French Tabatiere 12 GA Shotgun (AL5732)
This interesting French Tabatiere shotgun started life as a 17.8mm smooth bore flintlock musket. It was next rifled and altered to percussion. Circa 1867 it was altered to a 18mm cartridge breech loader using a swinging breech similar to the English Snider. Finally, in the 1870s it was cut down and altered into an inexpensive 12GA shotgun for the African and South American trade. (NOTE: DO NOT SHOOT MODERN 12GA AMMUNITION IN THIS GUN. IT IS A BLACK POWDER ONLY SHOTGUN.) The overall length is approx. 49.5". The 32.5" round barrel has a fine bore. There are vise marks in the breech area and the front sight bead is missing. All markings were scrubbed when it was converted to shotgun. This example has the scarce bronze breech block. All the metal has a smooth brown or bright patina. The stock is very good with no cracks or chips and light to moderate overall wear. Interestingly, the right side of the butt has a medallion for the United States of Mexico so we know where this gun went after being turned into a shotgun. Many of these shotguns were marked with the trade name "ZULU" and are usually found in deplorable condition. This gun is not marked but is in much, much better than average condition. If you're interested in conversion muskets, this one is a MUST.