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Authenticity of 24" barrel on Half stock

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JB67

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I have a CVA Frontier. It is a half stock, .50cal , with a 24" barrel. As far as I can tell, the shortest half stock barrels ever got was 28" and generally not until the 1850s. Is there any evidence of 24" barrels "back in the day?"

This gun was my entry into muzzleloaders, and I don't have a lot in it. I have 3 ways to go with it: part with it, keep it as a potential loaner for people wanting to try BP at my club, or rework it into something a bit more historically accurate, if possible.
 

SDSmlf

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You have an authentic CVA half stock with a 24” barrel. Doubt many were made that short back in the day, but likely some were modified to have short barrels for a variety of reasons. Who knows exactly why, possibly a damaged barrel or some period ‘Bubba’ thought it was a good idea. Doesn’t make it common.
 

52Bore

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There was an article in Muzzle Blast a few years about short barreled Hawken’s. If I recall correctly, thought was most they were cut short - but showed old photos and the location of thimble wasn’t in same location as longer bbls, so some may have been made?
Horseback and Indian use as I recall.
 

mooman76

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That's actually a Frontier Carbine if my memory serves. I had one and wish I did still. Heck of a shooter with both RBs and conicals.
 

SDSmlf

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That's actually a Frontier Carbine if my memory serves. I had one and wish I did still. Heck of a shooter with both RBs and conicals.
I actually have a Frontier Carbine from I believe the 1980s (would have to check date) that’s never been fired. Finish has pealed a bit from the edges of the stock. Plan to refinish someday, but who knows.
 

Rich Wormington

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I have a CVA Frontier. It is a half stock, .50cal , with a 24" barrel. As far as I can tell, the shortest half stock barrels ever got was 28" and generally not until the 1850s. Is there any evidence of 24" barrels "back in the day?"

This gun was my entry into muzzleloaders, and I don't have a lot in it. I have 3 ways to go with it: part with it, keep it as a potential loaner for people wanting to try BP at my club, or rework it into something a bit more historically accurate, if possible.
I have an original Tryon half stock rifle with a 24" barrel, it is a 35 caliber, I don't believe it has been shortened. One thing I have learned over the years for original muzzleloading guns is never to say "they never did that" cause someone will prove you wrong.
 

tenngun

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Too many books too little time. In one of the books I own or have read I have a photo of a plains rifle in .75 with a twenty four inch barrel. A fat butt, half way between a crescent and a shotgun. But I can’t find it now.
I moved a few years ago and downsized much of my library.
umphhhhh!!!!
 

Treestalker

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There is a video on Youtube depicting the shooting of an early European flintlock with I believe a 16" barrel. See Cap and Ball's "Shooting an 18th Century Flintlock Hunting Rifle" Oh yeah, it's a full stock! Check out Native American blanket and buffalo guns.
 

hanshi

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I had a Traditions DeerHunter .50 for over 20 years and it worked perfectly on deer. I now have a custom halfstock .45 with a 25" barrel and use it as a target rifle.
 

JB67

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There is a video on Youtube depicting the shooting of an early European flintlock with I believe a 16" barrel. See Cap and Ball's "Shooting an 18th Century Flintlock Hunting Rifle" Oh yeah, it's a full stock! Check out Native American blanket and buffalo guns.
Just watched it. That is an interesting gun.
 

Cattman

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its very possible they ringed the barrel by just putting the ball down a little and firing it. then cut it off behind the ring to make it shoot again safely. dont ask me how i know about such thing but i will tell you anyways. i made a cust 45 bullet side lock and as i was loading it a low flying plane went over my property and in only put the bullet with a starter into the bore a little bit. the barrel was 32 inches long ringed the barrel just behind the bullet. they say pyrodex cant ring a barrel. oh yes it can it did. i cut the barrel at 26 inches and made a carbine out of it and it still kept one hole ragged from a rest at 100 yards. shot a lot of deer with it also. sold the gun to a florida man who has shot many many pigs with it. your gun, if loaded right may shoot very very well as mine did and still does. just make sure the muzzle is square to the length of the barrel and the crown has been redone right, the crown is very very important to accuracy. i redone mine on a lathe. every one hates to admit dumb mistakes but their i did and it turned out all right. again check the muzzle with a good square.
 

Kansas Jake

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Cattman, we all make dumb mistakes. I'm still here in spite of a number of mine.
 

Cattman

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admitting to them is the hardest part. that was a new stainless steel barrel not over a month old. in all truth i got tears in my eyes. called the barrel maker and he said. cut it off behind the ring and make a carbine out of it. he was right accuracy remained the same.
 

Bighorserider

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I don't remember his name, but a guy who worked for TC back in the day did extensive testing on barrel lengths. He found that 28 inches was about as much as was needed. I'm sure his research is avsilable.
 

tenngun

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I don't remember his name, but a guy who worked for TC back in the day did extensive testing on barrel lengths. He found that 28 inches was about as much as was needed. I'm sure his research is avsilable.
Lyman’s black powder ballistics bares this out. Charge for charge you get about 10FPS per inch. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but pretty close.
A longer barrel with a big charge will do a lot better then a shorter barrel with a big charge, maybe a couple hundred feet per second, but conversely a light to medium charge may add little.
However I find it hard to get my muzzle up to a deer. Round ball just can’t hold velocity, especially in supersonic and trans sonic ranges. At a hundred yards super sonic velocities all slow to about the same trans sonic velocity
A 28” TC type gun will hit just as hard at range as a Long Tom.
Lots of short barreled rifles have been in use over the ages, their disadvantage is the sighting radis. Something that in day to day plinking, in a woods walk or hunt, And with most of us a local competition just ain’t going to matter.
All my guns are long for one reason only.... I like the way it looks.
 

hanshi

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And velocity per increased charge and barrel length isn't always linear. My .40 has a 38" barrel. If using 35 grains of 3F and I add only 5 more grains (to 40 grains), velocity increases by nearly 240 fps! At other load levels speed increases are more in line. Divide 240 fps by 5 grains and you get 48 fps per grain of 3F.
 

bigted

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And velocity per increased charge and barrel length isn't always linear. My .40 has a 38" barrel. If using 35 grains of 3F and I add only 5 more grains (to 40 grains), velocity increases by nearly 240 fps! At other load levels speed increases are more in line. Divide 240 fps by 5 grains and you get 48 fps per grain of 3F.
Hanshi, that is in a 40 cal ... a 54 or 58 cal barrel will not gain nearly that much by far ... but this is just in agreement with your statement.

Chances are more then good that a 32 cal rifle will jump even more FPS with an added 5 grains powder.
 

Dale Lilly

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I have a CVA Frontier rifle with ORIGINAL 24" barrel. I changed those horrible sights. With it my deceased wife won a couple of shoots in the 80s. I still have it hanging on the front of my fireplace. My present wife loves it as well. Shoot it and keep it. Polecat
 

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