Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mystery Gun

The Mystery Gun

I was over visiting Mrs. Kinch's great uncle the other day when this caught my eye. It's a firearm of somesort, percussion cap, no makers mark that I can find, though it's missing some of it's brass fittings. However, it's been hanging on the wall for so long that it's become part of the furniture and it was only when I actually took it down that something odd struck me.

While it looks like a musketoon or something similar, the flared end would suggest that it is a blunderbuss type weapon. However, on closer inspection the flaring doesn't extend any further down the barrel, which differs from other blunderbusses I have seen. It offers the appearance of a carbine with a flared barrel for no easily discernible reason.

Why make a flared barrel if the firer can't fit shot, rusty nails and the like down it?


  1. It´s a blunderbus for sure...more than likely from the royalmail in the 1800´s.

    The classic blunderbus with a big muzzle was used on ships, the one you´ve got is more like a cavalry one...easier to load on horseback.

  2. Style over substance?
    Or maybe just for intimidation!

  3. Paul - the jury is still out, though I will go back and have another look. The consensus at present is that its a civilian weapon, but I'm not sure if the barrel is brass, which would point to a naval connection.

    Donogh - Style over substance? Moi?

    For shame McCarthy.

  4. I'm thinking that if the end of the barrel shows a straight bore, then that lump of metal on the other end has to have another purpose... and then I'm thinking it probably weighs a fair amount so it's not going to do anything to the balance which also implies another function.... and then I thought mace or club, and that makes me think close quarter weapon and your idea of Royal Navy may be spot on - fire it and then start hitting people with it... :o)

  5. My friend has a similar piece. The flared end of the blunderbuss acts like a funnel, making it easier to pour powder into the muzzle whilst the weapon bearer is in motion - on the top of a stagecoach or in a boat in choppy seas. It has very little effect on the spread of shot.