Author Topic: Story rifle & a poll  (Read 3473 times)

Offline Lucky R A

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Story rifle & a poll
« on: May 07, 2022, 02:47:50 AM »
           The story:  In early 2017 I was contacted by a professor from a small Texas college who was inquiring about having his "family rifle" restored and a shooting contemporary copy made also.   He explained that his earliest ancestor who immigrated to America was from France and had settled in the Bedford, PA area.  His relative was a hunter and ranger who patrolled the trails and paths looking for signs of enemy activity.  At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the relative joined many others to become a member of Thompson's riflemen.   He served at the siege of Boston, survived his war service, and returned to the Bedford area.  The rifle that he used was passed down through the generations, and its history was noted.  The rifle, a Jaeger which I believe shows French influence, suffered the ravages of time and service.  It was broken at the wrist, and a crude frontier repair was made.  The forend was broken or shortened; the triggerguard was broken and some parts lost.  The gun was converted to percussion and shortened about an 1" from the breech.   












          The client asked that the restoration put everything back as it likely was at Revolutionary War time with the exception of the wrist repair, which was to be kept in place.   He also asked that I make a bench copy of the original without the wrist repair which he could shoot and hunt with.   After the restoration of the original was completed, I received notification that the client had suffered a stroke and had significant motor loss on the left side.  This negated shooting and hunting, so the copy was cancelled.   The original was returned, and the box of parts, barrel and stock were set aside.
            Fast forward to 2021, and I now had an opportunity to deal with some old projects.  In the beginning of April I started the copy.  Being a fairly unadorned Jaeger of what I believe to be French origin, the build was fairly straightforward.  The buttplate was a challenge, but a Brown Bess buttplate had enough material to make a reasonable copy of the original.  The triggerguard is a much modified commercially available one.  The front latching butt trap lid was a bit of a challenge, but was accomplished.   The original barrel was about 33" long, 50 cal. 1" at the breech and muzzle.  The Davis Jaeger lock is a close match for the original.  The whole package weighs just under 7lbs., a real ridge runner rifle.  Here is a look at the copy:

















          Now for the poll -- do I put a faux wrist repair on the copy or not?  I have two students taking opposite views on this, so what say you?  Wrist repair or not?
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Offline Gemmer

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 02:55:12 AM »
I vote no repair. Your very well done copy is what the rifle would have looked like when first bought.

Offline smart dog

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 02:58:45 AM »
Hi Ron,
No unless you are also going to age the gun to look like it needed a wrist repair.  The repair on the pristine rifle would look contrived.

dave
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Offline LynnC

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2022, 03:23:53 AM »
Cool back story. No wrist repair. Just my 2 cents
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 03:30:30 AM by LynnC »
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Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2022, 03:51:19 AM »
 No wrist repair in my opinion an I really like the wrist repair looks.   Oldtravler

Offline Ed Wenger

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 04:06:05 AM »
Ron…, first off, I really like that rifle!!  Simple in execution with really nice architecture.  I’d love to learn more about the forward catch on the box.  Love the butt piece and guard, the finish looks great, and nice carving!  Thanks for posting, and very nice work.

Negative on the wrist repair, unless you age the gun, which I wouldn’t do, looks too nice as it is.  Best,

        Ed
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Online Keith Zimmerman

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2022, 04:35:21 AM »
No wrist repair.  Looks awesome!

Offline FALout

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2022, 04:39:24 AM »
I’m with Ed and the others, no wrist repair.  But sure would like to know more about the catch on that patch box.  Very interesting architecture on this rifle.
Bob

Online Frozen Run

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2022, 02:14:53 PM »
I think it looks perfect as it sits, both as a stand alone piece and as part of the before and after story, great job!

Offline alacran

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2022, 02:21:07 PM »
You made a fine-looking Jaeger. I agree with Smartdog 100%, a wrist repair would only fit if you aged the rifle. Frankly I have no use for aged rifles.
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Offline duca

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2022, 02:32:23 PM »
Very cool!! As others have stated, No wrist repair

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Offline Scott Bumpus

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2022, 04:18:44 PM »
No wrist repair.   This is a great rifle. The repair would not add anything to it. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 04:22:31 PM by Scott Bumpus »
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Offline John Proud

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2022, 04:43:23 PM »
No to a wrist repair. How about a post of the details of the box latch, please? I can envision the lid mechanism, but don't see
a catch in the butt stock just a cavity for the end of the spring.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2022, 04:54:19 PM »
Great story on the original, thanks for posting.  A real used on the frontier rifle that went to war.
No wrist repair.
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2022, 04:55:16 PM »
Oh! And a great recreation. 
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Offline alex e.

