Escopeta anyone?

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Flint62Smoothie

50 Cal.
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
1,882
Reaction score
243
Location
NE Mass
New to me ...

This particular 56-cal Spanish Escopeta was entirely built from scratch by Steve Krolick. It is copied from a 19th Century painting by the Hudson Bay Company that featured a Manitobe Indian carrying his Escopeta across a frozen Lake Superior. The 44" stock is walnut, cut from a blank by Steve, and hand-shaped to the Catalan-style butt stock. The lock was assembled from castings from The Rifle Shoppe (TRS), which functions perfectly and throws a shower of sparks with every trigger pull. The 30" 56-cal smoothbore barrel was also turned by him and features a slight flair at the muzzle and a simple brass sight. All the furniture was also hand-made and has a light patina applied, like the rest of the piece, to give the gun a warm look. The finished gun is very handy at only 5-1/2" pounds, with a 13" length of pull.

I am thinking of sending the barrel off to Bobby Hoyt to make it be a 58-cal rifle/carbine, akin to an Officer's model. This would also make it a neat Black Powdah hunting arm ... thoughts?

Spanish Escopeta01.JPG
Spanish Escopeta04.JPG
Spanish Escopeta06.JPG
Spanish Escopeta08.JPG
Spanish Escopeta09.JPG
Spanish Escopeta12.JPG
 

R.J.Bruce

40 Cal
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
152
Reaction score
192
Not butt ugly, IT'S BEAUTIFUL !!!!

Are you SURE that you would want a .58 caliber rifle weighing in at 5.5 pounds? You did not show the butt profile, but it does not appear to be wide enough to distribute the recoil from heavy patched ball loads out of a .58 caliber bore.

I would have Bobby Hoyt rifle it with a 1:48" twist, and 0.016" deep square-bottomed grooves. And keep the powder charge around 70 grains of ffg black powder. Perhaps, even a 1:40" twist.
 

Notchy Bob

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
993
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Florida
I'll bet you bought that from Lodgewood, you lucky rascal!

As it is, you have an extraordinary replica of a historic firearm. If you have it rifled, it will no longer be an authentic replica, and I doubt it would be pleasant to shoot. Absent a rear sight, accurate shooting might be a challenge. I would leave it as it is, and shoot and enjoy it as a smoothbore. You have a rare prize!

I understand Mr. Krolick copied it from a painting, but I'm just wondering where a native hunter in Manitoba would have gotten a Spanish weapon. I have seen the painting and thought it was 20th century, but will research it. A Northwest gun, or an HBC "fine gun," or even a French fusil would be feasible for a First Nations hunter in Manitoba, but a Spanish escopeta? Not likely...

For all that, though, the gun itself is authentically designed and built. It is a rare beauty, and a real prize. Congratulations on your purchase, and thank you for sharing!

Notchy Bob
 

Notchy Bob

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
Messages
993
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Florida
I am pretty sure this is the painting in question:

Fort Prince of Wales 1734.png


You can find the image and an interesting article on Manitoba history here: The Life and Death of Matonabbee

I discovered there is also an old thread from about six years ago discussing this very painting, and escopetas in general, here on the Muzzleloading Forum: Miquelet Escopeta in a Painting

It's the appropriateness of the gun in the context depicted by this 1922 painting, by Arthur Hider, that I would call into question. I am not knocking the gun, in any way. It is very typical of Spanish escopetas, and Mr. Krolick did a wonderful job of building it. It bears a very close resemblance to at least two pictured and described in Sidney Brinckerhoff & Pierce Chamberlain's Spanish Military Weapons in Colonial America 1700-1821. One, on page 26, is described as a fowling piece, circa 1800, with a 31-1/4" barrel in .80 caliber, and the other is a "short escopeta" (circa 1750) with a 28-1/2" barrel in .54 caliber. The short one was designed for use by the cavalry, and it has a long sash hook, as we sometimes see on pistols. I see Mr. Krolick's gun has a sling swivel in that place.

In any event, you can be proud of your acquisition. It is a fine piece! If it were mine, I would leave it as it is.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

BillinOregon

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
7,065
Reaction score
341
Location
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Well I am absolutely dying with envy here. That's a beautifully crafted escopeta. Living in New Mexico as I do, I often wonder how many times I have crossed the trail of an early hunter or soldier here armed with just such a firearm. They are vastly underrepresented in our muzzleloading hobby.
 

rickystl

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
3,063
Reaction score
958
Hi Flint

WOW !!!! What a find !! Wish I had seen it first. LOL What a great looking Escopeta. Congratulations. Just love the workmanship, and the dark stained stock, which I'm parcel to anyway. Looks like there is nothing to do to it except go shoot it. LOL

As far as a "rifled" .58 caliber barrel, my suggestion:

1 Keep the .56 smooth bore barrel. You can purchase .535 or .543 round balls from TOTW without needing a mould.
And the .56 caliber is real close to 28-guage for shot.
2 For a rifled barrel, just send the barrel itself to Bobby Hoyt to duplicate to outer dimensions exactly in whatever caliber you want.

