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Old June 18, 2009, 05:28 PM   #26
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Posts: 145
Nemo2econ, have ya shot it yet? Pics man, pics. Tim
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Old June 29, 2009, 11:44 AM   #27
Dave Gafvert
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Posts: 18
FYI tid bit's

There is nothing on this planet that has not been successfully taken
with a single shot muzzle loader.

A nutter one, The 500 grn minie ball doe's not look very impressive on
paper, BUT in reality it hit's like the broad side of an ax swung by a 7ft
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Old June 29, 2009, 12:15 PM   #28
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,141
Note that military muskets, rifle muskets and pistols do not use patches. Civilian rifles, like PA rifles, do.

Jim K
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Old July 1, 2009, 01:44 PM   #29
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 91
You can, in fact, safely shoot an antique pistol that is in good condition

Several of you have asked the question if I have fired the hypothetical pistol with which I began this thread. I have not. I am still looking for the right antique pistol, and acquiring the funds to purchase the "right" pistol. But finding such a pistol is NOT the topic of this thread. Please leave comments on that for other threads in the black powder forum.

This thread was started in order to cover a topic on which I had previously been unable to learn very much. I had run into many folks who assumed that one would never fire a valuable, non-reproduction antique pistol. That may be good for them--their pistol, their choice. But I could not dream of ever buying such a pistol if I thought I could never fire it.

This thread has been great. Many knowledgeable folks have offered the benefit of their experience. I am, and other readers are, now convinced that one can, in fact, safely shoot an antique pistol that is in good condition, provided one has carefully checked out mechanical condition in advance, one uses a cautious and gradual approach of increasing maximum pressure, and the pistol is initially fired, during the testing protocol, utilizing "a wooden fixture to hold the gun so you can pull the trigger remotely with a line."

Many thanks to all who offered such useful advice!
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Old July 2, 2009, 01:34 PM   #30
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Join Date: October 1, 2008
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one can, in fact, safely shoot an antique pistol that is in good condition
Absolutely, if it were otherwise the firing line at many a MLAIC competition would be, sadly, sparsely populated! Most MLAIC events have both original & reproduction categories, & you see many wonderful examples of original matchlock, flintlock, & percussion guns being shot.....& shot VERY well.
"For a man, be he ever so much resolved to do his duty as a parent, can't be flogging his children all day....."

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq. (William Thackeray).
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Old July 15, 2009, 05:26 PM   #31
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Join Date: July 15, 2009
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shooting antique flintlocks.

Please make SURE you let a competent BP gunsmith check it over. Preferably one who has built ML guns, as he will be more aware of the nuances that can avoid destroying the gun WITHOUT shooting it. Modern gunsmiths may not have the proper appreciation for the antique arms and might inadvertently do something foolish.

Some posts suggested clamping barrel and setting it off with cannon fuse. I agree. Nobody should be standing in line with either end of the barrel when it fires. They should be behind a substantial barrier. If the barrel fails, it just could be the breech plug that comes charging backwards out the barrel. Some of the old threads are pretty tenuous. I'd hate to have you spoil your day.

I build new originals, and shoot them.

AND have rehabed several antiques to stop the action of time. I understand your wish to shoot some old guns. Just make sure of the condition.

Like another poster, I suggest removing the barrel from the stock before firing. If the barrel goes, you can recreate it after a fashion given sufficient photos and measurements before it is destroyed. Good shooting.
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