Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone has any info of this piece. I know that the percussion cap muzzle loading double barrel is a lot older than 1889. Any ideas? Only markings I have found are a # 172 stamped on the left side of the barrel by the nipple. Also wondering if the Rosebud Indian agency would have engraved the stock, and made the badge, or private contractor? I know the Indian agencies also used rifles, did they stamp and use pistols as well? Any idea of how many of these firearms were made? I have only seem a few over the last 50 years. Any info would be most appreciated, thanks in advance for your help.
Right side of the stock is marked "Rosebud Indian Agency" - with a silver badge stamped "Indian Police US (with a start in between the U and the S) 1889". Left side of stock is marked "US Indian Police (inside of a block)" - "Rosebud Indian Agency" - "Arms AMMO" - "US (inside of a diamond)" - tack decorated cross. The stock near the iron butt plate is tack decorated full circle. Stock near trigger assembly has vintage crack. Gun was wrapped with rawhide and secured by small tacks many years ago.
 

Attachments

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
100,673 Posts
I'd like to get my hands on that. The various stamps look righteous to me, but my experience is limited, so am not sure. The Indian Police tended to be at the end of line for supplies, so an old percussion gun as late as 1889 would not be astonishing. AND - that might be a badge/rack number rather than a date (just thinking out loud - as said, NOT an expert on Indian Police guns/artifacts).
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member/Moderator
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
In the 1970's there was a series of ads in Shotgun News for brass stock badges and shotguns (I don't remember type) with Wells Fargo and Indian Agency markings. I was always suspicious from then on. Further research might be warranted.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
1,221 Posts
Nice piece. Percussion arms were used very late. Expense of replacements, lack of need to upgrade, cheap government all lead to using what worked. Flintlocks were still being traded into the 1880s with percussion into the 1920s in Canada. Gun is very period. The only thing that bothers me is the number of stampings. Most arms have one or two stamps. Plus these are very sharp. I hope someone with more experience than me chimes in here with better information. Would love for this to be spot on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
When I was on the Navajo reservation a couple years ago, there was a similar shotgun in a museum in Kayenta AZ. It was under glass so I didn't get a good look, but it was similar to this gun, including the brass badge. There was a treasure trove of Indian guns at the Hubbell trading Post At Ganado. Several Northwest guns and a couple of Lemans.
 

·
Sponsor
Joined
·
953 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of the great info and thought about this piece. As Tennessee Longhunters states: The sharpness of the stamps on the stock seemed a little suspect but what I noticed is that when the gun is laid on its side, the tacks take all of the wear. The tack heads stick out about 1/4". I purchased this piece many years ago from an old man for $50.00. He sold it to me as a wall hanger because the stock was cracked and the left side hammer mechanism stopped working and the gun had been in his closet just collecting dust. He never even mentioned the Indian Police agency markings. I don't think the historical value mean any thing to him. I offer him more but he said he was doubling his money, he had bought it for $25.00 and that it had come out of an old mans estate sale in Arizona in the 1960's. I saw a gun very similar to this one sell for a pretty big price with the ARMS-AMMO stamp. Not sure what the AMMO stand for. I figured that it was Ammunition. ( I just checked Wikipedia and they state that the "The term ammunition can be traced back to the mid-17th century". So it probably does stand for ammunition. Anyone know if the tack decoration was applied by the same person who did the stamping or was it probably put on by the user? thanks Again
 

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
100,673 Posts
Decorative tacks are often found on Indian guns (and fakes...), and are NOT agency applied. Guy who carried it put them on. Or, of course, a seller trying to kite value by providing an Indian/Old West attribution. I am NOT going to say it is or isn't the "real thing", not just from pictures - which don't look bad to my somewhat inexpert eyes. Some things I'd like to see in hand - and still might not (probably would not) know for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really never thought about it being a fake. I just figured that if someone would go through the trouble of faking this then they would have charged a lot more for it. Are there a lot of fake Indian agencies firearms out there and how do you tell? Beside the obvious. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The story sounds plausible, but to me it looks like massive overkill to make it "an Indian gun" which may have worked when sold in 1960 in Arizona when TV westerns were at their peak and everyone wanted old west guns.
To my eyes it does not seem to show any of the wear or accumulations of dirt that would be expected. The use of muzzle loading shotguns was well past its prime by 1889, although certainly some remained in use among the poor or rural folks, but less likely among law enforcement folks.
I would consider this to be a deliberate attempt at creating an interesting history for an otherwise nearly worthless old gun, the same as most of the purported "Wells Fargo stagecoach guns."
Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values" has lots of valuable guidance for collectors in the front chapters, and somewhere he talks about tack decorated "Indian guns" with some tips to sort out some of the worst fakes. It would be well worth your time to review that.

I cannot prove it is not real, but I am extremely skeptical. Still, folks love these sorts of things and some sellers sell a lot of them to fill the demand, perhaps proving that P.T. Barnum was right when he said "There is a sucker born every minute."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
I used to own your rifle's twin, from the same Indian Agency. It had the same markings but a different pattern of decorative tacks in a different configuration. That makes sense as the decorations would be personal.

The condition and markings were sharp like those on your rifle as was the shield on the right side of the butt. Mine didn't have reinforcing tape around the stock wrist.

The "Arms & Ammo" stamp bothered me as well. I was told that when the rifles were sold out of service this stamp was applied by the broker. It was the story I was given and I can't confirm. I am willing to bet the Rosebud Nation will have documentation on that rifle.

The fellow I sold mine to took it back to the US. I have no idea where he went. This was close to 30 years ago and taking such things across the border wasn't a big deal.

Nice shotgun and a true piece of US/Native history. Nice find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is my gun. I put it up for sale a couple of wks ago. Got thinking about it's history was wondering about a few things and posted it on US Militaria forum but since it is not a military piece they sent me to your forum. Lots of good information here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
moosedog SEZ" "I see this exact gun is or was up for sale on the Florida Gun Trader for $2750. Same blanket even. What gives?"

Jack, (4 posts, here since June, 2017) --

-- OK, I'll bite. It could be authentic, as "Indians", (U.S. "natives," original people, or Mongolians from across the Alaska Peninsula land-bridge, or whatever one wishes) seldom were able to trade up because the U.S. Army stopped, essentially, GIVING ('selling') them guns to make of for the U.S. Gubbmint financial shortfalls.

However, if you sell it for $2,750 or anything over $100, please tell me the name and contact info of the buyer as I have some scenic property on the coast of Florida at low tide I'd like to sell. Otherwise, I'd keep it to myself if I were you.


Carry On!
Gary
><>
 

·
Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
Having been in charge of a LE agency armory for several decades, I can assure you that any agency long gun takes a heck of a beating, even with modern scout cars having heat, AC and modern shotgun racks. A turn of the century issued shot gun carried on horse back and other make do positions for the better part of a century would have really taken it's toll on that wood. Your stock decorations are too new, too neat, too clean and too over done in my opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top