Who knows muzzle loaders

pa plateau hiker

Hero Member
Jul 15, 2012
969
1,035
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I found this barrel 10 years ago and I think it's time to get it ID. It's an octagon barrel, 36" long. I was able to fit a .359 drill bit in the muzzle. What caliber would this be. I know it's difficult to put a time frame on something, but any ideas on the era. 154_0636.JPG 154_0635.JPG 154_0638.JPG 154_0640.JPG
 

gunsil

Silver Member
Dec 27, 2012
3,612
5,345
lower hudson valley, N.Y.
Detector(s) used
safari, ATPro, infinium, old Garrett BFO, Excal, Nox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Looks like a percussion ignition barrel. Caliber would be hard to determine accurately due to the rust. Maybe a .40 caliber rifle, a hunting gun for sure.
 
Upvote 0

NOLA_Ken

Gold Member
Jan 4, 2011
5,211
4,164
Formerly New Orleans.. Now Pueblo Co
Detector(s) used
several, mostly Garrett
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
It's most likely a .36 cal hunting rifle. It'll likely date between 1820 to around 1860. Anything more than that there's really no way to say.... Pretty nice find, I'd love to dig an old musket
 
Upvote 0

l.cutler

Bronze Member
Dec 2, 2006
2,427
1,472
NEPA
Detector(s) used
Tejon, Cibola, T2
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
1840's through 1870's, 36 to 40 caliber, about all that can be said. Really nice find though.
 
Upvote 0

Fullstock

Bronze Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,030
2,752
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
It appears the be the barrel from a Kentucky Rifle. It's hard to estimate an age, because it could have been flintlock originally and converted to percussion later in its life, or it could have started life as a percussion barrel. Either way, it's a neat find.
 
Upvote 0

BosnMate

Gold Member
Sep 10, 2010
6,917
8,431
Detector(s) used
Whites MXT, Whites DFX, Whites 6000 Di Pro
Primary Interest:
Other
It appears the be the barrel from a Kentucky Rifle. It's hard to estimate an age, because it could have been flintlock originally and converted to percussion later in its life, or it could have started life as a percussion barrel. Either way, it's a neat find.

Agree, looks like a possible drum and nipple conversion from a flint lock to a cap lock, so the barrel could date into the 1700's. .359 would also make me think .36 caliber. Neat find.
 
Upvote 0

l.cutler

Bronze Member
Dec 2, 2006
2,427
1,472
NEPA
Detector(s) used
Tejon, Cibola, T2
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Try measuring the outside diameter of the barrel at each end and through the center. Pre 1810 or so would be a swamped barrel, meaning it would be larger at the breech and muzzle and smaller through the center. A later barrel would be the same diameter from end to end. The small caliber and shorter length would probably indicate a later rifle although it could have been shortened at one time. Most of the earlier, Pennsylvania or sometimes called Kentucky rifles had longer barrels, usually well over forty inches and often larger caliber. Later rifles like the Ohio or Leman style were usually of smaller caliber and shorter barrel.
 
Upvote 0

Charlie P. (NY)

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2006
12,874
16,749
South Central Upstate NY in the foothills of the h
Detector(s) used
Minelab Musketeer Advantage Pro w/8" & 10" DD coils/Fisher F75se(Upgraded to LTD2) w/11" DD, 6.5" concentric & 9.5" NEL Sharpshooter DD coils/Sunray FX-1 Probe & F-Point/Black Widows/Rattler headphone
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Definitely a percussion rifle barrel.

I have seen some in .38 caliber (0.380"), but 0.360" is pretty standard. The forged iron barrels would perhaps start at .36 caliber, but in use the softer iron as compared to modern steels wears. Occasionally the rifling would be freshened up and the barrel smoothed. Then the gunsmith also made a new mold for the owner and he left the shop with a rifle that shot a slightly larger ball.

Calibers used to be measured in the number of lead balls per pound. "100 bore" would be about 0.350", which with a cloth patch is a sung fit in a 0.360" bore. 80 bore is about 0.38", 50 bore is about 0.50", 40 bore is about 0.50", "30 bore" was a 0.54" caliber, and "25 bore" became 0.58". Those became standard rifle diameters.
 
Upvote 0
OP
pa plateau hiker

pa plateau hiker

Hero Member
Jul 15, 2012
969
1,035
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
I checked it with a micrometer. It is .910 the whole length of the barrel.
 
Upvote 0

l.cutler

Bronze Member
Dec 2, 2006
2,427
1,472
NEPA
Detector(s) used
Tejon, Cibola, T2
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
OK, I was pretty sure it was a later one. 1840's through 1870's short barreled rifle. These were pretty commonly made in western PA, Ohio, and the Midwest.
 
Upvote 0

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top