Author Topic: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"  (Read 2364 times)

Offline Bob Gerard

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2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« on: April 18, 2024, 03:26:51 AM »
I am starting another try with parts from TRS for a .62 Rifle, which incorporates parts from various model Brown Bess muskets, and a rifled 36" round barrel, for what they called a “British Officers Fusil”. (My friend refers to it as a Rifled Musketoon).
My first try was using a stock of very brittle Black Walnut that I wasn’t able to work with, and after too many problems I ended that fiasco.
I started anew with piece of clear Maple to use (more budget-friendly); Although I would prefer Walnut, I'm not going down that path again, buying Walnut sight-unseen.
So far, I have the barrel bedded in and the lock installed and bolts done.
The top of the lock mainspring just barely touches the side of the barrel- I had to file a small bit off the barrel to get it to fit. Then I needed to file a small divot to allow the forward lock bolt to pass under the barrel, about 1/16".  I haven't run into this kind of problem before. I wonder if this lock was correct for this size barrel, or if I am just screwing up. Probably the latter.
Anyway, I am hoping things go smoother. I kind of see this more as a learning experience than anything else.





« Last Edit: May 02, 2024, 12:53:49 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2024, 06:00:54 PM »
Where did you get that stock? I have english walnut..... ::)
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 06:34:40 PM »
Mike, I wish my skill and abilities could warrant using English Walnut (and my budget could afford it)! This is just a plane 'fowler' stock is from Pecatonica.

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2024, 02:55:34 AM »
I’ve got the trigger in, along with the trigger plate and the butt plate. It’s a fast lock and I think it will be a pretty good gun unless I screw it up.





« Last Edit: April 21, 2024, 04:23:55 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Tommy Bruce

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2024, 08:56:49 PM »
Looks pretty dang good Bob! What kind of lock are you using?
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition”
R. Kipling

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2024, 02:09:48 AM »
Tommy, it looks exactly like Chambers Early Virginia lock. Someone had engraved it "Edge" with Crown markings (it looks very nicely done to me) and it was part of an assemblage from The Rifle Shop from 1995 or so.

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2024, 02:11:06 AM »
I got the barrel pins in and the barrel tang bolt installed. Next for the forestock.
It has a 14.25” trigger pull and man this things sights in nicely.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2024, 02:15:16 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2024, 12:30:36 AM »
Had a few shop hours today. Got the trigger guard shaped to about the correct angle to fit the gun. I didn’t use the trigger guard provided by TRS; it was a little narrow and wouldn’t cover the trigger plate in areas. So I got a 1742 (?) Brown Bess trigger guard which seems perfect.
Then I started rasping away at the forestock. So much more to go, but no hurries.


Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2024, 10:29:31 PM »
The gun is starting to look like something. I worked down the forestock some more and fit the nose cap on. Now I will have some guide to get the forearm to the right thickness.
Because this will not be accommodating a socket bayonet, I placed the cap about where a longrifle nose cap would be.
It took some fiddling to get the brass nose cap to fit right though. The web is smaller than the nose cap was cast for, so I just had to file down the sides of the cap and slightly angle it downward so the ramrod channel is flush with the cap. It looks like it will be ok.
More forestock shaping next and the ramrod pipes will get cleaned up and inlet.



« Last Edit: April 29, 2024, 10:40:11 PM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Tommy Bruce

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Re: 2nd try at the "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2024, 07:15:26 PM »
Tommy, it looks exactly like Chambers Early Virginia lock. Someone had engraved it "Edge" with Crown markings (it looks very nicely done to me) and it was part of an assemblage from The Rifle Shop from 1995 or so.

Thanks Bob! I'm thinking of ordering one of these stocks after watching you bring it to life.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition”
R. Kipling

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2024, 12:14:22 AM »
Gladly Tommy. The stock is pretty nice and I was surprised the web is just over 1/4”. It feels like it will aim nicely.
Lots more wood came off the forearm today. Slowly but surely I will get it down to a nice size.


Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2024, 02:52:15 AM »
I am thinking to modify the Pecatonica Fowler stock a bit.
That small hump at the back of the wrist, at the base of the nose, has to go. I did a little photo-shopping and 'removed' it. This is how I am oping it will come out.


« Last Edit: May 01, 2024, 02:56:37 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline smart dog

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Fusil"
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2024, 01:48:18 PM »
Hi Bob,
If you want this to look like a British military gun, put a ruler on top of the butt plate at the heel and then draw a straight line along the top of the comb such that it intersects the lower edge of the cock screw on the lock tumbler.
 


Why not cut the stock back 4 3/8" from the muzzle to fit a bayonet?  It will look a bit like the artillery carbines.

