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Historically accurate example of Flint, Full stock, hooked breech, barrel wedges?

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Hi,
You don't have to restrict yourself to some flint version of a full stocked Hawken. Hook breeches and tangs (properly called standing breeches) with flat barrel keys were used by quite a few Golden Age long rifle makers. Andrew Verner and J. P. Beck come to mind immediately. Every new builder I've ever known, including myself, was enamoured by roller frizzens, "waterproof" pans, etc early in their building careers. That is until they learned that none of that stuff was all that important. With respect to lock choices go with Kibler's or Chambers late flint locks if you have to have a roller frizzen. Don't worry about the waterproof pan stuff. However, both the round faced English locks by Kibler and Chambers will perform just as well and perhaps even more reliably. The obsession with "fast" ignition is really something appropriate if you are shooting birds on the wing, which was the reason roller frizzens, short throw flint cocks, and stirrup tumblers were invented. If you are just shooting targets or deer hunting, the effects of those features will be largely invisible. Given your objectives, an 18th century English rifle in 54 caliber would be a good choice. Here is an example. Just disregard the bling and look at the style and guts of the rifle. The Chambers lock on this rifle successfully fired it 671 times without a misfire and using up only 10 flints. The fit and balance is far superior to any full stocked Hawken I've ever handled, and I've built 3 of those.
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dave
What a Beauty!
 
I don’t know if I’d call it being crotchety or curmudgeonly, but you have it cornered. Sometimes I have to read your posts more than once to understand them, but what you are trying to say comes through. And they are never just a repeat of something from somewhere else on the internet. Enjoy your posts and look forward to reading them.
Dear SDS . Thank you Youve made my day . ! I've been getting such negative brick bats from the political posters . I do try to help posters. Ive been at this caper for a long time as shooter , gunmaker, & 'Student of arms .'Another one I forgot was 'Thimbles' meaning ramrod ' Pipes' that have holes clear through, while' thimbles' have a blocked end . and the Hutt is that bit that forms the hook like portion of a' false breech 'but can cover the plug used in proofing .
Regards Rudyard
 
Now that puts us all to shame. I know Chambers sells a kit for an English gentleman's rifle, but the OP doesn't express a level of confidence that would recommend one. From what I read, Kibler kits are much easier. One feature not mentioned is the "shotgun" butt vs. the crescent on Hawkens and many PA rifles. Much more pleasant to shoot! My PA flintlock is a Chambers Edward Marshall in 58. (I'd post a picture, but it suffers in comparison to Dave's.) Nice shooter, very comfortable.

Regarding authenticity, unless you are a true reenactor, I wouldn't put too much weight on it. PA allows period dress in their season, but in the two weeks after Christmas, most 18th century hunters would have been holed up in a warm cabin.

TOTW sells a parts kit, precarved stock, and full size drawing for a full stock flintlock Hawken. True, no originals are known to exist, but given the date of the Hawken brothers St. Louis opening, it is likely they made some. To the OP: Good luck and have fun!
I made a Half Stock &later a full stock Hawken in flint but it got made cap lock since into a cap lock 'Bucks County ' has it now.
Rudyard
 
I appreciate your advice, and I appreciate you not trying to tell me to buy a kit.

This is a marathon for me, not a sprint. 100% I hear you. I get that some guys want the end result and paint by numbers is exactly the right amount of investment to have the satisfaction. I'm not that guy, for me it's about the journey, I'm willing to put in the time and the work.

I already have a flintlock, that I acquired last year and found to be in bad shape. I repaired the lock and tuned it when I ran into problems trying to hunt with it in the fall. All work I did myself. I replaced the worn out frizzen with a new one that required fitting. The frizzen screw was frozen and sheared off, so I drilled, tapped and replaced that too. I was having exploding flints because the angle of attack smashed the flints instead of scraping them. I replaced cock with a longer one but the hole for the tumbler pin was too large, so I had to pein it to shrink the metal, and file for a tight friction fit. After all that I stoned the sear to get good contact and a crisp break, and polished all of the mating surfaces. It throws great sparks now, I'm still on the same flint after several range trips, 2 hunting trips, and a ton of dry firing. I wish I had kept count on how many strikes, I've knapped twice so far.

