My newest smoothbore

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bpd303

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I just received this smoothbore off Gunbroker. It is in pretty good condition for a late 1800 early 1900 piece and after checking it out, I think it will be a shooter.

The seller had it listed as a "George Washington era" gun. :idunno: :slap:
An Ashmore back action lock.






Kinda reminds me of an Ohio trade gun. Any ideas about the style?
 

Britsmoothy

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I do like the drop on the stock!
Many a gun has to high a comb for me!
:hatsoff:

B.
 

bpd303

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It's a little heavier than I'm used to for a fowling piece, right at 9 pounds. Pretty heavy barrel with a hooked breech and it appears to have a blocked flash channel. I checked and there is not a load in it, but air will not pass through the nipple. I'll start checking it out tomorrow and take a few more pictures. The bore is .721 and is dark but no bad pitting.
 

Wes/Tex

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The "back action" or "backwards spring" lock was adopted by the French army in 1840, standardized in 1852 and was being converted into breech loaders by 1867. The style became popular during the mid 19th century and there was a big debate about whether it had a faster lock time than a standard percussion lock...don't know if that one was ever answered. Looks like this one copied the drop and deep butt of the French military styles which was suppose to more effectively handle heavy recoil. Have it checked and if it passes muster, shoot the heck out of it! :wink:
 

bpd303

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Must have been dyslectic when I typed the bore diameter, it's actually .712 and .610 are the largest balls I have. Time to go looking for another mold.

The nipple is frozen in and it's been soaking overnight in Kroil. We will see if I can get it out today.
 

Rifleman1776

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Nice fowler. I doubt ole George ever saw a percussion cap. :wink:
You could use that in the vintage shotgun matches at Berryville.
 

Treestalker

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Yep, it belonged to George Washington______ (fill in the blank), homesteader, _______ (fill in the blank) Territory, United States, circa _____ ( fill in the blank) :rotf: :wink: Treestalker. P.S. Looks like a really nice gun hope you get it shooting, and keep the back yard clear of transients! :thumbsup: :hatsoff:
 

bpd303

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After some discussin, fussin, and cussin, I got the nipple out and sure enough the flash channel was completely blocked. I made a wire pick tool and got all of the stuff cleared to the bottom, but couldn't get at the channel.

Out came the breech plug, with a 12in. Crescent wrench and a 2ft. helper pipe attached. The plug was easier than the nipple. The patent breech was completely blocked with what looked like rust mixed with who knows what. I used a drill to slightly enlarge the chamber and several different pick's to clear the channel.

The breech and barrel threads are in excellent shape so I used my home made long hone to clear the bore of surface rust. It came out pretty clean.



The barrel is 1.250 at the breech with a wall thickness of .265. At the muzzle it's wall is .110 and .895 in diameter. Barrel length is 38 inches.

The plug went back in and the witness marks lined up fine using reasonable torque. There are no proof marks anywhere on the barrel and no makers name.
 

rickystl

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Hey! Nice find. Yes, sounds like that barrel is going to clean up OK! Looks like you're about to have a shoot'n iron. And an original at that. Should be fun. Let us know how she shoots. You mention the bore measures about .712. I notice TOTW has balls in both .690 and .678 for sale. Might want to try out one or both of those before ordering a mold? Just a thought.
Anyway, congrats on a nice shooter. Rick. :hatsoff:
 

Wes/Tex

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Wish I still had the old bag mold I started out casting with. Big old 13 stamped on it...finally figured out balls per pound. Can't remember the exact cast diameter but they were a jim-dandy fir in the old Potsdammer musket...and they were .72's. Found mine in an old gun shop in the Houston area. Everybody keep their eyes peeled for them, they show up in the oddest places sometimes.
 

bpd303

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Well I took her out for a test run this morning. I started with 60gr of Goex ffg and the .610 ball’s I had and a heavy denim patch that mikes at .030 with grease patch lube. Needless to say they were pretty loose in the bore. The patches were blown apart and the first target looked like a cylinder bore, all over but all on paper. Won’t bother with a picture. I upped the charge to 70gr and that tightened the pattern up some but not what I accept as OK.

I changed targets and decided to try a patch wad under the patched ball using Moose Milk for lube. Interesting that three of the balls were in the bull.

Ran out of powder in my small horn and went downstairs to refill it and discovered a bag of .680 balls that I forgot I had. I rounded up some .015 pillow ticking for patches and the ball patch combo with Moose Milk lube felt just right going down the bore.

The first two shots were right in the bull. The next three were to the right of the bull but made one large hole. By that time I was getting tired and wobbling more than usual after around 30 offhand shots at 32 yards, so I decided to call it a day and go clean her up.

Overall pleased with the first try. All shots fired without wiping the bore and no misfires with RWS 1075 caps. As a plus I got my exercise walking back & forth to the target.

 

Wes/Tex

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I'd say you pelted it pretty good! :wink: With some load work and practice, that old girl will knock Bambi into the nickel bleechers! :thumbsup:
 

rickystl

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Hey! Good shoot'n! Looks like the old girl has been re-born :haha: All your work has paid off. Did you re-use the original nipple? Might be a good time to search for a couple spares that fit. When do you think the gun was made? Maybe 1850-60?
Congrats on a nice, original shooter! :bow: Rick. :hatsoff:
 

bpd303

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I was able to save the nipple and it looks like it wasn't shot much. I had to make a nipple wrench out of a 1/4 drive socket and a little filing on the flats smoothed up the marks from my other wrench. I thought about drilling and tapping, but only do that as a last resort. I've got a drawer full of nipples and several would have worked. I think it has spent most of it's life hanging over someones mantle since the inside of the lock looks like new with no wear to the tumbler or sear and all parts look original.

When cleaning it I was still getting some rust on the patches so before trying to pattern shot loads, I'll try honing the bore some more.

I would to have some more information about when and where it was built. I'll take some more pictures later.
 

bpd303

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I ran the hone some more and opened the bore to.714 and it cleaned up some more. No rust on the patches, however there are still some dark spots but no pitting.

There is a rudimentary rear sight built into the top of the hooked tang. About the only thing it is good for is to help locate my anchor spot.



The trigger guard and butt plate are iron but the ram rod pipes and nose cap are brass.









Still need to work up a shot load. Haven't been able to find any information about the style or where she may have been made.
 

bpd303

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Started to pattern her. I tried different wadding but the patterns were pretty open.

This load wasn't too bad.
2 1/4 drams Goex FFg (65gr)
1 1/4 oz #4 shot
1 over powder card
1 cushion wad
1 over shot card

Look out Mr. Gobbler if you get within 30 yards.

 

hawkeye2

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It could have been made anywhere as that style began its evolution early in the percussion era and was firmly established by the 1840's. They were quite common in New England.

A nice piece and it's great to see that you have been able to put it back to work. :hatsoff:

I surprised the seller didn't claim George Washington didn't sleep with it in his bed everywhere he went. :grin:
 
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