Big Bore Hunting Rifles

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R.J.Bruce

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I'm not a fan of the abreviated triggerguard. The single lock bolt's flat head is anchored in the lock plate, and the threads are anchored in a hole that is drilled and tapped into the breech plug's bolster. As far as no buttplate is concerned, I happen to really like the looks. And, as Mike Brooks states in the thread to someone questioning the reasoning behind not putting one on his own rifle. His reply was to the effect that recovered stocks from the past that had no buttplate were SELDOM chipped, or broken, at either the heel, or toe.

Stocks with butt plates are very often chipped, or heavily broken at the toe. Even with toeplates installed.
 

pamtnman

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Gun builder Mark Wheland is finishing a .62 caliber rifle for me. It is based on the Little Bat Garnier rifle, which is actually a .52 or .54. The Little Bat Garnier rifle was made by Folsom in Missouri, to compete with Hawken, Leman et al. The lines of the Folsom full stock percussion gun are beautiful, but the distinctive pointy butt plate is one of those things where appearance outranked functionality when the .62 rifle barrel is substituted. The stock is very curly hard maple. Why I pursued this project: A truly heavy hitting percussion rifle can be used in PA’s early deer and bear seasons, and is compliant with most states’ Muzzleloading regulations. I hunt deer and bear in northern NY, where percussion is a lot more reliable than flint. Western elk and bear are calling to me. So this gun is supposed to do what my .45 never did, and what my .54 can likely do: Kill most North American game.
36F070DC-961E-4E49-8FDD-D50B13ACD84D.jpeg
BA7D489B-095F-42FC-A963-2671796AFC30.jpeg
 

R.J.Bruce

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Another thing that I will add to this thread on big bore rifles. At my age now, 67, while I can appreciate the finely carved & engraved longrifle, I would much rather invest my money in those tangible things that allow a shooter, centerfire, or muzzleloading, to be comfortable when shooting the rifle, comfortable when carrying the rifle, and aid him/her in shooting the rifle to his/her best ability. Simplicity rules. Nothing that doesn't contribute to the above goals gets eliminated. The following attributes are ESSENTIAL!! Light--- Short--- Ergonomic--- Friendly--- Must Have Perfect Geometry--- Sights Must Instantly Align with Shooters Eyes when Mounted--- Must Be Beautiful to Look At

My ideal rifle would be speced out like this.....

1. STOCK--- plain northern hard sugar maple for its superior strength---straight grained through the wrist---fullstock---no buttplate---no toeplate---simple round washers in lieu of a sideplate---no muzzle cap---no entry ramrod pipe---no cheekpiece---straight wrist---1.500" drop at comb---2.500" drop at heel---5.000" tall × 2.250" wide butt--- rounded heel---lightly rounded toe---1.500" wide × 1.375" tall oval wrist---12.875" length of pull---wood pores filled with black ink---stained as dark as possible with aqua fortis---dark varnish that is buffed to a matte finish--- coat of paste wax applied over the varnish.

2. BARREL---Rice Muzzleloading Barrel Company---4140 CM steel---modified Track of the Wolf Jaeger pattern---27" long---5" long fore-breech---5" long after-breech---10" long waist---5" long flared muzzle---classic Spanish proportions octagon-round barrel---40% octagon/60% round---10 409/512" = octagon = 10.798828125"---16 103/512" = round = 16.201171875"---.66 caliber---0.672" bore diameter---0.688" groove diameter---0.008" deep Forsyth-style grooves that measure 6 times wider than the lands--grooves to measure approximately 0.200" wide--- lands to measure approximately 0.040" wide---breech= 1.330" octagon---at 5"= 1.250" octagon---at 10"/waist = 0.850" round with set of double wedding bands---at 22"/end of waist = 0.850" round--- at 27"/muzzle = 0.990" round.---gain twist rifled---1 in 71" rate of twist at the breech---1 in 40" rate of twist at the muzzle.

3. BREECH PLUG---custom fabricated---0.750" long × 1.330" octagon flint breech plug with integral hook---3/4"-16 × 0.625" long thread journal---0.375" diameter × 1.0625" deep powder chamber---6.250" long beavertail tang with integral face plate measuring 1.330" octagon---face plate pierced & shaped to mate with plug's hook---tang double-bolted to long trigger bar

4. LOCK---CNC machined---Jim Kibler---round faced English flintlock-tuned by Brad Emig---two lock bolts.

5. LOCK BOLT WASHERS---plain iron round washers that are slightly larger in diameter than the heads of the lock bolts.

6. TRIGGER & TRIGGER BAR---10.750" long trigger bar with integral ears for pinning the single trigger---single trigger set for 2.5-3 pound trigger pull.

7. TRIGGERGUARD---large bow iron triggerguard that will accept a gloved finger---screwed to trigger bar with machine screws.

8. RAMOD PIPE---iron 1/2" diameter forward pipe--- double pinned to stock.

9. RAMRODS---(4) hickory ramrods 1/2" in diameter---brass tips on both ends of the rods---faces of tips concave to fit curvature of ball---tips drilled and tapped for 10-32 threads.

