Most common period French Fusil de Chasse and Tradegun Caliber Information.

Discussion in 'Primary Documentation' started by Artificer, Jul 8, 2019.

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  1. Jul 8, 2019 #1

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    As I’m re-reading Hamilton’s “Colonial Frontier Guns” for the umpteenth time, I finally noted Hamilton’s research on the most common bore size was a “28.” This is not a balls to the pound measurement (pound equals 453.6 grams), but rather a Balls per Livre (489.5 grams) measurement.

    The 1777 tabulation chart by “A. Dijon” lists a “28” as a .563” ball when converted to inch/decimal. I’m not sure and don’t think that was the actual bore size, just the ball size.

    Not sure how much this information may be useful, but I found it historically interesting and so thought I would share it.

    Gus
     
  2. Jul 8, 2019 #2

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

    70 Cal.

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    Thanks, Gus.
     
  3. Jul 8, 2019 #3

    tenngun

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    Unfortunately all we can buy is .62,.58 or .54. And their all cut on the same blank. Making them too thick. Life’s tough in the 21st century :p
     
  4. Jul 8, 2019 #4

    Artificer

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    You are most welcome.

    Gus
     
  5. Jul 8, 2019 #5

    Artificer

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    This is JUST a guess on my part, but considering the technology of the period, the .58 barrel you mentioned is probably pretty close to the common bore size, if not in the period manufacturing plus and minus tolerances then.

    Gus
     
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  6. Jul 9, 2019 #6

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

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    Challenge is many barrel makers have one external profile and then bore it to different diameters (Buckeye, Longhammock, Colerain, Rice). Then the smaller bore size barrels are heavy and thick walled. Ok for smooth rifle or buck and ball but not for a trade gun or fowling piece.

    I got a nicely balanced barrel from R E Davis. I think Ed Rayl made it.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2019 #7

    dave_person

    dave_person

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    You can do OK with a 16 or 20 gauge barrel. Both bores are close to actual examples of French trade and sporting guns found in North America. For example, the Hawk fowler, which I am currently using as a model for a gun, has a typical 4 1/2 pieds (57") long French barrel that is almost exactly 0.62 cal. This was apparently, a common size but I think Hamilton, Bouchard, and Gladysz would agree that 28 balls/livre was the most common civilian gun bore for Fusil de Chasses.
     
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  8. Jul 10, 2019 #8

    Artificer

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    Dave,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Is it possible the reason the "28" was more common for the Fusil de Chasses, because they used round ball more often than shot?

    Gus
     
  9. Jul 10, 2019 #9

    dave_person

    dave_person

    dave_person

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    Hi Gus,
    I don't know. It may be more to do where the gun was made, Tulle or St. Etienne.

    dave
     
  10. Jul 10, 2019 #10

    Artificer

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    Thanks Dave,

    Never thought about that, but you might have a good point there.

    I was thinking the smaller bore would be less expensive to shoot a ball, but still large enough for effective use with shot on small game?

    Gus
     
  11. Jul 10, 2019 #11

    Artificer

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    Dave,

    Whilst waiting for blood work and my follow up on thyroid surgery today at the VA, I took Hamilton's book with me.

    There are three original Fusil De Chasse's listed and the printed calibers were .61, .63 and .62 respectively. Thought you might find that interesting.

    Gus
     
  12. Jul 11, 2019 #12

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    My calculations affirm the number in the 1777 chart by Dijon for a French 28 ball per Livre will be 0.564" (0.563996") in diameter for the ball. So a 58 caliber barrel is probably close enough. Dijon did pretty good considering the state of precise measurement in 1777.
     
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