NEW (old) RIFLE - MAJOR PROBLEMS - NEED HELP & ADVICE!

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This was a later .625 bore rifle I made , 1973, I did it in oak with silver wire inlay, the lock is an east India action, great sparker, hand rifled with twisted rod, barrel Vickers steel hollow bar.
 

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EC121

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Mr. courtney: Apparently everyone but you recognizes this rifle as a contemporary rifle from the 60s or 70s. Of course it is a lost wax repro lock(from Bud Siler from the look of it). The OP never said it was an original period piece.
 
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Oh that sets the story straight, very good for speaking out, an expert at last, I had the feeling it was antique, it puts different light on the whole saga $400 as against $2000 So the buyer cannot be too much out of pocket...so we haven't got to worry about preserving the past ....best to chuck it out, or tidy it up and hang it on a wall.......so it's not a 55 year old family air loom......there have been bad reports of some so called reproduction guns , safety is paramount, especial to a new muzzle loading enthusiast, Many thanks for coming on the forum at this lat hour, I'll sleep better tonight..ha ha. Stay safe I wish you and the buyer well.




well.
 

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The Twilight Zone is a place that exists at any moment of time, of space or of mind....but always when you least expect it. When you find yourself in this realm of unlimited possibility, be careful what you say or do. The right decisions may help you find your way back out....sometimes with greater happiness and wealth. The wrong decisions often lead to madness and death, or an eternity trapped in this dimension. Tread warily past the sign post ahead that says you've entered, The Twilight Zone
 

Rawhide67

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I'm not an expert and don't even play one on TV. But, the photos don't really show me a crack in the metal, as opposed to tooling/machining marks. If the OP has a metal shop of some kind nearby, they may have a scope or some device they can use to examine the area around the touch hole. If wouldn't think it would be a costly effort. If no shop nearby, and I loved the gun, I would send it to Bob Hoyt or Ed Ray for inspection. Seems like those guys would know.

Cracks in wood are generally fixable and able to be blended and hidden pretty well.

As for the seller, he has responded to inquiries from the OP, and took the time to join this forum and read/weigh in on this post. He's either a bat shit crazy stalker troll type, or a guy in a tough spot trying to survive. I'd guess the latter. Give him the benefit of some time to work this out.
In the end, if I couldn't get my money back, I'd start looking for a way to make the gun usable. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Fix it, shoot it and forget about the issues. Next time be a bit more careful, life teaches lessons for a reason.
 

Scota@4570

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The lock, stock and barrel are all a mess. The general build quality is quite poor, amateurish. The lock is a rusted mess. The stock is falling apart. The barrel has a badly angle drilled touch hole. What is the bore condition? I would bet ruined based on the rest of the rifle. IF the seller has no money perhaps he can give the OP other items to make up for it. I would not pay money for what I see in the photos.

Repairs? The stock is probably oil soaked and gluing will not hold. The touch hole will not take a liner based on the angle hole. I have no idea on how the lock will turn out. It would tax my skills to make a decent rifle of it.

Sorry to be a downer, I am just being honest based on decades of experience. Maybe just put it away and forget it. Sometimes unexpected expenses happen.
 

JCKelly

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Greetings all! Bought that beautiful full-stock tiger maple flintlock advertised on the forum a couple of weeks ago - maker W.P. Rush engraved on the barrel. The stock wood is to die for! At the outset, let me say I don't believe the seller was aware of these problems. First problem was that the lock would not go into half-cock. Like the 1970s TEAC reel-to-reel decks I refurbish, gelled grease in the lock (CS) innards - and rust on the lock plate - was the problem. Cleaned. FIXED! (YouTube before & after -
/
. BUT THEN I set to cleaning the rear of the barrel, touch hole (50% obstructed) and the wood of the lock inlet. UH-OH! Noticed that at the butt of the barrel, the stock has about a 1.5" crack running aft. (Photo). Didn't think that was too much of concern - UNTIL I began to remove the layer of fouling from the rear of the barrel around the touch hole (photo). There is a CRACK in the barrel itself - extending down from - and INTO - the touchhole interior. (There is a tool mark - drill bit? - perhaps made when the touch hole was enlarged.(photo) QUESTION: Is this barrel not in the process of self-destructing? Rather depressed at this point (put yourself in my shoes), heart thumping, I began looking closely at the top of the stock just behind the barrel. There is a crack in the stock wood behind the top left of the barrel that has been filled (photo) - and runs right around to the left side of the stock and along the top of the side plate (photo). SO, GENTLEMEN, the question is, is this a shootable rifle, or a beautiful wall-hanger? WOULD YOU FEEL SAFE FIRING THIS WEAPON? PLEASE WEIGHT-IN with your expertise! THANK YOU! - LongJnSilver - Johnny - johnwadelong@gmail.com


View attachment 65360View attachment 65381
That vertical crack running down from the touch hole does indeed look like a crack. DamnifIno how it got there. If indeed it is a crack, and the rifle is fired, one of these days it will burst. Damage to the shooter may be anything up to death. Regardless, it will cost you and your heirs far more than simply junking this thing right now.
Do not shoot this gun. With any load, ever.
For background see my articles in Muzzle Blasts Oct-Nov-Dec 1985, on strength of a gun barrel. James Kelly, retired metallurgist.
 

