Author Topic: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).  (Read 24482 times)

Burgess_rudy

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2009, 04:42:58 AM »
Beautiful gun. I do have a question from the photographs. How is the lock held in place?  I don't see lock screws on the reverse side of the gun like most firelocks.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2009, 04:54:19 AM »
That's a valid question.  The lock is screwed from the lock side, to the barrel's heavy breech, with a short machine screw.  The head is where you'd expect a lock screw to exit, not enter.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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bryanbrown

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2009, 03:55:52 AM »
The Ferguson rifle shoots British standard carbine ball  .615 caliber  ( http://www.jt-bullet-moulds.co.uk/ ) and 67 grains of 3f powder. You will get the best performance from Schutzen.  Swiss is even hotter and a better hunting load but has the darndest fouling and will not let you get more then about 10-20 rounds without relubing.  You will need to lube both the ball and the breech with Fergi-lube  70% crisco shorting 30% beeswax.  Do this an you WILL have Patties  18th century assault rifle.

Keep an eye out for our book http://www.everyinsultandindignity.com/  We have offers to publish from 2 publishers and are working on polishing the book down to photo ready

BTW the rumours of differnt size powder chambers between early and later Narragansett or TRS Ferguson Rifles is just that a Rumour,  we have measured models with Narragansett serial numbers as low as 42, 85, 214 and several TRS examples all are exactly the same size.

Of all the surviving Ferguson rifles (sporting and Ordinance) over 200 that I am aware of, I have found 2 with bronze breechplugs.  Not denying Ernie's asertions, just passing on what I have seen.

And before I forget, that is a stunning example of very fine work.  I hope you enjoy shooting it as much as I enjoy shooting mine.  It is most infectiously good fun.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 06:26:48 AM by bryanbrown »

Offline davec2

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2009, 06:53:35 AM »
Bryan,

I have read each of your posts for quite some time with great interest as I contemplated the Ferguson parts sitting on my work bench.  Now that I am about to go shoot it, I wanted to thank you for posting all the information you and Ricky have put out about how to lube and load it.  Before reading all of your information about ball size, I had purchased a Rapine round ball mold for a .650 ball.  After reading your posts, I purchased one of Jeff Tanner's molds in .615 but also another Rapine mold in .620.  The bore in my Ferguson measures .605 land to land and .645 groove to groove.  I know I don't need the .650 ball, but I am interested to see the performance difference (if any) between the .615 and the .620.

I also have two questions.  First, is there any information available about the proper type of sling for this rifle?  

Second, when I put this rifle together, the breech screw was (is) a little long.  By that I mean that when the trigger guard is rotated to its firing position, there is a slight gap (~0.030) between the top surface of the trigger guard ( where the breech screw attaches) and the lower surface of the barrel breech tube.  I was just going to dress off 0.030 on the lower end of the breech screw so that the two surfaces mated more closely when the breech plug was turned home.  However, at the last minute, knowing that the breech screw does leak some hot gas top and bottom when fired, I decided to put a thin leather washer at the base of the breech screw and try that first.  My thought is that it may provide a better seal on the lower end of the breech.  Do you see any issue with this approach?

Thanks again and I look forward to the book !

Dave C
"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 smart dog

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2009, 07:25:28 AM »
Dave,
I don't think the TRS Ferguson leaks any gas from the bottom.  Mine is tightly sealed at the bottom.  The only leakage occurs at the top and it is minimal.  In addition, powder fowling on the portion of the screw plug below the bore is minimal.  The fouling problem occurs because of buildup on the upper threads. I tried 0.648 and 0.615 round balls in the rifle.  Bryan Brown suggests the 0.615 because they were carbine bore rounds and would have been a common bullet in the 18th century British Army.  There is much sense in that argument.  Unfortunately, I cannot get the 0.615 ball to group well.  It may be an issue with lubrication as Bryan suggests.  However, the 0.648 ball is a tack driver.  Have fun.

dave     
"The main accomplishment of modern economics is to make astrology look good."

bryanbrown

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2009, 04:13:55 PM »
Dont dress off that gap,  It is to allow the crud a place to escape to as you shoot and reload.  They do not leak from the bottom when firing, however they do vent from the top.  Dont wear too big a hat brim.  Wear something though, the heat will not injure you but it will startle and distract you.

