J. Withers over/under

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bpd303

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I posted on another forum but no one had any info on this over-under rifle/smoothbore so I thought I would try here.

It is a 40 caliber rifled barrel over a .600 smooth bore barrel. Has a back action mule eared side slapper lock with the makers name J. Withers on the lock and barrel.

I went through it and it is in excellent shape and shoots like a dream.

Wonder if anyone has any info on the maker?

The only information I could find with a Google search is a John Withers who emigrated from England to Canada at ten years old with his father who was a Blacksmith in 1832.
He was a gunsmith and molder by trade and after working in Canada for some time came to Wisconsin with his wife and children. He died in 1905. This info was from an ancestry site.

The rifle weighs 12 pounds and recoil is not bad. I have shot the rifled barrel with a .390 patched round ball and 60 gr fffg Goex and the smooth bore with a .575 patched ball over 75 gr fffg. Both barrels are regulated to shoot to the same point although about a foot high at 25 yards. The groups have not been anything to brag about but with open sights and my eyes not bad. I'm pretty sure it was designed as a target rifle, due to the set trigger and there are tapped holes on the tang for a receiver sight. The experiment continues.

It had odd sized nipples, to large for 10 or 11 caps and to small for musket caps. I have about a dozen old tins with caps dating to the 1800's that still fire and none would fit, so I finally chucked the nipples in the drill press and filed them down to fit #11's. It is a fun gun to shoot and the groups improved with the use of shooting sticks. Still need to experiment with different charges and patch thickness.
Any info would be appreciated.







 

matt denison

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That is a very cool gun.

I would love to see a shot of the inside of the lock.

Please?????????
 

bpd303

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On the way...

laffindog here are some pictures. My old camera doesn't take the best. What looks like rust is just dark patina. Interesting to note one of the mainsprings looks newer, although an old fix, is held in place by a rivet while the other is with a screw. The springs are made with a pin that attaches to the link to the hammers.







A shot of the trigger setup. Pretty simple the rear trigger moves (rocks) forward to engage the firing trigger then snaps rearward to release the sear. Another interesting point is you have to set the trigger to install the lock.

 

matt denison

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Thank you for posting the lock pictures. Very interesting.


Correct me if wrong. It appears that the trigger will shoot either hammmer that is cocked or both if they are both cocked. ??
 

bpd303

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That's correct. To fire both barrels at the same time you have to cock both hammers at the same time. The hammers cannot be cocked one after the other to have both cocked. If you cock one hammer then try to cock the other the first hammer is released. There is no half cock notch on either hammer.
 
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Very interesting gun/rifle if I ever saw one. What hold that contraption together?
Cheers
RFMcD
 

bpd303

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The barrels are soldered together along the full length and the ram rod pipes are also soldered. The barrels are held to the frame by a single tapered pin through the lower barrel breech plug. the rest are held in/on by screws or pins.
 
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