Pedersoli Charleville 1777 (Revolutionnaire version) kit - review to be.

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bjarard

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Acraglas comes with a release agent...use it liberally on metal parts. And make sure to mix in saw dust to get the best stain match. It won't be perfect, but it will be better than just plain acraglas with stain over it. Also, you can send the barrel to Lodgewood Mfg. They can get rid of all those modern marks on the barrel. Saves you some elbow grease and its not expensive.
 

Ironoxide

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Artificer, that part of the breech plug doesn't bear against the wood in this particular stock. The inletting for it is half round in the back. I suppose the idea is that most of recoil force goes through the vertical face where the barrel meets the wood.
Here is how it looks.
View attachment 86854

Britsmoothy very good point about checking if the barrel is seated vertically. I didn't think of that yet :) Unfortunately there is a huge gap there :-( I measured it with a feeler gauge to be 0.6mm (23 thou). You can almost see it on the photo below (as well as temporary copper shims in the back).
20210727_150604.jpg

Theoretically I could inlett the tang deeper to take care of it, but I'm wondering how important is it really? There is not going to be any large forces there and I'm a little worried about moving the touch hole 0.6mm(23 thou) lower. It is already a little lower than I would like it. Do you think this is going to cause any serious issues later? If it is, perhaps that would be a good place for a very thin long wooden shim.

I had the same issue with my belgian large bore gun. I acraglassed the lot and from the outside you can't tell. But that was a 170 year old stock broken in half and this is a new one. So I'll m leaving it as last resort.

Britsmoothy, I agree a thin wooden shim would look the best to fix the vertical gap behind the barrel, but I question my ability to get it flat enough, and possibly its integrity under repeated recoil. So I'm leaning towards a metal shim soft soldered to the barrel and thd breech plug.

This is how the back of the barrel and breech plug look now.
20210727_151702.jpg

(green color is spotting ink)
I started with a file, but then I made a flatness gauge from my flat ground 123 blocks and I discovered it wasn't very flat. So I used an old machinist "trick" of scraping flat with a spotting compound and a carbide tipped scraper. I've done that before so I was comfortable doing it. Scraping is a fairly simple process of staining the gauge and rubbing in consistent way against the workpiece. Where color transfers are high spots to be scraped.


This is how my "flatness gauge" looks like. Those are so called Renzetti blocks one can screw together through any hole. They are hardened, ground flat and true. I screwed them together on a surface plate so I believed they were flat enough. (the stain is some black spotting ink).
20210727_151714.jpg


Peening the tang is definitely an option for when I took care of other gaps.
 

Hatman/2nd line

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Artificer, that part of the breech plug doesn't bear against the wood in this particular stock. The inletting for it is half round in the back. I suppose the idea is that most of recoil force goes through the vertical face where the barrel meets the wood.
Here is how it looks.
View attachment 86854

Britsmoothy very good point about checking if the barrel is seated vertically. I didn't think of that yet :) Unfortunately there is a huge gap there :-( I measured it with a feeler gauge to be 0.6mm (23 thou). You can almost see it on the photo below (as well as temporary copper shims in the back).
View attachment 86856
Theoretically I could inlett the tang deeper to take care of it, but I'm wondering how important is it really? There is not going to be any large forces there and I'm a little worried about moving the touch hole 0.6mm(23 thou) lower. It is already a little lower than I would like it. Do you think this is going to cause any serious issues later? If it is, perhaps that would be a good place for a very thin long wooden shim.

I had the same issue with my belgian large bore gun. I acraglassed the lot and from the outside you can't tell. But that was a 170 year old stock broken in half and this is a new one. So I'll m leaving it as last resort.

Britsmoothy, I agree a thin wooden shim would look the best to fix the vertical gap behind the barrel, but I question my ability to get it flat enough, and possibly its integrity under repeated recoil. So I'm leaning towards a metal shim soft soldered to the barrel and thd breech plug.

This is how the back of the barrel and breech plug look now.
View attachment 86857
(green color is spotting ink)
I started with a file, but then I made a flatness gauge from my flat ground 123 blocks and I discovered it wasn't very flat. So I used an old machinist "trick" of scraping flat with a spotting compound and a carbide tipped scraper. I've done that before so I was comfortable doing it. Scraping is a fairly simple process of staining the gauge and rubbing in consistent way against the workpiece. Where color transfers are high spots to be scraped.