The sling is a light infantry buff leather sling with  a double d buckle.     "EA" pattern here  http://www.najecki.com/repro/Musket.html
The slider buckle is better than one with a tongue

We find the .615 lubed ball to be the most accurate in both Ricky's and mine, consistently nailing an 8x8 clanger at 100.  For us .648 was barely smoothbore accurate.  Your mileage may vary.  We don't pretend to have the only answer, just sharing our experience.  BTW with our approach we are over 72 rounds with no cleaning, no failure to fire, no loss of accuracy.

We do look forward to hearing back from you on the results of your tests. We learn something new every time

Daryl

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2009, 06:39:29 PM »
Spectacular, Dave - BTW - I have a couple locks that need polishing?????????

Leatherbelly

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2009, 06:43:44 PM »
Great gun Dave. I love your metal work!

Offline smart dog

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2009, 07:44:15 PM »
Hi Bryan,
I have by no means given up on your 0.615 ball and lube.  I appreciate you posting your formula for lube and I will be trying that mix next time I go to the range.  Unfortunately, I 've been so busy over the last year that I have not been to the range in a while.  I live in Ketchikan, Alaska where we get >160 inches of rain annually so their may be a humidity factor that I have to deal with that may be different from your experience.  Thanks again Brian for your generous help.

dave
"The main accomplishment of modern economics is to make astrology look good."

bryanbrown

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2009, 07:33:21 AM »
Ricky and I were at the Gillespie Gap NC last week doing some Ferguson demos for the Overmountain Celebratoin in all sorts of frog drowning rain.   Ferguson worked fine in all sorts of humidity from heavy fog to drizzle to driving rain.   If you all testing in other climates find any different results we would be most interested in the information.

Bryan K. Brown
www.everyinsultandindignity.com
www.gunsmithy.com
www.jaegerkorps.org
bryankbrown@sprintmail.com
bryanbrown@jaegerkorps.org

Alle künst ist umsunst wenn ein Engle auf dem Zundlocke brünst.

Offline KLMoors

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2009, 08:26:51 PM »
Wow, what a beautiful gun. Really, really impressive. That must have been a heap of man-hours!

Offline davec2

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2009, 08:48:09 PM »
Bryan,

It's about 105 degrees here in southern California with less than zero % humidity right now.  As soon as I think I can pour powder in the breech without it going off just from the ambient temperature, I will go out and give this new rifle a try.  

In the mean time, I ordered the sling you suggested (hasn't arrived yet) and received a bayonet casting from The Rifle Shop (Dave Pearson's suggestion)*.  It will take me a while to get the casting cleaned up, and I need to figure out how I am going to heat treat it.  Since it is about two and a half feet long, I will need to build something special to heat it with / in.  I have, also, not case hardened the lock plate yet.  I am welding up a blocking fixture to keep the lock plate from warping during the quench.  Should have the fixture and the heat treating done soon.  I am casting .615 and .620 ball and just bought a case of Schutzen.  I should be all set soon.  Thanks for all the advice !!

*  If I do something wrong and the Ferguson becomes, as you say, "a bayonet platform", I decided I absolutely needed the bayonet.  Otherwise, I would just have a fairly awkward "club".
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 08:48:48 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 smart dog

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2009, 10:20:52 PM »
Dave,
The bayonet is used to finish off the wounded deer after the first shot.  It is also a useful deterrent for salesmen, political campaigners, uninvited realtors, and missionaries. If house guests stay too long, just bring it out and start sharpening the blade while visiting with them.  They will leave that afternoon.

dave
"The main accomplishment of modern economics is to make astrology look good."

hawknknife

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2009, 11:05:29 PM »
Dave, What a beautiful work that is.  I still have all the toys you have done for me.  What ability, you are on the top of  the talent on this forum!

Offline davec2

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time.
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2010, 09:35:09 PM »
Well, it took me from August to now to get a chance to shoot the Ferguson !!!!  However, I was out at my test facility in the Mojave Desert shooting some experimental armor plate with 30-06 AP and I managed to get a a half an hour between tests to try out the 18th century version of an assault weapon.  I made a batch of "Fergie Lube" per Bryan Brown's instructions.  I heated and lubed the breech screw.  I cast 15 rounds each of .615, .620. and .650 ball and coated each one by dipping them in the melted lube with tweezers.  I used 3F Schutzen powder and loaded a fairly consistent 53 grains with each round.  The weather was very dry and about 75 degrees F.

