Babcock Open frame rifle.

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The issue is when people try to enforce a "standard", but that standard isn't really a defined (or definable) standard; and so, oddly enough, it comes out to be identical to their personal preferences. There's a big difference between trying to force everyone to do things your personal way of doing/thinking, and trying to keep a forum roughly on-topic. Most people, particularly those of us under 35, generally view "traditional muzzle loaders" as muzzle loading guns of a type that was around when ML guns were pretty much all there was. Picking and choosing from history and locations and claiming "now this is a trad gun", while stating that a idea or item from somewhere else (not even necessarily from a different time frame) is "not a trad gun", is rather silly.

Unfortunately, I and a great many others have found that this scene (muzzle loading in general) is captivated by very vocal, small elements that Doc White called the "Traditional Extremists" (people obsessed with a couple types of guns built in "America" from 1770-1830, excluding all others; basically: "if you didn't spend $$$$ on a museum-grade forgery of someone else's work, from the Americas, and use American backwoods-style accoutrements, you are less than/should be excluded) and "Modernists (extremists)" (people who refuse to accept that their modern stuff isn't all that more effective than older ML's, and try to convince everyone that our more traditional guns suck; basically, "if you didn't buy the latest $$$$ knight rifle, you're a fool who just bought an inaccurate toy" lol). Most of us, particularly younger people, are somewhere in the middle, but "nobody puts Baby in a corner", and if you want traditional ML'ing to be around in 20 years, you're going to have to accept that, the harder you try to force us into your personal preferences (particularly ones not backed by history), the more people are going to buy into the Modernist's BS about how the old-style guns just "can't get it done" (which is absolutely not true, the only reason Samuel Baker switched to a breech loader was because he couldn't find reliable gun bearers when pursuing dangerous game, and wanted to be able to reload faster).

Then, as now, the world of Muzzle Loading (especially the "traditional" stuff) is quite broad, and every shooter out there is trying to get the most from their ML (most enjoyment from the sport). When ML's were all that was available, makers tried everything imaginable to "improve" the gun (and sell their "improvements" at a premium), and they basically had it at it's pinnacle by the time breach loaders became more popular (late 1860's, early 70's). You can't claim to be "traditional", all while disregarding the history of the very thing you are doing "traditionally".
 
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Russ T Frizzen

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It's not a "slippery slope" if it's talking about historical, traditional designs (and those based on them)... and just like that... the "trad bro's" tryna squash everything that doesn't meet their definition of "trad, bro". You see it on Archery Forums all the time lol. Just because it doesn't satisfy a Disney-Davy Crocket fantasy, doesn't mean it isn't traditional. This, right here, is why traditional muzzleloading is going to die off as a sport, most people aren't going to put up with the, as Doc White put it: "Traditional Extremists", and will either avoid ML'ing entirely, or just go the convenient route and pick up a fully modern version of what we do here.
The 'trad boys" aren't trying to quash anything. But they are mindful of the fact that this is a traditional muzzleloading forum.
 
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The 'trad boys" aren't trying to quash anything. But they are mindful of the fact that this is a traditional muzzleloading forum.
But when their first reaction when discussing a historical, traditional rifle is to try and shut the conversation down, because it doesn't advance a Disney-Davey-Crocket fantasy... that's a problem. It's been a problem since the 50's, the original guys who brought muzzle loading back in the 30's were just trying to find a way to keep shooting, despite the depression. Original guns were a good way to do that, and they modified them and shot them however they felt they needed to, and there were very few complaints. Fast forward to their kids and grandkids... another story.
 
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But when their first reaction when discussing a historical, traditional rifle is to try and shut the conversation down, because it doesn't advance a Disney-Davey-Crocket fantasy... that's a problem. It's been a problem since the 50's, the original guys who brought muzzle loading back in the 30's were just trying to find a way to keep shooting, despite the depression. Original guns were a good way to do that, and they modified them and shot them however they felt they needed to, and there were very few complaints. Fast forward to their kids and grandkids... another story.
And once again, I will reference the countless posts and threads on this site that concern Percussion Revolvers... even though they aren't Muzzle Loaders at all... and the fact that an advertising sponsor is a modern, break action, inline gun producer (I understand, do what you have to do for the money to keep this going, but don't be hypocritical, particularly when we are still talking about original guns)... Congratulations though, you all have done what y'all do every time anyone want's to talk about something you don't care much for... you derail the conversation by challenging the premise of having the conversation at all, rather than actually productively engaging in it or just simply leaving it alone, since it didn't violate the purpose of this forum!
 

