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Barrel length for halfstock?

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Lauder55

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Hello I am new to gun building and his forum. I was wondering if there was a max length of a barrel one could use with a halfstock. I have 42” barrel and ran into some problems forend and didn’t know if I would be able to cut the blank and make this into a halfstock rifle. Thanks for your time
 

Robby

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Have at it Lauder, as soon as someone tells you it wasn't done, someone else will produce a picture showing that it was, for just about anything. I have done them as long as 46", that long, I make them with a wooden rib.
Robby
 

Lauder55

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Have at it Lauder, as soon as someone tells you it wasn't done, someone else will produce a picture showing that it was, for just about anything. I have done them as long as 46", that long, I make them with a wooden rib.
Robby
Thanks for the response Robby. So how much should I leave on the foreend in order to make it work. Should I use keys and wedges or pins? And I have never seen a wooden rib. Have any pics of that?
 

Larry Akers

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I am not an expert but I have seen a few antique half-stock longrifles and a bunch of photographs in my resource books. All that I have seen have longrifle architecture and long barrels (40+in.). They look like regular longrifles with the fore end shortened. Ohio rifles jump to mind but I have seen Pennsylvanias also. I have pictures of Bedford half stocks. Judging from known barrel lengths, forends terminate about 3-6 in forward of the ramrod entry hole and most have a fore end cap. As Lauder says, "have at it".
 

tallpine

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This is a rifle I built with an an original mid 1800's barrel I found in a junk shop. it is 42 inches long with the original half stock barrel rib so they did exist. Yea, I know the flintlock is not correct for this rifle, it was just a fun project to see if I could bring this old relic back to life. 36 cal.,It has contributed to the demise of a multitude of tree rats.
 

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Treestalker

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This is a rifle I built with an an original mid 1800's barrel I found in a junk shop. it is 42 inches long with the original half stock barrel rib so they did exist. Yea, I know the flintlock is not correct for this rifle, it was just a fun project to see if I could bring this old relic back to life. 36 cal.,It has contributed to the demise of a multitude of tree rats.
Sweet! I've seen an original percussion full oct 40" plus Barrell about .40 cal. stocked in cherry! 🍒 Dated 1831!
 

Col. Batguano

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Yeah just about everything was done back then. Our contemporary ideas about what is "right" and what is "wrong" with modern guns comes from the fact that the marketplace is dominated by just a handful of big companies, and that's what we see. "Back in the day" manufacturing of these pieces was far less centralized. There were literally thousands of gun makers out there, all turning out a relatively small number of pieces. The "fine guns" or highly embellished ones survive at a far more disproportionate number than the more common utility pieces which tends to shape our modern opinions of what is "right" or "wrong" from back in the day. But what the other posts are saying is; "if you can think of it today, then, they did it back then". Whether you actually LIKE it or not is entirely up to you. My only suggestion is, to look around a whole bunch for surviving original pieces that incorporate your ideas to see if you actually DO like their looks before you actually commit yourself to doing it. Research is the key.
 

R.J.Bruce

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A lot of the so-called Hawken, half-stock, "Squirrel " rifles had barrels ranging from 39"-46" long. Most had Kentucky cheekpieces, but some had the beavertail cheekpiece of the larger bore Hawken rifles that everyone is familiar with.
 

Lauder55

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I am not an expert but I have seen a few antique half-stock longrifles and a bunch of photographs in my resource books. All that I have seen have longrifle architecture and long barrels (40+in.). They look like regular longrifles with the fore end shortened. Ohio rifles jump to mind but I have seen Pennsylvanias also. I have pictures of Bedford half stocks. Judging from known barrel lengths, forends terminate about 3-6 in forward of the ramrod entry hole and most have a fore end cap. As Lauder says, "have at it".
Thanks for the reply yes the Ohio Vincent rifles come to mind
 

Lauder55

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This is a rifle I built with an an original mid 1800's barrel I found in a junk shop. it is 42 inches long with the original half stock barrel rib so they did exist. Yea, I know the flintlock is not correct for this rifle, it was just a fun project to see if I could bring this old relic back to life. 36 cal.,It has contributed to the demise of a multitude of tree rats.
Did you use pins to attach the stock to the barrel?
 

