Fortifying a Traditions Kentucky pistol

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SomeDude

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So, I'm a bit of a tinkerer, so I'll preface this by saying I have no practical reason to do this. I'm just kicking ideas around.

I wanna be able to shoot heavier loads out of my Kentucky pistol, in terms of >30 grain charges, and heavy conical bullets. I've been warned and seen the results of this having cracked the stock, and sheared off the tongue (for lack of a better term) on the front of the pistol.

I have been thinking about ways I could possibly fortify things to be able to stand up to these heavier loads, and have a bit of a Magnum Kentucky pistol. I should specify that while I have some minimal metalworking and crafting skills, I know very little about the metallurgy involved with gun barrels.

Idea #1:
Drill and tap holes on the underside of the barrel, about midway between the muzzle and nipple. I'd then have screws go up through the ramrod groove and fasten the barrel to the stock, so that it would have 3-4 points of fasten rather than just at the front and back.

I'm not really sure it's wise to try to drill into the barrel at the mid-way point though. My main concern is that I'd be ruining some kind of temper, introducing points for stress fracture, etc.

Idea #2:
Band the barrel to the stock. I have even less of an idea of how to accomplish this, but I think it would look pretty snazzy. I have my doubts whether it would really add much structural strength though.

The main concern I have about this idea though (aside from whether it would even help strengthen things at all) is that I don't know how I would make the band removable in case I ever want to take the barrel off and clean between the barrel and stock.


So anyway, I know it's a crazy and silly idea, but I just wanted to see some thoughts on it.
 

coloradoclyde

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I wanna be able to shoot heavier loads out of my Kentucky pistol, in terms of >30 grain charges, and heavy conical bullets. I've been warned and seen the results of this having cracked the stock, and sheared off the tongue (for lack of a better term) on the front of the pistol.
Should handle another 20 grains no problem, That's what I shoot with a 240 grain projectile. Never heard or seen anyone damaged one, a Traditions Kentucky pistol is already like a barn beam.

If a gun was damaged, I'd question what they were loading and the skill of which the gun was assembled.

Be smart, shoot safe, have fun and remember, fingers don't grow back.
 

SomeDude

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Should handle another 20 grains no problem, That's what I shoot with a 240 grain projectile. Never heard or seen anyone damaged one, a Traditions Kentucky pistol is already like a barn beam.

If a gun was damaged, I'd question what they were loading and the skill of which the gun was assembled.

Be smart, shoot safe, have fun and remember, fingers don't grow back.
Ever try something like a 330 grain conical? I really wanna try the Hornandy Great Plains hollow-points.

I wish I could find the picture of the gun that was broken from a heavy charge, but the person who posted it didn't specify how heavy a charge. I think he said it happened with only 45 grains though. But who knows if that was with BP, Pyrodex or Triple 7.
 

DOUBLEDEUCE 1

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I met a fellow once who was a tinkerer. He built up a single shot pistol and did all the cool pushing the limit stuff to it. He stretched that thing out beyond what it was designed for. He was holding onto it when the laminated stock shattered and the barrel took off like a V-1 buzz bomb. He showed me pictures of his hand. The thumb was hanging by a flap of skin. The forearm didn’t look much better.
He went to the hospital and had his hand rebuilt a la Frankenstein.
He was sure proud of that pistol. He carried the pieces around in a brief case type thing to show everybody. At that time, he was considering rebuilding it. He did have a “magnum” pistol for a few shots.
Tinkering can be fun, but you have to remember... ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes and a nose. :dunno: :doh:
 

coloradoclyde

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Ever try something like a 330 grain conical? I really wanna try the Hornandy Great Plains hollow-points.
I've shot some Maxi Balls, in both 45 and 50 cal what ever they weigh. If I recall i didn't like them because they hurt my hand. and didn't shoot that well. It was a long time ago though.