BS

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One of the Babcock rifles was dated 1850s, how old do they have to be to have the Label, "traditional"?

Just because it is an odd, simple looking gun, that does not affect its's age.
 
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One of the Babcock rifles was dated 1850s, how old do they have to be to have the Label, "traditional"?

Just because it is an odd, simple looking gun, that does not affect its's age.
It's not an age thing with some people (when the gun was made)... that inline flintlock I posted a pic of was dated 1738... pre-percussion, older than the USA. I've seen other's, including Matchlocks with the pan built into the breech plug (early 19th century make, India). Many late, chambered-breech percussion guns approached inline ignition (only a slight bend to the fire channel, directly behind the bore), especially the double guns. Davey Crocket didn't carry an inline... so they didn't exist lol, any evidence to the contrary is a threat to certain individuals' shooting-sport-identity lol.

This is a technical sketch of the inline flintlock in the Tower's inventory. Quite advanced. The other picture is of a rifle made by William Billinghurst, a highly reputable gunmaker from New York shortly after the War Between The States (ACW) can't find a picture without a watermark, but you can see the hammer inside a frame similar to the Babcock rifles and shotguns. Looks like Mr. Billinghurst addressed some of the safety concerns with a swell at the rear of the frame.
1628637144090.png

The flintlock looks like you might have to take the gun out of the stock to change flints though... that might be a pain lol. An anachronistic solution would be to employ a box-lock type frame with a removable side plate. The original has a large side plate, maybe this is supposed to give access? I wonder if Mr. Pauley saw one of these when he "invented" his linear hammer design for his breech loaders (which has been used by others for their ML guns (since French Patents weren't acknowledged in most other countries lol)? In any case, and would be very easy to make a percussion system out of it.
I honestly think the Billinghurst and Babcock designs are simple, yet highly effective designs, the trigger guard appears to power the hammer, similar to his underhammers. Had cartridge guns held off another 20 years or so, we would have seen a lot more of these, I think, considering an inline percussion rifle is fairly simple in the industrial age.
1628640414471.png

These would be a nice, traditional counter to all the modern cartridge designs, that happen to have a plug screwed into the chamber lol. That seems to be the defining difference between a traditional inline/direct ignition (I'm going to throw Mule Ear and Underhammer in there too, they all accomplish the same thing: direct ignition of the charge) and a modern inline is that the traditional ones were designed from the ground up to be muzzle loading, and are styled similar to other other arms of the ML'ing era, and the Modern ones are cartridge designs that have had a plug screwed in what would normally be the chamber (break action, bolt action, falling block, ect). These might be a good way to bring people over to the "dark-arts" that is Traditional Muzzle Loading, easier to sell our contemporaries on, but similar enough to more conventional traditional guns to get them to try them as well.

Like Nock's Patent and the Chambered Breeches, I'm not sure there's an overwhelming advantage to inline ignition, over a properly made and maintained indirect ignition gun (biggest being lock time (the fire having a more direct path to the charge), not really noticeable unless you're a world-tier competitive bench shooter) (the other being that on a linear hammer, you can't really perceive the hammer moving, and gives you less indication to flinch, not an issue with good form). But variety is the spice of life, and if it gets more people to see the value of the old stuff, I support it. Now to find someone to make them lol.
 
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nhmoose

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Gee I'd think this rifle is within the time of this forums rules . Same as the breech loaders using a separate cap to ignite the charge. So it is inline it is HC/PC.

I remember when the Fort TY MLA said no inlines. Famous barrel maker and friend, Ken Bresien, brought and shot this same model (original in fact) in a match and won it for Spite!

If this gun is the slippery slope PLEASE explain why.
 
