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Old July 31, 2013, 04:57 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Finished cutting and crowning my other Trapdoor.

No photos this time since it went precisely like the first one. Those photos are under a different thread. (I love my trapdoor so much I am ......)

Cut it with a hack saw, crowned it in the lathe, dovetailed the sight on the milling machine (and with a file). I learned that the barrel and receiver can be turned in a lathe at 700 RPM with absolutely no wobble if the breach block is removed

There are two operations to complete the conversion of this rifle into a relatively faithful carbine;

When the original owner cut the stock, he made the fore end all wrong. I am going to make a replacement part for the stock which includes everything forward of the barrel band and then splice it together.

I also need to replace the rifle trigger guard with one from a carbine. I might try just reshaping the trigger bow which is the only difference.

I'll prolly leave the rifle sight on it.

I'll be lurking around eBay looking for some deals on parts.

This thing looks a heck of a lot better with a 22 1/2 inch barrel than with a 29 1/2 inch barrel.

Anyone need two barrel stubs? They are for sale for 175.00 each. Ooops that is the eBay price.
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Old August 1, 2013, 07:23 AM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Here are some photos...

Top is what the cavalry carbine fore end should look like (top) and what mine looks like (bottom) before I replaced the fore end.



Not really much a person can do with it when the fore end has been hacked off too short.

So I made a new for end from a hunk of a shotgun stock provided by a kind soul on the forum.



And spliced it into the existing stock after cutting the offending fore end off.






I am not thrilled with the color match and I may continue to work on that.

Next step is the saddle ring and rail.
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Old August 2, 2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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Beautiful work, Doc!

As usual! And I agree; I think "offending" is the correct terminology.
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Old August 3, 2013, 12:31 AM   #4
Bill Akins
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Great work as usual Doc. If you'd like your fore end to be a little darker, you might try rubbing some "old English" furniture stain into it. I have a feeling it would be just the right shade. Maybe even put a small ding or two into the wood to "age" it to match the rest of the stock.


.
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Old August 3, 2013, 01:49 AM   #5
Doc Hoy
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I pulled it apart yesterday

(Friday)

When I cut the channel for the barrel band spring the angle was wrong.

I added a shim, reshaped it, recut the channel at the right angle and then darkened the shade just a bit. It looks a little better but still not quite to my liking. Bill's idea of depressing it is a good one.

I also made the saddle ring and rail.

The rail came out fine, but the ring is just temporary. Didn't have rod of the right diameter.

I saw a cavalry carbine for sale on one of the trapdoor sites which was purported to be from the Custer LBH serial number run (very easy to verify and probably was). It had a trigger guard and barrel band with sling hardware. As I look through the trapdoor reference I am met with the information that this is not historically accurate. When I was redoing my other one I got hold of Al Frasca to ask about this and he confirmed the carbines were not originally made with slings. He also told me that a few were made without the cleaning rod door on the butt plate.

The carbine was $4,000.00. I wonder if:

1. I have it wrong about slings (and I don't think I do)
2. It was customary for soldiers to modify the carbine to add a sling and that carbine is an example
3. It is a rehabbed original or perhaps even a fraud
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Old August 3, 2013, 04:18 AM   #6
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Slings on cavalry carbines

I think I have the history right.

Up to about the end of the Napoleonic period, heavy cavalry tactics involved remaining mounted during actual engagements capitalizing on the shock value of a heavy horse and a big soldier. The weapon of choice was the sword or sabre because it was about the only weapon which was effective considering the tactics.

Light cavalry (Hussars, Chaveau Legere, Lancers and Light Dragoons) did different duty being called upon for picket, reconnaissance, and other operations during which they had a dismounted role. A weapon was eventually included (the carbine which was effectively a shortened musket) to facilitate fighting while dismounted but easy to carry while mounted. In Italy today the federal police are the Carabiniari or Carbineers.

Eventually gunpowder made heavy cavalry all but useless and the role of light cavalry came to prominence. I think it is true that after the American Civil War and probably sometime earlier, all U.S. cavalry were light cavalry in nearly all respects. While General Custer charged Confederates using heavy cavalry tactics, Jeb Stewart operated his brigade as light cavalry. (These are isolated references and may be completely off)

So in the West, fighting the "Indian Wars" cavalry did most of their fighting on foot (when a pitched battle was anticipated) it is not unlikely that a soldier would want to be able to carry his carbine slung over his shoulder.

To this end, might a trooper have affixed a sling to his carbine in defiance of official guidance but admitting to the needs of the workplace?

And so the example I spoke of previously of a carbine with fixtures for a sling might have been a carbine that was modified by the trooper to whom the carbine was issued before the conflict.
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Old August 3, 2013, 09:46 AM   #7
4V50 Gary
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Nice restoration work in getting rid of the brass nosecap and splicing a normal carbine nose on.
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Old August 3, 2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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Excellent !!!

As usual; Nice restoration, Doc .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 3, 2013, 01:27 PM   #9
Doc Hoy
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There is more to come......

I just bought another trapdoor at the gun show. Gave sixty bucks for it.

The vendor said it was a "parts gun". I think it is salvageable.

Photos when I start that project.
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Old August 5, 2013, 07:05 AM   #10
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Nice!

Looks great Doc!

Birch
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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Great job as always! I would love to see what you got for 60 bucks!

TK

Sorry missed your other post and the pictures...

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Old August 6, 2013, 05:09 AM   #12
Doc Hoy
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Thanks all for your compliments

The most recent one is taxing me.

I just can't seem to get past the front sight.
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