10. SLING SWIVELS---custom fabricated---iron 2" wide---1.500" long modified lag bolt for the rear sling swivel post stud---stock protected from rubbing action of front sling swivel by two steel tubular inserts on the left & right sides of the forearm---tubular inserts to sit slightly proud of the wood.

11. SLING---Andy's Leather---custom fabricated 2" wide black leather Rhodesian sling---hand-forged, iron, 2" wide, Conway buckle.

12. FLINTLOCK 10- in-1 TOOL---from The Lucky Bag---Gunner's Mate flint tool with 10-32 threads---custom brass adapter to go from 3/8" diameter (tool) to 1/2" diameter (ramrod).

13. FRONT SIGHT--- brass bead that tapers both towards the muzzle, and downwards towards the barrel---set in a 3/8" wide dovetail filed into the barrel's muzzle.

14. REAR SIGHT---Lowell Haarer-style---tang-mounted ghost ring rear sight---attached to the tang with 2 screws---"ear" of the sight with the aperture, to be tall enough, and thick enough to mount a Hadley Eyedisc on it---aperture drilled and tapped for 12-40 threads---Parkerized for its non-reflective properties.

15. HADLEY EYEDISC---Montana Vintage Arms---Magnum Hadley Eyedisc---1.950" in diameter with a rubber O-ring---15 apertures---0.021" diameter to 0.115" diameter---2.5 ounces---12-40 threads---Hadley Eyedisc is for the range, or piddling around, NOT for hunting.

16. TALLEY SCOPE RING BASES---integral to the barrel---machined into the top flat of the octagonal breech---2-5 each---0.100" deep---to fit any Talley Signature Series scope ring---aluminum, steel, stainless steel, or color case hardened steel---work performed by---Dove's Custom Guns---325 Ingleside Rd.---Princeton, West Virginia [email protected]---1-304-425-2023---approximate cost, $500.00.

17. SCOPE RINGS--- Talley---Signature Series--- blued steel---matte finish---low height---Q-D lever---30mm rings---pair.

18. RIFLESCOPE---Schmidt & Bender---EXOS---1-8 × 24mm---TMR SFP CQB2 ASVII // BDC2---Posicon 1cm / 100m cw---black---illuminated CQB2 reticle.

19. BARREL KEY WEDGES---two iron keys with matching underlugs that are relieved to allow for seasonal stock movement---no escutcheon plates.

The only thing I am waffling about is adding an entry ramrod pipe.

The above, while a lot of typing, sets out what I feel would be a muzzleloading rifle capable of taking any game species in North America. Even the animals that will kill you right back, providing one has a back-up, big bore, modern rifle in the hands of an experienced guide.

This would be as close as I think one can realistically get to Col. Jeff Cooper's Scout Rifle, in a flintlock muzzleloader. It would be just over the 1 meter length requirements of the Scout Rifle. By machining the Talley dovetails just slightly in an offset to the left, clearance for the ocular bell of a modern riflescope with a 30mm tube should be easily achieved. That means that someone such as myself with terrible eyesight, can see to hunt ethically at distances over 15 yards. Which is about how far I trust myself now with open sights on a barrel.
 
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BS

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" 14. REAR SIGHT---Lowell Haarer-style---tang-mounted ghost ring rear sight---attached to the tang with 2 screws---"ear" of the sight with the aperture, to be tall enough, and thick enough to mount a Hadley Eyedisc on it---aperture drilled and tapped for 12-40 threads---Parkerized for its non-reflective properties. "

Got a picture of this, I could not find one?
 

oldwood

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Hunted with a .62 long rifle for about 7 years. Got multiple Pa. white tails , 7+ , and just plain missed one standing looking at me head on in a driving rainstorm. I can excuse that one , though Still don't know why I missed her. .62 is a fine deer rifle caliber.
 

BS

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" 14. REAR SIGHT---Lowell Haarer-style---tang-mounted ghost ring rear sight---attached to the tang with 2 screws---"ear" of the sight with the aperture, to be tall enough, and thick enough to mount a Hadley Eyedisc on it---aperture drilled and tapped for 12-40 threads---Parkerized for its non-reflective properties. "

Got a picture of this, I could not find one?
Found one!
 

R.J.Bruce

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Found one!
What are your thoughts on this type of tang-mounted ghost ring rear sight? It's about the only thing I can think of that MIGHT let me use a short-barreled rifle with a short sight radius, and actually see the sights enough to accurately shoot. It still doesn't eliminate the fact that I can't see the animal well enough to ethically pull the trigger without a modern telescopic sight on top of the barrel. And, I REALLY want to shoot a flintlock, not a percussion.
 
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BS

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Anything that looks like a bent up fork or spoon would look just fine.

Are you thinking of using the ghost ring with the rear sight, I would.

Helps old eyes work.
 

