifle shotgun combo of this age. That is totally cool! What a find!
It's definitely rifle shotgun, the bottom shotgun barrel looks is bout thickness of shot gun barrels today, top rifle barrel is considerably heavier and bore looks more octagon then round, which would have thrown me if I hadn't seen an example of a hand rifled barrel at the Browning gun shop museum. It's really heavy and front heavy overall, would been a man to pack it around all day.
Have wondered what shooting it would have been like, if one has to hold it any length of time free hand in a shooting position, one finds themselves leaning their upper body backwards to counter all that barrel weight out in front of you.
The rifle was probably propped, but I couldn't speculate about the shotgun barrel. It was probably one of those things that was easy to market and seemed like a good idea...but didn't field test all that well. But I don't care about that because it's one HECK of a fine sporting arm! I love it!
Heavy.......Really? Those fellows of yesteryear were solid muscle and sinew because their daily existence was hard labor. Today, with all of our office jobs, we have become multiple generations of people who don't survive by physical labor. I have even heard younger people complain that data entry is so hard to do! I have a British Trade Rifle from circa 1812 that weighs eleven and a half pounds. Everyone who I show it to today says "How could they even carry this thing?" We have become a bunch of "Keyboard Commandos" who have no clue what life was like 150+ years ago.
The rifle/ shotgun combo is commonly called a Cape Gun, either double barreled or over/under.
Does it have a big brass bayonet lug soldered on to the right side of the barrels at the muzzles ?
I had forgotten about this - it is a work of art - it really is!
Not entirely germane but:
My beloved uncle was with the 7th Marines at the Chosin reservoir. A true hero and a Marine down to his toenails.
He seldom spoke about Korea, but one time at a wedding he told me that he trained as an engineer and then they put him on a ship, handed him a BAR, dropped him off at Inchon and that was the last he ever heard about being an engineer.
Then he paused and said " that BAR was the best freind I ever had". He didnt offer anything else.
I thought about this when I heard that the US military stopped issueing BARs because they were to heavy to lug around.
My uncle was a Marine BAR man at the Inchon landing also, he had two guys assigned to him that carried all the bandoliers of ammo. He later enlisted in the Navy and served on diesel and nuclear subs during the Cold War in the Atlantic. He became a master chief and "chief of the boat." He did say the BARs were front heavy but where great shooters.....My brother in law's father flew Marine F-9 Panther jets over Chosin, along with John Glenn and Ted Williams.
Reminds me of the old TV show Combat! Kirby was one of the smallest soldiers in the squad and he carried the BAR, while Little John was the biggest guy in the squad and carried a tiny M-1 carbine.
On guns like this was the shotgun usually on the bottom and the the rifle on top?
Separate names with a comma.