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2022, 07:31:38 PM »
Awesome rifle!
It has enough  character of its own,it doesn't need the wrist repair.
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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2022, 08:24:32 PM »
 That is a show stopper as is, no to the repair. Like others, would like to see more on the box.

    Tim

Online Robin Henderson

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2022, 08:58:51 PM »
No to a faux wrist repair....exceptional build as is.
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Offline ScottH

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2022, 09:04:44 PM »
Beautiful gun you have made!
I could not do the wrist repair to that gun if it were mine.  8)

Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2022, 03:07:22 AM »
      Thanks for all the nice comments on the Jaeger, and your input on whether or not to do the faux wrist repair.  I think it is unanimously settled "no wrist repair."    A number have asked about the front locking mechanism.   What I have now seems to work ok, but I think I see some areas where it could be improved, so lets say it is a work in progress. 
        I will attach a photo of a diagram that might explain the mechanism.  Basically the latch is a piece of .090 brass bent into an L shape.  I attached a fulcrum (a.090) round pin to the latch to allow a downward push on the front extension to move the latch upward to disengage from a slot cut in the patchbox cavity (seen in photos)  A small thin flat spring is used to keep the latch down in the engaged position.  This thin spring is simply burnt into the front of the recess in the butt trap lid.  The brass latch holds this in place and then the mechanism cover holds everything into place.   I am sure there are many variations that could be used to accomplish this same operation, this just how I did this one.    As with any of these things there is a lot of cut and try and fiddling around to make things work.  I hope this helps explain things.  Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions.   

Ron


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Offline David Price

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2022, 11:14:16 AM »
I agree with Smart Dog.  Beautiful rifle, nice design, well executed.  To do any more would spoil it.
David Price

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2022, 04:37:36 PM »
If you Do want to do a wrist repair,
whack it against a tree!

For me, I'd leave this beautiful rifle alone.  Lovely work!!

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2022, 06:34:42 PM »
I go with the others. You've made a beautiful replica, one that most of us would be delighted to carry.
Craig Wilcox
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2022, 07:01:20 PM »
Very cool!  Neat project and neat gun.  Wrist repairs imho really only look good if you beat the $#@* out of the piece in a true fake-type aging job.  Otherwise they just look kind of like a silly affectation but that's just me.  Since the guy already has the genuine antique, 'aged' piece, the choice to build this as-new makes perfect sense. 

It reminds me very much of some of the pieces which have been assumed to have been export pieces possibly made in the low countries or German lands, ca. 1760s or 1770s.  I don't know if those pieces would have been available for sale here by the time the War was over, nor if there would be a demand for them.

Your box mortise looks like the box lid when closed keeps the balls in place with little space.  I've seen one or two like this (Euro guns) and also some with a lot more space, the assumption being wads of tow or patching would keep the balls in place.  I suspect those balls were meant to be pre-patched with the patching sewn shut at the top providing a 'grip' to pull them out of the box without spilling them all over the place.  Is the inside of the original stained up and greasy or appear to have been greasy at one time?  It does look pretty clean.
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Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Story rifle & a poll
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2022, 02:16:54 AM »
Hi Eric,
         I have seen a couple of different locations for the opening mechanism, the front and a middle box lid opener.  The old simple rear opening spring catch seems to be the best, and this is likely why it was used so extensively.   This was the first time I encountered a box with the holes for individual  balls.  The holes in the original were drilled and finished with a round bottom bit to just clear the lid when the lid is slid closed.  The holes in the original showed no indication of grease or patch lube, so I assume it was used purely for storage of bare balls.  If you just slide the lid back a bit you can dump balls out 2 at a time, as you work through the 14 balls in the box  Trying to pick them out of the holes doesn't work.   Pre-patching balls certainly would speed things up, but then a ball block does this better and simpler---but then when were the German's ever simple in their approach?

Ron
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