Creating a Canoe Gun

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stephenprops1

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I was given an old F. I. E. 45 caliber percussion rifle. The second picture is of that rifle as I acquired it. It has some issues. There is a slight crack in the stock. There are many dings and scratches in the stock and barrel. The was some rust around the nipple. The rear sight would not stay in place, so the previous owner put about a hundred layers of fingernail polish on both ends to hold it in place. The bore was surprisingly good. There was much dirt, dust and debris all over and inside the gun, especially the lock. The patchlock was nearly impossible to open. The previous owner told me he had the gun when he was about 15 years old (54 years ago), and it has been sitting in his closet since then. --- I am holding this exact gun in my profile picture. --- Anyway, since I already have 2 other 45 caliber rifles, I decided to not only restore this F. I. E. rifle, but to make it into a Canoe Gun. I have had the barrel cut down from 35" to 18". It was recrowned and the front sight was moved to the shortened barrel. The first picture is of the cut down gun, on the top rack of my gun rack. (FYI - the 2nd from the top gun is a T/C Hawken, 45 caliber rifle, the 3rd from the top is a Pedersoli, 45 caliber Kentucky carbine. The very bottom gun is a Larry Zornes, Rogers Rangers, 16-gauge smoothbore.) I just wanted something different. I am wondering what you guys might think of what I am doing?



Muzzle Loaders on the Wall.jpg







001 FIE 45 caliber muzzle loader as aquired.jpg
 

stephenprops1

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I have been restoring the old FIE 45 caliber muzzleloading rifle. I wanted to blacken the brass on it for something different. I used Brass Black solution by Birchwood Casey. All of the brass blackened nicely with one or two applications of the solution except the patchbox. I have worked on it so many times I have grown very frustrated. I removed a coat of lacquer and have buffed the patchbox with fine steel wool several times. I then cleaned it with Birchwood Casey cleaning solution or alcohol. Every time I apply a new treatment, I am getting very unsatisfactory results. Have any of you successfully blackened brass before? If yes, how did you achieve good results?
 

bpflint2007

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I like the idea on the short rifle. If I found something nearly free around here I thought about doing the same.
 
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Have any of you successfully blackened brass before?
I have not, but it occurred to me: maybe the sheet metal of the patch box is brass plated? Perhaps the thin coating or the base metal is having a negative/inconsistent effect on the blackening. Does a magnet stick to the "brass" patchbox metal?
 
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I have not, but it occurred to me: maybe the sheet metal of the patch box is brass plated? Perhaps the thin coating or the base metal is having a negative/inconsistent effect on the blackening. Does a magnet stick to the "brass" patchbox metal?
I have. Remove any lacquer coating from the brass, suspend it in a container with some ammonia in said container.cover and place it in a warm, well ventilated area. Check every hour or so and remove it when it reaches your desired color. Wash thoroughly with soapy water, rinse and dry.
 
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That's a great you got there. I love how shorter-barreled rifles shoulder. And i normally hunt deep in the bush. Navigating thicket while always having to be mindful of a longer barrel is...shall we say, inconvenient.
I'm keen to see how it all turns out. Keep us posted!
Cheers,
dgfd
 

stephenprops1

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I have not, but it occurred to me: maybe the sheet metal of the patch box is brass plated? Perhaps the thin coating or the base metal is having a negative/inconsistent effect on the blackening. Does a magnet stick to the "brass" patchbox metal?
I checked that out some time ago. A magnet does not stick to it. I can assume the patch box is solid brass and not brass plated.
 

stephenprops1

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I have. Remove any lacquer coating from the brass, suspend it in a container with some ammonia in said container.cover and place it in a warm, well ventilated area. Check every hour or so and remove it when it reaches your desired color. Wash thoroughly with soapy water, rinse and dry.
Thank you. I will give the ammonia a try.
 

stephenprops1

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I used the vinegar method and managed to blacken the patch box. Here is the nearly completed project. My wife was nagging me for spending too much time on this project. To shut her up I reassembled the gun and quit for now. The gun is ready to shoot. I plan to do that ASAP.
 

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