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#225435 04/12/11 07:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
I have a side-by-side. It is not a rifle because it is smooth bore. It is not a shogun because it has rifle sights. The right barrel has a single set trigger. The stock has a cheek piece. It is a muzzleloader. It was made in Belgium. Itis heavier than a muzzleloading shotgun. It is marked or the rib: A Plate, San Francisoc, Cal. The locks are front action and marked: A Plate.

Smooth bore rifle is a contradiction in terms.

Whatis its proper name?

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 622
Sidelock
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Sidelock
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 622
Ball and Shot gun is what I've seen. Plate's guns (he was a dealer) are usually marked A J Plate; I've seen a number of products from deringers to rifles made by the Slotterbek family with his retailer's markings.

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,598
Sidelock
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Paul,

It sounds like a cape gun, but not sure that is the correct term. Here are the Belgian proof and trade marks.

http://damascus-barrels.com/bp.html

I would be great if you could post a picture or two.

AJ Plate was a California firearms merchant and retailer. He was active during the "Gold Rush", circa 1850's. He is best known for a loosing a lawsuit to Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. I have seen Plate marked deringer's bring $1000-$2000 at auction.

There is an AJ Plate shotgun on display at the NRA Museum.

Depending on condition, you may have a very unique and valuable gun.

Pete

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
I had always understood that a cape gun was a breech loader, but I could be mistaken. Both barrels are the same dimensions. The dual guns usually had diffenent weight barrels for round ball and shot. The rifle sights care on the center rib.

It is in well used condition, but I am realitively certain that it predates the Civil War.

Sorry, but I am not a picture poster.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 618
PM Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 618
"Smooth bore Rifle" is a contradiction in terms. But it is not nomenclature its configuration. Smooth bore guns designed primarily for ball and big game (ball guns) are configured more like a rifle. Because they do have smooth bores shot could be fired but it wasn't their primary purpose. It is possible to fire ball from a shotgun but it was not their manufacturers prime intention, by configuration of the gun. Other guns perhaps with special purposes in mind may lie in between the two. Trying to determine what the designer's intent or use for an unusual gun was can be very intriguing.

Last edited by PM; 04/16/11 04:11 AM.
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 282
My idea since it was in California in the early days, the gun's purpose was to shoot maurding bears at close range. It is .70 caliber. The rear sight would interfere with its use as a shotgun.

Last edited by paul buchanan; 04/17/11 06:49 PM. Reason: misspeeling

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