Nothing like some light preventative maintenance to keep you busy eh?Well another week... !
Getting to the bottom of the barrel with projects! This one has been sitting staring at me for a few months. It was given to me as a freebie by a mate who I do stuff for, and who also gave me the Mabson Long Fowler...(now up and running and back on ticket!)
This is in a bit of a sorry state, although it is younger than the Mabson! It looks like an 1850s Percussion Fowler.. no name, but a reasonable back action lock with a bit of light engraving. Round to octagonal barrel with a bit of decoration. Stock is Keyed with a hook patent breech..
... but she is not in a happy place!
View attachment 495758
The stock is split across the lock, and the forend tip is missing with some wood. The ramrod is gone and the whole thing is filthy and pitted..
It looks like it has been given to kids to play with as the nipple is smashed to bits...
View attachment 495759
And the hammer is split and cracked..
View attachment 495760
So.. into the boiling pot with the bits, followed by a card and a soak in kerosene overnight...
View attachment 495761
Looking a bit happier! The Lock internals are all there and with little signs of boogeration. The buttplate is well pitted, but it is all there, is looking much cleaner and at least I have stopped the rust!
1. Heat and reform the hammer head, and TIG back in the missing metal. File out the crack, TIG repair, reshape and salt/oil blacken.
2, Make up repair pins for the stock. Drill out channels for the pins along and across the stock line and (black!) Agraglass the whole train wreck together! Luckily the split is clean and there is no crushing, but I may dab in a bit of acetone first to clear out some of the crud and oil residue. Bind the whole thing together with surgical tubing and let it set...
3. Clean up and lightly refinish the stock. Probably just a bit of oil and wax will do it.. I don't want to remove any of the age from it, just get the dirt back to an acceptable level and stop the thing drying out any more...
4. I suspect I will have to crack the breech off the barrel to clean up the touch hole and remove what remains of the nipple. A bit of heat and the long barrel wrench should do it.. Luckily if is an octagonal barrel which it is easy to get hold of.. I don't know at this point whether she is a shooter or a hanger... this will depend on the state of the breech and the barrel! The muzzle is pretty horrid, but that is of less importance than the breech in terms of shootability.. we shall see! There is a missing ram rod ring, but that is easy.. bit of steel tube and soft solder..
5. The main missing bit is the ramrod thimble that goes on the end of the stock.. this is going to be a bit of a swine to remake.. The rest of the furniture is steel, so the thimble will need to be steel as well. I suspect it will end up as a confection of brazed/Tig tubing and filed plate! I have the shape in the wood for the tail end and I know the ramrod diameter, so at least that is something. I also have to make a new key to lock the barrel to the forend, at least the escutcheons are still there!
6. The final bit will be to make a new ram rod. These are not difficult to make from rosewood strips, but the strips cost a fortune to send through the post.. ho hum.!
I do wish they would get on and get this vaccine out.. I have a pile of guns that need testing!
Shooting at road signs again?308 @109 yards off bipod tikka t3 hawke (the shame) endurance 155g sierra pro hunters gekko brass the two high shots have 44.5 g of n140 and the 5 below 44g is this a hot load? Haven't chronographed it.
Im reloading under supervision of a grown up. 43.5\ 44\ 44.5 was the work up. Cci primers. They seem a little flat. View attachment 496104