Since the Escopeta uses barrel bands instead of pins, you can change the barrels as desired. That's what I did with mine.

Again, congrats. Great looking gun, and great pics too. Thanks for posting.

Rick
 

kje54

54 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
1,564
Reaction score
1,611
Location
Duke City
I'll bet you bought that from Lodgewood, you lucky rascal!

As it is, you have an extraordinary replica of a historic firearm. If you have it rifled, it will no longer be an authentic replica, and I doubt it would be pleasant to shoot. Absent a rear sight, accurate shooting might be a challenge. I would leave it as it is, and shoot and enjoy it as a smoothbore. You have a rare prize!

I understand Mr. Krolick copied it from a painting, but I'm just wondering where a native hunter in Manitoba would have gotten a Spanish weapon. I have seen the painting and thought it was 20th century, but will research it. A Northwest gun, or an HBC "fine gun," or even a French fusil would be feasible for a First Nations hunter in Manitoba, but a Spanish escopeta? Not likely...

For all that, though, the gun itself is authentically designed and built. It is a rare beauty, and a real prize. Congratulations on your purchase, and thank you for sharing!

Notchy Bob
Not necessarily I've read that my grandfather's people (Ojibwa) possibly traded all the way down into what is today Mexico. Evidence is coming to light that strongly suggests a large, pre-European arrival trading network among the native tribes that remained in place for some time even after the Dutch and English colonists arrived.
 

kje54

54 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
1,564
Reaction score
1,611
Location
Duke City
New to me ...

This particular 56-cal Spanish Escopeta was entirely built from scratch by Steve Krolick. It is copied from a 19th Century painting by the Hudson Bay Company that featured a Manitobe Indian carrying his Escopeta across a frozen Lake Superior. The 44" stock is walnut, cut from a blank by Steve, and hand-shaped to the Catalan-style butt stock. The lock was assembled from castings from The Rifle Shoppe (TRS), which functions perfectly and throws a shower of sparks with every trigger pull. The 30" 56-cal smoothbore barrel was also turned by him and features a slight flair at the muzzle and a simple brass sight. All the furniture was also hand-made and has a light patina applied, like the rest of the piece, to give the gun a warm look. The finished gun is very handy at only 5-1/2" pounds, with a 13" length of pull.

I am thinking of sending the barrel off to Bobby Hoyt to make it be a 58-cal rifle/carbine, akin to an Officer's model. This would also make it a neat Black Powdah hunting arm ... thoughts?

View attachment 57531View attachment 57532View attachment 57533View attachment 57534View attachment 57535View attachment 57536
I'm green with envy! Either that or I ate something I shouldn't have.
 

R.J.Bruce

40 Cal
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
152
Reaction score
192
Escopetas made it as far north as Maryland in the War of Independence, with several being found in the Governor's Mansion, post war. Did not the Spanish help outfit George Rodgers Clark's men for the attack on Vincennes? Were any escopetas provided for that purpose?
 

tenngun

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
15,357
Reaction score
6,799
Location
Republic mo
I’m always taken by stock designs how the same basic function could be so specific.
When we read ‘escopeta’ I wonder how specific that was.
What I mean by that if we say galleon we will define that as 1550-1650 ship. But the Spanish called theirs Great War ships galleons well into the nineteenth century. I oft wondered if the Spanish escopetas in colonial and ARW were Spanish muskets looking more like besses.
If you google fusil de chase you may well get to a modern French shot gun site.
 

Peter Stines

Pilgrim
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
58
Reaction score
35
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A GUN THAT NICE! NOW HAND IT OVER!!!! Really neat piece. Being in Tejas these guns were common. I have a miquelet lock pistol and its fun to shoot. .62 cal smoothie oct/round swamped barrel.
 

rickystl

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
3,063
Reaction score
958
I’m always taken by stock designs how the same basic function could be so specific.
When we read ‘escopeta’ I wonder how specific that was.
What I mean by that if we say galleon we will define that as 1550-1650 ship. But the Spanish called theirs Great War ships galleons well into the nineteenth century. I oft wondered if the Spanish escopetas in colonial and ARW were Spanish muskets looking more like besses.
If you google fusil de chase you may well get to a modern French shot gun site.
The Spanish military used the miquelet lock up until about 1750 when it made the change to the French style flintlock.
But then changed back to the miquelet style lock about 1790. They felt the miquelet lock was stronger.

Rick
1757 Spanish Musket 001 (Medium).JPG
 
Top