View Full Version : British Officer Fusil

04-09-2012, 2:00 PM
What do you think?


Does anyone know Balk? Griffin?

This is a breech loading rifle. It pre-dates a Fergusson. I've been told it dates back to the Seven Year War. This would have been extremely expensive and I expect it was privately purchased by an officer. It does have British inspection marks.

What the Hell is this thing? Any ideas? What is Griffin? Why does it have Griffin on the lock plate and Balk on the barrel? Is it worth anything at all?

04-09-2012, 2:49 PM
I like it a lot!

These were private purchase.

Is it a screw breech?


04-09-2012, 5:16 PM
That is the first time I have heard that term. Screw breech, yes! Do you know more about these?

04-09-2012, 5:48 PM
That's pretty.

Does look like gold on the barrel marking. Brass would have tarnished after this long.

Griffin was a high-end gunmaker in London, but I don't really know much more about him.

04-09-2012, 11:54 PM
Does the breech unscrew, to a point where you can load the charge into a hole in the screw, and then re-screw it back into battery?

These are quite rare, the patina looks good in the pics - are you selling, I like it a lot?
PM me if interested.


Inspect the RIA auction catalogues and other fine gun auctions, these turn up fairly regularly. Here is a link to the mechanism I am thinking you have, although not shown completely in your photographs.


Good luck,


04-11-2012, 6:53 AM
It unscrews in seven turns and allows loading from the bottom of the weapon. The fact that it is rifled I find particularly interesting. I wonder, since Griffin was a lock maker, if Balk was a barrel maker and perhaps the lock was replaced. I don't think a master gunsmith would have used someone else's parts would they? Though, I don't know anything about Balk.

Flintlock Tom
04-11-2012, 7:03 AM
In the 18th and 19th centuries there were many fine lock makers who provided locks for rifle builders both large and small. So it is not uncommon to find a different maker mark on the lock and barrel. Usually the mark on the barrel is the one who put the rifle together.