Breech plug removal on old flintlock

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I've acquired an old flintlock muzzleloader (seller thinks it is still loaded) and I tend to agree since the ramrod won't go all the way in. There is no powder in the pan and I've removed the flint. I've tried two different ball pullers with no result. The barrel is so rusted I can't seem to find any markings so not sure what kind it is. Have not disassembled it yet but thinking should take the barrel out and remove the breech plug to unload. I do not have much experience with black powder guns so am hesitant to take apart. Have seen other posts where people have used CO2 extractors to blow the charge out and even one where the fellow used a long drill bit to tear the ball up. The barrel looks to be around 35 inches long and likely it is .45 caliber. So I'm looking for some advice on this. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
 
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pictures will certainly get you many responses. time only knows what is in the barrel.
there is a possibility the gun should be left alone too. if it has historical value it will loose greatly with even a slipped screw driver marring a screw slot.
waiting for pictures with interest.
if it is a longrifle with the barrel pinned, please wait for feedback. it isn't rocket science to remove barrel pins, more like brain surgery!
if you can show good pictures showing the gun in quadrants and good overall it will help.
pictures of the Lock, triggers etc will aid in dating and area built. assuming it is vintage. contemporary builds are harder to figure out who the builder is. lots of us wanna be builders around and a good number of world class builders too.

by the way, Welcome!
 
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Pictures below. First though some facts. Ramrod is 31.25" long and is broken off on one end. The other end had a collar on it but it is missing now. The barrel is 35.25" long from the tip of the muzzle to the end of the breech plug.

On each side partway up the barrel, there is a brass diamond with a pin or nail. I don't know if this is holding the barrel in or just the stock. The breech area has one screw on the end of the barrel and under the ramrod at the muzzle are two screws. All of these are very rusty and likely will need some oil or kroil to get loose. I have a video but it is too large to upload. 117 MB. If you want to see it, let me know and I'll send it to you via email. Photos are attached. If I missed taking a picture of something let me know. Thanks for any and all help. I have too many photos for one post so I will send others shortly.
 

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Second post with more photos. Including the ramrod in the barrel. 1 more with photos coming up next.
 

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Last photo post.
 

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desi23

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That appears to be an older (1960's or early 70's) Spanish made gun. Probably a kit build with all the decoration. I have a pistol with the identical lock and have owned a couple rifles of that style as well. Many of these older guns have a bolster type breech. I would probably start by removing the barrel from the stock and soaking the breech in a can of oil for a while. Hopefully that would loosen any old rust. Then try blowing some compressed air through the flash hole to see if there is a solid obstruction or not. Could be a load, could be dirt or could be a broken off cleaning rod tip.

I forgot to add, those with a bolster breech will usually have a visible line where the bolster joins the barrel. I owned one once with a standard breech plug, which was obvious once removed from the stock. Guns with this style lock generally pre-date the later interlocked breech system later Spanish made guns went to when CVA became their biggest importer.
 
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Thanks for the advice and info. Do you know if the pins in the diamonds on each side will complicate the disassembly? I'm thinking they are just into the stock. I can see at least three screws to remove as noted above. I will also need to open up the flash hole since it looks very rusty. Probably soaking it will help. Plus likely some of the oil will get into the barrel via the flash hole hopefully rendering any powder inert.

What about removing the breech plug? Is it even possible?
 

FishDFly

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"What about removing the breech plug? Is it even possible?"

I would try everything else before considering removing the breech plug. You will need the proper tools before attempting to removing the breech plug.
 

Jim Evans

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First I would put Kroil down the barrel and let it soak for a couple days also soak the touch/vent hole and If you could get the touch hole out and put a grease fitting in and pump it full of grease to push it out, if it a CVA or Tradition brand The touch/vent hole will be a 10-32
And there is probably pins holding the barrel in to the stock
 

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I agree with @desi23's assessment. @MacShay's rifle is from about 1970.

I would consider removing the barrel from the stock. I am not sure, but the nose piece may be threaded into the barrel. Those two screws should be removed. The pins that are in the diamond inlays hold the stock to the barrel. Those pins will have to be removed to separate the barrel from the stock. I do not see pins holding the thimbles in the stock. Are the thimbles threaded into the barrel? If the thimbles are threaded into the barrel, these will have to be removed.

