Author Topic: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.  (Read 2303 times)

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« on: September 15, 2012, 11:15:15 PM »
After looking at all the photos I have of original rifles, especially the earlier Lancaster rifles,  It appears those using wedges vs pins didn't necessarily use an escutcheon.  Could those who have been able to examine such firearms confirm whether the wedge w/o escutcheon was a commonly used construction? 

Offline PPatch

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 11:18:47 PM »
I have been mulling the same question and will be very interested in the answer(s).
Dave Parks   /   Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 11:33:57 PM »
I have seen several originals that use draw loops/cross keys without escutcheons. Some were PA rifles and others were Southern.

I own a flint VA McGilvary that has 4 draw loops/cross keys without escutcheons.

Dennis
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 11:34:58 PM by Dennis Glazener »
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Offline JDK

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 11:49:02 PM »
What Dennis said.  I would add that the keys I have seen are generally smaller than those than you see on the various Hawken incarnations and are often headless.

Enjoy, J.D.
J.D. Kerstetter

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 12:32:38 AM »
The remark about headless keys is very interesting.  Just about every photo I have is of the right side of the forend.  Since the convention is that keys are entered from the left I have no way of knowing whether the guns I am looking at may have headless keys. 

Offline JDK

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 01:04:15 AM »
True, and that's why sites like this are so valuable....if you have a question about a particular builder's style or a particular rifle, then likely there is someone here who has handled or seen one and can verify it for you.  Now, whether they are captured or not?  One would have had to have had the opportunity to disassemble one.

Enjoy, J.D.
J.D. Kerstetter

Offline John A. Stein

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 05:16:55 AM »
At Myerstown Friday I saw at least two originals with keys without escutcheons, and the keys on one had been inserted from the right. I didn't make any notes about the rifles or who made them or when. John

Offline Dave B

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 05:47:05 AM »
Of the originals I have seen to date about 75% don't have escutcheons
Dave Blaisdell

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 05:56:09 AM »
I hjave seen pics of alot of originals and handled several, and alot of them had keys in from the right side. It might be interesting to do a survey on this, percentage wise, what side keys were inserted from.   Smylee

Offline Karl Kunkel

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 06:07:47 AM »
I too recall several rifles at Myerstown that had keys with out escutcheons, how ever I didn't take note as to the presence f heads on the keys.

Are you close to Landis Valley?  You can view both sides of the rifles in the display cases. Many of the rifles on display have escutcheon less keys. However the photos in the book only show the right side of the forearm.  Some of the rifles appear to have keys with heads inserted from the right side.

Kunk

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 08:21:15 AM »
Karl, I was at Landis Valley in July but quite honestly I was overwhelmed trying to absorb as much detail as possible in the time I was able to spend.  Bought the book and it helps some, but the picture takers are choosing photographs for their purposes and as a hobbiest trying to build a reasonably correct rifle I would love to have had more small detail photos.  RCA books are pretty much the same way for most of the rifles.  It is a long roundtrip from AZ to Landis Valley so I will not get another chance to see that display again.   My original question regarding the use of keys without escutcheons was because many of the rifles in the photos from Landis Valley Collection appear to have just small keys showing on the right side of the forends without an escutcheon.  My current rifle I built with pins, but looked to try keys this time.  I don't really care for escutcheons along the forend as they just seem disruptive to the lines of the rifle (just my taste).  I struggle with large metal patchboxes too as apparently I like wood and carving more than metal.  Again just my taste. 
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 08:23:47 AM by Jerry V Lape »

Offline smart dog

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 06:21:46 PM »
Hi Jerry,
The English tradition is that keys go in from the left side.  However, that does not mean American makers followed that tradition or that barrel keys were replaced correctly by users over time.  In my opinion, headed keys are superior to pins and some American guns used them with and without escutcheons.  I alos like the look of headed keys without escutcheons.

dave
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Offline bama

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 03:55:28 AM »
I did a restoration on a Bedford rifle that had wedges without escutheons. The wedges were installed on the forestock moulding line. The wedges had fairly long eliptical heads which were slanted to match the profile of the forearm and the heads were inlet into the moulding so that the wedge would lie flat against the stock. Very well done and little damage was done to the stock around the head for the wedges, so the escutcheon plates were in my opinion for decoraton or to cover a mistake by the smith. Oh and the wedges on this rifle entered for the left.
Jim Parker

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Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Review of barrel wedges and escutcheons.
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 06:01:15 AM »
Bama,
The wedges you describe appeal to me.  I had already contemplated inletting the head a little to help blend it into the outline.