Harmonica rifle

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Anybody out there have an harmonica rifle? I have thought about making one,I find the Zettler intriguing.
 

Treestalker

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I have visited Jonathan Browning's recreated shop in Nauvoo, Illinois, and looked at a couple of harmonica rifles he made. They're a really neat piece of work. I marveled at the forging and fitting of the parts; everything had to be close to perfect. I understand Sam Houston of Texas fame owned one. It would be a really cool thing to build, much less shoot!
 

Phil Coffins

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They are an interesting part of history but I would be uncomfortable shooting one as my hand would be in front of the exposed chambers. Chain fires are what comes to mind, rare but possible.
 

TNGhost

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They are an interesting part of history but I would be uncomfortable shooting one as my hand would be in front of the exposed chambers. Chain fires are what comes to mind, rare but possible.

You'd have to train yourself to use your support hand in front of the trigger guard like many military target shooters do even today in a standing position, using your thumb, forefinger and middle finger to hold the rifle. That would keep it behind the breechblock.
 

Stophel

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More like a non-revolving revolver than a magazine gun. ;)
 

TNGhost

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More like a non-revolving revolver than a magazine gun. ;)

Ah, perhaps, but if you note the auction Zettler, it came with extra interchangeable breechblocks that would function much like a modern magazine.
 

rdlowe

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Even the name makes me laugh a little. “Harmonica rifle”. Heh.
 

Einsiedler

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On his last trip back to Missouri from Santa Fe, Josiah Gregg armed himself with a Cochran turrent rifle. He eventually killed a bison with it. They were allegedly prone to multiple ignitions too.
 

Col. Batguano

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It doesn't look like they are being produced commercially for sale. It would certainly be a fun project for an enterprising machinist to take on though. I would guess there wouldn't be much of a commercial market for them, and the price point for anybody to make money at them would be too high.

A safer (monetary) bet if you really want one is to buy an original. That will be worth close to what you paid for it. A one-off basement special would be a long hard sale and probably not sell for more than a few hundred bucks. I saw a revolving flintlock made that way sell (on Gunrunner Auctions) a few years ago for only $450, and you have to know the guy had close to 1000 hours in to making it.
 

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