This is how my "flatness gauge" looks like. Those are so called Renzetti blocks one can screw together through any hole. They are hardened, ground flat and true. I screwed them together on a surface plate so I believed they were flat enough. (the stain is some black spotting ink).
View attachment 86858

Peening the tang is definitely an option for when I took care of other gaps.
I noticed in one of the other posts that they talked about using some of the wood filings or sawdust to mix with acroglas but I've used , in the same manner, Titebond wood glue to mix with the sawdust, it allows the stain you might use to give the repair the stain , using glassbedding will not allow that. Titebond is very strong, advertised as being stronger that the wood!
 

Artificer

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Artificer, that part of the breech plug doesn't bear against the wood in this particular stock. The inletting for it is half round in the back. I suppose the idea is that most of recoil force goes through the vertical face where the barrel meets the wood.
Here is how it looks.
View attachment 86854

Britsmoothy very good point about checking if the barrel is seated vertically. I didn't think of that yet :) Unfortunately there is a huge gap there :-( I measured it with a feeler gauge to be 0.6mm (23 thou). You can almost see it on the photo below (as well as temporary copper shims in the back).
View attachment 86856
OK, you have some great machinist skills that a lot of folks don't generally have and that's great.

I would NOT try to inlet that barrel deeper to take care of the open space under the barrel breech. If you do that, you will mess all kinds of things up and cause more problems, including maybe loosening up the fit of the rear barrel retaining band. However, you definitely need to take care of that open space under the barrel breech, as that area also needs solid support.

I would use more modeling clay to fill up most of the lock mortise inlet and ensure you glass bed under the barrel to fill that open space.

Of course you could glue another piece of wood under the barrel and re-inlet the barrel breech.

Gus
 

Ironoxide

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Thanks Gus. Yes, barrel bands fit very well. I wouldn't want to mess them up.

I suppose when they make a gun that has to be a working gun as well as a kit with an unsealed piece of wood they have to design in certain clearances. Personally I would prefer a bunch of parts to fit them myself, but then they couldn't proof the barrel without the touch hole present.

^^^^^ except I would glue veneer or canvass in there to snug it up.
I like the veneer idea for the bottom of the barrel channel.

I just ordered one 0.6mm thick (24 thou) walnut veneer piece. Now I have to decide what kind of glue to use. Suggestions are very welcome :)
 
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FlinterNick

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OK, you have some great machinist skills that a lot of folks don't generally have and that's great.

I would NOT try to inlet that barrel deeper to take care of the open space under the barrel breech. If you do that, you will mess all kinds of things up and cause more problems, including maybe loosening up the fit of the rear barrel retaining band. However, you definitely need to take care of that open space under the barrel breech, as that area also needs solid support.

I would use more modeling clay to fill up most of the lock mortise inlet and ensure you glass bed under the barrel to fill that open space.

Of course you could glue another piece of wood under the barrel and re-inlet the barrel breech.

Gus
I agree with Gus, if you’re going to inlet deeper you may also have to work back at the same time, which then will make the barrel inlet uneven. It will just cause other problems of its own, that could have been avoided.

Bottom line is the touch isn’t where you‘d like it. Typically the best way to move a touch hole is to stick a screw weld in it and weld it down closed then redrill. Bobby Hoyt can do that for you for $30-45 and its worth having him do it.

However, I will say that the touch hole a little higher isn’t the end of the world, I’ve seen plenty of Charleville’s where the touch hole is Slightly vertical high or low, what you don’t want is horizontally unaligned, then the gun may not ignite.

As far as the open gap beneath the barrel at the breech, its is pretty common on most muskets with a round barrel. What I recently did on my Track of the Wolf Brown Bess was after I finished the gun I coated the barrel channel with a mixture of beez wax and carbon wax. The Carbona Wax creates a harder bond (but isn’t permanent) and while you’re placing the barrel in the gun it will mold t the wax closing up gaps. I did this for the full length of the barrel channel and it makes for a nice snug fit. I suspect that I’ll have to reapply this every few years as the gun ages. It also doesn’t look ‘fake’ it looks like part of the finished gun. Surfboard wax also works very well for closing gaps, I use melted and then molded surfboard wax on my furniture projects to close up dovetails.

Or you can bed the area with Glassbed by Brownells, the only problem with glass bed is that you have to make sure that enough wood is taken off to compensate for the glassbed once it dries and expands Or you’ll be cutting out fiber glass with a Dremel or scraper. Bedding a barrel channel is really intended for free floating barrel channels, not so much a 44 inch barrel at around 7/8. I personally only Use epoxies if I have to, and i often found it that after I used it, it was not really necessary to fix the problem.
 
