False Muzzles

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rebel727

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They need to be made from the same blank tho. I was just curious if any of the current barrel makers were making them.
 

Norskie

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These are custom made with the rifle, and the rifle is almost always a heavy bench shooting slug gun.
I can't recall ever seeing a false muzzle on a regular sidelock ML.
Lordie, don't most of us tote enough extra 'stuff' around?
 

rebel727

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I saw one on an original Tennessee caplock once. From what I've heard, in the old days it was a commonplace thing but most got lost over the years.
 

quinnconner

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I have a xxx douglas heavy barrel with a false muzzle that I am building into a heavy bench gun.A guy had a target barrel with false muzzle for sale on ebay a couple of months ago.I bought mine off of ebay about a year ago.I would check with Rayle barrels.Hope that helps some.
J.J.
 

paulvallandigham

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False muzzle became popular after the Civil War( lr The War Between the States) , although some existed earlier. Target shooting with bench guns became the rage with veterans of the Civil War,and there was much development occurring as cartridge breechloaders were overtaking muzzle loaders in target shooting circles. False muzzles were used well into the cartridge era by men who understood that keeping the base of the bullet flat, and square to the bore was best achieved by seating the bullet down the muzzle, so that the cuts in the bullet made by the rifling would be pushed forward past the forward driving band and onto the Ogive of the bullet, and not back to become burrs hanging off the base of the bullet, to break off unevenly and thereby cause the bullet to fishtail going down range. Hayy Pope, the famous barrel maker, popularized using false muzzles with breech loading target guns. He later made bullet seaters for single shot breechloaders, that allowed the bullet to be carefully seated in the rifling in front of the chamber, and then a loaded cartridge put into the chamber behind the bullet, with only a card wad sitting in the top of the casing to protect the base of the bullet. This card prevented gases from cutting around the bullets, and protected the base of the bullet until the bullet left the muzzle of the gun. Harry always believed that you got better accuracy with lead bullets if they were seated down the muzzle, tho'.

False muzzles are always made from a section of the barrel cut off. The FM is given a tapered bore, to help align the the bullet in the rifling, and to make it drive straight, without canting, down the barrel. Because the width of the saw blade used to cut the false muzzle from the rest of the barrel caused a slight misalignment of the rifling from the muzzle to the false muzzle, care was taken in drilling the pinholes through the false muzzle into the muzzle of the gun, so that the two could be aligned, to make sure that the rifling married exactly at the junction. Sometimes a lead slug was run down the barrel and left partway in both the barrel and false muzzle during this operation to insure that alignment. You can still see these fascinating pieces of history being used on the Slug Gun Range at Friendship, during the nationals. There are slug gun matches fired around the country, if you can't make Friendship. Call the NMLRA for information on the closest shoot, if you are interested. George Mitchell brought his 100 lb, .69 cal. slug gun to a meeting of our gunclub, where most of the shooters had never fired a muzzle loader in their lives. When he showed them how a false muzzle is actually used in loading a bullet into the barrel, you could have heard a pin drop, and stolen all their wallets! That is how fascinated the shooters were in what he was showing them. I can't believe that anyone on this site would be less interested. Th eslug gun boys do all the Research And Development in the Black Powder science these day. If you have a question about loads, lead alloys, patches, primers, cleaning, etc. you can almost always get the most accurate and useful answers talking to these men and women. George had a 500 yd. target with ten shots that measure 5.26 inches across for the group, fired with his .69 cal. gun. That barrel was 8 inches across the flats, and the entire gun weighed that 100 lbs. Barrel was 42 or 48 inches long. I have forgotten that detail. He had his custom shooting bench made just for that rifle, as is the practice among slug gun shooters. He fired 350 grains of FFFg powder behind a 2 piece slug wrapped in a paper patch, made from onion skin paper, and lubed with sperm whale oil. Velocity, measured 20 feet in front of the muzzle was 1050 fps. I guarantee you that those 10 shots fired at the 500 yd. target would have all stayed under 1 inch at 100 yds. 10shots in one small hole. That is what false muzzles allow you to do with BP rifles.
 

ResearchPress

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Alvan Clark in the USA patented the “Moveable Loading-Muzzle for Rifles” in 1840. This protected the muzzle from wear and through a taper facilitated the loading of a slug. It was around this time that the egg shaped 'pickett bullet' became more pointed and its base more square. The false muzzle allowed the bullet to be loaded with its longitudinal axis concentric with the bore, improving the accuracy of the elongated bullets of the time.

Besides the heavy 'slug guns', false muzzle are also to be found on British percussion long range rifles such as the Gibbs-Metford and the Rigby. These rifles weighed 10lb and were used for shooting to 1000 yards and at times to 1200 yards. The false muzzle on these rifles were more muzzle protectors, and not used to pre-engrave the bullet with the rifling.

They're still used today by some long range shooters, but I've never seen one used with a flintlock rifle.

