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So I was helping a friend with a long distance move and he is really down sizing as a result. Over in a corner was a 45 cal muzzleloader. I’ve always wanted a .45. Something lightweight and handy. I asked about it and he said he got it for free and didn’t want it and I’d be doing him a favor if I wanted it. It seemed to point okay, was a little rough but I felt like “what the heck!” I’ll get it shooting and won’t be afraid to scratch it. I noticed the nipple was blown out and did some research on the brand and got the impression it was junk and not only unreliable, but unsafe. I took it to a muzzle loading shop and he confirmed it was unsafe. So I asked him if he happened to have something nice in a .45 in percussion. He ran to the back room and brought out a Lyman or Traditions Hawken. Mmm… nope. If I am buying something, I would rather spend some money for something you don’t see everyday. He went back again and brought out the only other percussion rifle he had and again, it was a standard production gun in .54 cal. So we were chatting away as he is transferring all of his inventory from the safe room to his display rack and he tells me he had an entire collection of about 20 custom guns a month ago and only had one left…

He comes out from the room with a very blonde maple stocked custom rifle that seemed kinda short, svelte and really lightweight. He mentioned the owner had it made for his wife. I am an average sized guy and the LOP could be half an inch longer but I don’t mind (It’ll make me concentrate). I asked the caliber and he turns the tag over and it’s a 45! I am not sure how he could’ve forgotten about it but we were talking and it’s always easy to get side tracked. At least I often do.

I asked the price and vacillated about “pulling the trigger” or not. He didn’t want to come off his price but I knew it was a smokin deal and I didn’t want to risk walking out and coming back another day to find it sold.. I bought it.

There are no markings anywhere but I haven’t had the barrel out yet. I’ll post some pictures and maybe someone recognizes the work. I am guessing it was either a professionally built custom Or a really expensive kit and the buyer was a master woodworker, but that seems unlikely. Any help or best guesses will be great if not just fun to hear more about it.

Jody


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I like it! Definitely a Bedford patchbox.

Whereas the drum color/patina doesn’t match the barrel, and the lock inletting looks different than the quality of the carvings and other - more intricate - inlays, I wonder if it was originally built as a flintlock and someone (not the original builder) perhaps had self-converted it to be percussion.

If mine, she’d be a flinter again already, but I’m clearly biased. I like it, enjoy and tight groups!
 
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Nice looking rifle. Just as a note of caution, having to set the trigger before cocking isn't generally normal. May be the sear arm is contacting the trigger, or the lock is crooked or overtightened.

I had an older rifle that did that. May have been the wood shrank a bit over the years, but definitely got it fixed before I took it to the range.
 
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That is interesting, really perceptive and it didn’t even occur to me. I totally agree on the patina not matching. I have already started searching for flintlocks for another rifle. I probably won’t mess with re-converting this one just because it is the way I found it., but who knows!

Thanks for the two cents!
 
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Nice looking rifle. Just as a note of caution, having to set the trigger before cocking isn't generally normal. May be the sear arm is contacting the trigger, or the lock is crooked or overtightened.

I had an older rifle that did that. May have been the wood shrank a bit over the years, but definitely got it fixed before I took it to the range.

I just figured that was how this particular lock operated. It seems crisp at half cock, setting and firing… I’ve never heard of setting at half cock. At least I hope nothing is wrong. I’ll run it back where I bought it and have the guy look at it. He didn’t seem concerned though- an old-timer that only sells muzzleloaders (?)
 

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