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I want to build an underhammer

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Mark Herman

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Under hammers are great. I have several that I shoot in table and over the log competitions. They are inexpensive, durable and reliable. I started a Corning action years ago and it was pretty difficult unless you are an accomplished machinist. Flash cups are available in brass and steel for $5 or less, just a fits over the nipple. H&A actions are a good start and can be modified easily.
 
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Under hammers are great. I have several that I shoot in table and over the log competitions. They are inexpensive, durable and reliable. I started a Corning action years ago and it was pretty difficult unless you are an accomplished machinist. Flash cups are available in brass and steel for $5 or less, just a fits over the nipple. H&A actions are a good start and can be modified easily.
Thanks. I'll check out the flash cups
 

beardedhorse

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For your first project I would recommend buying a manufactured barrel for a black powder firearm. Safer than trying to make your own cable damascus barrel. Or you could wrap around a mandrel, bore out and put in a barrel liner. The alloys you listed would not be suitable for the barrel. There is one book that shows an original underhammer flintlock. German made if I remember correctly and well crafted. An alternative is a side slapper or mule ear. L and R makes a right hand one that can be switched with a Durs Egg right hand flintlock. Good luck on your project. Send photos of finished pistol and how it performs. One member of our black powder club had the receiver mechanism sans stock and barrel for sale. It would have been good as a reference for building one's own from scratch. I prefer set or double set triggers. Don't recall seeing an underhammer with one as the mainspring is the trigger guard and the trigger engages the notch on the hammer as the sear. Dr. Gorning's rifle would be a challenge for most beginning gunsmiths.
 

Mark Herman

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Beardedhorse,
Depending on what action your member has, I might be interested. If still available I would appreciate a heads up on contact. Thanks
 
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For your first project I would recommend buying a manufactured barrel for a black powder firearm. Safer than trying to make your own cable damascus barrel. Or you could wrap around a mandrel, bore out and put in a barrel liner. The alloys you listed would not be suitable for the barrel. There is one book that shows an original underhammer flintlock. German made if I remember correctly and well crafted. An alternative is a side slapper or mule ear. L and R makes a right hand one that can be switched with a Durs Egg right hand flintlock. Good luck on your project. Send photos of finished pistol and how it performs. One member of our black powder club had the receiver mechanism sans stock and barrel for sale. It would have been good as a reference for building one's own from scratch. I prefer set or double set triggers. Don't recall seeing an underhammer with one as the mainspring is the trigger guard and the trigger engages the notch on the hammer as the sear. Dr. Gorning's rifle would be a challenge for most beginning gunsmiths.
I have a couple of barrels I have collected over the years. I'll get them out and see what I got.
 
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I got a 50 and 58 cal in black powder that I can cut down. A friend gave me 4 rifle barrels with no markings. Not sure what they are?
 

M. De Land

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Yeah, a flash cup works fine for a pistol but not very well for a rifle to protect your support arm wrist from getting fried by cap flash. I've been burned so many times I've lost count shooting mine. I even set my Carhart coat on fire one year from cap flash. The flash guard pictured stopped all that and as I already said you can fire the gun now in short sleeves and never burn your support arm wrist.
 

antietamgw

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I didn't know you could retire from farming, still at it! Force of habit I guess.. If you can find Logan's book reasonable, it's a good one. It will keep you busy for a good while between the drawings of the actions as well as pics of complete guns and info on the makers. You have an ag background and a shop - likely you will find things about certain actions you like or dislike or would change if you built it. Hershel Logan, Pictoral History of the Underhammer Gun.

The design I like the best is a copy of the Marmann by Runar Stava. I believe the entire build was covered on this site some years ago but is now unavailable. I believe the drawings may be available oveseas or maybe someone who is able will take interest and resurrect this excellent build from the data dungeon. I'd sure like to see it again!
 

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I didn't know you could retire from farming, still at it! Force of habit I guess.. If you can find Logan's book reasonable, it's a good one. It will keep you busy for a good while between the drawings of the actions as well as pics of complete guns and info on the makers. You have an ag background and a shop - likely you will find things about certain actions you like or dislike or would change if you built it. Hershel Logan, Pictoral History of the Underhammer Gun.

The design I like the best is a copy of the Marmann by Runar Stava. I believe the entire build was covered on this site some years ago but is now unavailable. I believe the drawings may be available oveseas or maybe someone who is able will take interest and resurrect this excellent build from the data dungeon. I'd sure like to see it again!
I also delivered to the wholesale market and stores every day. The drivers today were not as courteous as back in the day. They are a different breed of me only. Laws weren't meant for them. Very aggressive. I loved the growing part. You learn to do everything when you are a farmer.

I'll check out the books and make up a few mockups before I jump in and attach the barrel. If someone who is able will take interest and resurrect this excellent build from the data dungeon. I'd sure like to see it too!
I printed off the diagram you posted and will start forging the trigger and hammer.
 

Flinty Scot

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M De Land,
Does that flashguard pivot? if it did, I could see it as a safety (shielding the nipple) since the few underhammers I've seen lack a half cock.
 

enfield

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Say Gypsybladesmit here's a nice long thread from this forum in the "Handgun" section - Ruggles Patent Underhammer Pistol

This is a great thread because 'enfield' shows just about every step he did while he was making his underhammer pistol. He used a modern military surplus barrel also. It's a great read.

Mike
If You are interested , there is another thread that might give You an idea what could be made even from some "scrap" material :

 
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Great work in progress thread. One question that comes to mind. In all the pictures of the spring, they are of a side view. Is there a slot in it for the trigger to go through? I see the thickness but not sure of the width.
Trying to get all the steps in my head before I start working the metal.

Thanks.
 

Brent

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You might make a mock-up from plastic or wood before you start. Logan's books great for ideas.
 

M. De Land

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M De Land,
Does that flashguard pivot? if it did, I could see it as a safety (shielding the nipple) since the few underhammers I've seen lack a half cock.
No, it is stationary. I tried various nipple cups but none worked very effectively and my wrist continued to get burned. This one has worked perfectly. I did have to construct a special T handle nipple wrench to remove the nipple and flash guard for cleaning.
 

Mark Herman

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Flint,
Most under hammers do in fact have a half cock, safety, notch. I cut it off the install a trigger adjustment. You don't have to but since I shoot them in table matches it is not needed.
 

enfield

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Great work in progress thread. One question that comes to mind. In all the pictures of the spring, they are of a side view. Is there a slot in it for the trigger to go through? I see the thickness but not sure of the width.
Trying to get all the steps in my head before I start working the metal.

Thanks.
The with of the spring is slightly less than the with of the "system" and the slot is also close to the with of the penetrating trigger . Please see the attatched photos of an original , vintage spring .

20200810_205633.jpg20200810_205643.jpg
 

Mark Herman

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Not sure where the spring picture came from but it is not typical of trigger guard/mainsprings. They typically are bent to shape and have a " notch" to engage the trigger. I will post a pic in a while.
 

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