I started with the .615 ball and, since I did not have the time to play with adjusting the sights, I decided to fire three rounds at 25 yards just to see where they would print with the sights just as I installed them at the bench.  All three hit about an inch high and three inches left of point of aim.  I left the sights alone and set out a new target.  I fired 5 rounds of the .615 ball and all went well.  The shots grouped in a vertical line at the expected high and left position from target center.  After these first eight rounds, the breech was getting a little stiff to operate but, having taken Bryan's warnings to heart, I made sure I opened it right away so it wouldn't freeze up on me.  Having used the successful Fergie Lube, I was a little surprised that I was having trouble so soon in the firing string.  However, I had spoken to Dave Person on the phone the night before and he had given me a clue.  When I made up the lube I made it approximately 2/3 Crisco and 1/3 bees wax by volume.  When I applied it to the breech screw threads, I did so hot and then let it cool.  When I installed the breech screw, most of the lube was scraped off the threads as the breech turned in.  So I think the problem is that I don't have enough Crisco in the lube and it was just a little too hard.  It actually worked very well on the balls, since, if the lube had been much softer it might have been wiped off just during handling.  However, I think I need a softer version for the breech.

At any rate, I partially cleaned and relubed the breech screw and continued.  With a new target, I fired 5 rounds of the .620 ball. Although the group was more circular, I did not see any significant difference in point of impact or scatter.  I was running short on time, so I changed targets once again and fired 5 rounds of the .650 ball and, again, did not see any significant difference in group size or point of impact.  Again, though, this was all at 25 yards, so you would not expect much variation.

At any rate, I was very pleased to get a chance to shoot the darn thing after waiting so long to do so.  Anticipating the vertical blow by at the breech, I did not wear a hat.  However, next time I will at least wrap a bandanna around my forehead (no longer protected by much hair) as I sustained some light powder burns in that area.  (It might also help to move my head back some ....duhhh !!)

Great fun and a very comfortable gun to shoot.  Cleaned up easily with cold water.  (I pulled the barrel and just used a garden hose with a nozzle to blow all the fouling out of the barrel - took about 10 seconds.  Cleaned the lock the same way and then dried and WD-40'd everything.

 More later.  Have an armor experiment test report to write in an hour.
"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: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2010, 04:48:07 AM »
Targets from Ferguson first test:






« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 06:30:52 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

bryanbrown

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2010, 10:32:08 PM »
Nice report, sorry the Fergie lube worked a little off for you. With Schutzen powder we are breaking 45 shots regularly.  But tweaking the mix a little for weather etc isn't super surprising. Age of your beeswax might be a factor too it gets harder over time as it seasons, we got ours from a local beekeeper so it was still a little soft like stiff paste when we started.  Please let us know how your results work going forward

We find more "thump" and a slightly higher point of impact with the Swiss match powder, but it created the hardest red flake fouling, looks like thick paint chips.  Wouldn't matter for hunting with only a few shots fired.  But for a range day it was most annoying. 

Glad our info was somewhat useful for you.

Ricky and I are still working on that book,  we have offers from a couple publishers including printing the book with colour pictures.  So we are expecting to get it published sometime later this year.

Bryan K. Brown
www.everyinsultandindignity.com
www.gunsmithy.com
www.jaegerkorps.org
bryankbrown@sprintmail.com
bryanbrown@jaegerkorps.org

Alle künst ist umsunst wenn ein Engle auf dem Zundlocke brünst.

Offline davec2

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2010, 07:35:15 PM »
Bryan,

Sorry, I missed your recent response to this topic.  Thanks for the tidbit about the bees wax getting harder as it ages.  The stuff I used for the lube is more than 40 years old and, when I checked after reading your post, is much harder than some fresher wax I have.  I never thought about it changing hardness with age.  At any rate, I will give it another go as soon as I can. 

I am looking forward to the book.

Dave C
"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

bryanbrown

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2010, 06:01:46 AM »
   Video of the Ferguson Rifle in action at Kings Mountain National Military Park

dannybb55

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2010, 01:48:49 PM »
As a fantasy rifle,  a Ferguson built as a long rifle would be interesting. Maybe a post Rev Western NC style.
                                       Danny

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: It's Finally Ferguson Time (First Firing Update).
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2010, 04:48:38 PM »
Simply fine work and way beyond me, sweet!

Is it the angle of the photo or am I having an optical 'dilussion' or whatever; but is that rear sight set off to the left side of the bore???  Straighten me out on that ???