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Old July 21, 2018, 09:42 PM   #1
HillBilly Willy
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Getting closer to shooting the old wallhanger

My plans fell through for the weekend so I decided to try and disassemble the cut down 1700's flintlock fowler I picked up last year.

(Original thread) - https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=590681

I had real concerns about the safety of shooting this old piece, as the lock was not sitting flush at the rear with the stock. I was worried that there was damage to the stock or rear of the barrel in that area that would make it unsafe.

So today I spent a couple hours trying to get 200+ year old screws and bolts to budge. After much coaxing, I managed to get the lock off, and I discovered why it wasn't sitting flush with the stock. One of the screws inside the lock had loosen up so much that there was no way for the lock to sit flush. Tightening it up got the lock to back into the stock further where it belonged.







I made a ramrod for it, to match the shortened barrel. It came out pretty good for a first try, matching the old stock fairly well.



I gave up trying to get the barrel off, as the top screw at the back would not come out. I eventually managed to get it to turn but it would only back out approx. 1/16th of an inch, and just spin in place even with another screwdriver applying pressure under the edge of it. Strangely, it would tighten right back up within a couple turns though. What does this screw go into? Just the wood stock, or does it go into threads on the other side of the trigger guard? I have no idea.

I had really wanted to check the barrel out thoroughly before test firing it. I guess I'll have to go with option 2, which is to strap it to an old tire, and test fire it remotely using a long string. I have some FFFg black powder, I just need to find some FFFFg for the pan.

(Pic from last year)


Last edited by HillBilly Willy; July 22, 2018 at 09:25 AM.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:44 PM   #2
Model12Win
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I have some FFFg black powder, I just need to find some FFFFg for the pan.
No, you don't.

Many shooters use the same powder for the main charge as they use in the pan, be it 3Fg or 2Fg. This was how it was done historically too, they did not carry two different "sizes" of powder.
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Old July 21, 2018, 10:00 PM   #3
HillBilly Willy
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Good to know. I don't have any experience with black powder, so I was just going with what I was told.

Thanks.
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Old July 22, 2018, 03:23 AM   #4
mehavey
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If you've got 3Fg, go ahead and use it.

Fill pan only to where the powder comes level with the vent hole -- not cover it (or worse, get/put powder into the hole)

For the main charge, use "about" the same amount of powder in grains, as the ball/barrel is in caliber (40gr ~ 40 caliber)

Important observation/question #1: Do you have a different/newer flint from the one shown in the pics?

Important observation question #2: Pull the lock after firing sessions and scrub it inside/out with soapy/water/toothbrush (15 seconds), dry it out and re-oil inside/out. (Dry off/patch clean frizzen before next session)

Last edited by mehavey; July 22, 2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old July 22, 2018, 09:18 AM   #5
B.L.E.
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You don't even need the lock on the gun or the barrel on the stock to proof it. Just lay the barrel on an old tire and use a cannon fuse in the touch hole. It doesn't have to be lashed down, just pointed in a safe direction. The barrel will fly backwards a few feet, just have some soft sand or dirt for it to land on.
That's essentially how the government proof houses proofed gun barrels in the old days. Once the barrel passed proof, then the rest of the gun was built.

This way, if the barrel does blow, it won't take the stock and lock with it.
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Old July 22, 2018, 09:23 AM   #6
HillBilly Willy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
If you've got 3Fg, go ahead and use it.

Fill pan only to where the powder comes level with the vent hole -- not cover it (or worse, get/put powder into the hole)

For the main charge, use "about" the same amount of powder in grains, as the ball/barrel is in caliber (40gr ~ 40 caliber)

Important observation/question #1: Do you have a different/newer flint from the one shown in the pics?

Important observation question #2: Pull the lock after firing sessions and scrub it inside/out with soapy/water/toothbrush (15 seconds), dry it out and re-oil inside/out. (Dry off/patch clean frizzen before next session)
For the first test, I will fire without a ball or shot.

I do not have another flint. This one does seem to spark quite well. I need to move it out a hair bit more, as it sparks much better when further out than the pictures are showing right now. Is there something you see about the flint that you don't like other than that?

Thank you for the reminder about cleaning the lock and frizzen. I do have experience with corrosive primers and antique bolt action rifles, but this is different yet. By "pull the lock", do you mean remove it from the rifle like in the pictures above?
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Old July 22, 2018, 10:15 AM   #7
mehavey
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Roger, pull the lock free and scrub the inside (the vent hole blows residue out/partially down into the works)

If the flint sparks sparks, go ahead and try w/ it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rb0s3YAGOA
If problems, they are available from these guys:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/141/1
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Old July 22, 2018, 10:38 AM   #8
4V50 Gary
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Go light with 3F. 2F is what you need for muskets or fowlers.
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Old July 22, 2018, 11:37 AM   #9
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As I recall there is a powder {reduction} factor followed when preferred 2-FFG is substituted with 3-FFG. I {think?} that figure is 10-%.

