Author Topic: A late John Belknap percussion target rifle  (Read 19251 times)

Offline Dphariss

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Re: A late John Belknap percussion target rifle
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2013, 05:31:03 AM »
Thanks for the tutorial on 'false muzzles'.  I'd heard the term, but thought it was a section of barrel without rifling at the muzlze, to do the same thing.  Somebody was thinking when that was developed.  I can see why you wouldn't want to shoot the gun with all that extra hardware in place!!  Talk about ruining your day, and your gun. 






If shooting picket bullets, as this rifle surely did then at least a piston starter carefully fitted to the barrel was needed to get any semblance of accuracy. The False Muzzle was invented to load picket bullets which are notoriously hard to get started in a manner that will produce any accuracy. The FM also has a piston style starter that fits the muzzle. Its shown in the case. These are relatively fragile and if the end fitted to the bullet nose is dinged it is then useless until repaired.
Accuracy past round ball ranges is why all the extra hardware. These rifle were capable of good accuracy, to 440 yards or so. But given the caliber and design these are surely 200 yard OH rifles.
All the hardware is why the Picket was not used widely in hunting rifles. One reason the RB was used for hunting.

Dan
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Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: A late John Belknap percussion target rifle
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2014, 06:48:50 AM »
I will say the resolution on the photo doesn't help but I can't make that lock signature read belknap if I tried.  Looks like belkuhe or belkune.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

JT Coyoté

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Re: A late John Belknap percussion target rifle
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2014, 09:43:00 AM »
I will say the resolution on the photo doesn't help but I can't make that lock signature read belknap if I tried.  Looks like belkuhe or belkune.

Oh, it's a fine John Belknap target rifle alright... rare as hens teeth and hard to track down.

To my knowledge there are only three of these beauties in existence that survived, there may be more however... The most visible one these days is likely the first, second, or third he made. It can be seen at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont...

Number five or six if my theory is correct, is the rifle that started this thread... The one that Blacksmoke found in the Auction ad is likely number four... and there should be one more built on this theme from the same log of wood.

In his article, Dave Wood suggests that Belknap would acquire exquisite logs of exotic wood and mill them to get 3 excellent blanks and build the rifles as the wood moved him in 3 variations on the theme. It is pretty obvious that no two were made the same. I could be all wet in my assessment... but it is fun to investigate and speculate...

Belknap drowned in a boat accident during a flood on Nov. 27, 1888. While trying to save a log of fine hardwood from going over a dam, he tied onto it, but too late as it pulled him and his boat over the dam as well... He was a blade smith, hydrologist, and mechanical engineer, tool maker. and had been building fireArms in his spare time for most of his adult life, especially in his last years... he was 48 when he died.

Had his life not been cut short, he doubtless would be very well known if these three examples of his work are any indication.

JT
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 10:59:05 PM by JT Coyoté »