I don't like to push the envelope anymore. I have all the T-shirts, bumper stickers and scars I need.
 

kje54

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So, I'm a bit of a tinkerer, so I'll preface this by saying I have no practical reason to do this. I'm just kicking ideas around.

I wanna be able to shoot heavier loads out of my Kentucky pistol, in terms of >30 grain charges, and heavy conical bullets. I've been warned and seen the results of this having cracked the stock, and sheared off the tongue (for lack of a better term) on the front of the pistol.

I have been thinking about ways I could possibly fortify things to be able to stand up to these heavier loads, and have a bit of a Magnum Kentucky pistol. I should specify that while I have some minimal metalworking and crafting skills, I know very little about the metallurgy involved with gun barrels.

Idea #1:
Drill and tap holes on the underside of the barrel, about midway between the muzzle and nipple. I'd then have screws go up through the ramrod groove and fasten the barrel to the stock, so that it would have 3-4 points of fasten rather than just at the front and back.

I'm not really sure it's wise to try to drill into the barrel at the mid-way point though. My main concern is that I'd be ruining some kind of temper, introducing points for stress fracture, etc.

Idea #2:
Band the barrel to the stock. I have even less of an idea of how to accomplish this, but I think it would look pretty snazzy. I have my doubts whether it would really add much structural strength though.

The main concern I have about this idea though (aside from whether it would even help strengthen things at all) is that I don't know how I would make the band removable in case I ever want to take the barrel off and clean between the barrel and stock.


So anyway, I know it's a crazy and silly idea, but I just wanted to see some thoughts on it.
Can't find the video and I deleted the picture of my simple reinforcement. Take the nose cap and barrel off, grab some wood glue and a couple small finish nails. Drill two holes parallel to the barrel in the thickest part of the wood tang roughly 3/4s of an inch deep, put a drop of glue in each hole and lightly tap the finish nails in place. Allow the glue to dry and cut off excess finish nails protruding from holes, replace cap and and barrel, you're good to go.
 

SomeDude

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I met a fellow once who was a tinkerer. He built up a single shot pistol and did all the cool pushing the limit stuff to it. He stretched that thing out beyond what it was designed for. He was holding onto it when the laminated stock shattered and the barrel took off like a V-1 buzz bomb. He showed me pictures of his hand. The thumb was hanging by a flap of skin. The forearm didn’t look much better.
He went to the hospital and had his hand rebuilt a la Frankenstein.
He was sure proud of that pistol. He carried the pieces around in a brief case type thing to show everybody. At that time, he was considering rebuilding it. He did have a “magnum” pistol for a few shots.
Tinkering can be fun, but you have to remember... ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes and a nose. :dunno: :doh:
"He was sure proud of that pistol. He carried the pieces around in a brief case type thing to show everybody."

Haha, very proud! Yeah I don't really want to push things to an extreme, I'm still going to keep things lighter than the 45 grain charge that Traditions says is the maximum. But ever since I saw that stock with the sheared off tongue I wondered if the stock could handle it.

I've shot some Maxi Balls, in both 45 and 50 cal what ever they weigh. If I recall i didn't like them because they hurt my hand. and didn't shoot that well. It was a long time ago though.

I don't like to push the envelope anymore. I have all the T-shirts, bumper stickers and scars I need.
Yeah I'm just really curious to try all the different types of ammo and see what's most accurate and powerful, etc. I know from experience that sometimes heavier projectiles can be more accurate. Though I guess realistically since this is a pistol, I'm not going to be shooting it over super long ranges.

Can't find the video and I deleted the picture of my simple reinforcement. Take the nose cap and barrel off, grab some wood glue and a couple small finish nails. Drill two holes parallel to the barrel in the thickest part of the wood tang roughly 3/4s of an inch deep, put a drop of glue in each hole and lightly tap the finish nails in place. Allow the glue to dry and cut off excess finish nails protruding from holes, replace cap and and barrel, you're good to go.
That's brilliant! Kind of like adding some rebarr to concrete right?
 

kje54

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"He was sure proud of that pistol. He carried the pieces around in a brief case type thing to show everybody."

