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F. Greysmoke ,#12093

Civil War rifle converted to 12 gauge shotshells.

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Hey Pards,

A relative has a civil war rifle, 1863 springfield I think that was converted to 12 gauge shotgun shells.

My question is what is the earliest year this gun could have been converted??

Thanks.

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Like to see how that conversion was done. I have read about "trapdoor" Springfield's converted to shotguns for foraging.

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I heard some were made as shotguns,,,,,,,,,, for foraging....

If this is the case the gun is worth $$$$$$$$

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Sounds like it's a "Zulu Gun" and not a Springfield.

 

Does the hammer stand up straight and have a really tall spur?

On the breech block, does it flip open to the right side and then get pulled back to extract the spent round (similar to a Snider conversion)?

 

If it does, it's more likely a converted French Tabatierre originally in .69 caliber.

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Hey Pards,

A relative has a civil war rifle, 1863 springfield I think that was converted to 12 gauge shotgun shells.

My question is what is the earliest year this gun could have been converted??

Thanks.

I have both a 1863 springfield and a called zulu or such kind of different if you would like some more info get back with Me. Moonshine Dan

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The local toy store had a Zulu a while back. Scared me! I wouldn't even consider firing it with any type of ammunition.

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The gun I saw would only shoot smokeless once.

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Been lookin' and here's the shotgun.

 

http://live.vcaauction.com/Antique-1857-Hu...-Rifle_i8609499

 

Now was this converted after the civil war (and about what year would that be?)

or were metallic 12 gauge shotgun shells availiable during the civil war???

 

Thanks for lookin'

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Howdy Greysmoke! Thanx for posting the picture - that made identifying the mystery arm much easier.

 

It is a French Tabatierre with the Snider conversion, not a Springfield.

 

The tip-off is the lockplate. Notice that large screw just ahead of the hammer, the way the plate tapers down the wrist, and that fastener head with the two holes. A Springfield plate is smooth, abruptly rounds off, and the mounting screws enter from the opposite side of the stock.

 

Sorry to say, your gun has no Civil War pedigree as it post-dates that conflict.

 

The French undertook these conversions starting around 1866, as a hurried response to growing tensions with their Germanic neighbors and the fact that the Germans had been armed with the superior needle guns (breech loading & bolt action) starting in 1841. The conversion round ended up being a 74 caliber pumpkin, and it was one of those happy accidents that the base is the same size as a 12 gauge shell. It was a blackpowder weapon, so under no circumstances should a modern 12 gauge shell be fired in it.

 

It should make a nice curiosity and wall hanger.

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The conversion round was a 74 caliber, which is why a 12 gauge at 72 caliber will sort of fit. It was the largest caliber military rifle ever issued.

 

The French round is about 2/3 the length of a shotshell hull, so it's a tight fit if it will go at all. Depends on how well or poorly the chamber was cut, if it's been recut, or just shot out.

 

The round itself was kind of interesting. It was made of brass wire, coiled like a spring, and covered with a heavy paper. This was then crimped onto a separate base like a shotshell hull.

 

It wasn't all that good a round, which could partially explain why the French got their derrierres handed to them in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.

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It indeed began as a muzzleloader, in 69 caliber. More than likely it's a conversion of the Pattern 1852 - 57. I'm guessing that there was enough windage in the bore to facilitate the conversion to the 74 caliber without having to drill out the barrel, or if any was necessary it was minimal.

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