Lauder55

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Yeah just about everything was done back then. Our contemporary ideas about what is "right" and what is "wrong" with modern guns comes from the fact that the marketplace is dominated by just a handful of big companies, and that's what we see. "Back in the day" manufacturing of these pieces was far less centralized. There were literally thousands of gun makers out there, all turning out a relatively small number of pieces. The "fine guns" or highly embellished ones survive at a far more disproportionate number than the more common utility pieces which tends to shape our modern opinions of what is "right" or "wrong" from back in the day. But what the other posts are saying is; "if you can think of it today, then, they did it back then". Whether you actually LIKE it or not is entirely up to you. My only suggestion is, to look around a whole bunch for surviving original pieces that incorporate your ideas to see if you actually DO like their looks before you actually commit yourself to doing it. Research is the key.
Thanks for the reply and I agree with you. With this project I am not to concerned if it fits in to particular school or style just trying to make it work and just fun project. But it would be great to incorporate things that have been done in the past too.
 

Robby

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This is a fowler with a 44" barrel.
IMG_0410.jpeg

This is a Vincent style Ohio Rifle. with steel rib
IMG_0411.jpeg

This shows the length of the foreshock. There is no set distance for me, I try to make them proportional to the whole gun taking in consideration, the length of the barrel.
Some I wedge, some I pin.
IMG_0409.jpeg

I hope this helps, good luck!!!!!
Robby
 

Lauder55

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This is a fowler with a 44" barrel.
View attachment 60148
This is a Vincent style Ohio Rifle. with steel rib
View attachment 60149
This shows the length of the foreshock. There is no set distance for me, I try to make them proportional to the whole gun taking in consideration, the length of the barrel.
Some I wedge, some I pin.
View attachment 60150
I hope this helps, good luck!!!!!
Robby
Thanks man those are beatfiful guns. And thanks for the help. Dumb questions for you, if I use wedges should I use 2 and where should I choose there location? Also do you have a close up of that wooden rib?
 

Rudall

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This seems to be an appropriate time to ask a couple of questions I have been wondering about.
Why were long rifles fully stocked, when it seems to be so much simpler to have a half stock?
In some of the half stock pictures above, what is the function of the rib other than to hold the ramrod thimbles? The rifle immediately above doesn’t have one and the thimbles are attached direct to the barrel.
 

Robby

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I am a terrible photographer, I hope this is what you are looking for and it helps some.
IMG_0412.jpeg

IMG_0413.jpeg


IMG_0414.jpeg

IMG_0415.jpeg


IMG_0416.jpeg

IMG_0417.jpeg

You have infinite choices on how you want to profile them to match what you are doing.
The studs they are pinned to are 3" apart, some, like the fowler barrel are soldered on, some ares staked to the barrel flat and some I dove tailed to the barrel flat. Good luck!
Robby
 

Robby

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As for wedges, some used one some used two. Whether I'm pinning or using wedges the front one I try to get as close to the end of the stock as I can, the second is generally midway between the first and the breech, though I might shift it fore or aft a bit to satisfy both aesthetics and functionality.
Robby
 

Lauder55

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As for wedges, some used one some used two. Whether I'm pinning or using wedges the front one I try to get as close to the end of the stock as I can, the second is generally midway between the first and the breech, though I might shift it fore or aft a bit to satisfy both aesthetics and functionality.
Robby
Thank you
 

Josephg

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The balance point on the rifle I posted above is at the tip of the nosecap. Not ideal to carry when hunting. I prefer a shorter barrel for a hunting rifle for that reason. The rifle is excellent for shooting targets over a log.
 

Col. Batguano

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Like you, I too prefer the balance point to be somewhere forward of the entry pipe, and, for there to be wood under my hand. Poured pewter nose caps are great, but the metal tends to be cold, so I don't start them where they would naturally contact my fingers in a balanced 1-handed hold. Unfortunately, the natural position for entry pipes (about 10"-11" forward of the breech seems to be pretty standard) tends to put the entry pipe and tail right there under my hand. That kind of works out ok though, because the way your hand naturally holds things. More open toward the pinky finger than the index and middle fingers.

Though it's largely a matter of taste, my personal feeling is that a transition zone from an entry pipe area to wood and then a nose cap forward of that looks more graceful than when the lower fore stock is terminating right there at the entry pipe. To me, it looks sort of "blunt" or "blocky". I'm not saying it's "wrong". But, it's largely a matter of personal preference and taste.
 
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