1886 Dated BARNETT HUDSON BAY Co. Large Bore Percussion NORTHWEST TRADE GUN NATIVE AMERICAN “Hudson Bay Fuke”!
Guns International #: 101515761 Seller's Inventory #: 20355
Category: Antique Rifles - 1500-1850 - Antique Rifles - Percussion
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1886 Dated BARNETT HUDSON BAY Co. Large Bore Percussion NORTHWEST TRADE GUN
NATIVE AMERICAN “Hudson Bay Fuke”!
Here we present an antique Barnett Hudson Bay Company Large Bore Percussion Northwest Trade gun, made circa the 1840s in England. This Barnett musket is typical of the guns made available for trade by fur trading companies in northern North America during the early and mid-nineteenth century, most notably by the Northwest Fur Company and, after 1821, by the Hudson’s Bay Company. However, the American Fur Company, the Mackinaw Company, and the U.S. Indian Trade Office also traded Barnett muskets to Native Americans.
Trade guns like the Barnett musket were typically referred to as “Northwest guns,” “Mackinaw guns,” or “Hudson’s Bay fukes.” Less expensive than guns destined for Europeans or American buyers, these Indian trade guns were of light weight with relatively short barrels, were usually designed to fire a shot weighing an ounce or less, and had a trigger guard large enough to allow the gun to be used with gloves or mittens during the coldest months of the year. Typically, Barnett muskets were sold with a side-plate embossed with a dragon ornament, such as this one, that decorated the side of the gun opposite of the locking mechanism, offering Indians an easily recognizable mark of authenticity. Even before the first land-based fur traders arrived in the Pacific Northwest, Native Americans along the coast had already been acquiring firearms from maritime traders for more than a generation. Because guns helped in the procurement of furs, it was advantageous for European and American fur traders to make them available for trade. Additionally, since firearms required a continual trading relationship in order to keep the gun-buyer supplied with gun powder, shot, flint, and replacement parts, fur traders found the trade-based dependency to their advantage. Native Americans, not blind to their dependency upon Euro-American traders for gun supplies, found value in their firearms as tools for territorial expansion, self-defense, and hunting.
The overall condition is very good+. The action is strong. The bore is good. The side plate has been cast into a swirling dragon. The lock reads “BARNETT/LONDON/1886” and bears the tombstone fox marking. This example is very light, weighing in at 6lbs 14oz. These muskets were all used hard and in less than optimal conditions. They are consequently rare and this one has been amazingly preserved!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 42 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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