I'm not saying all that to share how great I am, or a natural or whatever. It's the opposite, I didn't understand what was wrong and put in so many hours to learn about lock geometry. I could have just bought a L&R RPL lock and been done.

I'm just now embarking on the learning and information gathering. If you check back with me in 3 months, it will be likely I've nailed down the shape with notes and measurements and sketches, a parts list, probably a supplier(s), maybe even ordered the parts. A year from now I will probably have a complete rifle. Until I know what exactly I want, I don't intend to touch any wood. I have a LOT to learn.

In the meantime I have an acquaintance with a Peidersoli and a custom longrifle (I couldn't say who the maker is but he was quite proud to show me a few years ago) that I can reach out to and study the lines, shape, and positioning of the hardware, how the drop, the LOP, the cast fit me. I can ask around at my club, I'm sure there are a few Kiblers and maybe get lucky with some other custom rifles I can look at too.

I know, despite my best efforts, patience, and caution with every piece of material I remove, the first rifle is going to have something that's just not right, I'm ok with that, it's part of the journey. First time made a box the dovetails were bad, first time I made a handplane the mouth wound up much larger than I wanted, first time I made a table the stretcher shoulders were sloppy, first time I inlaid a medallion there were gaps, first time I made a bow the draw weight was 18 lbs. None of that meant the projects were ruined, just stepping stones that I was still proud of.
OK big boy,
Here we go.....

I mentioned how expensive this would be. Now, the cost comes down with the more stuff you have.
It seems you might already have a set-up. Table/bench, vise and basic tools.
The good books have been mentioned. Education has been mentioned. By the way, join the ALR forum.

I have an idea for you to consider.
Let’s look at history.

In the Bakeless biography of Daniel Boone, his first rifle was said to be......

an English Short Rifle.

What is an English Short Rifle????
We really don’t know. We can assume that it is a rifle in the English style that short.
Era......1740s-1750
Boone was a young wagoneer at Braddock’s defeat.

Here we have a basic gun that fits. Short rifles both German and English are mentioned occasionally in Colonial writings.

A brief description......
A English stocked rifle with a 37-38” barrel.
The basics for layout.....
Walnut stock wood to be in the English style ( like a fowling gun)
Barrel.......
Edward Marshall or Isaac Haines profile
Lock.....
Chambers early Ketland, Chambers English or Kibler’s round faced lock.
Furniture......
English fowling gun furniture. Dave Person has 2 tutorial series’ on the ALR forum.... Understanding the English Fowler
Recreating the English Fowler
He discusses furniture.
I got my English BP, trigger guard and lower pipe from Dunlap Woods at a show. They may or may not sell them separately online.

These are the basics to start a gun.
Inspiration...... Boone’s short rifle (English Fowler Pattern)
Lock....
Barrel.....
Furniture.....
With the lock barrel and furniture you can get a basic layout.
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Wood and pattern.......
16551D00-5604-4B51-AA65-92F4E1763EC8.jpeg

Above you can see my old layout. It’s was close enough to what I wanted when I laid it out for the barrel to be “set”.
Below you can see where I went back and made a template from Dave Person’s tutorial.
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Ok......
For the stock above I made a pattern.
I had already had the barrel machine inlet years ago when I took a trip to TVM, Tennessee Valley Manufacturing Jack Garner, not Matt Avance.....
Basically Jack machine inlet the barrel and routed the Ramrod groove to my measurements.
There are several stockers that can inlet your barrel into your if you wish go that route.
At the time I had the opportunity for the trip so I had him “set” the barrel.
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My template......
I hate that all the images from my template are from the back side. I laid it out based on the barrel, buttplate and Dave Persons measurements from his English gun tutorials. I wish there was an image of the layout on the template.
Funny thing......
While I was drawing out this template, I was going by the method in Recreating the American Longrifle.
Barrel
Web
Ramrod
Belly
I was planning to use a 5/16 rod but it was not working out. Something was off. It was much slimmer than Dave’s measurements.
Anyway when I based it on a 3/8 rod it all fell into place and looked right. When I allowed for the 3/8 rod.....
It matched Dave’s measurements.
I know the stock has a exaggerated toe and that came from the buttplate on the pattern.
I would rather rasp off the extra toe wood than not have enough when I fit the plate.
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OK.....
Here it is above cut out. The Ramrod is drilled. The lock is just laying up there for the photo....
It’s now ready for the lock or BP to be inlet......
There’s a couple ahead of it so it may be a while.
I need to get on the ball.

https://emuseum.history.org/objects/31405/rifle-in-the-american-style

Above is RCA 119
It is a keyed American Rifle in the English style.
It is the inspiration of my build.

ham385
I can make a tracing for you of that template if you wish.
 