Scota@4570

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I just looked a the video of snapping the lock. Never snap a flint lock with the pan open. You will break it. Make a wooden "flint" for test purposes.
 
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I think enough has been said , it's time to put it in the bin or put it on the wall like mine......I would not want to read a string with your hand like the photo......just buy a decent rifle from a dealer ... Even my nitro for black double 577-500 no2 1906 in mint condition I had reproofed at the London proof house, it's just stupid to continue with this rifle , just hound the guy till you get your money back.......he cannot claim ignorance if he's communicating on the muzzle lodgers site, he knew what he was doing, I am not stupid, he stitched the buyer up with a load of lies and that's the long and short of it...he still lies now ....send the heavy boys in.....
 

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LongJnSilver

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Greetings, Gents.
Thanks very much for your input. Please excuse the lengthy post, BUT, still need help here.
I think we may have strayed a bit (pics of other rifles) from the fact that this rifle was presented here as a fine specimen, ready to shoot, rust free, kept in climate controlled storage for decades. The external cracks in the stock - were not shown in the photos or reported on the forum. (The internal cracks behind the end of the barrel could not have been seen by Dan, the seller, unless he had removed the lock.)

D.Strack50cal.jpeg

Dan's very understandable desire for this gun was as he posted here, shortly after joining the Forum in September 2020 (He was taking some complements and flack about the rifle):

danimal107
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Oct 1, 2020

Appreciate everyones response to keep it because it was my dads... This was my original plan. But unfortunately I can never shoot guns again due to some major nerve damage in my ears that is getting progressively worse. If I continue to shoot guns I will soon be completely deaf. So I am selling my collection and taking the money from my fathers pieces to buy a watch I can wear and remember him that way. I don't have kids or siblings that would possibly have kids, and I will never have kids. I thought about keeping it to display somewhere in the house but thats not my style so the rifle is getting sold...

Last edited: Oct 1, 2020


That post got some great responses - some memorable to me about guns and inheritance. I'm thankful to have kids and Grandkids - and a former Marine son-in-law (already gave him my AR) I shoot with and can leave my guns to! Gave my Grands (his 3 kids, 6, 8 and 10) a Henry .22 for Christmas. They're already shooting it! : )

SINCE RECEIVING THE RIFLE:
I have replaced the broken brass ramrod tip (fell out of the wrapping when I unpacked it) with a new one, and antiqued it (having bored and tapped the end of the ramrod - which oddly had protruded 3/4" or so from the end of the barrel - surely not original - and "just asking for it!" - especially with a 6 x 32 screw.)

Broken Ramrod Tip (Small).jpg


Good argument for a full-size drill press vs. the shorty I almost bought!

Boring out Brass Ramrod Tip (Small).jpg

Original (right - which I bored to 10 x 32) but decided to use a tip I had on hand (left) - a 10 x 32 - was shiny brass - but I "antiqued it" with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar solution - 50/50. Have a 10 x 32 screw in the old one - ready for installation if desired. (NOT a good idea.)
20210222_132823 (Small).jpg


I'm HOPING that all the hours of work I've put into this rifle encourages Dad to refund me - since it will certainly help him reselling it! Oh... swabbed the barrel too. It was fouled black, but not too bad. Finished
with a cotton swab soaked in Ballistol. Wife complained it stunk up the Great Room. Yep. : )


New Anttiqued Ramrod Tip (Small).jpg

...Degreased (solidified grease) and descaled the rust from the lock so that it now has a strong action and will even spark with the flint not quite properly napped. Video of the lock sparking (Nope, that ain't gonna start no house fires but the flint could remove a fingertip! : )
BEFORE:
LOCK RUST.jpg
\
Is it any wonder that it would not hold on half-cock much less full?
LOCK BEFORE - INOPERABLE (Large).jpg

AFTER: And, note the "CS" on the lock plate. Someone suggested this was a Siler. Comment?
LOCK AFTER - Working Perfectly - SPARK! (Large).jpg


I'm a fanatical, unrepentant "fixer-upper" as many of you probably are. I LOVE taking something from not working to working! (My expertise:
antique smoking pipes (See some of my pre-Barlings on Pipedia) and reel-to-reel tape recorders like this '73 TEAC - NOT muzzle loaders!)
NOW....

