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Navy Arms mule ear rifle

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Joined
Nov 6, 2023
Messages
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Location
Ohio
This weekend I traded into one of these at a local gunshow. It needs some work but looks like an interesting rifle. A quick internet search says some were made by Pendersoli but I do not see their mark on the barrel. Is anyone familiar with these? This rifle is 50 caliber, missing rear sight and has a damaged or modified half cock notch. I've not checked the bore yet but this is a fairly light rifle and I'm thinking 50 caliber might be a little ambitious for the design. I can see this having a lot of potential rebarreled in 36-40 caliber of even 28ga smooth bore. Does anyone know what rear sight it should have had?
 
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LD
 
No idea on the rear sight, but if I recall correctly those didn't have a half cock, the model was named The Country Boy.
 
This weekend I traded into one of these at a local gunshow. It needs some work but looks like an interesting rifle. A quick internet search says some were made by Pendersoli but I do not see their mark on the barrel. Is anyone familiar with these? This rifle is 50 caliber, missing rear sight and has a damaged or modified half cock notch. I've not checked the bore yet but this is a fairly light rifle and I'm thinking 50 caliber might be a little ambitious for the design. I can see this having a lot of potential rebarreled in 36-40 caliber of even 28ga smooth bore. Does anyone know what rear sight it should have had?
I bought a couple of them at a gunshow in Denver years ago. As far as I know they were all made by Pedersoli although not all marked as such. Mine were marked Navy Arms Country Boy or something like that. I think they came in .32, .36, .45, and .50. I had a .50 and a .36. Both shot well, very small, light little guns, my grandkids learned to shoot with them. My grandson owns them now. They’re nearly perfect for kids.
 
Here is a drawing I made, after a friend and I were done cleaning and working on a Poor Boy.
The owner allowed us to take the lock down and take measurements. As you can see, the lock does have
a half position on the tumbler..
 

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This weekend I traded into one of these at a local gunshow. It needs some work but looks like an interesting rifle. A quick internet search says some were made by Pendersoli but I do not see their mark on the barrel. Is anyone familiar with these? This rifle is 50 caliber, missing rear sight and has a damaged or modified half cock notch. I've not checked the bore yet but this is a fairly light rifle and I'm thinking 50 caliber might be a little ambitious for the design. I can see this having a lot of potential rebarreled in 36-40 caliber of even 28ga smooth bore. Does anyone know what rear sight it should have had?
Pictures of the rear sight on my .36 cal. but no name on it The barrel is marked Pedersoli but no model.
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The lock plate says Navy Arms Co.
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Navy Arms
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Mine has lock plate markings an trigger guard like the picts Grenadier1758 posted. I think mine is also a kit because the lock inletting is rougher than I think a factory would have released. Other than an underhammer this has to be one of the simplest locks I've ever seen . I need to recut the half cock notch. Mine has a pinned barrel unlike the barrel wedge of BruceS example. Brass nosecap, not pewter . I'm thinking one of these rear sights would work. I try to the Log Cabin Shop every few months.
Rear sight.jpg
 

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My Mule Ear from Navy Arms has a different rear sight and different stamping on the lock plate. Mine is a 36 caliber kit gun from about 1982.

View attachment 267233

The shape of the lock plate is different and mine has a pewter nose cap.
My 45 caliber Navy Arms looks basically the same as yours. I believe mine was a kit gun, as the barrel only has the markings "PP," "CL 45," and a 4 digit serial number. The lock on mine is marked exactly like yours.

Does anyone who owns a Navy Arms Mule Ear rifle have the original manual or the maximum/minimum powder charge data? Pedersoli had extremely limited information when I contacted them.
 
Here's a couple pictures of my 45 mule ear. It has a barrel pin instead of a wedge, and a ramped semi buckhorn rear sight as opposed to screw adjustable sights I've seen on other examples.

I'm still working up loads for it, but I had some decent results with a starter load and maxi balls from Track of the Wolf. I haven't worked up any good roundball loads yet, but I had a couple of suggestions from Pedersoli.
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Given the light weight of this rifle I think your shoulder will tell you when you start to approach the maximum loading. The old rule of thumb I was taught was the best load with black powder is going to be 1-2 times caliber. So for a 50 caliber rifle the best load will be somewhere between 50 and 100 gns of powder. Most of the time I find that a load around 1.5 times caliber works pretty well with round balls and black powder
 
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