Author Topic: A Tale of Two Little Rifles - New link to the Case and the Accoutrements  (Read 34770 times)

Offline davec2

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Many years ago now I wanted to build two, three quarter scale flintlock rifles for my then two small daughters. I was buying stock wood and inletting services from Fred Miller back then and contacted him to ask for a piece of excellent maple thick enough to split in half lengthwise so that I could make two nearly matching stocks for the small rifles. He sent me a great blank which I subsequently band-sawed into rough shaped stocks. 

Even before that time, some 20 years ago, I had purchased two Douglas barrels in 32 caliber.  They were 13/16 inch across the flats. I cut the barrels to a length of 32 inches and then re-machined the octagon to just a little under .695" across the flats. I made breech plugs for the barrels and, somewhere along the way, found some very small butt plate and trigger guard castings that were close enough to use on these rifles.

I was obviously not moving at the speed of light (or even the speed of dark) but I kept thinking about what I might want to do as far as the little rifle design went.  Finding a lock the right size was an issue. I originally purchased two of the “Becky” locks and spent a good deal of time polishing and tuning them. But before I finished with the polishing, I discovered Stan Hollenbaugh‘s locks. Stan had a standard size rifle lock and then a smaller size lock, that I liked much better than the Beckys, and that he was producing at the time... so I purchased two of those.

As these things work out, all of that thinking and gathering was more than 15 years ago now. Also as these things happen, both of my girls are grown and have left home....the youngest is a country singer in Nashville and the oldest one, married and living in New York, just recently had our first grandchild. As they taught me during my plebe year at the US Naval Academy, “time, tide, and formation wait for no man.” Time had truly gotten away from me in the maelstrom of making a living, and life in general, and I never did get a chance to finish the little rifles for my own daughters.

So now, almost two decades further on, I am starting in again. With my grandson only four months old right now, I figure that I might get this done in time for him to use it as a lad.  More specifically, at my age, if I miss the boat this time, the opportunity will have passed forever as I am rapidly running out of "air speed, altitude, and ideas !"   For those of you who care to follow along, I will start in on at least one of these little rifles (I may do both at the same time.... but perhaps not) and post the progress here.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 07:23:36 AM by davec2 »
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline sqrldog

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2020, 04:59:40 AM »
Flank speed Dave. I'll be following the build with great interest. Tim

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2020, 05:03:10 AM »
So here is how the project stands right now.......I sent the two stock blanks and barrels to Dave Rase not long ago for barrel inletting and ram rod drilling.  One stock has been further trimmed to remove excess wood and prepare for the butt plate installation.  The following photos show the parts on hand and I am in the process of making ram rod pipes for 1/4" ram rods, muzzle caps, side plates, patch boxes, etc., etc.




















"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline elkhorne

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2020, 05:19:53 AM »
Dave,
Standing by to see this twin project get off the ground. Looking forward to your step by step build of these little jewels as you have with so many others. Good luck!
elkhorne

Offline Adrie luke

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2020, 11:04:55 AM »
Dave

Nice rifles
I will follow your work, have fun.





Offline 577SXS

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2020, 11:45:40 AM »
I've always wanted to build a small flintlock like those you are building. I think they are so neat. One of these days maybe.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2020, 04:08:44 PM »
 Look forward to following this and seeing the completed guns/pieces of art, which I'm sure they will be. Bookmatching the stocks is a Really neat touch.

   Tim

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2020, 04:36:46 PM »
Another great follow along project that I will look forward to.  PM sent your way Dave.

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2020, 07:05:41 PM »
Dave, good luck with this special project.

Here’s one that I finished around 1997, and my two boys got to share when it still fit them.








Loosely patterned after a Valentine Fondersmith rifle.

Jeff
There are no solutions.  There are only trade-offs.”
Thomas Sowell

Offline smallpatch

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2020, 09:59:13 PM »
Dave,
Are those Ditchburn locks?
In His grip,

Dane

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2020, 10:39:58 PM »
We will have to come up with a scale and powder measures that handle micro-grains.