Some of y'all have suggested that I:
1. buy and install a new barrel. This is waaay above my pay grade, and, after paying $2,700 for a rifle that was supposed to be in perfect firing condition, even with a re-barreling, I would be left with a stock that had external cracks that cannot be perfectly repaired. Besides, that was already attempted by someone and it looks awful - has partially re-opened on the top.
AND, what does a new barrel cost? $400-500? And the labor to install/re-bed it, bore the flash-hole to fit the flash pan, inlet the tang properly - and all that by a competent gunsmith? And who would that be? Where is he? Jim Chambers lives in Candler about 45 min. from us. Is he still "alive and kicking?" And, how would the rifle get there and back? Me? And if Jim is not available, who would pack it and pay the shipping - where and to whom?

2. Cutting off the barrel - but being a full-stock rifle, then what? Short barrel, full stock. How is this helpful? And, who would do this, where are they, how would the rifle get there and back, and at what cost?

3. Drilling and installing a touch-hole liner. Again, this is waaay above my pay grade, so would have to be done by a competent gunsmith. AND, note that the crack in the barrel at the flash hole extends all the way inside and quite a distance below the flash hole - a bit longer than the diameter of a touch-hole liner.

Barrel Crack - Internal to Outside and Down 2.jpg

And, why the crack in the first place? It goes all the way into the bore, and, one would assume was caused by INTERNAL pressure - from either 1. a weak barrel from the get-go, 2. over- or double- charging, or 2. someone accidentally using smokeless powder (This is a very interesting old video in that regard:
)

Spending many, MANY 100s of dollars to repair what was sold as a ready-to-fire rifle in perfect condition is not an option for me. NOT my responsibility. Now if Dan wishes to do all that and resell it, that's an option. But MY WISH is that he accept my return and do as he wished - have it repaired at his own expense, or resell it as a beautiful wall-hanger. \
BUT, to risk firing it as is an exploding breech in the face is hardly an option. I WONDER if any of you gents would load and fire it as-is? LOL! Line up and the rest of us will watch... at a distance! At ease Lads! I JEST!

This is a LOT of expense TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY ME for a rifle that was presented as ready to shoot.
Okay... THANKS for all your input - some of which Dan has taken issue with.
But, if you'll forgive this old preacher/missionary, I remember as a kid, our family was driving from home in Jackson MS to the Gulf Coast for vacation. At a truck stop on old Hwy 80, us 3 boys all had to have a potty break. There on the stall beside me - a lad of 10ish years old - was a poem - scratched into the gray paint - one of those dittys that, having seen, you just can't un-see, even though I'm a ripe old 78:
"HERE I SIT, BROKEN HEARTED, PAID A NICKEL TO S**T, BUT I ONLY FARTED."
That's me... and this rifle.
But, as Tiny Tim Cratchit said, "God bless us, everyone!"
CLUELESS IN CAROLINA, hoping I've not spoken out-of-turn.
LongJnSilver - Johnny - johnwadelong@gmail.com / www.grace4life.com
 

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Good morning. Just looking at your guns muzzle it looks ok. We may be in too much of a panic The question is why did the owner mess around with the touch hole. Perhaps to improve ignition. The so called crack may have been where the owners drill slipped. The so called crack may well be in the area of the breach plug

I go back to my previous email. Remove the barrel and reproof it with say double your working charge. The barrel should take it easily. I am quite confident you will be happily surprised. Of course if it explodes you have been sold a dangerous rifle and saved your hand.

I think I might just use needle file to smoother the so called crack away but be cautious just investigate

I am a very fit 77 and seen it all the seller is underhanded he knew exactly the state of the rifle. A slimy storyteller you paid well over it’s market value and the seller must be dealt with by three heavy brigade. I hope we are all behind you to rid society of such a person he is not an upstanding person in a modern society

Let’s get this barrel proofed and sorted it’s the only way forward I can see. I hope and feel it will be successful. The barrel won’t blow up. And you will have a wonderful happy result

I wish you well Gordon from London
I
 
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I just read my above ten times I blew the photo of the crack up. I am convinced it’s not a crack just a slipped drill mark so relax. Go ahead and reproof the barrel start with 1.5 the working charge

Let’s see a great proof test report in the next few days. I will support you all the way. You need to be a bit bold and brave. Ha ha ha

As regards oily wood just degrees it and use epoxy glue I have mended many stocks that way

Look how thick your barrel is and how thin the barrel muzzle is on a double nitro barrel.

You will be ok. And your rifle too
 
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Come on mr silver let's have a smile on your face with a proof test .......I don't wish to bring rude words into this forum but you mention "farted " bit rude but never mind...it made me smile.

