I have been reading the book by the ornithologist John K. Townsend, titled "Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky Mountains". It was published in 1839, but the trip took place in 1834-35. He seems to have been sponsored, at least in part, by J. Audubon, and sent his bird collection from the trip to him. He traveled with a large group of men that had various purposes in going.

One thing that he mentioned a number of times, but never really described, was his gun. It was apparently a double barrel percussion musket with barrels the diameter of a 20 gauge shotgun. He mentioned shooting a buffalo with it using bullets that he described as "20 per pound," so I gather that it must have been a .615 diameter, assuming that his bullets were round balls; he never really said.

Anyone got any idea what sort of gun he was using? I was not aware of double barrels being very widely available in the states in 1834. The gun was versatile enough to be used for taking many birds, and also game up to buffalo size. I assume he used shot in it on the birds, but he never said. It must not have had any choke in the barrels.

The gun must have been well thought of by his companions; one guy borrowed it in order to try to kill a large grizzly, reasoning that 2 shots gave him a better chance of survival than his single barreled gun.

His details of the trip and the wildlife he encountered were interesting, but I wish he had provided more information on his gun. It's one of those things that hardly matter now, but I wondered what sort of gun he used and thought this might be a good place to ask. Thanks!