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#515555 - 06/08/18 08:39 PM J. Probin muzzle loader
Rockdoc Offline
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2859
Loc: Currently Arizona
Can anyone help me out with the proof marks and such on this J. Probin muzzle loader. I recognize the British proofs and that itís proofed as an 11 gauge gun but thatís about all Iím aware of. I donít have a clue about when it was made, though I expect itís a later model since it doesnít have the platinum plugs in the sides of the chamber.
I realize itís in pretty rough shape with the classic bailing wire wrist repair and other damage, but who knows, maybe with some TLC it could at least become a shooter. Hell, putting these old smoke stacks back to work is half the fun!

Steve







_________________________
Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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#515557 - 06/08/18 08:47 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
bill schodlatz Offline
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Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 2784
Loc: Ruston,LA
Steve
Check it for a loaded barrel. I checked a friend's that he said had sat in his dad's closet for 40 years. I ran a dowel down the barrel and each was loaded, not capped but each tube held a charge. Black does not go bad if it is stored dry! It would be real bad if it went off in your shop/face!

bill

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#515558 - 06/08/18 08:54 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
Stan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 9557
Loc: somwers in Jawja
Originally Posted By: bill schodlatz
Black does not go bad if it is stored dry!


So true. A friend, who is an ardent WBTS artifact collector, once found a cannonball that was unexploded, at about 6 feet deep. He opened it somehow, got the black powder out of it (which was actually greyish in color), loaded some of it in a flintlock, and it fired the first try, well over a century after it was manufactured.

SRH
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..................from my cold, dead hands.

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#515559 - 06/08/18 09:04 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
Rockdoc Offline
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2859
Loc: Currently Arizona
Thanks guys but not to worry, loaded barrels is the first thing I check with a muzzle loader. After all it's not unexpected, if you don't fire them they're a PITA to unload.

Do either of you have any idea about the date the gun was built and any other information that may be hidden in the proof marks?

Steve
_________________________
Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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#515561 - 06/08/18 09:53 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
KY Jon Offline
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Registered: 03/09/02
Posts: 6346
Loc: Red State
the crossed arrows with a crown above and a v below were used from 1813 to 1855. Also still used 1855 to 1868 and still used 1868 to 1875. But you can narrow it down closer than that. Percussion rapidly went out of "fashion" after central fire cartridge became the norm with breach loading guns. Call it early 1860's at the latest.

Quick records I could find:
John Probin, gunmaker, principle place: Birmingham, Warwickshire 1799
Note of Defamation recorded in Lichfield Record Office B/C/5/1799/74

Will of John Probin, Gun Maker of Birmingham , Warwickshire 2 August 1800 Prob 11/1346 He is too early.

The Birmingham Proof House was established in 1813 which your gun has post 1813 proof marks. There has to be another, perhaps a son or another relation because Steve Barnett has a hammer double from "J. Probin" listed for sale and it is a 1860-1870 period gun, a very early breech loader by style and features Like Jones under-lever, wedge/key fore end. But the timeline is in question for a son. Perhaps born 1780's-1800 might still be in business as late as 1860 but still could have started several to many years earlier. I would be looking for information on the later J Probin in the time line area of 1840-1870 at the latest.

Sometimes the research is as much fun as anything else.

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#515562 - 06/08/18 10:10 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
KY Jon Offline
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Registered: 03/09/02
Posts: 6346
Loc: Red State
Seems like there were a fair number of Probins out there. John Probin likely the grandson of Birmingham John Probin was listed in London from 1826 Lisle Street , Leicester Square from 1830 to 1834 at nr 46 , and at nr29 from 1834 to 1838 . Moved to 70 the Strand in 1844 to 1846 he was at Agar Street West Strand. And finally at Martins Lane from 1847 to 1851 , predominatly made in the later years back action locked sporting guns made up from old stock, a lot of Probins , have early type flint guards & triggers , also used old flint barrels re-breached for percussion , and then mainly of scelp damascus instead of fine twist.

Also listed is James Probin of Birmingham in the 1849 directory.

There were several other Probins listed as barrel makers, gunmakers etc. Mostly around Birmingham but the choice ranges thru John (barrelmaker), Joseph (barrelmaker), Moses (barrelmaker & gunmaker),Samuel (barrelmaker) and finally William, also barrel maker. There are a few others but they predate percussion guns like the first John which was clearly flintlock era maker.

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#515620 - 06/10/18 10:07 AM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
HomelessjOe Offline
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Registered: 01/15/06
Posts: 14172
Loc: The Great State of Tennessee
That's a gun that when you see it for sale you just keep walking.

Low quality from the gate and unless you have suicidal thoughts it's not worth risking hand or eye over.
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I gOOgled Alabama scum'bAg skAlly'wag and Argo44 came up....

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#515634 - 06/10/18 02:01 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
Rockdoc Offline
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2859
Loc: Currently Arizona
Hey Joe, thanks for posting! I havenít been around the board much this past year and when I didnít see any of your postings I was afraid my favorite curmudgeon mightíve left us. You just made my day!

Steve

PS remember that old JABC muzzle loader I picked up about a year and half ago? Below is a picture of it taken with its first victim, a wild Nebraska pheasant I shot with it last season! I know, I know, the pheasant was probably just accident prone.

_________________________
Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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#515653 - 06/10/18 08:19 PM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
Rockdoc Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 2859
Loc: Currently Arizona
Just a quick note of thanks for all y'alls safety concerns and help determining the guns history. I realize it's in pretty rough shape. I view it as a good example of wabi-sabi a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Something, I view every day when I look in the mirror.

Steve
_________________________
Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

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#515665 - 06/11/18 06:09 AM Re: J. Probin muzzle loader [Re: Rockdoc]
HomelessjOe Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/15/06
Posts: 14172
Loc: The Great State of Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Rockdoc
Hey Joe, thanks for posting! I havenít been around the board much this past year and when I didnít see any of your postings I was afraid my favorite curmudgeon mightíve left us. You just made my day!

Steve


I was wondering the same thing about my favorite jUnk gun man.
_________________________
I gOOgled Alabama scum'bAg skAlly'wag and Argo44 came up....

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