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Could this be a Revolutionary War era gun?

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Civil War era. Thats a percussion cap nipple. Should be 54 caliber and take a minie ball. Also there should be rifling in the barrel, but I think at a pretty loose twist rate. 

 

I'd start with a Google search on Civil War Era tower rifles, it may be of British Origin and unique. 

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Tower would make it English made.

By the photos we can see that it was converted from a flint lock to percussion

which was very common in /around 1820-1830's

 

Many times the barrel will have marks, but could be on the underside and require

removing the barrel from the stock to inspect. But BE CAREFUL not to crack the stock!

I believe a true 'Tower" would be a military only made firearm, hence the sling mtg

eye on the trigger guard.

 

Best shot (pardon that pun) would be to Google Tower Flint lock / Muskets / ect.

and do some research on the web.

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Thanks again for the quick replies.

 

I think it's older than Civil War era because all of the rifles I've seen on the net had a crown on the lock and tower with a date samped further up on the lock.  Mine just says Tower with nothing else.

 

I'm hesitant to take it apart to look for other markings, or even to try and clean it for fear I may damage it.

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I would check to be sure its not loaded.

My son said the same thing...something about people leaving them loaded all these years. 

 

Short of taking it apart I'm not sure how to check if it's loaded.  I suppose I could bring it to the range and fire it?

 

I don't know...for the time being I'm not touching it. lol

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Thanks again for the quick replies.

 

I think it's older than Civil War era because all of the rifles I've seen on the net had a crown on the lock and tower with a date samped further up on the lock.  Mine just says Tower with nothing else.

 

I'm hesitant to take it apart to look for other markings, or even to try and clean it for fear I may damage it.

 

Since I'm the Black Powder Fudd around here, here's my take:

 

Might be a Model 1839 Conversion (from Flintlock)  Tower was Military, so you might want to look carefully for cartouches or date.  Tower made this 3-Band Enfield design in .577 caliber (referred to as .58).  Uses musket caps (copper top-hats) instead of standard #11 percussion caps.  Nominal charge of 60 grains of 2Fg Black Powder behind a 555 grain .58 Minnie-Ball.  Capable of going through TWO MEN and into a THIRD!  (And YES, this was actually done during the Civil War).

 

I have a lot more info about this rifle, so PM me for complete details and my phone number so we can chat.  Still raking leaves today!

 

Dave

NRA Distinguished Expert in Muzzle Loading Rifle

NRA CRSO

REENACTOR

Competitive Black Powder Shooter and Mentor

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I can teach you right over the phone how to tell if it's loaded.

 

From the looks of it, it may be serviceable enough to fire.  Friends of mine have all of the supplies you need to go BANG!

 

Call me, but PM first for my number!

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Rosie...I'm on my way out the door to a father/son football game.  Pretty sure I'm going to windup injured. lol

 

I'll reach out to soon!

 

Thanks.

 

Michael

 

PM sent with my cell number.  Enjoy the father/son time and call me when you can Michael!

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My son said the same thing...something about people leaving them loaded all these years.

 

Short of taking it apart I'm not sure how to check if it's loaded. I suppose I could bring it to the range and fire it?

 

I don't know...for the time being I'm not touching it. lol

Flintlocks and percussion guns were often left loaded s they would be ready to fire.

 

Get a wooden dowel long enough to put down the barrel. Mark it at the muzzle when it bottoms out in the barrel. Pull the dowel out and lay it alongside the barrel. Put the mark you made in line with the muzzle. If other end of the dowel is in line with the percussion cap nipple its unloaded. If the end of the dowel is few inches short of the nipple there's probably a bullet and powder there.

 

If its loaded you're better off taking it to a gunsmith familiar with black powder guns to unload it for you. Don't dry fire the gun as there is a possibility of a spark and that black powder can still be potent after 100 years.

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Flintlocks and percussion guns were often left loaded s they would be ready to fire.

 

Get a wooden dowel long enough to put down the barrel. Mark it at the muzzle when it bottoms out in the barrel. Pull the dowel out and lay it alongside the barrel. Put the mark you made in line with the muzzle. If other end of the dowel is in line with the percussion cap nipple its unloaded. If the end of the dowel is few inches short of the nipple there's probably a bullet and powder there.

 

If its loaded you're better off taking it to a gunsmith familiar with black powder guns to unload it for you. Don't dry fire the gun as there is a possibility of a spark and that black powder can still be potent after 100 years.

 

Griz,

 

As is usual you are 100% CORRECT, as that's the way it's done!  Also take note that the original ramrod that comes with the piece is in the thimbles, so IF it's not rusted in-place, Mike can use the gun's ramrod with the same procedure you've outlined!

 

Instead of the Gunsmith, he can bring it to me and I can "pull the load" for him, as I have all of the necessary tools, techniques and SAFETY knowledge required.  I've been pulling patched round balls out of more barrels than I care to remember, lol, since Newbies in the sport tend to "dry-ball" (patched ball, NO powder behind it) at some point in their learning curve, lol!

 

It would also be nice to teach Mike how to gently remove the bands so the barrel's PROOF marks can be recorded and researched from available historic materials, in an attempt to establish a provenance and determine if indeed the piece was issued to a particular Company during the War!

 

As always, it's nice chatting with you.

 

Dave

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Thank you Rob, that is very generous and much appreciated.

 

I'm going to hook up with Rosie at some point in the immediate future so he can help me look over the gun and determine whether its safe to fire or not, but also to glean some information about the history.

 

I'll let you know how it works out.

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Sorry Guys.  Winter got in the way of me getting together with Rosie.  You'd think that would't be the case, but I've done nothing with the gun yet.  

 

I appreciate everyone's interest and input.  I'll update once the weather breaks and I can get outside with Rosie to learn more about the gun. 

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