Once while muzzle hunting 252 miles away from home . I forgot my primmer horn and its 3 gr. primmer measure'r. Having only a Day horn full of 2-FFg Groex along and arriving at camp after suppertime. Later that first evening I got a idea I turned over a coffee cups saucer. Poured 5 or 10 grs of 2-FF into its center ring/circle and chopper that 2-FFg into 4-FFFFg with a razor sharp duel purposed filleting /gutting Chicago folder.
No misfires did that homemade 4-FFFFg produce. In-fact I filled my Tag with a dandy 6 pt using that chopped powder later-on during that hunt. B.T.W-I wouldn't hesitate to do again if needed. A challenge arose on that successful hunt with my having to hurriedly re-charge my rifles pan for a second shot~~ not needed. Pouring the last of the powder I had chopped wrapped in a tube of wax paper into the pan facing a gusting wind was kinda problematic.
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Old July 22, 2018, 12:06 PM   #10
HillBilly Willy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
Roger, pull the lock free and scrub the inside (the vent hole blows residue out/partially down into the works)

If the flint sparks sparks, go ahead and try w/ it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rb0s3YAGOA
If problems, they are available from these guys:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/141/1
Wow, those flints are a whole lot better looking, and with a much larger strike face than mine, which is very irregular in shape. Yet, the type of flint I have seems to be quite common in my area, as I have seen them for sale at some of the larger gun shows in my area.

I can see how I would get a better spark from one of the flints in your link.
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Old July 22, 2018, 12:10 PM   #11
HillBilly Willy
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Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary View Post
Go light with 3F. 2F is what you need for muskets or fowlers.
I planned on going light anyway. I only figured on shooting it a few times just for the experience, before putting it back up on the wall.

I suppose the danger here is I might enjoy it so much that this "plan" gets blown to smithereens.
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Old August 21, 2018, 02:16 PM   #12
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That is a COOL PROJECT!
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Old August 26, 2018, 09:18 AM   #13
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You have to love that gun. I think it would be a BLAST to shoot. Be careful and please post the results.
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Old August 26, 2018, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Once while muzzle hunting 252 miles away from home . I forgot my primmer horn and its 3 gr. primmer measure'r. Having only a Day horn full of 2-FFg Groex along and arriving at camp after suppertime. Later that first evening I got a idea I turned over a coffee cups saucer. Poured 5 or 10 grs of 2-FF into its center ring/circle and chopper that 2-FFg into 4-FFFFg with a razor sharp duel purposed filleting /gutting Chicago folder.
I have turned 3f into 4f using a makeshift mortar and pestle. Just do 5 or so grains at a time and if it accidentally ignites, there will be no damage done provided you wear gloves and eye protection.
Goex really ought to sell 4f in quarter pound cans, an entire pound just will never be used up by someone only shooting occasionally.
FFg and FFFg will also work just as it is as a priming powder. I guarantee that the Redcoats were not issued special FFFFg priming powder, they used the same powder to prime as they used in the main charge. In the heat of battle, it's best to keep things simple.
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Old August 29, 2018, 02:59 PM   #15
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Hillbilly Willy hasn't posted on his project since July 22, 2018....
I wonder how the project went ????

Hillbilly Willy ....where Y'at ?
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Old November 4, 2018, 04:16 PM   #16
HillBilly Willy
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Hillbilly Willy hasn't posted on his project since July 22, 2018....
I wonder how the project went ????

Hillbilly Willy ....where Y'at ?
I'm still alive! This fell by the wayside. I went looking for one of my great grandfather's powder flasks to see if it would work with this antique, and I can't find it. It's really ticking me off...

Plus I've got 5 or 6 other gun projects on the bench, and I haven't touched one since summer.

Grrr.......
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Old November 4, 2018, 05:08 PM   #17
TruthTellers
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Do you know what diameter the bore is? Looks way bigger than .73"
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Old November 5, 2018, 09:02 PM   #18
HillBilly Willy
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Do you know what diameter the bore is? Looks way bigger than .73"
This I can answer, as I bought a caliper set for one of my other projects.

About 13/16th of an inch, or .8125" as measured, inside diameter, with a caliper.

I guess that would make it a 9 gauge?

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Old November 6, 2018, 02:02 AM   #19
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This I can answer, as I bought a caliper set for one of my other projects.

About 13/16th of an inch, or .8125" as measured, inside diameter, with a caliper.

I guess that would make it a 9 gauge?
Sweet, I love the big diameter smoothbore muzzleloaders. I would love to find a 4 bore and load it with shot and take it to the skeet range.
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Old November 7, 2018, 06:24 AM   #20
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I come up with 8.7 gauge.

Bore diameter to gauge=(1.67/bore in inches) raised to the third power.
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Old November 11, 2018, 06:11 PM   #21
HillBilly Willy
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I rounded to the nearest whole number.

I take it they didn't care about whole numbers when they made a barrel back then? lol
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Old November 11, 2018, 07:25 PM   #22
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I rounded to the nearest whole number.

I take it they didn't care about whole numbers when they made a barrel back then? lol
Couldn't measure it. I can't imagine Vernier calipers of the day were accurate and micrometer's for manufacturing didn't exist then.
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