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Artificer

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^^^^^ except I would glue veneer or canvass in there to snug it up.
I've run across three or four original percussion rifles that had cloth glued to the stock under the barrel similar to what Britsmoothy is writing about. Of course there was no way of knowing when it was done, but some of the cloth appeared quite old. BTW, the glue was applied both under the cloth/against the wood in the barrel channel and over the cloth/between it and the barrel, I think in an effort to make the cloth more water resistant and stronger.

OK, now if you want to go this route with your Charleville, then you MUST bear in mind a problem that can or WILL come up ONLY because the barrel is held to the stock by barrel bands.

Right now your barrel bands have a good snug fit, BUT if you put too much thickness of cloth under the barrel breech, at least the rear barrel band and probably the middle barrel band will not go back in place where it should, because the barrel is now higher in the rear than it should be. There is a way to ensure this WON'T happen, though.

BTW, some of what I am about to describe also pertains to either using wood veneer shims or glass bedding under the barrel breech, as well.

You are lucky you are not having to deal with the open space under the barrel breech AND barrel bands that are too loose, which is what one normally has when repairing reproduction Military Arms with barrels loose all over in the stock channel.

OK, first step is to have the barrel and bands in place and mark the tang with a magic marker on the tang, where the slot in the tang screw rests when it is tightened normally.

Then cut strips of canvas or similar cloth maybe 3 inches long. The width should be no more than about a third of width needed to go from one side of the barrel inlet in the stock, down to the bottom and back up the other side. IOW, if that measurement is 2 1/2 inches, then cut the width of the pieces of cloth at 13/16" or maybe just 3/4 inch. So let's say 3 inches long by 3/4" wide IF the measurement is about that distance. If the measurement is more, then maybe as much as 1" wide.

Now the idea is to stack those strips on top of each other pretty much centered width wise in the bottom center of the barrel channel. You keep adding more strips you notice just a bit more tension when screwing the tang screw down to the original position that you marked with a magic marker. MAKE sure the barrel bands are all the way in place each time you check. Then remove the barrel and count the number of strips in the stack and write it down.

Next you have to remove the finish in the barrel channel under the strips. Scraping may be best and is what I'd recommend, though careful sanding will also work. Roughen the wood in that area so the glue will stick.

Make sure the barrel and breech plug have a good coat of mold release.

Now here's where it gets MESSY. I would lay a coat of glue on each side of each strip and press it into the cloth with a putty knife, pallet knife or even an old butter knife. I would put that strip on a piece of waxed paper and add similar glue impregnated strips on top. I would probably stop about 3 strips LESS than the number you counted, because the added glue will take up space. Put that batch of glued strips down as close to the center of the barrel channel as you can width wise.

Put the MOLD RELEASED barrel and tang back into the stock and push the handguards into their normal rear positions. Tighten down the tang screw and screw it in right back to the spot you marked with the magic marker.

Lay the Musket on it's LEFT side so the Lock Mortice is upright and clean out ALL the glue that oozed out into the mortice using Q tips dipped in acetone. Allow the glue to cure overnight.

The next morning, remove the tang screw and barrel bands and turn the musket upside down. I sit when I do this and tap the rear of the stock against the thigh of one leg until the barrel falls free.

Then take a look at how the glued cloth shims filled up the open space. If they didn't fill up the space enough to your liking, then roughen the top glued strip a bit and add the number of glued shims you think necessary to fill it in and once again place the barrel in the stock, barrel bands to the rear and the tang screw tightened down to the original marked position. Of course clean excess glue off as mentioned earlier.

Gus
 
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Ironoxide

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Thank you Gus. I'll use this procedure. Most likely with veneer. I ordered a sheet of straight grain walnut veneer. Once it arrives I'll decide on the best option (cloth or veneer).

It certainly is worth pursuing the above. It will shoot ball better.
Don't ask how I know for legal reasons!
I lived in UK for 14 years so I know exactly what you mean ;)
 

Artificer

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Thank you Gus. I'll use this procedure. Most likely with veneer. I ordered a sheet of straight grain walnut veneer. Once it arrives I'll decide on the best option (cloth or veneer).
You may be interested to know the International Muzzleloading Committee rules for International Muzzleloading competition only allows using veneer with hide glue as a way to tighten up the stock channels of original guns.

I inherited my Great Grandfather's cast Iron double boiler glue pot for hide glue, but as it turned out, I was never called upon to do that kind of repair while I was the Team Armourer for the U.S. International Muzzle Loading Team.

I imagine you will need to do some kind of steam bending to get the veneer to conform to the shape of the stock channel and fortunately the barrel and stock will be the male and female forms to do it. However, since I've never done it with veneer, I'm sorry I don't have any tips for you on HOW to do it.

