Trade Guns

These are guns I have made for other customers that can be referred to when looking to have your own gun made. These trade guns are typical of English and French imported pieces of the 18th and 19th Century. These would have been found from Eastern Canada to Georgia, from the coast to the Mississippi River valley.


The term 'Carolina gun' can be traced to a Colonial document from Virginia and its use in records of the British rules of proof. In the records of wills and estate inventories for York County, Va. 1732-1740 there is an inventory of a store run by Thomas Hancock. Included among the shooting supplies were included "40 Carolina guns" valued at 22 pounds 10 shillings for the lot. This converts to about 11 shillings 4 pence each. This evaluation shows that the guns were relatively cheap compared to better quality English fowlers of that period. There is also a reference to "Spotted guns" in the inventory. No one is certain what these guns looked like but surviving powder horns with brown spots may be a clue that these guns also had brown spots done in a similar fashion.
The British Proof Act of 1855 still included "Carolina" guns in the small arms category; "Class 3: Single barrel birding and fowling pieces....and those known by the names of Danish, Dutch, Carolina, and Spanish."


Click on image for more views of the same gun


Bumford Style Type G Trade Gun or Carolina Gun


Boy's or Lady's Version



Type 'G' Blue Painted Trade Gun



Early English Trade Gun circa 1740



Lightening Painted Trade Gun circa 1760



Vine Painted Trade Gun circa 1760

(Type 'G')




 Fusil de Chasse



This is an email I received from a customer who bought a trade gun:

Clay, fifteen minutes after writing that email (wanting to know when the gun was shipped) I got a knock on my front door just as I was taking the first bite of my ham sandwich. It was 11:30am. I opened the door and there was the FedEx man with a long box. I took it in and unpacked it. It looked even better than the picture. I realized it was not noon yet so I gathered up my range gear. After figuring out the proper ball and patch combination I headed to the range. At the range I set up a large bull pistol target at 25 yards and an eight inch round gong at 50 yards. The 50 yard gong is my standard for smoothbore accuracy. I loaded the type G and aimed dead center at the gong. One of my range friends set on the bench behind me to spot the impact on the backstop. In thirty years I have never fired a smoothbore that shot center right out of the box. I whacked the gong with the first hammer fall. I was surprised but did not dance a short jig. The second time I hit it I did dance a little jig! The men at the range have seen me there shooting flintlocks for many years. They told me "You do not need to bend that barrel in a forked tree". I will be taking this one to Friendship as my primary smoothbore. Colerain makes a great barrel. I plan to spring this smoothbore on my friends up there at Friendship. I normally post pictures on Facebook but I am going to sneak up on them! -Ricky