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Old July 30, 2014, 12:33 PM   #26
Pahoo
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Sure wish I could help !!!

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Anyone know a good black powder gunsmith that would be willing to give this thing a go?
I would think that any of the "Old-School" custom guys might be of help to you. I know a few in my area and there has to be a few in yours. You have a very nice piece and if it were mine, I'd try and bring it back. Try making contact with some BuckSkinner" clubs, in your area and see what they say.

Take Care and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old July 30, 2014, 01:38 PM   #27
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Thanks Pahoo. I did call a guy that's a couple hours drive from me, in Singers Glen, VA. I explained the issues the best I could, and he wants to see some pics. He specializes in fixing up heirloom guns into working condition, and can fabricate parts. Rates aren't too bad either. Of course this shotgun isn't an heirloom, but if I dump enough money in it ... it damn sure will be one.
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Old July 30, 2014, 11:01 PM   #28
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I'm working on a 12 ga double barrel shotgun that looks very much like the one in the upper image. I'll get some pictures of it tomorrow. At this link are some closeup of the barrel and its markings.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=550052

Turning to the issue of the .410, I think those barrels are soldered together and are permanently affixed to the breechplugs. It's not that they can't be disassembled, but the solder has to be removed, allowing the ribs to be taken off and then the barrels separated from the breechplug.
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Old July 31, 2014, 05:31 AM   #29
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i have never seen a set of barrels that were breeched then joined not even on very , VERY cheep models . I have seen them with welded plugs .

if you look closly you should see that one plug screws insid the other plug Gary . IE one plug has to come out first brefore the other one can be turned
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Old July 31, 2014, 07:13 AM   #30
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Here's a look at the breech plugs and hooks on this 410. You can pretty much see the round plugs under the hooks especially on the right side. These plugs do not appear to overlap:


A view into the bad side flash hole. Just a hole drilled down into the breech plug and no flash hole into the barrel.


The proofs on the bottom of the barrels:
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File Type: jpg plugs.jpg (217.6 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg badside.jpg (236.4 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg proofs.jpg (202.5 KB, 59 views)
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Old July 31, 2014, 07:16 AM   #31
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Pic of the "made in belgium" stamp on the right side barrel:


And a profile of the shotgun without the nipples and ramrod.
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File Type: jpg belgium.jpg (227.9 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg profile.jpg (198.2 KB, 59 views)
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Old July 31, 2014, 08:04 PM   #32
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BOY!!! . Is tat something or what ????
Kind of scratching my head here
1) what you see clearly as a round line around the hook on the right side and on the left side if you look close .
Myself I would say that those lines are not the plugs but threaded in hooks . While I have seen that done on French SXS “ normally buttons “, I have never seen it where they drilled the nipple holes through the threaded hooks
2) here is why I don’t think they are the actual plugs .
A) If you look at the photo where we see; Made in Belgium., the line you see on the barrel is the actual plug where it mates to the barrel. Then there is a threaded section inside the barrel
B) if you look at the photo of the breech area . Same one where you see the circle on the right hook .
If you look closely you will see a faint line that starts on the left side of what would be the bottom rib . It then curves up and end on the left side of the top rib .
That line means that the left hand plug must be removed first as its actually inside the right plug . IE the right plug wraps part of the left plug .
Add into that the index mark . that’s the mark you see running off the back of the left side of the center rib , down, across the line I just pointed out ,.
What this index mark is , is a mark that place on a breech plug and barrel , to insure that if the plug is removed , its put back exactly as it was originally meant to
So if you were to try and take out the actual plug . You would take out the left hand plug , then take out the right . When the righ began to unscrew , you would see that the short section of center rib that’s between the two plugs , is actual part of the right hand plug

On the left plug what is that round dot /spot , is that a weld inclusion or is it the end of a pin ?????

So what do we have . Well its hard to tell by looking at photos . But it would appear to me that what would normally be the breech plugs on a SXS has been drilled out . Making somewhat of a sleeve . The hooks were then threaded into that sleeve. If im right in that , then the hooks then become the actual breech plugs .
In other words if you were to apply pressure to the right hand hook , it should just unscrew out of what would normally be the breech plug . Since it appears they have drilled the nipple holes after the plug was set , then I would bet that if you unscrewed the hook , you may in fact be seeing right down the bore
Is that how its supposed to be ??? B I have never seen one like that . But in theory , it should be fine to do . But why as it would be a lot more work .