The only time I've ever used walnut veneer to repair gun stocks was on unmentionable rifles on the bottom of the stock to make up for how the stock was worn and or oil soaked. I can say it was absolutely necessary to clean and roughen the surface of the stock wood and I used modern glue both between the stock and veneer and also between the veneer and trigger housing. I can also say the mold release on the trigger housing ensured the glue did not stick to it.

Best of luck to you and you are most welcome.

Gus
 

FlinterNick

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You may be interested to know the International Muzzleloading Committee rules for International Muzzleloading competition only allows using veneer with hide glue as a way to tighten up the stock channels of original guns.

I inherited my Great Grandfather's cast Iron double boiler glue pot for hide glue, but as it turned out, I was never called upon to do that kind of repair while I was the Team Armourer for the U.S. International Muzzle Loading Team.

I imagine you will need to do some kind of steam bending to get the veneer to conform to the shape of the stock channel and fortunately the barrel and stock will be the male and female forms to do it. However, since I've never done it with veneer, I'm sorry I don't have any tips for you on HOW to do it.

The only time I've ever used walnut veneer to repair gun stocks was on unmentionable rifles on the bottom of the stock to make up for how the stock was worn and or oil soaked. I can say it was absolutely necessary to clean and roughen the surface of the stock wood and I used modern glue both between the stock and veneer and also between the veneer and trigger housing. I can also say the mold release on the trigger housing ensured the glue did not stick to it.

Best of luck to you and you are most welcome.

Gus
Using Veneers to fix gaps works pretty well. You have get the right gauge, and you’ll want it to be slightly bigger than the gap. Using a scraper to get the area smoothed and as uniform as possible is essential, you don’t want any bumps or humps or holes beneath the veneer as it will just be messY.

You damp with a steam Iron to fit to the area, once shaped, then glue on, I use a starbond adhesive because it dries with an acetone spray In second.

Its really a kind of Dutchman repair, but I found it useful on a some areas i wanted to tighten up.

Ive used it on thimble mortises, nosecap mortises, breech areas and beneath butt plates and trigger guards.

I’ve never done it in openly visible areas like lock panels or etc.
 

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Ironoxide

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Sanding is done. The next step would be applying a wood sealer. If I was going to glue to wood it has to be done now.

I've got the veneer now, but I'm having second thoughts. The channel at the bottom right in front of the breech looks like it has been relieved on purpose. Look at the shape below.(where the E is)
20210730_183812.jpg

It looks like the concave cut was made to either relieve the area so the barrel doesn't contact there or for the contact area to be only thin strips on both sides of the E.

It is difficult to establish exactly where this clearance ends. By flexing the stock slightly I think it ends few inches behind the first barrel band (towards the breech). Currently the barrel is positioned vertically by the tang. Normally I would definitely not want that,but look at the thickness of the metal of that tang.
20210730_184151.jpg

It is 9.5mm (0.374 in) thick!. Looking at that tang I doubt it matters if the barrel rests on its bottom vs on the tang vertically.

So for now I'm putting the veneer in a drawer and I'm continuing. I know if I decide to glue it later it will be much more difficult due to the finish in the barrel channel. The gun shot very well when I tested it. I think I would have to test it again with a shim in place before deciding to make the shim permanent. It will be done at the end of the build.
 

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Sanding is done. The next step would be applying a wood sealer. If I was going to glue to wood it has to be done now.

I've got the veneer now, but I'm having second thoughts. The channel at the bottom right in front of the breech looks like it has been relieved on purpose. Look at the shape below.(where the E is)
View attachment 87428
It looks like the concave cut was made to either relieve the area so the barrel doesn't contact there or for the contact area to be only thin strips on both sides of the E.
Ironoxide,

Yes, the channel running fore and aft in the barrel channel was done deliberately, to make it easier to easier to inlet the barrel. That is NOT a good thing around the breech.

Even more troubling is the Vertical Channel running side to side just in front of and below the inlet seat for the rear of the barrel. To me that just SCREAMS - "Can't wait to crack the stock here!"

Yes, I would advise putting the veneer in the drawer and most strongly advise glass bedding at least that side by side channel in front of the inlet seat for the rear of the barrel!!! At this point, I don't believe even gluing in a carefully fitted piece of wood into that channel is going to keep the stock from cracking there.

Gus
 

Ironoxide

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Ironoxide,

Yes, the channel running fore and aft in the barrel channel was done deliberately, to make it easier to easier to inlet the barrel. That is NOT a good thing around the breech.

