Please help me identifiy this handgun. There are no markings on the gun itself, only on the compensator. the barrel mics at 8.75 mm. the compensator screws onto the barrel. the gun has a break action.
pics to follow, website would not allow me to upload pics, please stay tooned
or e-mail me and i can send pics
No photobucket account? Very handy for posting pics on forums you may want to remove or move later.
photo update to topic
Wow. Never seen anything quite like that before.
As far as the action, it looks like it may have began life as a single-shot shotgun, which brings up the first question: is the inside of the barrel smooth, or does it have rifling (spiral grooves cut into the metal)?
Second question: is the reddish ring on the muzzle soft, like leather padding; semi-soft, like rubber; or very hard, like rigid plastic? Or something else? Did you call it a compensator for a reason, or is that just what you thought it looked like?
If it DID start out life as a shotgun, or was made by a shotgun manufacturer, then there may be identification markings on the underside of the barrel. To see the area where these markings might be, you'd have to remove the barrel, which would probably require removal of the wooden fore-end, probably held on by a screw or some sort of spring-latch. Once the wood is removed, open the action carefully, supporting the barrel with one hand, as without the wood to hold it in position, it may be lifted (or fall right off) the action's hinge pin. Roll the barrel over and check for markings or symbols on the bottom, or on the part of the receiver/action that was previously covered by the barrel.
I've never seen a muzzle device like that one, but I am intrigued by its purpose. It is angled, and looks to be padded, which might suggest the device (and therefore the gun's muzzle) was supposed to be placed against something that might be damaged if the padding were absent. Or perhaps it the padding was supposed to "grip" a surface; to prevent the muzzle from slipping-off an object which might be moving, or slick. Based on this, it might be a nail-firing gun, or perhaps a gun used for slaughtering large animals, or perhaps a gun designed to throw objects (using a blank cartridge for power/thrust). All this is guessing, of course, but I am interested in hearing more about the device.
I should also mention, if it originally was constructed as a rifle or shotgun, and was shortened after leaving the factory, in the USA (not sure where you are -- you don't have to say) it may be considered an unregistered SBS or SBR (short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle), or AOW (any other weapon). It may be legal if it is old enough to be considered an antique, or was previously registered by another owner, but in the meantime, I wouldn't go around showing it to strangers (in person, like a gun shop) and asking them what they think it is. The front end definitely looks modified to me, but the rear grip looks very well done (not a normal "garage/basement chop job"), so it may have been manufactured originally in this configuration. Hard to tell just by looking at photos.
It has an early to mid 1800's grip style, but no flintlock or no exposed hammer(s) no cap and ball, and seems to be breach loading to accept some sort of cartridge/shell; some sort of muzzle device lord knows what for. I've never seen anything like it and searching to find something the least bit similiar has been futile? Everything was pretty much muzzle loaded until the end and a little after the civil war? That grip style is really throwing me off. It looks like a shotgun of some type.
I dont know much about guns as I am just starting out, but I must say, i love the look of this.
Have it appraised maybe? Antique's roadshow!
I will confess I've never seen this weapon in person, only pictures, so I cannot attest to or try any actions for identification. It belongs to a family member who lives in another state. I was asked to find out more about this gun. Here is what I know.... He says the only external marking is the symbol I provided in the picture. The gun does not outwardly appear to have been modified in any way. He says it came home from World War II (does not say which theater). It has been in a closet for 50 years. It will chamber a 38 cal round. Compensator screws onto barrel, weighs 2 lbs and is made of brass. The red circular patch is made of leather. Barrel is not rifled. It is a center fire chamber. Forend has been removed and there are no markings under it. It is very interesting gun/tool. There may be no answer to be found. Is it a old style flare gun? I do appreciate any input.
Probably not a flare gun, as there is no need to make them large and heavy; in that bore size (similar to a .38 cartridge), they would shoot very light projectiles.
I went through my Gunmarks book (Trademarks, logos, proof marks, etc.), and could not find anything similar to the diagram shown in the photo of the only marking, above.
During WWII, if its intended use was military-related, it may have been deliberately produced without markings.
I've done many online image searches, based on its action type and basic characteristics, and haven't seen anything like it.