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Old November 11, 2012, 12:47 AM   #1
Bill Carson
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a tacky question

for years I've wanted an 1873 springfield trapdoor carbine. never found one that was good and affordable. so I decided to make one up. last year a junk trapdoor rifle was made available. it was a mess, but mechanically sound. some one had cut the barrel to 25'' without removing the barrel from the stock first. they also welded a chunk of another front sight on while the barrel remained in the stock. start to get the picture? it took 3 weeks to rework it into a correct m1873 carbine. the serial number put it in the year 1877. so all work and additional parts had to be original and correspond to that year. the finished gun was treated to a worn patina so it has the look of a piece that was carried through the late western indian wars but is a totally sound shooter. my initial concept was for the gun to have the persona of a captured indian gun and to decorate it with brass tacks. a year later 100s of rounds down range still no tacks. I've never been this indecisive about the design of one of my guns. so I'm asking - tacks or leave it plain? I would welcome and appreciate any thoughts or opinions. thanks. b.c.
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Old November 11, 2012, 05:09 AM   #2
Beagle333
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While the "tacky" look is pretty popular among guns that were intended to look like they were at one point an "Indian gun", I would not shy away from a tacked one that was priced right, but I personally wouldn't put tacks in one that I already owned just to achieve that look.
To each his own.... but that's my opinion.
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Old November 11, 2012, 05:20 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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Bill....Beag + 1

If it were mine, I'd leave it blank.

I might add that I envy you for the discovery of this piece.

Love to see some photos of it.

Tnx,
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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If you do decide to tack it you want tacks with square brass shanks to be original.
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Old November 11, 2012, 02:15 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
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No tacks. Tacks are tacky.

OK, I know the red man loved decorating his stuff. Unless it fits your persona, don't.
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Old November 11, 2012, 02:54 PM   #6
Hawg
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Some of the fur traders and mountain men tacked theirs but they lived among Indians a lot.
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Old November 11, 2012, 06:46 PM   #7
McShooty
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Tacks on, say, a '66 Winchester look great, if they were applied by the native owner of the gun. Just as I would never put them on a '66 that did not have any, so would I never put them on a trap door that came to me without them.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:53 PM   #8
Bill Carson
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Thanks for all of your thoughts so far. H.H., you are quite right. 19th century tacks are cast with a square tapered shank. I've never seen these available in modern times. It is the one point of detail I may have to compromise on should the tacks win. Keep in mind, this old sole of a gun was one step away from being parts out. So I'm not destoying a valuable antique. I've worked with many originals. I got to liking the tack look. Also, built a number of n.w. trade guns with tack patterns. Ditto. Oddly, my 1856 barnett flinter I made a few years back doesn't have tacks yet, either. Still waiting for more throught on this matter. Meantime, I'll try to get images of the m1873 posted. Thanks again for all of your opinions. B.C.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:23 PM   #9
Captainkirk
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I'm with the others....while the tacks add a bit of realism and period correctness for an 'Indian Rifle', I wouldn't put them in there unless you really want the look.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:35 PM   #10
dreamweaver
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I would go with the tacks. recently 100+ vintage tacks, in various sizes sold on Ebay for a buck a piece.
you can get new repros here:
http://buffalodays.cz/articles/index...nk-brass-tacks



tom
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Old November 11, 2012, 11:13 PM   #11
Bill Carson
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dreamweaver,exalant find ,ive put them on favorites.the images of the trade guns are what i was thinking for the m1873.i will still wait for more input ,thanks for your thougts. b.c.
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Old November 12, 2012, 12:05 AM   #12
indy1919
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Just a tack question

I throw this out there -- Why did the Indians place tacks in their rifles... I assume decoration.. But why tacks??? The one time I shot and handled a tacked rifle, I thought is was uncomfortable..
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:39 AM   #13
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duplicate post (sorry).
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:43 AM   #14
Darto
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http://www.thetrunkshoppe.com/

^ An American source for square tacks.^
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:17 AM   #15
bedbugbilly
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Bill - the first thing I thought of when I read your post was the NW Trade gun - I've seen some really nice tacked ones over the years.

My thoughts are worthless . . . . but . . . the 45/70 was a step away from being parted out. You've tried to make it into a carbine that is going to look (part wise) as close as you can - you've added a nice aged, worn patina. If you want tacks . . . I'd go for it. I'm thinking brass that are "aged" - i.e. applied to stock, tarnished up well and high points buffed off - allowing for some darkness around the edge and on to the wood to show build up of dirt (for want of a better word) over the years.

In reality, you aren't going to damage the value of the gun any . . . after all, it is a cobbled up carbine made out of a rifle. I had a cut down that I ended up doing pretty much the same thing to . . . without the addition of the tacks. I made the mistake of putting it out on the table at a gun show many years ago and a guy came along who wanted it for the same reason as you made yours. I wished now that I had kept it.

Whatever you do . . . it's your gun to enjoy and if you decide to "tack it" . . . thee are some very good originals out there to get the "period design" inspiration from. I hope you'll post a couple of photos of it - tacked or untacked. I'm sure it looks great! Good luck!
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:22 AM   #16
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It's your weapon, decorate it to tickle your fancy. I have two M1 Garrands and had both restored and duracoated (no flaming, please). I did this because they go to the range a lot and were intended to be shooters. I did not buy them as investment guns.

I never understood why you can buy an old car and resotore it and your actions increase its value. But, restoring guns decreases their value.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:06 AM   #17
OutlawJoseyWales
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Iron man, I never thought of "restoration" that way though.
You are right though, there is a completely different standard between an restored automobile and a restored antique piece of furniture or heritage firearm. I knew this, I just never put it together, side by side.

Doesn't make much difference though, what Is-Is. You refinish a firearm and it loses value, you rebuild an old wrecked car-you make it considerably more valuable.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:03 PM   #18
indy1919
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Would guess it depends on how you restore the car, If you fix the car with non original or 3rd party parts and paint it in gaudy colors with personalized Modifications, you can ruin the value of the original car.. Unless you find others that want those modification..

For example the Hot rod variation of the Model t, Here the original car has been modified.. but there are large numbers of people who like that modification..
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