Author Topic: 1803 Harpers Ferry  (Read 771 times)

Offline David Rase

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1803 Harpers Ferry
« on: June 14, 2018, 11:37:53 PM »
Here are some photos of my recently completed 1803 Harpers Ferry rifle.  The barrel is a Getz .54 caliber.  The stock is a walnut halfstock blank.  The buttplate, trigger, triggerguard, under rib and entry pipe came from Track of the Wolf.  I manufactured the trigger plate,  pipes, patchbox, patchbox release mechanism  and associated springs and turned the ramrod.  The barrel has a "French gray" finish.  The stock was oiled using a tinted oil.  The lock, lock bolts, tang and tang bolts are case color hardened.
     






















Offline Bob Roller

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 11:41:50 PM »
Superb workmanship and a great single shot hunting rifle.WELL DONE!

Bob Roller

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 11:44:58 PM »
What lock?
www.fowlingguns.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline David Rase

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 12:20:26 AM »
What lock?
It was a Davis lock that I picked up at CLA in 2016.  I had to rework almost the entire internals.  Re-arch and temper the mainspring, refile the tumbler full, half and at rest positions to get it to be a one position sear.  I found out during the reworking of the Davis lock that a Siler tumbler, mainspring, sear and sear spring as well as the bridle pretty much line right up.  All you have to do is re-tap all the 6-40 Davis lock bolt holes to 8-32 to fit the Siler bolts and enlarge the hole for the upper limb of the mainspring.
David

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2018, 12:38:07 AM »
I built one of those long ago in a world far, far away.....PITA and handled like a fence post. Yours looks real nice though, I like the case colors. I have one of those locks laying around but it sounds like too much work making it function properly...need another lock? ;)
www.fowlingguns.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline bama

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2018, 12:39:08 AM »
Great looking job David. I always thought the 1803 would make a great hunting rifle. I can see why the "short rifle" would have been popular with Lewis and Clark.
Jim Parker

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Offline David Rase

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2018, 12:44:53 AM »
I built one of those long ago in a world far, far away.....PITA and handled like a fence post. Yours looks real nice though, I like the case colors. I have one of those locks laying around but it sounds like too much work making it function properly...need another lock? ;)
A couple of things I did to keep the weight down and help with handling was rounding the bottom flats like early production guns.  I also hollowed out the barrel rib with a ball end mill.  The rib as you buy it is tall, bulky and heavy.  Hollowing it out made all the difference in the world for handling. 
David

Offline James Rogers

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 12:49:40 AM »
Super nice and clean as always Dave.! Your weight reductions will certainly make this a wonderful piece.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 01:01:32 AM by James Rogers »

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 01:01:20 AM »
From here it looks very sharp,crisp and clean. I like the idea of a hollowed out inside rib, done it my self on a couple of almost front heavy guns and it helped a lot. Nice workmanship.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 02:10:17 AM »
I'm simply reiterating David, but your build is really crisp and clean.  Your photography shows off the workmanship to good advantage.  I think the rifle will be a really nice offhand hunting rifle.
I'd love to know how you achieved the barrel finish, and also, how resistant to oxidation is it?

Taylor
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Offline B.Barker

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 05:00:09 AM »
Best looking Harpers ferry rifle I ever seen. You did a wonderful job on it Dave. How does it shoot? I always wondered if those locks were slow or fast.

Offline Daryl

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 05:22:45 AM »
Ditto ALL!
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline David Rase

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2018, 06:17:30 AM »
I'm simply reiterating David, but your build is really crisp and clean.  Your photography shows off the workmanship to good advantage.  I think the rifle will be a really nice offhand hunting rifle.
I'd love to know how you achieved the barrel finish, and also, how resistant to oxidation is it?

Taylor
Taylor,
My "French Gray" is a  fairly simple process.  I start by rust bluing the barrel.  I use Wahkon Bay browning solution.  Using my browning box I normally run 6 coats of brown for 12 hours at a time carding between each coat with a slow turning fine wire wheel.  I used to boil the barrel before each carding but this time I only boiled the barrel after the last cycle.  Once the barrel is a nice blue/black I take Naval jelly and steel wool or a green scotch brite pad and rub the blue/black back to gray.  I uded this finish on a Tulle I made quite a few years back and the finish has held up well.  I think even though the blue/black color is gone you still have the effects of the rust coating protecting the steel.
David   

Offline David Rase

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2018, 06:21:55 AM »
Best looking Harpers ferry rifle I ever seen. You did a wonderful job on it Dave. How does it shoot? I always wondered if those locks were slow or fast.
Thanks Brian,
I took the gun out and shot it in the white 2 weeks ago.  With 70g of ffg the first 2 shots were in the same hole at 25 yards, about 1 inch to the right of the 10X ring.  The third shot was  in the x ring.  I then shot it off hand at 50 yards with the same load.  I managed to obliterate one of those Styrofoam boxes that modern ammo comes in.  To say the least I was very happy with the accuracy.  Will take it out next week and really put it to the test.
David

Offline stubshaft

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 06:41:46 AM »
Excellent workmanship.
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Offline Curtis

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 06:47:46 AM »
Beautiful work David!  The color case came out marvelously as well!

Curtis
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Offline TP

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2018, 09:16:02 PM »
Beautifully done.

Offline smallpatch

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 09:59:03 PM »
David,
Nicely done.  I have thought of building one of these.
Now that I've seen this one, I like it even more.
In His grip,

Dane

Offline jerrywh

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 10:30:06 PM »
 Great job Dave.  That French gray is gorgeous. Although I know the architecture is pretty much HC, I can't stand to shoot a gun with that straight of a stock.  I would have to bend some more drop in that gun. I can't get my eyes down on the sights.
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Offline Ed Wenger

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2018, 03:59:24 AM »
I agree with Brian, they don’t come any better than this.  Great work, Dave!  Although simple looking, that rifle is very difficult to get “right”, and you really nailed it.



         Ed

Offline Mike_StL

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2018, 04:01:31 AM »
I got my parts from Track back when the parts were supplied by The Rifle Shoppe.  The pre-cut stock meant that my touch hole was aft of the face of the breech plug.  Based on advice from knowledgeable builders, I notched the face of the breech plug.  Sacrilege to some but it was the only way to get the lock installed and not have monstrous gaps around the lock.



I browned the barrel and blued the lock and screws according to the directions sent with the order to Harper's Ferry.

Since a lot of the interest in the firearm is in how it performs, well, the lock time is nearly instantaneous and the performance with the radius grooved Colerain barrel is very good.  I do have to spend some time to settle myself down and refine the accuracy.  Not bad for the first 5 shots.



I do like the look of your rifle with the case hardening of the lock and tang.

Offline CARROLLCO

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2018, 04:54:45 AM »
Very clean looking 1803. I tend to like plain Jane type rifles because they will be used for their intended purpose - hunting. Simple but very functional. I like SMR type rifles too. You hit this one out of the Park!

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2018, 02:12:38 PM »
 Looks Great David, for some reason I would have never thought about building one, I do like the feel of them. Post some Pix of a target or Two when you get to it. How long is that barrel?

  Thanks, Tim

Offline SingleMalt

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2018, 08:40:05 PM »
That's good work.
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Offline alacran

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Re: 1803 Harpers Ferry
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2018, 01:17:21 PM »
Thank you David for posting this elegant rifle. I have been struggling on what kind of barrel finish to put on an American Jaeger I completed last year. I will try to imitate the finish you achieved, with your instructions.