I've acquired an old flintlock muzzleloader (seller thinks it is still loaded) and I tend to agree since the ramrod won't go all the way in. There is no powder in the pan and I've removed the flint. I've tried two different ball pullers with no result. The barrel is so rusted I can't seem to find any markings so not sure what kind it is. Have not disassembled it yet but thinking should take the barrel out and remove the breech plug to unload. I do not have much experience with black powder guns so am hesitant to take apart. Have seen other posts where people have used CO2 extractors to blow the charge out and even one where the fellow used a long drill bit to tear the ball up. The barrel looks to be around 35 inches long and likely it is .45 caliber. So I'm looking for some advice on this. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

MacShay did not tell us if he poured a penetrating lubricant (Kroil, ATF and acetone, or any other penetrating oil) before trying the ball pullers. What residue was pulled out when the puller was removed? Was it lead or wood from the broken ramrod? Did the ball puller thread into the ball? Being a flint lock rifle, does this rifle have a vent liner? It is hard to tell from the lock picture. Do you now have a hole through the ball? What material was used in the construction of the rod that was used in the attempt to pull the ball? If there is a hole through the obstruction, then the CO2 discharger or grease gun may not work. The touch hole liner will have to be removed to determine a thread pitch for zerk fitting for a grease gun. Because of potential interference issues, the touch hole liner should be removed before considering breech plug removal.

First remove the barrel from the stock. Soak the breech in a bath of penetrating oil. This may require a few days of soaking. If you have a touch hole liner, I would next go to the use of a high-pressure grease gun to move the obstacle. If there is a hole through the obstacle, then it is time to remove the breech plug.

"What about removing the breech plug? Is it even possible?"

I would try everything else before considering removing the breech plug. You will need the proper tools before attempting to removing the breech plug.
Yes, removing the breech plug is possible and is one of the possible means of removing the obstruction. Proper tools are required. Notably the tools include a heavy work bench, a very sturdy bench smooth jawed vise with wood and leather jaw liners to prevent marring and a very large breech plug wrench or large smooth jawed crescent wrench and a large hammer to provide some impact when trying to unscrew the breech plug. Once the breech plug is removed, a just under bore sized steel rod can be used to drive the blockage out through the breech.

There is so much unknown about the state of your rifle that we can go down about 15 pages of fanciful comments and still leave the obstruction in the barrel.

.
 
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all of the previous suggestions/advise is gold.
also (it may have been said, but i am on my first cuppa and may not have read it), try just a plain old nozzle from a air compressor if you have one.
i have dented the wall 20 feet from the muzzle with my 100lb air. (also the fender of the wife's ford, but don't tell her that!)
make sure the muzzle is pointed safely if you use co2 or air.
the rifle looks like an early Traditions .
the screw for the cock/axel can be had from either track of the wolf etc. or even a good hardware store if it is stripped.
looking at the washer the cock may be loose on the axel. carful peening around the square hole in the cock can tighten it up(back side).
all i can think of on one cuppa!
good luck, and get her shooting!
 

tdoyka

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i would jim evans method. try it for few days, before breech plug. if you are like me, like dropping things, breaks screws, mars finish...... take it to a gunsmith.
 
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The drum on that model percusion went through the breech plug. If it has a vent liner, it probably goes through the breech plug as well and will have to be removed before you can remove the breech plug
 
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The drum on that model percusion went through the breech plug. If it has a vent liner, it probably goes through the breech plug as well and will have to be removed before you can remove the breech plug
probably correct. and there are many remedies other than removing the Breech plug. in 60 years i have only HAD to remove one breech plug.
and had the devils own time on that one.
 

cebusey

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Spanish from that era did not generally have vent liners unless modified by the previous owner. I have one that I was given pre-1975. No vent liner. I also would not try to remove the breech plug. Try the above methods and if no success - take it to a gunsmith. Do not try to drill the vent out larger unless you plan on modifying it for a vent liner. Also the act of drilling could set off the charge if loaded which at best could increase your laundry bill.
 

MN284

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According to legend anyway, to remove a stuck ball the old-timer 'smiths would remove the barrel from the stock, put it in a machinists' vise and heat the breech end with a blowtorch. Not that I'm suggesting anything!!!!!!!!!!

Tom
 

Greenjoytj

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I thought I read that advice from CVA that old 1970 era Spanish made CVA muzzle loaders had potentially poorly threaded breach plugs that could be dangerous and advised not to shoot them.
Also I thought I read that the ownership of CVA changed in the 1970’s so maybe they were just trying to distance the company from past mistakes or warranty obligations.
I built a CVA Kit in 76-77, a 45 cal flintlock, it worked but after reading about the iffy breach plugs I quit using it, still got the rifle.
 
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