David
 

paulvallandigham

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I know of a couple of 1840 vintage slug guns with false muzzles. The engraving was not the purpose of the tapered bore, but rather the centering of the conical bullet in the bore was the primary purpose. Most of these guns used paper patching to seal the bullets in the bore, and the rifling was cut shallower than you find on most muzzle loaders. Flint action would be counterproductive for slug guns. As to the long range guns in the lighter weights, you are correct that the false muzzles were used more to protect the muzzle during loading than to set up the bullet. But they did serve to marry the paper patch to the bullet, and align the bullet with the bore. Have you seen any false muzzle that did not have a tapered bore to it?
 

topkick

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False Muzzles were not 'cut from the muzzle' after the rifeling was cut. Most barrel makers did use a piece of the barrel that was boared. The FM was cut, reattached/aligned to the bore ...then the rifling was cut. I have a WBS era underhammer with a false muzzle and complete kit. (Needs a refurbishing)
 

hack

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I own a .38 cal. rifle with a false muzzle.
The gun was built by Ralph Dunn in 1930
It has the original solid brass short starter with the gun. After taking the gun home, a freind and I took the barrel out, debreached it and found it had a vertually new barrle in it.
I'm trying to find some swaged bullets for it.
The closest I have found that shoots decent is 38/55 in .375.
This type of gun was the rage in the late 1800's and early 1900's
Its a shame that these guns have lost favor with muzzleloading as they set shooting records that have not been broken to this date.
Ican't hardly wait till nice weather to take this one out a see what she can do at 200 yards.
 

dlemaster

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I saw one made by a bench rest shooter bout 38 years ago. He used a Douglas premium barrel and carefully marked the barrel and cut a section off. He then installed two alignment pins in the false muzzle part of the barrel he just cut off and bored two holes into the end of the barrel on either side of the bore for the alignment pins. The set up of the pins would only allow the false muzzle to line up perfectly with the bore one way. In other words it was impossible to install the false muzzle rotated 180 deg from the correct position without it being obvious it wasn't lined up with the bore. I hope this makes sense.

Regards, Dave
 

Old Ironsights

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The TC Firestorm has a false muzzle. The first inch or so is smoothbore .505 or so. Makes loading PRB pretty painless.
 

Java Man

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That would be a coned muzzle. False muzzles allow a much larger ball to be started into the barrel. After seating the ball on the powder, the false muzzle is removed before firing.
 

Old Ironsights

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I guess then my question would be... Why? :confused:

I mean, if a coned barrel (essentially a deep crown) does the same thing and doesn't negatively impact accuracy, wouldn't the extra weight out front increase accuracy... all without having to have extra stuff in your possible bag & "alignment pins" to deal with?

I guess I'm missing somthing. :confused:
 

paulvallandigham

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False muzzle are used on Target guns, shot off the bench, and not for hunting guns. The barrels usually are very large in diameter and weigh in excess of 12 lbs. The false muzzles weigh a pound on up, so this is not something to be carrying in a possibles bag!
The false muzzle is used to seat a conical bullet, usually paper patched, and lubed, so that it is concentric with the bore of the gun, for each shot. The False Muzzle helps put the paper patching on uniformly, and the taper in the FM. allows the bullet to be gradually forced down into the barrel at bore diameter with the paper patches in place. This is a different " game " than is contemplated by the maker of your gun with the recessed crown so that a conical can be seated into the barrel with just a ramrod. If you ever get a chance to visit Friendship, or go to another Slug Gun match, take a look at the bench guns, regardless of size or caliber, and watch how the gun is loading using a false muzzle. It is a science all its own.
 

rebel727

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paulvallandigham said:
False muzzle are used on Target guns, shot off the bench, and not for hunting guns.
I beg to differ. I don't know how common it was but I have seen an original Tennessee rifle with a false muzzle. I'd never seen one or heard of one till I asked the owner about it.
 

paulvallandigham

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Anyone can drag anything into the woods and shoot it, including some of the earlier false muzzle rifles. A friend has restored three different 1840 vintage bench guns, and I don' think any of the barrels is close to 2 inches across the flats! I saw a squirrel rifle in 33 cal. that had a 2.5 inch across the flats barrel, and weighed more than 30 lbs. It was dragged into the woods to shoot squirrels, but I would be reluctant to call it an off-hand rifle! Those 1840 rifles have false muzzles, and would be a lot easier to carry into the woods and shoot that the squirrel rifle, but they were meant to be shot at targets off the bench. I meant no insult, or suggestion that some one, sometime hasn't taken something like this hunting. That may explain why some of these guns show up at auctions missing the false muzzle! We know that some of the Union snipers in the War Between the States used target guns with false muzzles, so they didn't stay strictly at the range.
 

fho

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What I thought the false muzzle was for was to protect the true muzzle of the barrel and to start the bullet down the barrel concentric with the bore.

Olie
 

fho

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Yes, that is true but you don't need a cross patch groove if you use a Chase patch. Also you have to start the bullet concentric with the bore.

Olie
 
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