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ham385
I can make a tracing for you of that template if you wish.
I would be in your debt and would really appreciate it.

I love the walkthrough, how long have you been at that one? I expect it would probably take me a few weeks of laying out the parts, looking at the template, staring at it and thinking about it before I got the confidence to make the cuts.

When I said I have the tools before, I meant it. I'm not trying to brag, just listing some of it to help illustrate the type of shop I have. (Which doesn't mean squat about my ability but it at least lets you know I'm serious). I do have a 1 car garage shop, that is jammed full. I don't have everything known to man, but I have a band saw, jointer, planer, roubo bench, chisel set, mortise chisels set, gouges, layout and marking tools (dividers, marking knives, marking gauge, protractor, etc.), dovetail/crosscut/rip saws, a drawknives, scrapers, flat/curved/rounded spokeshaves, bench planes, moulding planes, files, rasps and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't think of now.

Hell I even have a scrap of 10/4 walnut that's about 12" wide and 8' long sitting in the rack waiting for a project (I don't think this is the one though, I want maple)

I even have a combination plane and a variety of cutter profiles that could make quick work of roughing in a barrel channel and making sure it's centered in the blank.

It's the drilling of a ramrod hole that would picker me up tighter than a drum. I suppose if I had to do it I'd cut the barrel channel, then cut the bottom so the web was parallel and even the whole way, carve out the entry pipe, and brace a long drill bit against the web while drilling. But that seems to me to be probably the riskiest operation and fastest way to turn a blank into kindling. I hope to not do that and get a blank with both already done right so I can't screw that part up.
 
Dear SDS . Thank you Youve made my day . ! I've been getting such negative brick bats from the political posters . I do try to help posters. Ive been at this caper for a long time as shooter , gunmaker, & 'Student of arms .'Another one I forgot was 'Thimbles' meaning ramrod ' Pipes' that have holes clear through, while' thimbles' have a blocked end . and the Hutt is that bit that forms the hook like portion of a' false breech 'but can cover the plug used in proofing .
Regards Rudyard
Ignore them and keep posting. Glad I made your day.
 
Rob M. had a good write up on drilling ram rod holes in one of his NW trade gun builds. It involved tilting the bit up to start it and drilling test feeler holes down through the barrel channel to make sure the drill is going the right direction.
 
I would be in your debt and would really appreciate it.

I love the walkthrough, how long have you been at that one? I expect it would probably take me a few weeks of laying out the parts, looking at the template, staring at it and thinking about it before I got the confidence to make the cuts.

When I said I have the tools before, I meant it. I'm not trying to brag, just listing some of it to help illustrate the type of shop I have. (Which doesn't mean squat about my ability but it at least lets you know I'm serious). I do have a 1 car garage shop, that is jammed full. I don't have everything known to man, but I have a band saw, jointer, planer, roubo bench, chisel set, mortise chisels set, gouges, layout and marking tools (dividers, marking knives, marking gauge, protractor, etc.), dovetail/crosscut/rip saws, a drawknives, scrapers, flat/curved/rounded spokeshaves, bench planes, moulding planes, files, rasps and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't think of now.

Hell I even have a scrap of 10/4 walnut that's about 12" wide and 8' long sitting in the rack waiting for a project (I don't think this is the one though, I want maple)

I even have a combination plane and a variety of cutter profiles that could make quick work of roughing in a barrel channel and making sure it's centered in the blank.

It's the drilling of a ramrod hole that would picker me up tighter than a drum. I suppose if I had to do it I'd cut the barrel channel, then cut the bottom so the web was parallel and even the whole way, carve out the entry pipe, and brace a long drill bit against the web while drilling. But that seems to me to be probably the riskiest operation and fastest way to turn a blank into kindling. I hope to not do that and get a blank with both already done right so I can't screw that part up.
The ramrod hole is really no big cheese. The main thing by far is the groove. The main thing about the groove is laying it out. After it’s cut in it needs to be true enough to guide the drill. It needs to guide the drill straight. Where ever the groove is pointing, that’s where drill is going.

