Moroccan Snaphaunce

Discussion in 'Photos' started by Flint62Smoothie, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Jan 12, 2019 #1

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    I just picked up this ~55-cal smoothbore musket with a snaphaunce lock on it. The barrel is 51" long and has some amazing barrel decorations on the top and muzzle end. The frizzen on the lock is broken, but I an sending that along to Jeff Miller of The Flintlock Forge to see if he can repair it ... or replace it.

    As I'd like to get this one shootable. For its length, the swamped barrel is really trim and it handles very well! The wood overall is also in excellent shape and the bore cleaned up better than I had hoped. But provided Jeff can repair the lock, then I'll send the barrel to Bobby Hoyt to be checked out and possibly sleeved.

    Pictures for your enjoyment! Hoping Ricky from St Louis and Punka Bundook chime in on this latest acquisition ...
    BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce01.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce02.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce03.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce04.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce05.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce06.jpg BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce07.jpg
    BP, 55-cal Morrocan Snaphaunce01.jpg
     
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  2. Jan 13, 2019 #2

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

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    That frizzen isn't broke, the sole is just cracked, probably happened when it was put on there and was used many years the way it is now. See if it will spark, it probably will if the sole is hardened properly.
    Be carefull with this gun, quality wasn't top on the list of important things when they built this type of gun, don't blow any of your body parts off.
     
  3. Jan 13, 2019 #3

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    Hi Flint. Congratulations. And welcome to the "dark" side of muzzle loading LOL.
    Your Mukahla long gun is from the Tetuan (North Coastal) region of Morocco, and typical of the style. The lock on this one is a bit of a cross between the English and Dutch patterns. But also fairly common. .55-.60 caliber seems common with these barrels. Your's is probably somewhere in the first half of the 19th Century. There is historical evidence these were made/used all the way through the 1880's and still using a Mid-17th Century (and earlier) lock. Progress was very slow in this part of the world. LOL
    STOCK: Glad to hear the wood is in decent shapde. You'll notice the fore end of the stock is quite thin. This tends to make it go brittle after many years. So the multiple barrel bands are a must to avert damage. So be careful when removing or re-instally the barrel.
    BARREL: Occassionally, you will find a barrel that has slight swell INSIDE the barrel at the muzzle end for about an inch. I guess for ease in loading. So the true caliber should be confirmed by measuring 2-3" in the bore from the muzzle end. But I wouldn't bother and just have Bobby Hoyt install a new steel sleeve in any case, as the locally made barrel is probably iron versus steel. And that way you know you have a safe barrel that's true cylinder bore and can load and shoot like any other muzzle loader. You will probably also want a new, taller front bead sight to better work with the rear sight. For some reason all the front sights are so short that they are almost flush with the barrel. (By the way, that's a nice looking silver motiff at the muzzle). That tapered breech plug tang seems to be a common styling cue, as every Moroccan barrel I've seen has this feature. Also, have Bobby weld up the existing, oversize vent hole while the barrel is there so that you can re-drill at the size and location you want.
    LOCK: Jeff is a good choice for this lock as he understands how the snaphaunce is supposed to work and has even built one. He's repaired two of mine. He can even blacksmith a new part if necessary.
    BUT !!!! If he says the frizzen can't be repaired to working order, have him send the frizzen to me for matching. I have a few complete and "parts" locks and can probably match it with an original frizzen. Would save time and money.

    While the lock timing on these guns is slow, they are a blast to shoot. Good luck with the project, and keep us informed of your progress. Let me know if you/Jeff need any parts. LOL

    Rick DSC00730 (Medium).JPG
     
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  4. Jan 13, 2019 #4

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Amazing info Rick and thank you, especially for the parts offer. Three questions:

    1) What about the other poster’s comment about possibly using the lock with the frizzen as is? Honestly, I have not tried it yet. The internals are all cruded up and I intended to de-rust all of them before doing anything or possibly sending the lock off to Jeff.

    2) How does Bobby Hoyt verify the integrity of the breech plug? Or how does a sleeved barrel strengthen it or that area?

    3) Any guesses - if sleeved - what the final caliber would be?
     
