Author Topic: Pistol Architecture  (Read 1411 times)

Offline David R.

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Pistol Architecture
« on: December 06, 2018, 04:34:26 AM »
I need to learn some pistol architecture. Any recommendations for books or reference materials?
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Offline Elnathan

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 04:39:37 AM »
What kind of pistol?

Whisker and Chandler's The Kentucky Pistol has great pictures, but few if any dimensions.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying...cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline David R.

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 04:56:44 AM »
Flintlock of course, but what kind? Well that's just it, I am functionally illiterate when it comes to pistols. I have never built one but would like to and know very little about them. I guess I am just trying to figure out where to begin. Dimensions and multiple views from different angles would be good to study.
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Offline wormey

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 05:14:04 AM »
Buy a copy of Mike Miller`s DVD on building a Kentucky pistol.  You`ll learn a lot.  Wormey

Offline Ky-Flinter

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 06:10:20 AM »
David,

In addition to Whisker and Chandler's The Kentucky Pistol, I have other 2 books that have been useful to me in studying Kentucky pistols.

Thoughts on the American Flintlock Pistol by S.E.Dyke, 61 pages with multiple pistols on many of those pages.  Mostly side views, but some include top and bottom views.  Barrel length is given for most of the pistols.  I have enlarged a few of the pistol pictures on a copier until the barrel was actual length, then I was able to get other measurements.  Hard to do that with a rifle. ;)

Kentucky Rifles and Pistols 1750-1850 by James R. Johnston, 58 pages of pistols with multiple views of one pistol per page, mostly right and left side views, but a few also have top and bottom views.  Overall length and/or barrel length is given for most of the pistols.

You can probably borrow these through the Interlibrary loan program and then decide if you want to buy the book.

-Ron
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
-Nate McKenzie

Offline Greg Pennell

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 06:18:11 AM »
David, I have Mike Miller’s dvd set you can borrow. PM me your address and I’ll drop it in the mail.

Greg
“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline Daryl

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 10:07:02 AM »
Flintlock of course, but what kind? Well that's just it, I am functionally illiterate when it comes to pistols. I have never built one but would like to and know very little about them. I guess I am just trying to figure out where to begin. Dimensions and multiple views from different angles would be good to study.

Track has a VERY good book on English Pistols. both Taylor and I bought it - wonderful. It actually gives dimensions of barrels which can be used to figure barrel wall thickness, which is VERY interesting, especially in the webs of the swamped barrels, which most had - even brass bls. - MOST interesting.
Daryl

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

Offline David R.

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 05:11:20 PM »
Thanks guys, I have a starting place.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline David R.

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 05:25:18 PM »
Daryl, do you have a title or author for that book?
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Offline smart dog

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 06:21:17 PM »
Hi David,
If you want to see examples of pistol architecture that were meant to facilitate shooting and fit, study English dueling pistols not 18th century American pistols.  By all means look at American pistols for ideas of decoration and general styling if you plan on building a similar gun but look at the English duelers for how to make a pistol that fits the shooter.

dave
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 07:12:15 PM »
Daryl, do you have a title or author for that book?

https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/294/2/BOOK-BDP

This might be it, but I do not think so. I did not recognize the book from the 9 pages of books Track sells.

After seeing your request, David, I searched for my book. I remember having to 3-hole the pages and put it into a ringed binder - I cannot find it. Gone.

I am sure Taylor still has his - he'll be home soon - if I can remember I will ask - or you could.
Daryl

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

Online David Rase

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 07:56:46 PM »
The big difference in building a pistol, at least for me, is the sequence.  For me, the length of pull on a pistol determines trigger placement.  Trigger placement determines lock placement and the lock determines barrel placement.  I have seen too many pistols that did not fit your hand because the pistol grip was too close to the trigger or too far away.  Both situations cause problems.
David

Offline David R.

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 08:34:32 PM »
Thanks again Dave and David and Daryl.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline davebozell

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 10:14:15 PM »
"Recreating the American Longrifle" by William Buchele has a full-sized plan for a pistol that might be helpful.  The book itself is full of tips for building as well.

Offline L. Akers

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 10:28:00 PM »
David Rase has got it.  No matter what style the pistol is, Use DRs sequence for the build.

