Malcolm Scope on a Volunteer rifle?

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Stantheman86, Jun 12, 2019.

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum by donating:

  1. Jun 12, 2019 #1

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    141
    I'm thinking of turning my P-H Volunteer rifle into a period correct target/sharpshooter rifle with a 6x Malcolm scope.....Hi-Lux shows a mounting kit for "rifles such as Volunteer" .

    Has anyone done this?
     
  2. Jun 13, 2019 #2

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    45 Cal.

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    UK
    I haven’t done what you are considering, but... Would the Volunteer, a generic version of the British military match rifle made by several gunmakers in the early 1860s, fitted with an American scope sight be period correct? Such sights were not permitted for competition use in the UK. The few British rifles, notably Whitworth and Kerr, that were imported to the US for sharpshooter use during the Civil War that had scope sights were insofar as I am aware fitted with the side mounted Davidson scope.

    Have you fired a Volunteer fitted with a Malcolm scope? I’ve seen pictures from time to time of rifles fitted out as you suggest and always thought the scope seemed a long way above the stock.

    David
     
  3. Jun 13, 2019 #3

    Kno-ie

    Kno-ie

    Kno-ie

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a two band volunteer and I thought the same as you until I tried one fitted on the same make rifle . At 150yd zero I set up on the rifle just fine. When going to a 200yd zero I had to start setting the butt stock lower on my shoulder and less cheek on the stock. For me at 300yd zero it became very difficult to do a proper off hand shoot and for prone impossible. I do have one on a Mortimer Target that I'm happy with, but the cut of the comb is very different from the Volunteer rifle.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2019 #4

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    141
    Great Info, thank you :)

    It was an idea I was kicking around , I was going for the "CSA Sharpshooter " repro idea, I don't know of any source for a Davidson scope repro.

    Since the Volunteer is pretty much a "representative " of many different rifles of the period I didn't think it was historically impossible for a Malcolm scope to end up on a privately owned British target rifle and used by a "Marksman". I saw those big, heavy barreled "stump guns" with all manners of scopes on them and it inspired me.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2019 #5

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    45 Cal.

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    UK
    I think I’d be more inclined to say period-possible than correct. The technologies existed at the same time, but whether they were married together at that time is conjecture - I’ve never seen examples of such, but there again Civil War sharpshooters are only a peripheral interest. Likely fun to shoot but as noted above I do wonder about head placement at extended ranges with the Malcolm scope.

    Target shooting configuration in 19thC UK would most commonly have been a tang mounted aperture rear sight with vernier scale and elevation adjustment, with an adjustable foresight for windage.

    David
     
  6. Jun 14, 2019 #6

    Gene L

    Gene L

    Gene L

    54 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Georgia
    I think the reason the scopes (some of them) were mounted to the side is because it long ranges and max elevation, the end of the scope would strike the barrel if the scope was overbore. I don't know the trajectory of the Minie balls, but suspect it resembles a rainbow. With a modern rifle, a matter of 50 yards farther from zero will still hit a man sized target. Not with BP, though, especially at distance.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2019 #7

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    141
    Whitworth_-_Malcolm_Scope_-_blog_1400x.progressive.jpg It's a 3-band Whitworth repro in the pic, with the Malcolm 6x, but same basic idea that I'm going for with the 2-band Volunteer. The Hi-Lux rep said I'd just need the 6" sunshade instead of whatever is on this Whitworth, this mount will fit my rifle.

    A lot to think about , I figured, if I ever got really serious about shooting long range Muzzleloading Target matches and shooting in the British style I'd bite the bullet and get a Pedersoli Gibbs .451 or find a Parker Hale Whitworth and put a tang sight on it.

    The .451 is relatively flat shooting , my iron sights on the Volunteer are pretty much perma-zeroed to 200 yards, but I can aim at the 12"×12" steel plate at my ranges 300 yard line with little hold over and hit it. Also groups at 100 are high but using a "half sight" brings them down.

    Its doubtful I'll shoot past 300 anytime soon since my gun clubs range ends at 300. I usually end up shooting at 100 anyway.

    I'll have to think it over, it would be a fun rifle.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2019 #8

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    ResearchPress

    45 Cal.

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    UK
    The Whitworth wouldn’t see any advantage over your two-band Volunteer. If you wanted to shoot long range (1000 yards) go with the Gibbs. In the meantime your Volunteer will see you well to 600 yards, especially fitted with aperture sights. I set the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain (MLAGB) national record at 600 yards with one I used to own, which took several years for anyone to beat.

    David
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019 #9

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    141
    I also like the idea of the tang sight.

    I currently have an old Redfield globe front sight but I don't know how period correct that is.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2019 #10

    nkbj

    nkbj

    nkbj

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    6,424
    Likes Received:
    53
    What a shame that there aren't more reproductions of 1800's scopes.
    There are lots of old eyes out here in muzzleloader world.
     
    rodwha likes this.
  11. Jun 16, 2019 #11

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Moderator Staff Member MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    28,514
    Likes Received:
    1,177
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    If it was an accurate reproduction of a typical scope made in 1864, you wouldn't want to have it.

    There was severe chromatic aberration so the image wasn't very sharp. Also, the field of view was very small even with the low power scopes.
    The main advantage of them is they do place the image in the same plane as the crosshairs so the shooter doesn't have to focus on one or the other.
     
  12. Jun 16, 2019 #12

    nkbj

    nkbj

    nkbj

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    6,424
    Likes Received:
    53
    Yep, the early scopes were about like the toy microscope I got for Christmas in 1967.
    You could see things swimming around in a drop of water but in rainbow colors.
     
  13. Jun 16, 2019 #13

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

    32 Cal. MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2018
    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    141
    I like the idea of the Hi Lux Malcolm scopes....modern optics and glass with the original external adjustment and period appearance of the tube.

    Theres also the Hi Lux 1890s scope repros but they almost look modern. The 1860s repros look better.
     
    rodwha likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white