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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First let me say I’m a new member as well as new to Black Powder and Percussion guns. I am an avid outdoorsman and sportsman for the past 50 years with my Dad giving me my first gun when I was 14 along with my first bird dog at 15.

This rifle is owned by a good friend of mine whom it was passed down from his father who purchased the gun from a shop near London in 1951. He showed it to me as I was very interested in the Dog head carvings in the forearm as well as the workmanship in general. Since I build acoustic guitars and have handled many old Martin and Gibsons, the ornate details on such an old firearm is amazing.

I’m attempting to gather as much information on this rifle as I can and thought I could just start Googling and searching the web and it would be easy peasy. Wrong. There are sooo many makers during the early and mid 19[SUP]th[/SUP] Century and obviously I need the help of you experts and professionals.

Here’s what I’ve found or know:

Gun Length - 44 ½”
Barrel – 28 5/8”
Wt - 7.6 lbs
Caliber - 60 cal (15.4 mm / .605” - measured) Appears to also have 8 riflings down the barrel

I am assuming some missing letters and could be wrong however I believe the name on the lock plate reads: John Hanton & Son Patent (in my research I can’t find anything on a gun maker with this name?)

Gold Inlay on top of barrel ???

Barrel proof marks shown are on the bottom of the barrel. Note the one also appears to have a 44 about an inch above it ??

In my research I did find a similar percussion rifle with same “Dog’s Head” forearm, but this was about the only similarity. Described as: ORNATE SWISS PERCUSSION HEAVY BARREL SCHUTZEN RIFLE BY CASIMIR WEBER DATED 1853.
Also the name on the barrel and name from the auction detail is not the same?? Here’s the link to that gun. https://www.gunsinternational.com/g...asimir-weber-dated-1853-.cfm?gun_id=101117166

My friend took it once to a gun show in Spokane a few years ago and the best they could come up with was a German hunting rifle, mid 19[SUP]th[/SUP] Century.??

I’ve got many more detailed photo’s and only posted these due to the limitations of your forum. I can provide anything else required as I still have the gun in possession.

Note. I had 12 photos and included the Barrel proof mark photos but due to the limitations only uploaded 10. I can upload later.
Thanks in advance for all and anything you can help with to identify this beauty.

Rick
 

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The name you seek is that of John Manton. He was a VERY famous gun-maker in London. I note that you have also posted this interesting rifle over on muzzeloadingforum.com. Between there and here I'm sure you find the answers you are looking for.

Your expert opined - '...best they could come up with was a German hunting rifle, mid 19[SUP]th[/SUP] Century.??'

I agree 100%.

The 'Germanic' appearance comes from the style of arm - like a stocky German/Swiss Jaeger rifle of the mid-19th C as much from the distinctly Germanic carved trigger guard, a fairly common feature on German/Austrian/Swiss-made guns. Often made of horn as well as wood, and these days, very fragile.

The overly-ornate style of stock carving and OTT decoration is also typical of Germanic taste - still is, in some quarters.

The large calibre you mentioned is also typical - particularly for driven game like boar hunting - this rifle, short and handy, would be pure murder in the hands of a skilled marksman. The single butt-mounted sling swivel is also very Germanic. The other end of the sling is attached by a simple loop to the barrel.

The inlayed gold on the barrel reads xxxxxxCHAMT in Weimar, so the English Manton percussion lock was imported for use on this lovely Germanic Jaeger-style rifle.

Examination of the proof marks will reveal a lot more.

Whinemeal, take a look at Balasz Németh (capandball on Youtube) to see HIS similar rifle in use... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy1oUTK58SI
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow! Thank you so much for your reply and information on the gun. Once I searched for Manton instead of Hanton it was way too obvious.

I'll attach photos of the proof marks here.

I believe I fully understand what you have stated but would like to clarify since I'm not familiar with these guns or the process of building. What I believe you are saying is the lock, hammer, firing system, etc. was made by John Manton & Son, then purchased by a Germanic builder whom produced the stock, carvings and barrel (depending on what these proof marks tell you) and completed the rifle for use as a large bore hunting rifle. I know this is very basic but I want to make sure I translate in layman's terms correctly to my friend.

Again thanks for your time and knowledge.

Rick
 

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The lines you see are called witness marks and are used to line up the barrel and breech during assembly. The other mark appears to be a stylised Perron, a symbol applied to ALL Belgian-made arms since around 1672 - 1810 when it was dropped as the sole proof stamp. It was re-adopted in 1853 and is still in use today. This is what it usually looks like - in somewhat simplified format, given the sizes -




The Perron is a famous landmark in Liége, centre of Belgian gun-making since the beginning of gun-making, and home to Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre - FN for short.

