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Gun Fight: Battle of the Wallhangers

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December 30, 2013

Gun Fight: Battle of the Wallhangers

By Phil Bourjaily

Today's gun fight is a battle of the wallhangers. It isn't about which gun you would rather shoot, but which one you'd like to have as a curio in your home.

The first is Jeff Clark's Compeer Arms double. It was actually one of many "hardware" guns made for various stores by Crescent Arms of Norwich, Connecticut. This gun was made for the Van Camp Hardware and Iron Company of Indianapolis.

Carl Huber's "miguelita" lock pistol is 100 years older than Clark's shotgun. It's a miquelet, a precursor of the true flintlock (I will leave it to one of you blackpowder experts out there to explain the difference) invented in the 16th century and remained popular, especially in the Mediterranean, until the 19th century.

Here they are:

Jeff Clark's Compeer Arms Double

My Compeer Arms 12 gauge has 28-inch barrels made of armory (fluid) steel, with individual sidelocks for each barrel. This particular one has the initials 'A.E.D.' and the date 'December 13 1915' written in pencil on the back of the buttstock. She's not a priceless piece by any means, but she has definitely earned a place on the rack over the mantel.

Carl Huber's Miquelet Pistol

My dad's house was built in 1885, and this pistol has been there as long as I remember [64 years]. I inherited it and it's been a conversation piece ever since. It has a crest from the Hapsburg Empire [I think] on the butt and a it has a miguelita Lock. The bore is approximately 72 caliber. It is steel with brass inlays. The date on the lock is 1810 and it does not shoot.

About the only thing this guns have in common is, they are guns, and they both have a bore diameter of around .72-.73 caliber. Other than that, there are more differences than similarities. Pick the one you'd like to have in your den. If you're feeling piratical, you might want the pistol. If your décor runs more to a bird hunting theme, you might like the shotgun. Vote, comment, and keep the gun pictures (and a short paragraph about your gun) coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.

Comments (20)

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from Douglas wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I like the pistol. Even though Herr Governor Cuomos goons might come and take it from my wall someday soon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dallas A. McWhorter wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'd take the shotgun. That pistol is as ugly as heck and I don't really want gun, even if it is a wall hanger, that doesn't work. And on top of that i'm more of a dove guy than anything else. And I sure do hope we get to see a couple of ARs go up against ech other soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkghost wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I voted for the shotgun. Being raised in the AR mountains shotguns were in most everyone's home. The hunting of squirrels, rabbits, and birds was essential in the early days to put food on the table and most often the small game was put there by a shotgun. One hanging over the fireplace mantle still reminds me of better, in some ways, days and fond times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'll take the double it would look a lot better hanging on the hooks above the mantel

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from Live4Bowhunting wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'd take the double any day. It looks close to the one I have over my fire place that belonged to my Great Great Granddad that he bought somewhere between 1856 and 1857. I was told by my Granddad that it was used every year up to the mid 50's when it was replaced by a Winchester pump I't an rabbit eared double with Damascus barrels and some of the most beautiful walnut I have ever seen on a gun that old.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

The double is pretty and has some nice lines. It'll look good over the mantle. But I voted for the pistol because it's old, ugly, unusual and more of a conversation piece.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

Pistol. There is history novel in there somewhere. The average 1810 peasant couldn’t afford that pistol so it may have belonged to someone of consequence. (assuming fo course it was real).

When I was in Afghanistan the locals sold rifles that were supposedly picked up on a battle field from the crimean war. Naw. Just very clever reproductions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

The pistol looks very interesting. I'd like to have it just to try to figure out how it worked. I wouldn't hang either one on my wall, I have a Winchester Model 1912 that is older than the double.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

Interesting choices on this one, Phil; I'm s long gun man, so I went with the shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

This is one of the few times I would ever go with the handgun instead of the shotgun. I already have several inherited doubles of similar age, so that niche is filled. The pistol, though, is a genuine relic and an interesting piece of history.
I do like that shotgun, although I am a little curious as to why it has been relegated to a wallhanger. Armory fluid steel is a homogeneous material unlike twist or Damascus (no need to get into that long discussion here). As long as the temper is still good and the barrel and action is mechanically sound I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to shoot with light loads of the proper length.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

That pistol would look great in a display case on the table, and I can see the shotgun hanging over the fireplace - looking real good.
The shotgun edges out the pistol for my vote.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

As a bird hunter it's no surprise which way I would lean. To display a pistol up here would require mangling it to make it legally unshootable. The shotgun would require a trigger lock if it was hung over the fireplace. Oh well. It's a cheap price to pay to live in a relatively crime free country.

By the way, most of those trigger locks fall apart if tapped firmly with a hammer. The "security" is somewhat cosmetic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

Just to clarify the pistol functions perfectly and throws good sparks. The only problem is loading a 200 year old gun and holding it in your hand to shoot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

PS The pistol is authentic and was verified by a friend of the family. He is a Conservitor at the NY Museum of Art.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

I think I'd throw 20 or 30 grains of blackpowder in that pistol and have a go. I'd just have to shoot it, that would be something really special. Of course no one has ever accused me of being overly cautious.