Thus the possibility that at some time , someone needed to remove the breech plugs . But if they wouldn’t come out , then they would have filed off the hooks . Then center drilled the plugs so as to be able to access the bore . Then installed a bolt type plug . Then re drilled that plug for the nipple . But simply never got around to finishing the drilling of the right hand plug .

Anyway , im not sure that all makes since to you , but that’s what im seeing .
As to what to do . Fix her and get her up shooting
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Old July 31, 2014, 08:09 PM   #33
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ohh forgot to mention , the 3 hash marks followed by a slash (III/) that’s the makers mark and should also bee seen on all the parts , if they are all from the same piece . Sometimes you see a different mark on the barrel vs. the rest of the gun . In those cases the gun was assembled from parts from different makers .
See a lot of these makes could not read or write their own names . Plus the would not get a Masters mark from the Guild tell such time as they made Master . So they used lines and slashes to identify their work
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Old July 31, 2014, 09:37 PM   #34
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Captchee I think I'm following you. i also believe that the hooks are functioning as the plugs. What might not be coming out in the pictures well is that the line you point out in the "made in belgium" picture doesn't appear to me to be a junction at all. The line is fake, like etched on or something, because it isn't consistent around the entire barrel (on either barrel). Look at the pic with the proof marks and you will see that the lines don't go all the way around the barrels. Also look at the picture of the nipple hole and you can see that the lines stop short of the top rib.
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Old August 1, 2014, 05:36 AM   #35
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Quote:
picture doesn't appear to me to be a junction at all. The line is fake, like etched on or something, because it isn't consistent around the entire barrel (on either barrel). Look at the pic with the proof marks and you will see that the lines don't go all the way around the barrels. Also look at the picture of the nipple hole and you can see that the lines stop short of the top rib.
That might be the case but I seriously doubt it . But lets work on the premise that’s is true .
If it is then it means the back of the barrels have to be forged or forge welded closed or where turned from far larger barrel stock , so as to allow for the smaller bore and the smaller plug .

Now what im thinking your seeing and why the line looks as it does , is because that when the plug is fitted the maker then will do whats call striking . Striking is nothing more then drawing with different files , tell one creates a finish . .Think of it as sanding with different grits .

If you look on the bottom of the barrel . See those file marks / scratchs . Those are strike marks .

But anyway , in the process the joint of the plug will disappear. On better made guns , you in fact wont see the joint at all .
when i get home to night , i have some things i need to get done so as to be able to go to an event . but ill see if i can post some photos for you before i leave

Last edited by Captchee; August 2, 2014 at 07:30 AM.
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Old August 1, 2014, 06:33 AM   #36
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I'm figuring then that this shotgun is a lot older than I originally thought. Possible it was refinished in the past, and had the breech plugs drilled through to the barrel and some new plugs fabricated to put in those holes. I guess the only way to tell is to remove the right hook/plug (not the actual breech plug) and see if I see daylight through it. If that's the case, then maybe it can be re-done with new hook/plugs. I just wonder if, when the breech plugs were drilled through to the bore (if that's the case) the actual original breech plugs are weakened where they're threaded into the barrels. And, perhaps, the person that made those modifications decided the right side was unsafe and intentionally kept it inoperable.
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Old August 1, 2014, 06:19 PM   #37
44 Dave
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Could you "get away with"?
Silver soldering a drill to a rod (say about 3/8"), with a sleeve, making some centering bushings, with careful calculations and a slow turning drill, maybe hand drill open the blocked area.
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Old August 1, 2014, 08:48 PM   #38
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Most certainly one could do that Dave . However if it were me doing the work , I would want to see what the deal is with how the drilling was done on the right barrel and exactly what was done with the hooks

As to the age of the barrels ?? By the proof marks , since there is no Crown on the prudential mark “LEG” has no crown , that should place it prior to 1893 . That however does not mean that’s when the gun was made . a lot of these barrels were imported and even more of them stored . As warehouses were found or bought up , cheaper guns were made from them and then marketed .
The other thing that could have happened is that someone bought an older piece and then restocked it . Very hard IMO to say unless you find those hash marks and slash on the stock . Which could be under the butt plate , under the barrels or under the TG on the wood
Here is a link for you to look up the markings .
http://shotguns.se/html/belgium.html

Also here is some originals for you to see the breech lines I was speaking of.
common Belgium


Early french flintlock






English flintlock


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Old August 1, 2014, 09:31 PM   #39
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Well that's a lot older than I thought. I think I will have to have a gunsmith check it out to see if it can even safely be shot from the left barrel. I will look around the butt plate and wood to see if there are any of the same maker marks.

