Author Topic: Interesting North West Trade Musket  (Read 1144 times)

Offline GRI

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Interesting North West Trade Musket
« on: June 19, 2024, 10:50:11 PM »
I recently acquired this Barnett.  Not having the lock marked “Barnett, London,” but simply “Barnett” and the style of lock plate makes me think it is 1840’s.  It is not a conversion.  It has features of the Trade Musket, including a 42” barrel and it is the typical .60 caliber.  Having a hooked breech, it has a half stock.  Unusual, while using the normal stepped barrel, the barrel is Damascus.  The lock plate is engraved as is the hammer, bolster, butt plate and trigger guard.  The wrist is also checkered.  The stock is in good shape, but has been varnished.  It is a fine gun in excellent condition, except for the damaged original nipple and subsequent damage to the tip of the hammer.  The musket is very light and could easily be carried for long distances.












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Offline Seth Isaacson

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2024, 11:44:14 PM »
I'd classify that as an English fowling piece/shotgun rather than a North West Trade Gun.  Its a neat looking gun.  If it measures .60 caliber, it is possible it is a worn 24 bore. It could of course also have been made that bore size. Is there a bore marking by the proofs?
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline GRI

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2024, 12:02:11 AM »
There are no visible proofs or other markings on the barrel.  But, I have not pulled the barrel and it is possible there are markings underneath.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2024, 12:16:54 AM »
There are no visible proofs or other markings on the barrel.  But, I have not pulled the barrel and it is possible there are markings underneath.
Yes, that’s where to find them in this period on a hooked breech gun. I like this one a lot.
Andover, Vermont

Online Hungry Horse

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2024, 07:24:59 PM »
 There are some guns marked “Barnett” that were actually made in Belgium, that also is a possibility.

Hungry Horse

Online Hungry Horse

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2024, 01:05:41 AM »
 I don’t think this is a trade gun at all. I’ve never seen a trade gun with barrel keys, or even a faked Damascus barrel. I think it’s an import grade shotgun.

Hungry Horse

Offline Hudnut

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2024, 04:06:50 AM »
Yes, it is a shotgun, not a NW gun.  The bore size is interesting, essentially NW gun size.  There were guns sold in the fur trade other than NW guns.  HBC guns usually were company marked, but of course there were other companies involved in the fur trade.  Or, the gun was simply made for the trade, commercial resale.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2024, 08:09:42 PM »
I thought all genuine NWTGuns has a serpentine side plate.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2024, 08:37:50 PM »
I think the name Barnett inclines some toward thinking a smoothbore made by Barnett is a NWTG. That’s my best guess.
Andover, Vermont

Online Hungry Horse

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2024, 10:10:25 PM »
 The gun you have (even though I’ve never seen a half stocked one) is most likely made for higher end trading post employees such as clerks, or even factors. They would be a click better quality, be of tradegun caliber, and have no serpent side plate. They could also have features like barrel keys, and patterned welded barrels or a finish that replicated that feature. Barnett marked guns are one of the most heavily copied makers. I think primarily because they made no effort to stop it.

Hungry Horse

Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2024, 02:34:54 AM »
I thought all genuine NWTGuns has a serpentine side plate.
Most did, but not all.
Psalms 144

Offline Hudnut

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2024, 11:01:40 PM »
The guns commonly referred to as NW guns, Indian Trade Guns, almost invariably had serpent sideplates.
But fur trade companies sold other sorts of guns, in addition to the serpent sideplate guns. 
Often these would have the same bore size as NW guns, which made a lot of sense.
I recall seeing a Parker Field double flint 24 bore gun.  A late flintlock.  It could easily have been one of the fancy guns that the HBC sold.  The HBC Imperial series of shotguns, both muzzle and breechloading are well known.
Also keep in mind that there was an enormous export market for British and Belgian gunmakers into North America.  Untold thousands of utility grade guns arrived in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  In parts of Canada, ml guns were still in use well into the 20th century.

Offline GRI

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2024, 05:48:25 PM »
I want to thank all for the inputs.  What amazes me is that I found it at a local gun shop that sells primarily modern guns.  They did not think much of it since it was not plastic.  It is a fine gun and I was glad to get it.

Online Hungry Horse

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Re: Interesting North West Trade Musket
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2024, 06:59:05 PM »
 Estate sales, and local gun shops that don’t specialize in muzzleloaders are the best. I bought two rifles by local gunsmiths years ago for a couple of hundred apiece. Big yard sales are a good spot also, but you usually have to ask if they have any old guns for sale.

Hungry Horse