15/16" barrel in .58 cal?

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tnlonghunter

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I'm curious if anyone makes a .58 barrel in 15/16" straight. I don't see one on anyone's sites, so I imagine not - perhaps the walls would would be too thin. Ive got a .50 that has a 15/16" barrel and is 38" long. I find it more muzzle heavy than I'd like, but it's got amazing wood and sentimental value such that I don't want to maximize its feel. I hope that makes some sense.

Anyway, I was thinking a bigger bore and less weight might help that. If my math is right, a .54 would shave a 1/2 pound off the weight, but I wondered if a .58 - should such a barrel exist - be much lighter? Am I chasing something foolish?
 

mooman76

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Not that common but they are out there. I have one marketed by Cabelas some time ago. It had a combo 50/58 barrel on a Hawken. Probably why they went 15/16 so they could swap them. There was a discussion here not long ago on the same subject. A few more people had them.
 

Flintandsteel

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For less money than you could buy a new one, send it to Bobby Hoyt. He will let you know if it can be done to a .58 . The breech plug will be the determining factor.
 

Grimord

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For less money than you could buy a new one, send it to Bobby Hoyt. He will let you know if it can be done to a .58 . The breech plug will be the determining factor.
The above is correct, but also the depth of the dovetails for the sights and tenons.
 

tnlonghunter

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Where does one find Mr. Hoyt's contact info?

I think i found a phone number/address for Fairfield, PA. Does that sound right?
 

Notchy Bob

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Maybe shorten your barrel by a few inches ? That would take off a little muzzle weight, and it is a very traditional practice. You would, obviously, need to re-fit the nosecap, if you have one, and the position of the forward ramrod pipe might be an issue, so shortening the barrel would not necessarily be an "easy" fix. However, you would not need a new mould or cleaning components (jag, breech face scraper, brushes and so forth). The bigger issues might be safety and enjoyment. With the .58, you'll be shooting a bigger charge and heavier ball in a rifle with thinner barrel walls. I would expect more recoil, too.

As a compromise, maybe consider a .54... You lose a little weight, which was the goal, but preserve a little more barrel wall thickness for safety and you don't increase recoil as much, when compared to a .58. In fact, I like this approach better than shortening the barrel... Less work for you, and your treasured rifle will still look the same.

I enjoy reading original accounts from the Shining Times. Over and over, you see the words "long, heavy rifle," and descriptions of the hunters and trappers either propping their rifles on a "wiping stick" or some natural object such as a tree limb, to use as a rest. Rifles of 11-12 pounds were common, and I think Francis Parkman (author of The Oregon Trail) said his Hoffman & Campbell rifle weighed about 14 pounds.

In closing, your question makes perfect sense, and the purpose of this board is to share opinions and knowledge, and discuss ideas. This is a good discussion to have, and I look forward to reading what others may have to say.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

tnlonghunter

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Maybe shorten your barrel by a few inches ? That would take off a little muzzle weight, and it is a very traditional practice. You would, obviously, need to re-fit the nosecap, if you have one, and the position of the forward ramrod pipe might be an issue, so shortening the barrel would not necessarily be an "easy" fix. However, you would not need a new mould or cleaning components (jag, breech face scraper, brushes and so forth). The bigger issues might be safety and enjoyment. With the .58, you'll be shooting a bigger charge and heavier ball in a rifle with thinner barrel walls. I would expect more recoil, too.

As a compromise, maybe consider a .54... You lose a little weight, which was the goal, but preserve a little more barrel wall thickness for safety and you don't increase recoil as much, when compared to a .58. In fact, I like this approach better than shortening the barrel... Less work for you, and your treasured rifle will still look the same.

I enjoy reading original accounts from the Shining Times. Over and over, you see the words "long, heavy rifle," and descriptions of the hunters and trappers either propping their rifles on a "wiping stick" or some natural object such as a tree limb, to use as a rest. Rifles of 11-12 pounds were common, and I think Francis Parkman (author of The Oregon Trail) said his Hoffman & Campbell rifle weighed about 14 pounds.

In closing, your question makes perfect sense, and the purpose of this board is to share opinions and knowledge, and discuss ideas. This is a good discussion to have, and I look forward to reading what others may have to say.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
Thanks Notchy. I can imagine the increase in bore and decrease in weight would noticeably increase recoil, and your thoughts on the possibly safety are quite warranted. The rifle in question has tenons/keys and estucheons, rather than pins, so cutting off a couple inches would require an awful lot in terms of inletting a new spot for the forward estucheon, tenon, and nose-cap (plus restaking it in the barrel). A .54 is probably the smarter move if I choose to make a change, though I've lived with it as it is for 20 years, why change now?! Anyway, I appreciate the perspective on rifles of yonder days being pretty heavy. In this case, it's less the overall weight and more the weight out front. But, it is what it is.
 

Flintandsteel

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As stated, the breech plug will determine how big the bore can be enlarged. You can’t make the bore larger than the plug allows. You still need a shoulder to turn the plug to.
 

tnlonghunter

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Thanks for the tip on Mr. Hoyt. I talked to him today and will have him bore out my barrel to .54. Much more affordable and easy than fitting a new one.
 

SDSmlf

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Thanks for the tip on Mr. Hoyt. I talked to him today and will have him bore out my barrel to .54. Much more affordable and easy than fitting a new one.
Curious, what is he currently charging to rebore a barrel? It’s been well over a year since I had him do one for me.
 

tnlonghunter

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Curious, what is he currently charging to rebore a barrel? It’s been well over a year since I had him do one for me.
Over the phone, he said $125 for my barrel. I assume that could change depending on factors he couldn't know til he has the barrel in hand, but it's way better than buying a new one. We also talked about the rifling, and he said he would go with a type that sounded like a hybrid between round and square-bottom to me - something that would grip the patch and ball well but wouldn't collect fouling as bad as my current shallow, square-bottom rifling.
 
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smo

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What's his turnaround time on the work?

Just curious, I have couple I need too send his way.
 

smo

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Thanks Tnlonghunter

I really hate to bother a man just to ask a question that I know could change at the drop of a hat.

I will give him a call once I have all the components together,this one is not just freshening the bore. I was just looking for a ballpark estimate is all...
 

tnlonghunter

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No problem. It was especially good for me to call, since I live only 90 minutes from him. So, I can run my barrel up there some morning when I'm not working.
 
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nhmoose

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As stated, the breech plug will determine how big the bore can be enlarged. You can’t make the bore larger than the plug allows. You still need a shoulder to turn the plug to.
Unless you put in a bigger plug eh?

Anyone who can bore a barrel, line a barrel , rifle a barrel can change the breech plug size wouldn't ya think?
 

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