Hopkins and Allen .45 underhammer

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In was in search of flintlock rifle when my Boss came up to me with an offer to sell me his Hopkins and Allen .45 Caliber underhammer rifle. It is a .45cal rifle with a percussion ignition and a 20" barrel. Anyone know anything about these and if it's worth buying. I would be using it for Whitetail Deer hunting if I do purchase it. It would cost me $250 to buy it from him but I know nothing about it and I don't even know if it is a good hunting rifle or not. Any information or insight is much appreciated.
 
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In was in search of flintlock rifle when my Boss came up to me with an offer to sell me his Hopkins and Allen .45 Caliber underhammer rifle. It is a .45cal rifle with a percussion ignition and a 20" barrel. Anyone know anything about these and if it's worth buying. I would be using it for Whitetail Deer hunting if I do purchase it. It would cost me $250 to buy it from him but I know nothing about it and I don't even know if it is a good hunting rifle or not. Any information or insight is much appreciated.
If I can hit a target twice in a row with it, its a fun gun to shoot.
You can see one in action at the 13:45 timestamp below:

 

rafterob

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With a short barrel like that it may not be the best rifle for taking longer range shots, lets say past 60-80 yards. That all depends how good your eyes and hold are. But even if it doesn't end up being your main hunting rifle, If it is in nice shape with a good bore buy it now. Not a lot of them available and you could always sell it on this forum pretty fast.
 
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With a short barrel like that it may not be the best rifle for taking longer range shots, lets say past 60-80 yards. That all depends how good your eyes and hold are. But even if it doesn't end up being your main hunting rifle, If it is in nice shape with a good bore buy it now. Not a lot of them available and you could always sell it on this forum pretty fast.
Is there a rarity to these guns ? Or are do they have a cult following like a civil war rifle or a colt revolver?
 

rafterob

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Not a lot of them come up for sale. Maybe not a cult following, but many folks appreciate under hammers. With the short barrels they marketed as "Buggy Rifles" and came in .36 and .45 caliber.
 

Semisane

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A big plus with H&A underhammers - it's quite easy to fit a second barrel to the action in whatever caliber and length you want and have easily interchangeable barrels. You can even set up a shotgun barrel. I'd buy it in a flash.
 

Stykbow

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I’m thinking you should buy it before he comes to his senses. Of course that’s assuming the bore isn’t roached and it’s in fairly good shape.
 
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A big plus with H&A underhammers - it's quite easy to fit a second barrel to the action in whatever caliber and length you want and have easily interchangeable barrels. You can even set up a shotgun barrel. I'd buy it in a flash.
Does the barrel have to be made by the Original Manufacturer to fit or can any barrel company make one to fit ?
 
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I have a pair of them and both are very accurate, Mine are 45 and a 58 caliber both with around 30' or so barrels. Very fast actions and seldom do you have a misfire. It seems that folks either love or hate the looks of them.
George Washington Sears, a writer for Forrest & Stream, pen name Nessmuck carried an underhammer, if memory serves me a Billinghurst and around the mid to later 1800's

That buggy rifle in my option would make a good brush gun. The only downfall would be losing caps in the field. Easily remedied by slipping a short piece of aquarium tubing over the cap.

If you don't have access to one for about $30 you can buy an endoscope or bore camera off of Amazon that will work with your smart phone. Check that bore from breech to muzzle. This is with any used muzzleloader.

Thanks
O.R.
 
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I have a pair of them and both are very accurate, Mine are 45 and a 58 caliber both with around 30' or so barrels. Very fast actions and seldom do you have a misfire. It seems that folks either love or hate the looks of them.
George Washington Sears, a writer for Forrest & Stream, pen name Nessmuck carried an underhammer, if memory serves me a Billinghurst and around the mid to later 1800's

That buggy rifle in my option would make a good brush gun. The only downfall would be losing caps in the field. Easily remedied by slipping a short piece of aquarium tubing over the cap.

If you don't have access to one for about $30 you can buy an endoscope or bore camera off of Amazon that will work with your smart phone. Check that bore from breech to muzzle. This is with any used muzzleloader.

Thanks
O.R.
Have you ever hunted game with them like a deer or were they just target guns ? If so what was their best range scale in your opinion?
 
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Mine are my pretty much bench rifles as the .58 cal weighs 11 lbs. I hunt PA's deer season and its flintlock only.
In my opinion that 45 caliber is more than enough rifle for shots out to 60-70 yards. But I limit all my shots on deer, 45 or 54 caliber roundball to that distance. I'm concerned about a clean kill and NOT crippling them. I try to know my limitations. Others hopefully know theirs and adjust. I hunted with my brother for years who could make a good kill at almost 100 yards with a .54 cal.

Blessed old Marines ! <G>

If you do a .45 caliber search on the forum you will find a lot of good information and opinions about the 45 caliber on deer.

Thanks
O.R.
 
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Mine are my pretty much bench rifles as the .58 cal weighs 11 lbs. I hunt PA's deer season and its flintlock only.
In my opinion that 45 caliber is more than enough rifle for shots out to 60-70 yards. But I limit all my shots on deer, 45 or 54 caliber roundball to that distance. I'm concerned about a clean kill and NOT crippling them. I try to know my limitations. Others hopefully know theirs and adjust. I hunted with my brother for years who could make a good kill at almost 100 yards with a .54 cal.

Blessed old Marines ! <G>

If you do a .45 caliber search on the forum you will find a lot of good information and opinions about the 45 caliber on deer.

Thanks
O.R.
Yea I usually hunt with a smoothbore Brown Bess down here on the Maryland Eastern Shore and was looking for flint rifle and when I was talking with my boss about it he told me about his gun he got and wanted to sell, he doesn't like muzzleloading because he did one too many ball first powder second reloads. He just got this gun in an inheritance and doesnt want it. Thanks a lot for the input it's really appreciated.
 
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Yep When you dry ball an underhammer the ball usually sets right over the nipple. Its tough to trickle in a little powder and fire it out. You just use any of the other methods. Co2, a good quality caliber size ball puller, my last and messiest choice a zerk fitting with a grease gun.

If you hunt those little white swamp stags with a Bess you know your limitations. My hats off to you

Thanks
O.R.
 
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My wife had one in the 70s. The short barrel was just right for her. I took it bear hunting in Idaho but found no bears. The longer barrel models are often seen but I have seen very few of the 20" barrels. Buy it! Dale
 
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Yep When you dry ball an underhammer the ball usually sets right over the nipple. Its tough to trickle in a little powder and fire it out. You just use any of the other methods. Co2, a good quality caliber size ball puller, my last and messiest choice a zerk fitting with a grease gun.

If you hunt those little white swamp stags with a Bess you know your limitations. My hats off to you

Thanks
O.R.
At least my boss never dry balled this gun it was actually a traditions kentucky that he dry balled 3 times
 
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