Your barrel, however, lacks all the other usual stamps....although there IS something that looks like 44. Are there any other marks there? Right now it looks as though your gun was assembled from a collection of components - not unusual, but including an English lock and a Belgian-made barrel and breeching. The name on the barrel may therefore be that of the vendor, not necessarily the maker. Again, this was commonplace.

There are LOTS of stamps missing here. The underneath of that barrel should be heaving with stamps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm glad you reminded me of that as I see you've lived in Ontario and Oregon as well and I assumed that you were now in Oregon since it was listed last.

Ok so here are current photo of the portion of the Barrel that is covered by the stock. Also both ends. If you want anything else please ask.

Rick
 

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Actually we live in UK most of the time, and have pieds-á-terre in Oregon and Ontario.

What I'm REALLY trying hard to see, and not seeing, are ANY other stamps on this barrel.

There are a number of anomalies present.

What I'm REALLY trying hard to see, and not seeing, are ANY other stamps on this barrel.

None, apart from the tiny numbers down near the breech end.

There are a number of anomalies present.

1. There is only ONE proof stamp = the Perron. Proof with one stamp - this one - dates from 1672 to 1810, when it became the principal, but not the sole, proof stamp. This absence dates the barrel to before 1810.

2 Percussion arms in general did not become used until the late 1830's - early 40's.

3. It is, however, undeniably a hooked-breech percussion action barrel - there are no signs of it having been a flintlock. However, the breech shows clear evidence of being made from a different material than the barrel - making it into a percussion arm in place of the flintlock.

It might therefore be a bitsa, made up of an old barrel with new breeching and a 'found' lock. I therefore agree with Mr Greenswlde over on muzzleloadingforum.com

Itsa bitsa :)

And BTW, I'm still waiting for the real experts to appear here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok here are a couple more closeups of the 44 below the proof mark. I did a few with my HD Nikon and the a couple with my IphoneX which surprisingly can pull details pretty good.
Note: As I was shooting with the Iphone I could swear I was seeing a script letter nearby and inline with the 44 but don't really see it now on the PC ?? hope these help.
Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I looked hard for more numbers and letter engravings all around the lock, side and top plates but see nothing. I've take more details of these areas and maybe you will see what I am not.


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The one thing I keep going back on is the rifle sold on GunsInternational.com site which has almost the exact dog carved forearm. Would this possibly be the same maker/builder or was it common to "copy/duplicate" carvings of others?
Just a thought as there are eerie resemblance's to my gun.


Here is a couple pics of the other gun...


ORNATE SWISS PERCUSSION HEAVY BARREL SCHUTZEN RIFLE BY CASIMIR WEBER DATED 1853.
 

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There were "standard" styles common across wide areas. Germany (and Weimar is Germany, Prussia in fact), Switzerland, parts of what is in later years Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, eh?), etc.. Don't think your Zurich built or Weimar gun were copies, just carved by somebodies who worked in the same tradition. Maybe even from the same copy-book.

Your gun is clearly of German origin to my eye, likely built by a smith who bought components (possibly even salvaged components from earlier guns) and assembled them.

I think tac is seeing that "perron" with more confidence than I am, but it could well be. In any case, it was a good gun in its day and worthy of care and pride. Rifling is pretty shallow. And I am pretty sure the "44" marking is NOT the bore diameter as often found on (especially) Belgian arms. You said it was a .60, which is a bit over 15mm. "44"mm is around 1.7"...
 

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I think the question has been asked - is it a Perron? The inverted T shape is straight sided and not shaped. Central Europe seems to be more appealing.
We have answered this very much more fully over on muzzleloadingforum.com. It is my professional opinion that the barrel is much older than the breech, which is clearly made of different grade of material. And if it is not an early rendition of a Perron, what might it be?

I agree with Clyde - itsa bitsa.

But it's very nice for all that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And I am pretty sure the "44" marking is NOT the bore diameter as often found on (especially) Belgian arms. You said it was a .60, which is a bit over 15mm. "44"mm is around 1.7"...
Yes I put my micrometer on it and it's 15.4 mm which converts to .605” so I'm assuming it's a 60 cal. Thanks so much for your input as the pieces are falling togeather now and I can report to my buddy and give him some great information.

Any idea what this gun is worth? I am going to ask him if he'd like to sell her as I think I'm falling in love. :)

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Yes I put my micrometer on it and it's 15.4 mm which converts to .605” so I'm assuming it's a 60 cal. Thanks so much for your input as the pieces are falling togeather now and I can report to my buddy and give him some great information.

Any idea what this gun is worth? I am going to ask him if he'd like to sell her as I think I'm falling in love. :)

Thanks, Rick

Leave your measurement as metric. It MAY have been made in Prussia, sure, but Prussia used its own system of measurements. The Prussian inch, or Zoll, had at least three definitions - 1/12th, 1/11th and 1/10th of an inch. the word 'zoll; is still used for 'inch' in modern German usage.
 
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