  5. Jan 13, 2019 #5

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    Hi Flint

    1) Well, you can try it. But I would think that it would tend to eat up a flint immediately (?) Will the hammer now hold at cock ? Most of them don't and need the sear, sear spring, and hammer alignment fixed. The sear tends to wear down over time, and many of the primary internal parts were not hardened correctly (rural village gunsmithing LOL). You can take the hole lock and let it soak in white vinegar for 2-3 days, checking on it every day. If there are other internal parts broke or missing, I probably have those too. The mainsprings are often overly strong. I had one like this and had a new mainspring made and it works much smoother. But usually the mainsprings are ok. After any repairs, the locks just need a good tuning. Getting the sear to align with the hammer can be very frustrating. After soaking, I would send the lock to Jeff. He may be able to forge-weld the crack in the frizzen face, and re-harden. If not, I'm confident I can match it along with any other parts he may need.
    2) After reasonably cleaning the bore, I just send the barrel to Bobby with instructions to check the breech plug and breech integrity and give me his opinion as to safe re-use and install a liner in a reasonable desired caliber. He will tell me if what I want is doable, or I'm crazy. LOL In most cases, the breech/plug are good. He told me he never had a breech plug he couldn't remove.
    3) If you can, try to keep the .55 caliber. That's what mine are. It gives you the option of using .520, .526. or .530 lead balls from TOTW without purchasing or having a mould made. It just depends on whether there is enough barrel wall thinkness to drill out for a .55 liner. If not, you might have to go with a .50 or other caliber.

    Rick
     
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  6. Jan 13, 2019 #6

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Gotcha, thank you very much!
     
  7. Jan 20, 2019 #7

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

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    That frizzen is soled, it's the sole that is cracked, not the frizzen. You'll notice it's shiny only below the crack. The flint probably only hits the frizzen below the crack so there will probably be no issue. If you're all freaked out about it your lock man could probably resole it.
     
  8. Jan 25, 2019 #8

    0tilio

    0tilio

    0tilio

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    Hi Rick,
    Thank you for shearing your knowledge and pictures.
    I bring this .60 cal. old one I repaired till shooting condition
    years ago
    . Was tested with .575 round ball on 60 grains of FFFg black powder, pathched with tow but not too thightly, I was a littlel concerned about its integrity after probably a century or more unfired.
    It fired but trayectory was por, for tow made a loose patching (a lousy one in this case) and touch hole is eroded and bigger than desirable.
    Any advice?
    espingarda en coli.JPG
    IMGP0288.JPG IMGP0297.JPG IMGP0301.JPG snaphaunce.JPG
     
  9. Jan 25, 2019 #9

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Otilio:

    What a beautiful Toradar! I can only wish mine were so ornate!

    If I were you, I’d try some lubed wool ‘cookies’ below the ball to help form a good gas seal. 2Fg powder would be easier on the old girl too, as it has lower peak pressure than 3Fg.

    How long is that barrel? If 48” or over, you might even try 1Fg, as I use that in my biggun fowlers w/ 54” & 60” barrels. In the big, long 75-cal one I use heavy 100grn loads of 1Fg w/ PRB using Hoppe black powder lube and can shoot all day without scrubbing it. Well, I lie ... the most I have counted so far was 32 or 33 shots in a row ...
     
  10. Jan 30, 2019 #10

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    Hi Otillo

    That is a very nice Mukahla from the same Region as Flint's and mine. Your's has some very tasteful decoration. I agree with Flint's comments for loading. I too would use about 60 grains of FFG and a lubbed wad under a patched ball. There seems to be comments all over the Forum about the use of wads/cookies between the powder and patched ball to help with accuracy in smooth bore barrels.
    The vent holes in these muskets are usually over-sized even when not burned out. LOL Another advantage of a liner is being able to re-drill the vent hole at the desired location and size preferred.
    Of course, you could have the vent hole plugged and simply re-drill. Again, a super nice example and in good condition. Thanks for posting. Rick
     
  11. Jan 30, 2019 #11

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Holy cow ... I just counted ... is that 18 barrel bands holding that barrel in place???????
     
  12. Feb 1, 2019 #12

    0tilio

    0tilio

    0tilio

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    The barrel is 50" long. Have to test yet a thighter ball and patch combination with 3Fg and yes, probably a 2Fg or even 1Fg powder would be better for reducing initial pressures but 3Fg is all I´ve got at home.

    Yeeees, 18 bands but made of a really thin metal leaf. Had to repair them too, preserving the original remains, too much cracked to effectively hold the barrel in place, to plate a the ones you can see in pictures.

    The ramrod had to be completely replaced. When I began restoring only a short piece of thin wooden rod was left, useless by all means.
     
  13. Feb 3, 2019 #13

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    It's my thought that the multiple barrel bands were not just for decoration, but a requirement to reinforce that long, thin fore stock from premature breakage. The bands would be made in different diameters to conform with the taper of the barrel. The size of the band measured about a half-inch or so ahead of where it was to sit - and then pulled/squeezed backward for a snug fit.
    Imagine how long it would take to make and engrave all 18 bands LOL I bought a slip-roller machine and will one day try making these bands myself. The originals I've measured appear to be about 7-10 thousands in thickness.

    The ramrods for these guns were always iron. A tiny diameter piece of wood would be from someone making something just for show. Often these guns get molested throughout the years by different owners. If you take the barrel off the stock you will likely see a crude, narrow groove cut the length of the fore stock with a very slight curve approaching the breech area. This curve, along with pressure from the barrel and bands is what held the ramrod snug in place. A crude, but somewhat clever way to keep the ramrod from falling out.

    Rick
     

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