Tom A Hawk

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It was a couple of seasons later before I pulled the trigger on game again. I had decided that 100gr fffg was enough, and was straddling a blowdown mid November, enjoying a really nice day. Hunting had been good, but finding had been poor, so I was happy to see a "shooter" making his way towards me. I saw him about 100 yards out skirting a hollow. He was heading towards me, so I just cocked the hammer and tried to not make eye contact. He came closer and closer, angling from slightly above to pass below me at about 25 yards. I though ti odd that he swayed from side to side as he walked, and seemed to have a bell like a moose under his jaw...as he passed by, I raised the rifle and purposely shot through the shoulders to "stop him".


I found the ball under the hide on the off side. The chest girth measured between 46 and 47", and the chart says 300# live! The heart looked like on from a cow, and the head seemed as big as a horse's.

The ball was NOT pure, more like 10bhn, but flattened from .605" to 7/8" x 15/16" and lost no weight!

You can see the patch weave on the backside of the ball.
Very nice. Glad to see somebody else likes a hefty charge. I get the same flat ball / under the hide results with 125 Grs FF Swiss under a .530 ball. Hits light lightning.

1624062366761.png
 

BS

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RJBruce said: " no cheekpiece---straight wrist---1.500" drop at comb---2.500" drop at heel---5.000" tall × 2.250" wide butt "

I have been using the Early Wide Butt plates, they are 2.1/8 x 5.1/4............got to love those big Butts!
 

BS

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Gun builder Mark Wheland is finishing a .62 caliber rifle for me. It is based on the Little Bat Garnier rifle, which is actually a .52 or .54. The Little Bat Garnier rifle was made by Folsom in Missouri, to compete with Hawken, Leman et al. The lines of the Folsom full stock percussion gun are beautiful, but the distinctive pointy butt plate is one of those things where appearance outranked functionality when the .62 rifle barrel is substituted. The stock is very curly hard maple. Why I pursued this project: A truly heavy hitting percussion rifle can be used in PA’s early deer and bear seasons, and is compliant with most states’ Muzzleloading regulations. I hunt deer and bear in northern NY, where percussion is a lot more reliable than flint. Western elk and bear are calling to me. So this gun is supposed to do what my .45 never did, and what my .54 can likely do: Kill most North American game.
Is that pointy butt plate solid?

Cause you could always cut that nose off and re-contour it!
 

Art Caputo

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My big bore ML rifle is my Kibler Colonial in 58 cal. I really like the ergonomics and balance at 8.5 pounds total weight, as well as the shape of the wide butt plate with little curve which produces very manageable felt recoil, even with hefty charges. Accuracy is exceptional
 

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pamtnman

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Is that pointy butt plate solid?

Cause you could always cut that nose off and re-contour it!
We had it cast from a one-time mould made from Wheland’s wooden model based on excellent photos from the museum. If you look up the Folsom rifles, they all seem to have had this exact same butt plate. The project goal is to replicate the historic rifle as close as possible, while accounting for my changing eyesight. That’s how we got the five inch tang, for a folding peep sight. Other than that, Wheland made an exact copy of the original rear sight, too. When we undertake these historic reproductions, we take the good with the bad, the tough with the easy, the odd with the self evident. The butt plate is what it is and we wouldn’t have gone through all of this any other way
 

pamtnman

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My big bore ML rifle is my Kibler Colonial in 58 cal. I really like the ergonomics and balance at 8.5 pounds total weight, as well as the shape of the wide butt plate with little curve which produces very manageable felt recoil, even with hefty charges. Accuracy is exceptional
What is your .58’s powder charge?
 

BS

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We had it cast from a one-time mould made from Wheland’s wooden model based on excellent photos from the museum. If you look up the Folsom rifles, they all seem to have had this exact same butt plate. The project goal is to replicate the historic rifle as close as possible, while accounting for my changing eyesight. That’s how we got the five inch tang, for a folding peep sight. Other than that, Wheland made an exact copy of the original rear sight, too. When we undertake these historic reproductions, we take the good with the bad, the tough with the easy, the odd with the self evident. The butt plate is what it is and we wouldn’t have gone through all of this any other way
Thank You for being kind, I knew it was historical, just Kidding!
It is nice that you have a special rifle!
Enjoy!
 

pamtnman

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Thank You for being kind, I knew it was historical, just Kidding!
It is nice that you have a special rifle!
Enjoy!
Thanks BS. It’s not done yet, and I’m told it will be done in a couple weeks. I’ll plaster this site with pictures of it
 
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excess650

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I finally got a look at the chronograph data from the magazine article. Rifle is .62 cal, assuming 30" of barrel, 340gr .610" ball and ffg Goex.

50gr Goex ffg 1103fps
80gr Goex ffg 1381fps
100gr Goex ffg 1520fps 139fps increase
120gr Goex ffg 1637fps 117fps increase
160gr Goex ffg 1793fps 126fps increase for 40gr, so an obvious case of diminished return

Switching to Goex fffg, Olde Eynsford ffg, or Swiss ffg should make even more velocity. so the .62 isn't as slow as one might think. 100-120gr Goex fffg is comfortable to shoot in my 7-1/2# gun, but it has 2"x5" buttplate and about 2-1/2" drop to the heel. I'll have to give ffg a serious try in the Colerain barrel and see how it does with 100gr+ of ffg. I currently use Goex fffg because it leaves less fouling.
 

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