I really prefer to set the barrel by hand. That walnut stocked gun of mine was just an opportunity I took advantage of.

You can layout the rifle on paper. I actually prefer to draw the gun on paper. I’ll lay it out and then transfer it to the stock.

I have been thinking about this.....

ham385 if you want, I’ll use my pattern and components I have on hand and I’ll draw you a full size sketch of a short barreled English Rifle.
Tell me.....
length of pull.
Lock..... Chambers Early Ketland or Early English
Barrel......
Isaac Haines 38”
Edward Marshall 37”
36” Straight

This will give you an idea. If nothing else you can use it to select a blank and tweak your own pattern.

I really enjoy laying them out.
Now finishing them..... that’s were I need to get on the ball.
 

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I saw this interesting English trade gun at the January Alabama Longrifle show.....
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I was able to find a stock for my 48” barreled Feather Gun project.
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I could use some direction, I don't know enough to even know what to search for. I want to try building my own longrifle, but, given the effort involved, I'd like it to be as historically accurate as possible for me to do given my skill level and knowledge. I'm not a historian, or even amateur history buff, so admittedly i'm in over my head and looking for suggestions.

The features I like and want are:
  1. Flinter - PA has a dedicated flintlock late$ deer season, percussion is not allowed. Ideally this would be something with a waterproof pan design, a roller bearing on the frizzen, a fast lock time... i.e. all the benefits of a late flint design.
  2. Hooked breech and wedged barrel keys - I really like the ability to remove the barrel for cleaning on my TC. I've heard there are other quick release designs for the breech but i'm unfamiliar with what they are.
  3. Full stock - this is just aesthetics, but I like the look of a full stock rifle. A takedown style with a seperate forestock is an option, actually I think i prefer it to a fragile foreend on a one piece that might break once the barrel is removed. If I go with an actual full length stock, I would probably gravitate to a style with a bit more meat on the wood, I'm willing to spare the extra 1/2 pound
  4. .50 Cal - ish. I don't want to be shooting golf balls, but i also want a caliber I can use and take whitetail with.
  5. accurate - the 1:48 gets a bad rap from some saying it's a compromise, but others say it's great, and one fellow had quite a list of NMLRA competetions he won with 1:48. The original hawkens had 7 round bottom groves and 1:48 twist i believe and were regarded as very accurate to great distances for the day. I was leaning towards the same.
  6. 32-36" barrel - I do want to use this for hunting, afterall, so i need to keep the length reasonable for the thick PA woods.
And with that list of features, I thought I wanted a full stock hawken, it seemed to tick all of the boxes, and I really like the look of an L&R late english lock with the waterproof pan, but there seem to be a LOT of skeptics that a flintlock hawken ever existed. Those who concede it might have existed cast more doubt on the 2 piece hooked breech. I might be able to defend the flintlock and full stock, but not the breech and wedged barrel keys in combination. And then there's the complexity of the hawken stock shape... which without an original to examine seems like it would be very hard for me to get right. If i ever start go to rendezvous or other living history type stuff, I don't want to have to defend a rifle that some say never existed, not if I put 100+ hours into building it. So, the question is, are there other historical examples that meet my list? I'm having a hard time finding specifics about museam pieces, even somehting like Old Betsy which I can see has the wedged barrel keys has very little info i can find online about the breech and I haven't been able to find detailed pictures or video of that part of the rifle.
Ham385 it sounds like you have better than average hand skills from the scope of your ambitious project. At the risk of disagreement with a friend who I share a mentor with. I still would suggest useing a top tier kit gun for a first attempt. Kibler kits would show you how a proper guns architecture should be. Nothing teaches better than hands on for the general feel. In the end this baby step would be handy. If you wish to see the down side of what happens when ambitions exceed skill set. Simply search “Rebuilding a Franken rifle”on the ALR forum in the gun building section. BJH
 
Given your list of what you are looking for I would personally be looking at a Jaeger. A short 32 inch barrel, full stock in .54 caliber would sound like what you are looking for.
As others have said water proof locks aren't water proof. There is NO reason to remove the barrel to clean it. Patent breeches and flint locks can create problems all there own. Personally I hate the deep crescent butt plates the flat butt plates of the Jaeger are much easier to shoot.
Check out Pecatonica Long rifles. there precarves take a lot of the grunt work out but you will still have all the finish shaping to do. I would not order one with the lock inlet from them. They will also do a blank with the barrel and ramrod if you want. in my opinion I have always gotten better wood from them than I paid for. A straight barrel isn't that hard to inlet. I did a post a while back on the jig I use to do straight barrels. I think I posted it on here.
 
