Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders & Black Powder' started by HWL, Jul 10, 2019.
Cool stuff. Very neat indeed. Thanks.
good to have the proof house.
if they are wrong, you will find out when you fire it.
would love to know what the 2 means stamped on the gun.
I will feed it with a mild nitro for black powder load and work up carefully.
I can not imagine, that a fired case looks different to the chamber cast.
The "No.2" keeps a miracle we probably will never know.
May be, the barrel was made for something else and converted.
I reworked and oiled the stock, cut a new checkering and dismantled the old recoil pad.
The old I think, did not really appropriate to the gun.
Anyone interested in?
The new red one elongates the stock half an inch, and gives me a better feeling.
Blueing the barrels is next....
What a fabulous find!! And in such a usable format. I would be careful about heavy shotgun loads in that gun (I would personally never shoot those). Though it is 70mm, 1 ounce and 1 1/8 ounce loads would be much kinder to those relatively thin shotgun chamber walls, and in keeping it tight on the face.
I like old rifle.
Gunsmith and the people of the proof house say, the gun in strong in any way.
I am completely with you in the case of daily use of shotgun loads.
Nonetheless, I consider this thing as an African rifle/shotgun/drilling/whatsoever, I would not hesitate to load it with slugs/buckshot in the case of emergency.
For example when you are tracking a wounded animal.
IvW inspired me with ist "Poor man's double", you remember.
@HWL it is your gun and you should do exactly what you want to with it. I simply noted that I would not fire heavy shotgun loads from those barrels. That would include most slugs and buck shot. There are 70mm loads and there are 70mm loads. On the other hand, it would be fantastic for an evening piling up sand grouse at a waterhole. Congrats again on a wonderful find.
Today I made my first shots with (the recomended) 1 ounce load at the trap range.
Not easy, because both barrels are "improved cylinder" only.
Gun handles like a "recoilless railway track"
Amen to @Red Leg ’s suggestion of light loads. A 1-1/8 ounce load has 50% more recoil than a 1 ounce load. The head of that stock will likely fail before the barrels, but it’s such a great gun it doesn’t deserve any abuse, saving all the recoil for an occasional nitro rifle shot or two.
Be very careful with rebluing, two horrible things can happen. 1, the ribs can get hot enough in the salts to come off, 2.0 the corrosives can get under the ribs unless you permenantly drill port holes to ensure you got all of it out, then submerge in $300 of water displacement oil to purge.
The problem with drillings is that corrosion between the joints cannot be detected because a wall thickness gauge can’t get an inside/outside measurement on a drilling. The barrels could be very thin in places unknown, or corroded undetectably.
67mm / 2-1/2” one ounce loads would give the stock and barrels the years of life the gun deserves. It looks “perfect” to me right now with the honest wear but that’s just my opinion. (Reblack the guard and top lever if you please)
Nice combo gun, out of the past to the present for a new hunting life.
Your pics don't show any pits or heavy rust about the rifle. So why devalue such a piece of work? Just needs a little re-seasoning with bore butter or water displacement oil.
If you are really wanting to reblue, as long as it hasn't been case hardened, I would recommend a cold blue, using Oxpho-blue from Brownell's. Followed by a wide down with water displacement oil or my favorite, Thompson Center bore butter (yellow).
Neither hot blue in a tub nor cold blue from a bottle! There are literally a dozen of gunmakers and gunsmiths in Austria and Germany who can give that gun a proper hand-carded rust blue finish to those barrels if @HWL would like them restored - exactly what it had went it left the original gunmaker.
The action, if restored, should be properly case colored (charcoal and other mysterious bits - not a blow torch or acid) - those same gunmakers and gunsmiths can create a perfect period action finish for a restored gun.
By the pics, the lighting shows the gun looks to have been blued rather than browned.
I mentioned cased hardened because the locks look to have case hardened swirls or patena from use.
+1 on not using a torch or acid for the case hardened look as adverse effects could result due to the age or type of metal work for the time period.
European drilling actions were indeed either case-colored (through a hardening process) or occasionally "French greyed" which is simply another form of casehardening and coloring. Those colors can be restored perfectly by an expert. In this country Doug Turnbull is the best. They are done exactly as they were originally to create the colors and the proper temper to the steel. This gun clearly was originally case-colored through the hardening process.
Not sure what you mean by "browned" in this case. The barrels are fluid steel and so would have been rust blued - just like any first quality double or drilling today. British and Continental gunmakers are the masters of that time consuming process. It creates a very deep and durable blue/black finish when complete. Damascus barrels were indeed often given a brown rather than blue or black finish. The process was somewhat different. I know of only two barrel smiths in the States who do a good job of replicating the original browning process on Damascus.
I should add that the brown finish was largely a British style. For instance Damascus Parkers had a lovely black and white finish as did many of the guns coming out of Suhl.
Now....I am rather clueless & helpless....
I just gave the barrels to my gunsmith and ordered blueing,.... I hope, I will get back something black........
HWL, my good friend , I like the way you are thinking...there is a good possibility that we will be doing the 1885 Black powder hunt on a game farm with most of the big five on it..it may just so happened that a buffalo may charge you while you hunt impala..
I am not sure, it is the right tool to stop a buffalo charge, especially not in black powder configuration.
I found this at an auction....
But we will load black powder ammo in the camp, rifle ammo, shotshell loads and slugs.
And than we will walk out into the bush, fearless, as the boers did......
The gun is back from blueing the barrels..... the action will keep ist original color case hardening.
The gunsmith who did the blueing told me, the color case hardening is still close to the condition it left the factory.
Looks fabulous! Congratulations on a wonderful treasure.
Next step was to meet the barrel maker next door.... to reveal the secret of the ".450 No.2 Express B. Plomb" stamping on the rifled barrel.
It was and kept clear, that the chamber is a .450 Nitro Express 3 1/4".
The barrel dimensions where meassured carefully and the result was, that the barrel is extremely tight.
The land/groove dimension should be 11,43mm/11,61mm, but they are 11,07mm/11,45mm!!!
No problems with pure lead bullets or paper patched bullets.
... but a regular nitro load with a jacketed bullet could easily damage the gun!
To avoid this in future, the barrel will get a new standard 11,43/11,61mm profile.....so .458 dia. bullets/loads can be fired.
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