Author Topic: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?  (Read 1210 times)

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« on: November 07, 2021, 05:09:14 AM »
I’m salvaging the family rifle circa 1830. Want to build a shootable copy. I’ve ID’d the builder and there are lots of puts and takes (TMI below) but I think the question is—does a front lock bolt push it toward flint and or, does a capbox mean percussion?  I want to avoid the “it’s old, so it must be flint. Right now, it has a low quality percussion lock. Doesn’t fit the mortise and was installed with a stove bolt going the wrong way through the lock, so I know it’s a replacement. Been shot a lot as percussion—wood around the lock is eroded. Rifle is a collection of splinters- I can tape the gun together and post photos if I know what parts of the gun would help

TMI
Rifle has dimensions like Buchele’s golden age rifle, but a little slimmer. 36” barrel 13/16 straight octagon. Very  misshapen bottom “flats”. Maybe shop forged.

~ 36 cal. Mortise is looks a drop-in for an L&R late English. Drum is pretty deep into the breech plugs. Not a lot of threads holding things together.
Builder was probably Abe Williams or his apprentices S Post or G.W. Craft. Kauffmann shows a pic of a couple of those guns which look a lot like mine. Both are percussion, but are probably newer than mine. Williams made flint guns for quite a while after percussion was adopted. All of them worked within a couple of miles of the family farm. Rural Southwestern PA. My grandfather was born in 1895 and grew up in a log cabin

The stock has a filled hole for a front lock bolt. Side plate is a simple sheet brass escutcheon for the rear bolt only

The thing that has me guessing is that my rifle has a capbox like the Craft and Post guns in Kauffman  Kauffman pic of the Williams rifle shows an ornate West Virginia style patch box on a percussion gun. So maybe Williams put in whatever the customer wanted?

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2021, 05:22:11 AM »
Forgot to mention it’s full stock

Offline LynnC

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2021, 09:23:58 AM »
Photos are a must. Especially the rear of the lock mortise. The entire length photo would help.
Willful ignorance is eternal.....

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2021, 07:51:32 PM »
Thanks, Will do. Duct tape will do wonders. I’ve been thinking some more & I wonder if it was a “salesman sample?  The outside is nicely finished (which makes it worth salvaging) The lock wasn’t inlet, just hogged out flat about 3/4” deep.  There is only about 1/8” rim around the mortise The ramrod channel is exposed and a full length ramrod would hit the tumbler and maybe trip the sear. The bottom of the barrel barrel looks like it was beaten with a sledge and the channel was hogged out round on the bottom, leaving 1/16” or less as a web. No room to pin in the ramrod pipes, so they were just folded into the barrel channel.


The rear lock mortise was non-existent due to erosion so I cut it flat about 1/16” back to solid wood so I could let in wood all the way behind the lock& re-inlet to try to stabilize the area. I think I saved the sawdust cut off

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2021, 10:38:55 PM »
The rifle  barrel is the new one for the copy.  cut long and isn't inletted



The lock


The mortise

The capbox



A Goulcher percussion lockplate roughly "welded and filed" to the existing mortise.  this was back when I was sure it was percussion



I'd have stuck with percussion until I saw the L&R Early English lock with a rounded rear lockplate.  That got me to thinking about the patched up front lock bolt.  Then I became confused.  The other possibility is that the family lore is wrong and the rifle was made in 1850 ish

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2021, 10:41:36 PM »
And I misspoke about the ramrod hitting the tumbler.  It only hits the mainspring

Offline LynnC

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2021, 04:50:08 PM »
With one lock bolt and a cap box I would say it has always been a percussion gun. Good luck with your project. You will find much good information here.
Willful ignorance is eternal.....

Offline LilysDad

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2021, 08:24:43 PM »
What is the difference between a cap box and a patch box?

Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2021, 09:07:00 PM »
With one lock bolt and a cap box I would say it has always been a percussion gun. Good luck with your project. You will find much good information here.
thanks so much for your interest in the thread.  I did a poor job of photography and didn't show the mystery.  It did have a front lock bolt.

It's patched over on the sideplate side


And shows up well in the lock mortise



Offline ShutEyeHunter

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Re: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2021, 09:20:02 PM »
What is the difference between a cap box and a patch box?
I'm not an expert, so I hope somebody will chime in if I'm wrong.. I think a capbox is like the one on my rifle. 
simple inlet of cast brass and with a round hinged door.

I think of a patch box like this, made of sheet brass and usually pretty fancy