Given your list of what you are looking for I would personally be looking at a Jaeger. A short 32 inch barrel, full stock in .54 caliber would sound like what you are looking for.
As others have said water proof locks aren't water proof. There is NO reason to remove the barrel to clean it. Patent breeches and flint locks can create problems all there own. Personally I hate the deep crescent butt plates the flat butt plates of the Jaeger are much easier to shoot.
Check out Pecatonica Long rifles. there precarves take a lot of the grunt work out but you will still have all the finish shaping to do. I would not order one with the lock inlet from them. They will also do a blank with the barrel and ramrod if you want. in my opinion I have always gotten better wood from them than I paid for. A straight barrel isn't that hard to inlet. I did a post a while back on the jig I use to do straight barrels. I think I posted it on here.

Since this original post was made I've done a lot of research, learned quite a bit, went to quite a few local BP shoots, fondled and shot many rifles, muskets and fowlers, and went to the KRA show in WV last month. The result is what I thought I wanted has changed quite a bit. I've settled on a Lebanon township pattern inspired by a particular JP Beck rifle. I visited Colerain barrels where I purchased a 42" swamped .50 barrel and got a quick tour of the shop from Scott. The machines were fascinating.
On the same trip I stopped at Dixon's and Greg helped me select a majority of the necessary hardware. We settled on a Jim Chambers "Dale Johnson" lock that closely resembles the original. I've abandoned the idea of a standing breech and barrel keys for this rifle. (Depending on the success of this build I may revisit and attempt an English Fowler). I've been delayed by a knee injury, and just had surgery this morning. Knowing that was coming I've delayed getting the wood, but now that it's done, no more procrastinating. I'm very excited to begin this build. It wasn't exactly a waste of time or procrastinating though, I didn't feel my knee was up to standing and shaping a stock for many hours, I've used the delay to practice hammer engraving and relief carving. Hopefully I'll be able to give the impression that the end product wasn't produced by an angry beaver with a scratch awl.
 
Since this original post was made I've done a lot of research, learned quite a bit, went to quite a few local BP shoots, fondled and shot many rifles, muskets and fowlers, and went to the KRA show in WV last month. The result is what I thought I wanted has changed quite a bit. I've settled on a Lebanon township pattern inspired by a particular JP Beck rifle. I visited Colerain barrels where I purchased a 42" swamped .50 barrel and got a quick tour of the shop from Scott. The machines were fascinating.
On the same trip I stopped at Dixon's and Greg helped me select a majority of the necessary hardware. We settled on a Jim Chambers "Dale Johnson" lock that closely resembles the original. I've abandoned the idea of a standing breech and barrel keys for this rifle. (Depending on the success of this build I may revisit and attempt an English Fowler). I've been delayed by a knee injury, and just had surgery this morning. Knowing that was coming I've delayed getting the wood, but now that it's done, no more procrastinating. I'm very excited to begin this build. It wasn't exactly a waste of time or procrastinating though, I didn't feel my knee was up to standing and shaping a stock for many hours, I've used the delay to practice hammer engraving and relief carving. Hopefully I'll be able to give the impression that the end product wasn't produced by an angry beaver with a scratch awl.
Wow just a little bit change of direction there. I think you made a good choice there, I have never been ashamed of any rifle I have built they have all been learning experiences. My first build from scratch I named the Ugly Duckling for a reason, it wasn't intended to be pretty, it was built to fit me and win matches which it did very well. I like the angry beaver with a scratch awl, got to remember that one. If you haven't seen it look up the video, The Gunsmith of Colonial Williamsburg. Wallace Gusler rough shapes a stock with a hatchet in it. Good luck take your time and keep your tools sharp. Going to be sharpening my chisels again tomorrow. working with a piece of wood around 30 years old and that thing got hard over the years.
 

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