Author Topic: Copying 1830 family rifle. Flint or percussion?  (Read 1093 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.
When the government respects the People there is Liberty and When the people fear the Government there is Tyranny.....at just what point are we?

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.
When the government respects the People there is Liberty and When the people fear the Government there is Tyranny.....at just what point are we?

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