Those are some nice looking flintlock shotguns!
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Old August 1, 2014, 10:09 PM   #40
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Ok I went for broke, and I think this confirms that the breech plugs were drilled through to the barrel, and bolts were used to fashion plugs and hooks. Captchee was spot on in his assessment. The bolt/plug out is the one on the left that actually has a flash channel. Now that it's out of the way, I should be able to twist off the bad side and see what's going on with that plug, and why it didn't get a flash channel like the left side.

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Old August 2, 2014, 10:04 AM   #41
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I hope I'm not boring you with my shotgun chronicles, but here are some pics with both plugs removed.

The bad bolt/plug removed. You can see that whoever was trying to find a flash hole, didn't, and drilled right through the plug.


And here you can see that they even scarred the other side of the actual breech plug while drilling the into the bolt/plug.


here you can see the undrilled (or plugged up with something hard) bolt/plug breech face. I need to scrape it see what it is. Might be lead.
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File Type: jpg IMAG0030.jpg (147.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0031.jpg (173.2 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0032.jpg (155.3 KB, 40 views)
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Old August 2, 2014, 10:08 AM   #42
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and lastly, the difference between the good(ish) bolt plug (notice how there's a concave breech face as well) and the bad bolt/plug (no concave face and not drilled through). Was it plugged intentionally?
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Old August 3, 2014, 01:26 PM   #43
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Truly amazing , . If it were not for having to shape the back down to expose the threads , I would have to say ; pretty dam ingenious .

Personally I would have made new plugs but ?????

Ok so . Next thing I would do is looking from the breech end , look down into the holes and see if there is a face that the plugs you just took out , screw up against .
Some originals did not have this face for the plugs to seal to . What they duid however have was runout on the threads .IE the thread on the plug was longer then the thread in the barrel . As such the longer thread would distort and seal off . Thus not allowing pressure to escape down the thread and end up fouling and eventually corroding the thread

Since the plugs you just took out look to be much bigger then bore , there should be a face for the plugs to seal against .
This them begs the question ; do they seal ?
Maybe the reason the right plug wasn’t finished was because it wouldn’t seal .

So lets check that .
Start by cleaning off the face of the left hand plug .. Then we want to coat the face with inletting black .
For inletting black you can use candle soot , lipstick ,,,,, myself I just use a black sharpie marker .

Once you have the face all colored , screw the plug back in and snug it up .
Test to make sure your standing tree/ standing breech , fits properly .
Then you want to take the plug back out .
Look at the face of the plug where you colored it with inletting black . The color should be removed in a nice ring around the edge of the plug face . This is caused by the plug contacting the face inside the barrels . In doing so , sealing the threads .
Now repeat that with the right hand plug . If it also seals then we are good to continue with the mind that the plugs are sealing properly . Thus not getting the right hand plug to seal wasn’t the problem as to why it wasn’t finished .

Next I would look at the threads themselves . Specifically how much thread you have actually inside the original plugs , forward of the nipple hole . While its hard to tell you without seeing the actual plug first hand . There IMO should be at least 5/8 to ¾ of an inch of thread forward of the drilled nipple hole .
Also the thread should closely match each other . IE once you start the plug and you get a couple threads forward of the nipple hole , you should not have a lot of play . Thus by the time you get to the bottom , the plug should not be moving side to side at all .

Myself , if I could match the threads as well as the pitch of the threads , I would just make and fit a new plug. . You may be able to find someone who can weld the nipple hole closed . At least the bottom , and then re thread ??? But again it maybe easier just to make a new plug .
Again im not holding the piece , so I cant tell you if there would be enough material in the bottom of the old plug to make the breech of the barrels for the right hand barrel . Im sorry but I just cant say
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Old August 3, 2014, 04:35 PM   #44
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Captchee I don't see a face in the barrels at all. Just threads for the plugs.
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Old August 3, 2014, 06:38 PM   #45
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so how do the threads end ?
are the plugs just a thread size over .410 ?

can you shoot me a photo looking down the bore
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Old August 3, 2014, 08:40 PM   #46
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I couldn't see it looking at light through the bore, but held at the right angle with light straight into the breech area, I think I see the faces you are talking about.