By the way I did vote for it, and I can't believe a 200 year old pistol is getting beat by a no name shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

O H, you could shoot a bird with that pistol in a pinch. Trigger locks on a mantelpiece??
The double is real nice. But history is the trump in my hand.
Rocky squirrel, I heard the Afganis downed a Russian helicopter with a .557 muzzle loader. The same musket used by the south in the war of northern aggression. May be truth or fiction.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

got me with fluid steel even though I don't know what that means

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Tim no sour grapes on my part. I know what I have. But I guess this is the norm in America when a store made shotgun beats a hand made engraved and inlaid pistol. Anyway it started some pretty good conversation and what if's over the years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Tim no sour grapes on my part. I know what I have. But I guess this is the norm in America when a store made shotgun beats a hand made engraved and inlaid pistol. Anyway it started some pretty good conversation and what if's over the years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from schizuki wrote 14 weeks 5 days ago

"It's a miquelet, a precursor of the true flintlock (I will leave it to one of you blackpowder experts out there to explain the difference)"

The miquelet has the mainspring on the outside. The flintlock has it on the inside.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

Just to clarify the pistol functions perfectly and throws good sparks. The only problem is loading a 200 year old gun and holding it in your hand to shoot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I like the pistol. Even though Herr Governor Cuomos goons might come and take it from my wall someday soon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

PS The pistol is authentic and was verified by a friend of the family. He is a Conservitor at the NY Museum of Art.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ozarkghost wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I voted for the shotgun. Being raised in the AR mountains shotguns were in most everyone's home. The hunting of squirrels, rabbits, and birds was essential in the early days to put food on the table and most often the small game was put there by a shotgun. One hanging over the fireplace mantle still reminds me of better, in some ways, days and fond times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Live4Bowhunting wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'd take the double any day. It looks close to the one I have over my fire place that belonged to my Great Great Granddad that he bought somewhere between 1856 and 1857. I was told by my Granddad that it was used every year up to the mid 50's when it was replaced by a Winchester pump I't an rabbit eared double with Damascus barrels and some of the most beautiful walnut I have ever seen on a gun that old.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

The double is pretty and has some nice lines. It'll look good over the mantle. But I voted for the pistol because it's old, ugly, unusual and more of a conversation piece.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

Pistol. There is history novel in there somewhere. The average 1810 peasant couldn’t afford that pistol so it may have belonged to someone of consequence. (assuming fo course it was real).

When I was in Afghanistan the locals sold rifles that were supposedly picked up on a battle field from the crimean war. Naw. Just very clever reproductions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dallas A. McWhorter wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'd take the shotgun. That pistol is as ugly as heck and I don't really want gun, even if it is a wall hanger, that doesn't work. And on top of that i'm more of a dove guy than anything else. And I sure do hope we get to see a couple of ARs go up against ech other soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

I'll take the double it would look a lot better hanging on the hooks above the mantel

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

Interesting choices on this one, Phil; I'm s long gun man, so I went with the shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MReeder wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

This is one of the few times I would ever go with the handgun instead of the shotgun. I already have several inherited doubles of similar age, so that niche is filled. The pistol, though, is a genuine relic and an interesting piece of history.
I do like that shotgun, although I am a little curious as to why it has been relegated to a wallhanger. Armory fluid steel is a homogeneous material unlike twist or Damascus (no need to get into that long discussion here). As long as the temper is still good and the barrel and action is mechanically sound I don't see why it wouldn't be safe to shoot with light loads of the proper length.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

That pistol would look great in a display case on the table, and I can see the shotgun hanging over the fireplace - looking real good.
The shotgun edges out the pistol for my vote.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

As a bird hunter it's no surprise which way I would lean. To display a pistol up here would require mangling it to make it legally unshootable. The shotgun would require a trigger lock if it was hung over the fireplace. Oh well. It's a cheap price to pay to live in a relatively crime free country.

By the way, most of those trigger locks fall apart if tapped firmly with a hammer. The "security" is somewhat cosmetic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

I think I'd throw 20 or 30 grains of blackpowder in that pistol and have a go. I'd just have to shoot it, that would be something really special. Of course no one has ever accused me of being overly cautious.

By the way I did vote for it, and I can't believe a 200 year old pistol is getting beat by a no name shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 15 weeks 3 days ago

O H, you could shoot a bird with that pistol in a pinch. Trigger locks on a mantelpiece??
The double is real nice. But history is the trump in my hand.
Rocky squirrel, I heard the Afganis downed a Russian helicopter with a .557 muzzle loader. The same musket used by the south in the war of northern aggression. May be truth or fiction.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

got me with fluid steel even though I don't know what that means

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Tim no sour grapes on my part. I know what I have. But I guess this is the norm in America when a store made shotgun beats a hand made engraved and inlaid pistol. Anyway it started some pretty good conversation and what if's over the years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Tim no sour grapes on my part. I know what I have. But I guess this is the norm in America when a store made shotgun beats a hand made engraved and inlaid pistol. Anyway it started some pretty good conversation and what if's over the years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from schizuki wrote 14 weeks 5 days ago

"It's a miquelet, a precursor of the true flintlock (I will leave it to one of you blackpowder experts out there to explain the difference)"

The miquelet has the mainspring on the outside. The flintlock has it on the inside.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 15 weeks 4 days ago

The pistol looks very interesting. I'd like to have it just to try to figure out how it worked. I wouldn't hang either one on my wall, I have a Winchester Model 1912 that is older than the double.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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