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

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2024, 01:12:41 AM »
Hi Dave- Thanks for you feedback. It's always good to get direction and advise from you, and I look forward to it.
I had considered both the suggestions you made when I was pondering this project.
I tried and could not angle the butt plate so that the comb line angled downward to better line-up with the cock tumbler screw (I had read one of your tutorials about this feature). The butt plate isn't very big, I think just 5". If I tilted it to get that alignment, the bottom of the plate would be angled strangely and the bottom of the butt stock would be much higher. With this stock it just wouldn't have worked.
About the bayonet; this barrel is rifled and in the box of TRS items was the front sight. It didn't even occur to me to move the sight far enough back to accommodate a bayonet. This is an example of not knowing enough to even ask the question.

At any rate  I did have a couple of hours to work on my project (aka., therapy, sometimes).
That bump at the base of the nose is gone, and I think it looks better. I also inlet the rear ramrod pipe.
One BIG lesson I learned here is to leave plenty of wood where the pipe extension will lay. This pipe has a flair that needs you to have more wood back there than a regular straight or tapered pipe (that I am kinda familiar with). I was starting to panic as the pipe was going in deeper and deeper, and there wasn't much real-estate for it to land on.  Luckily it finally lay nearly flush, and since its very thick cast brass, I will be able to file-blend into the stock. It will be fine I think, but another few swipes of my rasp and I would have a big problem there.
This project is a really good learning experience for me. It's like flying solo when you don't even know what questions to ask until it's sometimes too late. Hopefully any other 'new builder' looking at this will avoid some on my mistakes and lack of knowledge.




« Last Edit: May 02, 2024, 01:39:56 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline smart dog

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2024, 01:21:40 AM »
Hi Bob,
I understand your decisions.  We always have to go with the cards we are dealt.  It will be a very nice rifle.

dave
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Offline TDM

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2024, 06:11:14 AM »
Coming along very nicely Bob. Glad you trimmed off the hump.

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2024, 10:09:35 PM »
Thanks Tom. Yeah that bump at the nose was strange!
I finished with the other two ramrod pipes, which went relatively quickly and painlessly. Now I can skinny down the forearm in a more intentional manner.
It seems more and more to me that with all this Brown Bess musket hardware on a rifle, it’s quite the nonsense gun 🥹 But it’s a fun and engaging challenge to build and for me, that’s why I’m doing it.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2024, 12:20:12 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2024, 01:59:03 PM »
I rasped, filed and sanded the forestock to just about the right thickness. It will get finer sanding later in.
I did some butt stock shaping and then roughed in the lock and sideplate areas. But before I did too much of that I needed to install the Brown Bess trigger guard.
While cutting out the forward guard area I discovered the fam rod hole. Well, I have a little over 3/16” of wood to work with on the forearm. That meant I couldn’t get the guard in deeply enough so the bow rested flat on the trigger plate, leaving about 1/16” gap. I will address that later when I decide the best way to do it (I may solder a filler piece of brass ). Other than that it went well.
Next will be ti inlet the somewhat ornate martial themed side plate, and lastly the thumb piece.




Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2024, 02:19:31 AM »
I gave it a try soldering a bit of brass on to the trigger guard to fill that unsightly gap. My 2nd soldering experience. It came out pretty well, at least it’s better. (I think I can swell the wood later to fix that slight forward gap.)
I am certainly learning a lot of things with this rifle build. Biggest lesson I think is to be very aware of leaving more than enough wood where it’s needed before shaping it too much.







« Last Edit: May 12, 2024, 02:24:15 AM by Bob Gerard »

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2024, 11:26:29 PM »
I inlet a musket sideplate ( from “an American musket of British design” as per MBS). It looks like a different type of brass from the rest of the gun’s brass. It’s very soft and maliable so I am wondering if it’s from some other brass variety?


Offline smart dog

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2024, 01:17:51 AM »
Hi Bob,
You did a fine job with that side plate!  Well done.  Probably the sideplate is soft yellow brass whereas the wax cast components are not.  They often are harder and much like a mix of brass and bronze. Nonetheless, they will look a little different when polished but tarnishing over time will blend them all together.

dave
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Offline Steeltrap

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2024, 02:15:56 AM »
I did my first flint build, a pistol, with walnut. I will never work with walnut again. It's far to difficult unless you're a pro.

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2024, 04:06:20 AM »
Thank you Dave- much appreciated! I tried a different approach this go round, drawing an outline with pencil and then working away at it from the inside of the line with my Exacto knife. A lot better than when I tried scoring with the knife against the plate itself! Live and learn 🙂

Offline Bob Gerard

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2024, 02:03:44 AM »
Had a little time today to outline the tang and panel moldings, and start shaping the one side. I’m happy with it. Once they are all shaped I will see if they need to be smallered.


Offline smart dog

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Re: 2nd try at The Rifle Shop’s "British Officer's Carbine"
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2024, 03:19:59 AM »
Hi Bob,
Make the flats around the lock vanishingly thin except around the front of the lock.  Here are some original examples.









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