The flecks of red in the right side are from a piece of red tshirt I used for patches to clean the barrels. So to see if the plugs bottom out on those faces I'll try the sharpie trick. I think I'll freeze the plugs so they go in easier. They were hard to get out. Very tight.

And another thing I discovered is that the right side plug never had a flash hole bored through. What looks like something plugged it up on the end is only a circular scratched area that I made twisting a worm and a ball puller on it. It is hard steel, not lead or something softer than steel.
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Old August 3, 2014, 10:18 PM   #47
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there looks to be a face on moth barrel for the plugs to face to .
the left barrel looks good . but is it just the photo or does not the threads in the right barrel not go all the way to the face ?
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Old August 4, 2014, 07:00 AM   #48
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Good catch. I'll have to look closer. So what would be involved in getting new "actual" breech plugs put on these barrels, and if the old breech plugs won't come off, I imagine the barrels could be cut, re-threaded for plugs, and new breech plugs fabricated and fitted. Then just a matter of removing and shifting the barrels wedge slot. So the barrels would be a couple inches shorter, but I could live with that.

OR

I could have two new bolts fitted and drilled with flash channels, like the ones on it now, but fitted better.
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Old August 4, 2014, 09:23 AM   #49
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First let me say the Bill Brockway has a very good book on making SXS shotguns from scratch .
Bill covers everything from making locks to making breech plugs that will be fit to old breech loading barrels so as to convert them to muzzle loading application
Recreating the Double Barrel Muzzleloading Shotgun,
by William R. Brockway.
When Bill first wrote this book , I jumped right in for a signed copy .and immediately began a review and build . Since then I bet I have built , 20 , maybe 30 SXS and I still go back to the book to reference. So if your thinking of doing the work yourself , get bills book .

When it comes to taking the original plugs out . You best fit the barrel to a proper SXS barrel jig or your likely to twist the barrels apart .
There also is the possibility that the reason this SXS was built this way is that someone could not get the original plugs out Not to mention that if the threads don’t go all the way to the bottom on the right hand barrel , they may very well have left the breech un drilled for that reason ???? I don’t know , just guessing frankly ,when it comes to that .

Ok past that . . Making new plugs of the type you have ,isn’t all that hard . Its just time consuming . Even if you have a lathe. . Then after turning , you have a lot of file work not only to make the hooks but to also shape the right hand plug so that it carries the center rib and wraps partially around the left plug . Again Bill covers how to do all that .
But making the plugs in the way seen in Belgium and Birmingham , IE what you have , is much more drawn out then using say a Germanic style .
The barrels when finished will look the same while in the stock . Its just when you take the barrels out , you will see that the breech plugs are shaped differently .

At this point , this is what I would tell you to do .
Take your barrels and plugs to a gunsmith . Not gist any gunsmith but one that’s familiar with muzzle loading guns . They also need to be an Actual Gunsmith , not a parts assembler as you may want them to do the work for you .

Also because they actually have the barrels in hand , they can better discern why this piece was done this way , then I can clear across the country. Not to mention by actually looking at the barrels first hand , one would be able to tell as to if the breech area of the barrels are welded up and thus the breeching lines Faux as you stated OR possibly actual joints as I suspect . .

But know up front this . Chances are that re breaching this piece with proper plugs , is most likely going to cost you more then what you paid for it or what its worth .
It is a .410 so you have that going for you . But she also is a Belgium .
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Old August 4, 2014, 09:50 AM   #50
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Im still wondering if the situation with that left hand plug isn’t one of the threads not going to the face and thus the plug was made to short and it didn’t seal . To make maters worse , they drilled to deep with the flash channel . Possibly thinking they had already drilled and counter drilled the plug . When in fact they have not. In other words one of those shop G@# DAMITS that happen to the best of us .
The gun got set aside and later liquidated or the person who did the work , just decided that it would be far simpler for them just to use one barrel .
Really there are any number of reasons why or how this could have came about .

In the end , the real elephant in the room is one of ; is it safe they way it was done ?

Personally, while IMO its not the right way to do it ,,,, as long as the original plugs have threads that are not corroded and leaking . That these plugs you took out , also face and seal so as to not leak , then I can see no reason why the breeching wouldn’t be safe .
So making a new left hand plug wouldn’t be all that big of an issue .
The barrels are old , so keep that in mind . Small calibers for the most part deal with a lot higher pressures then larger calibers . So I would keep your loads light , regardless of what you do . Even if you go to the expense of having them totally re- breeched .
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