Offline alyce-james

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 12:32:35 AM »
David R. good afternoon Sir. I have the the best book to answer all your questions. If you use 'Text" on your phone I'll send you a few photo and architecture included in this book. I use this book often. "BRITISH PISTOLS AND GUNS, 1640 - 1840". by Jan Glendenning. First published  ... 1951 ... Have a great evening. AJ.   
Turkeyfooter

Offline smart dog

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2018, 02:09:17 AM »
Hi David,
I learned to fit pistols by understanding the qualities my late brother, John Person, looked for who was an expert competitive shot with everything modern and muzzleloading except a shotgun.  Dave Rase is right about the sequence but it is actually difficult to determine the trigger distance until you have a partially shaped stock.  The way I do this is first make a good drawing. I base that drawing on dimensions from a good fitting pistol that me or my client has. Often, I don't have that reference so have to start by guessing. Then before I inlet the barrel or lock, I roughly shape the lock panels and upper handle behind the lock leaving the lower handle still squared up.  Then I slowly work down the handle to reach a point when my trigger finger easily reaches the line I drew for the trigger based on my plan without the finger touching the stock. This requires experience and some guess work but eventually I have the handle roughed out.  Then I determine the lock position and then the barrel.  When you shoot a pistol, if your trigger finger contacts the stock very much, as you squeeze the trigger there is a tendency for the gun to move to the right (left if you are left handed). By keeping the finger away from the stock, that movement is eliminated or minimized.  The English understood this very well when they fitted dueling pistols.

dave 
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Offline KILTED COWBOY

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2018, 04:33:19 PM »
Is it more difficult to build a pistol than a rifle or is it just different. I have heard says that pistol building is more difficult? Any thoughts?

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 06:21:03 PM »
There was a picture of an insert that could be expanded inside a pistol barrel that made
it easier to handle.This would be really helpful on a full stock pistol.One bug is the underside curve when
inletting a trigger and bar.To me that was a bug and a half.
My preference is a saw handle pistol. The umbrella handle and plow handle revolver grips
are not comfortable to me.I showed a SAA to a friend and he said the only way to hold
it was by the barrel.
IF anyone should see a flintlock pistol,a very plain one with the name Roller in a semi circle
on top of a checkered barrel flat,45 caliber,it was stolen some years ago from an estate
in Louisiana.It is one of 4 that I made over my career.

Bob Roller

Offline Rolf

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 07:11:37 PM »
When making these pistols. I drew the grip first and kept the rest of the Stock a large blank rectangel. The try-stock was cut out of 1" thick plywood and modifyed to fit my hand and proper trigger placement marked out.  Next I added the Lock to the drawing  and then the barrel . The rest was cosmetic tweaking of the Stock profil on paper to make it look Balanced.



Link to the finished pistols:
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=50058.msg496397#msg496397

Best regards
Rolf

Offline Daryl

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 09:43:19 PM »
20mm- .78 cal. nice! Just over 10 bore.
Daryl

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

Offline Rolf

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2018, 12:18:22 PM »
Is it more difficult to build a pistol than a rifle or is it just different. I have heard says that pistol building is more difficult? Any thoughts?

For me, pistols are easier than rifles. The left and rigth side of pistols are symetrical. On rifles the Stock from the wrist to the butt plate  the sides are different, but they still have to look Balance.
I think it is also a question of practice. I 've made 11 pistols ,but I'm still working on my second rifle.


Best regards
Rolf

Offline hen

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2018, 02:59:05 PM »
The key point to ensuring good pistol architecture is the lock; if a rifle size lock is used it overpowers the whole pistol. The Mantons books by Neal and Back show all the relevant relationships.

Offline Rolf

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2018, 03:27:49 PM »
The key point to ensuring good pistol architecture is the lock; if a rifle size lock is used it overpowers the whole pistol. The Mantons books by Neal and Back show all the relevant relationships.


Lock size Depends on barrel dimensions. I used Chambers round face rifle Lock on this pistol. The barrel is Caliber 0.78. Jim Chamber said his round face pistol Lock would have been to small.
At the moment I'm copying a 1772 original norwegian military pistol Lock. The Lock plate is 5.6inches which is a tad longer than the large Siler rifle flintlock. The orginal pistol was Caliber 0.67, barrel 12 inches long.

If the Lock is to small in regards to the diameter of the barrel breech, the main spring will come in to conflict With barrel.  You can Place the touch hole below the midpoint of barrel to make more room for the main spring. But lowering the Lock will give a chunky Stock profile.

Best regards
Rolf
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 06:20:28 PM by Rolf »

Offline smart dog

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Re: Pistol Architecture
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2018, 03:33:31 PM »
Hi,
Hen is exactly right. For me the hardest thing about building pistols is finding the right lock.  For early to mid 18th century horse pistols , Jim Kibler's Dolep and Chambers small round-faced English locks are good but when you get into flat-faced locks the choices are not great.  The small Siler works OK but is really too big for good pistol architecture.  The L&R small Manton (or Bailes) lock is also too big and it has the added complication of a curved bottom, which can result in some very awkward looking guns.  I wish somebody made a proper small 1780s English style flat-faced lock no longer than 4.25-4.5 inches long. The Wogdon pistol lock casting sets by Blackley are ideal but getting parts from them is a bit hit ot miss like TRS.

dave   
"Flick Lives!"