Try and smile as I spent 3 years in Lagos Nigeria, bad place, lovely people, at the hunters club to me a new member

"What is bliss on the west coast of Africa" "A dry f...t" I conclude to any offence this might cause , but it is a gunny club thing.and seriously a very funny joke, and very very true

Smile please we will get you through this even if I am 6,000 miles away.SMILE MR SILVER😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😬

Regards Gordon London
 

LongJnSilver

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Dear Gordon Of Many Smiles, and Lads who've shown an interest. SORRY if I appear to "beating a dead horse," but she ain't dead to me given the massive dent in my pocketbook, so please bear with me once more. Thanks! (BTW, Gordon, my wife and I lived in Eastcote - out the Met past Rayners Lane - for 6 years. LOVED riding my Harley in the English countryside - dodging spooked pheasants!) I reckon it's easy to smile when the rifle for which you paid handsomely isn't yours - a firearm that was promised to be in perfect condition, rust free, stored for decades in a climate controlled safe.
And as to rifle building, sadly "I ain't you" - have NO expertise with muzzleloaders, and my "perfect rifle" is much less than perfect - faults galore - ("This is an ex-parrot?"), and being no gunsmith, I should return the rifle - not spend many $100s MORE dollars trying to fix it.
FYI, the photos of the crack can't reproduce what the naked eye can see clearly, not a scratch, but a separation of metal - a tiny jagged crack that follows in and through into the interior of the bore. Here is another view - from the back - showing loss of metal.
. BARREL CRACK from back 2 (Large).jpg


And, someone mentioned the odd angle of the flash hole. A pic:
. ODD FLASH HOLE ANGLE (Large).jpg

Not being a gunsmith, have never removed a multi-pinned barrel from a muzzleloader, much less "proofed one" to see if it'll explode. IF I attempted such disassembly and testing, the rifle would then be un-returnable as the seller could claim that the damage was my doing.
THE POINT NOT TO BE LOST IS THIS: I was sold a SHIP-SHAPE SHOOTER , not a PROJECT GUN, and I've already done far more than should have been required in cleaning the non-working lock so it works. The seller wrote that he had "done the flash in the pan" thing, but wanted a video of me shooting his Dad's rifle, and that I should "shoot often and in good health." SO... why would a buyer of a rifle sold as being in perfect condition have to spend MANY $100s of dollars - up to what $700, $800? - to have a gunsmith re-barrel it? install a flash-hole insert? to make it safe and shootable. I have offered to pay the approx. $130 shipping to return the rifle.
I'm done with buying used black powder firearms. Had a previous bad experience with a Hawken in mid-Jan. on Gunbroker.com, damage to the stock not shown in the fuzzy ad photos. Thompson Center Hawken 54 Caliber Very Good Condition - Black Powder Rifles & Muzzleloader Rifles at GunBroker.com : 889896521 The seller graciously accepted my return and refunded my money - including returned postage. He re-listed the rifle detailing the defect and reduced the price accordingly. Good man!
I've ordered a Frontier Deluxe Maple Pedersoli from Cherry's Fine Guns in Greensboro, NC - but it'll be months coming. I wanted this rifle to be able to shoot now - with my Grandkids as the weather warms.. have them shoot a percussion pistol (my 1851 Colt Navy), a flintlock pistol (my Harpers Ferry Pedersoli) and a percussion rifle (* sigh *) and a flintlock rifle (* sigh *).
- Johnny - LongJnSilver -
 
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It's your call Even if it is a crack it will most probably be protected by the breach plug Fear not I realy don't think it's a crack that's gone tight through on a modern steel barrel ...you paid so much for this rifle of course get your money back but this guy I guess won't give you a penny back he knew what he was doing when he stitched you up.....as it is it's a $200 wall hanger.

You must be bold and proof it,....there's no reason why you cannot do a dozen proofs starting at 40g BP and working up to say 200g. Inspecting it after each test....you will thus know when to stop if the crack starts to open up. I am quite confident it will be ok .......you have nothing to loose and everything to gain, a new barrel is only like $200 as I have imported them from the. USA in the past , it's just picking the right one you are right mentally down at this stage so lest pick you up a bit.

Of course it's your call but be brave and start this proof testing...I can only wish you well.
 

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Noanchor

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We don't know what the rifle looks like, what the bore size is or if that is really a crack. You bought the gun from a good faith seller and I would say it's yours. Look on line for a magnaflux kit (most of them are two part aresol type things) or take the barrel to a gunsmith. If it is indeed cracked, take it to a blacksmith and have some tomahawks made out of it. If you are looking for a shooter, BUY a new barrel , since it was made 40+ years ago it is probably a straight barrel and you can replace it with a green mountain barrel pretty easily. If you have never put lugs under a barrel now is a good time to learn. Work carefully and reinstall the barrel. You CAN do it. BTW what is the maker's name on the bottom of the barrel? Good luck and let us know how you make out
 
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