That is some serious curly stocks you've started on, should be magnificent small arms.  Literally.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2020, 11:06:56 PM »
Smallpatch.....No, the locks are made by Stan Hollenbaugh.

J. Talbert......great looking little rifle !!!  Thanks for the pictures
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline smallpatch

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2020, 02:23:25 AM »
Dave,
Yep that’s the Ditchburn lock.  Great little locks.
In His grip,

Dane

Offline Jimclassjr

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2020, 02:43:23 AM »
What a wonderful project with a rich history. I’m following your progress with interest sir

Offline Justin Urbantas

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2020, 07:17:58 AM »
how does the size of those locks compare to a small Siler or Queen Anne?

Offline 577SXS

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2020, 02:21:21 PM »
Where did the small trigger guards come from?

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2020, 12:21:13 AM »
Justin,

Here are a couple of pictures of the lock I am using compared to others......In the first photo, the top lock is a Becky, the second is the one from Stan that I am using on these little rifles, the next is a Bailes, the next a late Ketland (modified), and the last one is a small Queen Anne.  The second picture compares Stan's lock to the small Queen Anne directly.  I don't have a small Siler handy.





577SXS,

The small trigger guards were from TOW   (TG-MD-1-B).  I'm not sure where I got the small butt plates.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 10:17:53 PM by davec2 »
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2020, 09:53:28 PM »
Work on this project is starting out a little slower than I expected....I'm recovering from a recent medical treatment and not quite up to snuff yet.  Nonetheless, I am doing some planning.  With almost all of my previous builds (except for the recent Kibler kit assembly  ;)), I usually hand make a good portion of the required peripheral components from scratch (i.e. patch box, toe plate, side plate, muzzle cap, barrel lugs, etc.) but will use, as often as possible, commercially available parts.  However, this time, because of the scale of the rifles, I will need to make all of the required parts.  So right now I am gathering materials for the following:

patch box
patch box catch
patch box springs
muzzle cap
front sight
rear sight
ram rod tips
ram rod pipes (3)
side plate
lock bolts
tang bolt
thumb plate
trigger plate
trigger
barrel lugs
toe plate

In the next couple of days, I will start in making two sets of these parts.....it will be easier if i do all the parts for two rifles at the same time.  More soon.
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline ScottH

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2020, 11:40:18 PM »
Speedy recovery Dave!
I know these will be spectacular when done.  8)  ;)

Offline Daryl

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 02:02:32 AM »
Hope your recovery is both speedy and complete, Dave.  Little rifles are indeed, interesting.
Daryl

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

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2020, 04:42:47 AM »
Scott & Daryl....thanks for the good wishes.  The really good news about radiation is that now, when I'm in the dark, I don't need a flashlight.....I can just open my mouth and see where I'm going.... ;) :o

OK....so I felt good enough to try to figure out how I wanted to make the little ram rod pipes for a 1/4 inch rod.  I had some thicker walled brass tubing with a 1/4 inch ID so, instead of making the pipes out of sheet, I thought I would make them from tubing and silver solder on the tabs and the skirt for the rear pipe.  This was just a test piece.  I ground a form tool and then turned the decorative collar on both ends of the pipe.  Tomorrow I'll file five flats on the center section and see how it comes out.  If I like it, this might be pipe #1 of 6.







"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2020, 09:05:23 PM »
Finished the prototype mini ram rod pipe.......

Silver soldered on the tab:





Filed the flats:

"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2020, 09:09:59 PM »
 That little cutter is pretty cool.

   Tim

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2020, 10:01:58 PM »
Trying to keep my energy up by concentrating on these little rifles......The butt plates and trigger guards are rough sand castings and take a lot more file work than an investment cast part.  Not done with either yet but made a fair amount of progress.  Really not up to starting to inlet parts yet, but will start with the lock as soon as I can.  Slow progress is better than no progress... :)







« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 10:12:48 PM by davec2 »
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780

Offline davec2

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Re: A Tale of Two Little Rifles
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2020, 10:30:26 PM »
Don't know why but I can't get the pictures to show up in the above post......will try again later ????

There they are !!!!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 01:57:21 AM by davec2 »
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."
Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1780