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1628646357201.png
I feel this was largely meant to be a target gun though, I would feel pretty uneasy about the lack of half cock notch actually acting as a safe proposition in the field lol. Might need to add a "stalking safety" of some sort. could be something as simple as a block that rotates or slides over to stop the trigger from being able to move. I like this nice bit of engraving, it's a subtle detail that adds tasteful elegance to the rifle.
1628647205154.png
1628647371342.png

pic is from the link supplied earlier in the thread.
 
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BS

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It looks like this one has a peep sight socket.

Take this one to a shoot could cause quite a "pow wow" among the staff.
 

Grenadier1758

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The Forum has 46 rules. Lets take a look at the rules. The Babcock Open Frame Rifle meets the rules as it was being produced before 1865. So do percussion revolvers meet the rules.

I chose to only list the pertinent rules.

FORUM RULES | The Muzzleloading Forum


There are 46 rules in this document - Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom...
1: The focus of this site is "Traditional Muzzleloading"; The history of muzzleloading weapons and battles, up to and including the American Civil War. (From the inception of firearms through 1865)​
...​
7: We do not discuss modern (in-line) muzzleloading firearms.​
Early historic breech loading guns that do not use primed metallic or semi-metallic cartridges and meet the requirements of rule #1 are permitted for discussion.​
See special rules at the bottom for posts about breech loading firearms.​
8: Although not muzzleloaders, we do allow discussions of percussion revolvers.​
...​
POSTS FOR BREECH LOADING GUNS:​
”¢ The firearm must have been made prior to 1865. Replicas of these guns are also acceptable.​
”¢ The firearm must utilize an ignition system which is separate from any form or type of cartridge that may have been used to seal the breech or load the powder or the projectile.​
The "cartridge" may incorporate a pan or similar device to hold priming powder.​
”¢ Vent ignited guns, Matchlocks, Wheel-locks, any form of Flintlock and its predecessors, Percussion cap and its predecessors are all acceptable for discussion.​
”¢ Discussion of needle guns, pinfire, rim fire, center fire and any similar cartridges containing priming devices or the firearms that use them is not permitted.​
”¢ Posts may be made in a suitable section such as, smoothbore, cannon, handgun, flintlock rifle or percussion rifle, based on the type of gun.​
Posts in the General Muzzleloading section is recommended.​


_________________
Additional forum rules explaining the forum's and your legal rights can be found by pressing the blue button marked Forum Rules. It is located at the top of the page. Actually the "Button" is at the bottom of the page and doesn't list the 46 rules.
 
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7: We do not discuss modern (in-line) muzzleloading firearms.​
No discussion about modern Muzzle loaders... other than to state that some designs are open as well, so concerns over cap fragments aren't apparently that much of a concern. There were pull-cock designs from the 1700's and 1800's so that's not modern either. That was the irritating bit, and I see it a lot on forums (not just this one), and it's the same sort always doing it. Thanks for wandering in and not discussing the actual topic, but only pointing out that this isn't a slippery slope, and doesn't violate the rules; something 2 or 3 orthers have done already. Not trying to come off as " a nickname for Richard- ish", so please don't take it that way.
 
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Lots of original cap locks did not have a half cock notch. And were used for hunting.
I'm so used to modern repros that have "conventional" lock setups that I forget that lol. My family owns some weapons that aren't the topic of the forum that don't have safety notches lol.
 

Sam squanch

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There is a Swedish muzzle loader site that shows 2 muzzle loading shotguns , single barrels, that are inlines. Made in the 1870’s -1880’s.
 

Norman Brooks

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I have three original half stocks and none of them has a half cock notch. All original muzzleloaders should meet the rules, open frame and others included.
 

Grenadier1758

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I have seen 3 original rifles and one double barrel shotgun with no half cock notch. I took them apart to see. None. Not gone from wear, just not made with them.
That was common on rifles and shotguns from 1860 on. For one it was a cost saving practice. For another, hammer down was considered as safe as having a half cock.

In a shot gun, the shotgun could be cooked and since the only cooked position was full cock, the hunter knew his shotgun was ready to shoot.

Several target rifles didn't have a half cock since it was considered an unnecessary position once you were loaded, it was time to step to the firing line, bring the rifle to full cock, cap, aim and fire. They could use a very light single trigger and not worry that a light trigger pull would result in the sear falling into the half cock notch.
 
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