Original fur trade Indian Affairs "Blanket Gun"

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Desert Drifter, Mar 16, 2019 at 1:45 PM.

  1. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    Thought I would post a few pictures of an original "Blanket Gun". Probably not so much modern bush craft, but lots of historical bush craft. Blanket Guns were cut down long arms or pistols that were taken under the blankets during night fall. If the mountain man or Indian should be surprised during the night they would have a weapon to defend themselves with.

    Posted for interest and discussion.

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    This weapon is a smoothbore of .62 caliber. Originally the barrel was half octagon half round. There was a "wedding ring" between the two portions of the barrel. This barrel was cut of at the wedding ring.

    Interesting old piece. If character was music this gun would be a brass band.

    'drif
     
  2. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    Interesting gun!! I won't hijack the thread with my blanket gun, but it serves the same purpose. Little has changed about the need, just advancements in technology.

    -John
     
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  3. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    John go ahead and post your picture. I think it would make the thread interesting.

    'drif
     
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  4. Blackhillz

    Blackhillz Supporter Supporter

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    That's pretty cool!
     
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  5. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    I think that this concept may be gaining usefulness again. 20 gauge would be good.
     
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  6. A K Church

    A K Church Guide

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    Austrian musket? Both sides imported thousands during the USCW.
     
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  7. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    I don't think it is the M1854 Lorenz musket. Could be. Might be Swiss. If that being the case it would be too new for the western fur trade which ended about 1840. If so, it would be just about right for the Indian wars.

    'drif
     
  8. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    Cap lock rifles didn't come into full production until the 1840s which would put it past the western fur trade and probably during the drive west following the gold rush. Neat old gun!
     
  9. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    The fur trade era is generally considered to have ended in 1842. Cap lock guns were being produced in the 1820's. There were earlier versions of cap locks (as early as 1805) but the first patented cap lock was introduced in 1823.

    Cap lock guns were definitely in production and in use during the fur trade era. Here are just a few examples documented by well known men from that era. In 1829 William Ashley wrote that he felt cap lock guns were well suited to the severe wind and rains of the prairies. Lucien Fontenelle's Hawken purchased in 1832 was definitely a percussion since he also bought caps at the same time. Cap locks are mentioned by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1834 and Osbourne Russell in 1837. My personal favorite among the mountain men, Warren Angus Ferris, wrote of using cap lock guns in his journals between 1830-1835.

    In addition, many guns were converted from flintlock to cap lock since the newer ignition methods introduction. In 1832 gun maker John Martin advertised that he could convert flintlocks to cap lock on short notice. When Jedediah Smith was killed by Comanches in 1831 he was carrying guns which had been converted from flintlock to cap lock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 3:03 AM
  10. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    The side plate has a military musket look. But I don't know enough about trade guns to say much more.
     
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  11. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    For anyone interested in trade guns, I highly recommend this book. Its packed full of information/documentation of guns from this era. One of my favorite books from my "fur trade library."

    Indian Trade Guns 002.JPG
     
  12. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I like it, thanks for posting it lad. joe
     
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  13. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I suspect whether loaded with round ball, maxi, or a more creative combo of whatever was handy, at .62 caliber and cqb range it would ruin a would be marauders night!
     
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  14. fishiker

    fishiker Scout

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    Great piece, the stories it would tell if it could. Many years ago I was going to make a modern version using a 20 ga single shot till my father reminded me how illegal it would be.
     
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  15. Invictvs138

    Invictvs138 Tracker

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    I see Alan Eckert’s the Frontiersman In there ... great read!
     
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  16. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yessiree bob, that’ll do the job. Very interesting old piece. Thanks for posting.

    JohnP
     
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  17. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    One was my favorite places to visit is the "Museum of the Fur Trade" in Chadron, NE. It has the definitive collection of Trade guns anywhere in the world. IIRC the last flintlock trade gun had a date on the lock of somewhere around 1887 or so. Amazingly the newest date in the collection was around 1905 stamped on the percussion lock. Years back, when researching the northwest trade gun for my own building project, IIRC the northwest trade gun was being produced back in the 1600's. Making it being made during 4 centuries. Yes they were traded with native Americans, but they were not necessarily cheap, affordable yes, not junk by a long ways. A chiefs grade northwest trade gun would be highly prized today. They were also made affordable for the pioneers and others pushing westward.

    I'll have to take some pictures of mine.

    'drif
     
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  18. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    Here are a few pictures of the northwest Trade Gun I made about 30 years ago. Sadly, and very embarrassingly, I have never fired it.:(

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    A reason these fine guns were made is they were very versatile. They could be loading lightly with fine shot for bird and small game hunting. Or loaded with buck shot, or round ball for heaviest of game or danger one likely to encounter in the wilderness. Later as the evolution of the firearms developed, older guns such as these were cut down into canoe guns and blanket guns.

    'drif
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 11:21 AM
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  19. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You did a very nice job on that. Gorgeous. It looks like it would be a hoot to shoot, too.

    JohnP
     
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  20. If1Hitu

    If1Hitu Tracker

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    How old is that cool gun?:dblthumb:
     
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  21. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    If your referencing the blanket gun I would think it is not older than 1850 so that would be 169 years. The Northwest Trade Gun pictured above I made around 1990 so its about 30 years old. I think the last time I touched it (beside taking pictures of it this morning) was about 10 years ago.

    Thanks for your interest and question.

    'drif
     
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  22. If1Hitu

    If1Hitu Tracker

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    I was thanks,it's really a cool 169 years.
     
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  23. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Good eyes! The whole series is there. Great books. Welcome to BCUSA!

    Very nice work! You definitely need to break it in though. :dblthumb:
     
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