Haha, very proud! Yeah I don't really want to push things to an extreme, I'm still going to keep things lighter than the 45 grain charge that Traditions says is the maximum. But ever since I saw that stock with the sheared off tongue I wondered if the stock could handle it.



Yeah I'm just really curious to try all the different types of ammo and see what's most accurate and powerful, etc. I know from experience that sometimes heavier projectiles can be more accurate. Though I guess realistically since this is a pistol, I'm not going to be shooting it over super long ranges.



That's brilliant! Kind of like adding some rebarr to concrete right?
Pretty much the same but definitely don't go as deep as the first barrel pin or you'll create other potential problems.
 

Phil Coffins

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In muzzle loading it’s been my experience that if you want more power then you need larger calibres. The old timers had pistols of 69 calibre and rifles as large as 2 bore “that’s a half pound ball” when they felt the need for more power. Longer barrels gain a bit more too. Enjoy a 50 calibre pistol for what it is then look into bigger guns.
 

SomeDude

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Pretty much the same but definitely don't go as deep as the first barrel pin or you'll create other potential problems.
Hmm not quite sure what you mean about the barrel pin. The first time I put one of these together was like 20 years ago so my memory is a little fuzzy, and I'm not even sure that kit was a Traditions brand. From what I recall, there was simply two screws that fastened the end cap to the barrel, with the wood tang in-between.

In muzzle loading it’s been my experience that if you want more power then you need larger calibres. The old timers had pistols of 69 calibre and rifles as large as 2 bore “that’s a half pound ball” when they felt the need for more power. Longer barrels gain a bit more too. Enjoy a 50 calibre pistol for what it is then look into bigger guns.
Yeah, I might have been being a little hyperbolic when I said I wanted a Magnum Kentucky pistol. Really I'm just concerned with the pictures I saw of what someone said a 45 grain charge did. But others here have mentioned they've loaded quite close to that amount without any problem.

Really I just want to be able to shoot a variety of projectiles/charges to see if I like (or rather, if the gun does) any better than others, but I'm seeing mixed messages on what the max safe charge and projectile weight for this gun should be.
 

kje54

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Forget what I said about any barrel pin, I had a brain fart. The production Kentucky pistol kits don't use barrel pins.
 

coloradoclyde

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Forget what I said about any barrel pin, I had a brain fart. The production Kentucky pistol kits don't use barrel pins.
I believe the Pedersoli kit has pins. Might be where the confusion is.
 

kje54

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I believe the Pedersoli kit has pins. Might be where the confusion is.
Nope, just finished a Pendersoli kit about 6 months ago, one screw through the bottom of the nose cap holds the barrel on as well as the tang bolt of course. That's why I strengthened the nose cap tang, it's a weak point.
 

coloradoclyde

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Nope, just finished a Pendersoli kit about 6 months ago, one screw through the bottom of the nose cap holds the barrel on as well as the tang bolt of course. That's why I strengthened the nose cap tang, it's a weak point.
Well shucks, there goes my perfect score. I'm off to drown my sorrows in a cold beer.
 

necchi

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I wanna be able to shoot heavier loads out of my Kentucky pistol, in terms of >30 grain charges, and heavy conical bullets. I've been warned and seen the results
A spanish single shot into a walker 44,, Gee, nobody's tried that before.
Dude,, enjoy your gunne for what it is,, then "up-grade".
 

rafterob

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The barrels on these have pretty deep rifling which is intended for patched round balls. Sure you can come up with a maxi ball or conical that will shoot ok. Sounds like a typical case of "Magnum" syndrome. Take a deep breath and let it go. With a load of 25-35 grains and a round ball, that pistol will do what it is meant to at normal pistol ranges out to 50-60 yards. With 40 grains fffg in mine I can hit the hundred yard target accurately with full elevation of the front sight blade. Save yourself some powder and lead and shoot it as it is intended to be shot.
 
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