Even more troubling is the Vertical Channel running side to side just in front of and below the inlet seat for the rear of the barrel. To me that just SCREAMS - "Can't wait to crack the stock here!"

Yes, I would advise putting the veneer in the drawer and most strongly advise glass bedding at least that side by side channel in front of the inlet seat for the rear of the barrel!!! At this point, I don't believe even gluing in a carefully fitted piece of wood into that channel is going to keep the stock from cracking there.

Gus
Well, at least I have good photographic documentation so if it indeed breaks I'll have a basis for a warranty claim. I don't plan on glass bedding it preemptively, although I agree with your reasoning Gus. I wouldn't place those cuts there for sure.

I'm going to leave that horizontal gap under the barrel "as made". Then when I finish the gun I'll be using it as any other up to the maximum recommended powder load and if/when it breaks at the wrist I'll have a good warranty claim. Then I expect I'll get a new 90% finished stock to finish if this is some errant cut that just happened on my stock or if this weak point is indeed "by design" there is a consumer protection law that I have 2 years to invoke to get a partial (or full) refund. If it comes to that I'll restock it.

Who knows, perhaps those guns are indeed designed with this weak point, but there is enough wood there to not crack? I'll just have to wait and see. I haven't heard about Pedersoli muskets breaking at the wrist. That may mean one of two things. That my stock has a manufacturing error and all the others are fine, or they are all like that and the wood is strong enough to handle that weak spot. It is definitely not what I would call a slender wrist.

In the meantime I applied my chosen wood sealer. After testing on pine and then on a spare piece of walnut I decided on marine spar varnish thinned to viscosity of water with a solvent. That varnish is applied with a brush in excess, then wiped "dry" with clean cloth after a minute. Now the grain is visible so I took it as an opportunity to take a picture to show it.
20210730_194829.jpg


This grain orientation reminds me of my Belgian gun that I bought for cheap as it was broken at the wrist. Perhaps the musket is destined to break too :-(

Well, at least in the past when I had "quality issues" with Pedersoli both the distributor and the manufacturer were there to make it right in the end. So I'm not worrying about it in the meantime too much.
 

Ironoxide

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Good news. I found another picture online of a Pedersoli Charleville without the lock and it appears it has the same weakening cut mine does.
IMG_1322_zps7qb2bjma.jpg

This means quite likely they are all like that and it is not just a manufacturing error that happened to my stock.
 

Britsmoothy

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Of course the inletting is meant to be that shape. Why?
Because it is easier to make a single tool do all the inletting for the barrel and when they remove more than necessary to get the bottom radius of the barrel in you have two grooves! It's a cost cutting exercise and no original will look like that!
Parker Hale made enfields have exactly the same cost cutting exercise of a poor excuse of inletting! And any serious Enfield shooter removes the high point and builds the whole area up with veneers so the whole breach is supported.
But hey, it's your gun 👍
 

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Well, at least I have good photographic documentation so if it indeed breaks I'll have a basis for a warranty claim. I don't plan on glass bedding it preemptively, although I agree with your reasoning Gus. I wouldn't place those cuts there for sure.

I'm going to leave that horizontal gap under the barrel "as made". Then when I finish the gun I'll be using it as any other up to the maximum recommended powder load and if/when it breaks at the wrist I'll have a good warranty claim. Then I expect I'll get a new 90% finished stock to finish if this is some errant cut that just happened on my stock or if this weak point is indeed "by design" there is a consumer protection law that I have 2 years to invoke to get a partial (or full) refund. If it comes to that I'll restock it.

Who knows, perhaps those guns are indeed designed with this weak point, but there is enough wood there to not crack? I'll just have to wait and see. I haven't heard about Pedersoli muskets breaking at the wrist. That may mean one of two things. That my stock has a manufacturing error and all the others are fine, or they are all like that and the wood is strong enough to handle that weak spot. It is definitely not what I would call a slender wrist.

In the meantime I applied my chosen wood sealer. After testing on pine and then on a spare piece of walnut I decided on marine spar varnish thinned to viscosity of water with a solvent. That varnish is applied with a brush in excess, then wiped "dry" with clean cloth after a minute. Now the grain is visible so I took it as an opportunity to take a picture to show it.
View attachment 87470

This grain orientation reminds me of my Belgian gun that I bought for cheap as it was broken at the wrist. Perhaps the musket is destined to break too :-(

Well, at least in the past when I had "quality issues" with Pedersoli both the distributor and the manufacturer were there to make it right in the end. So I'm not worrying about it in the meantime too much.
Ironoxide,

At risk of sounding like I'm trying to force you to use glass bedding, which I swear I'm not really trying to do, I agree the grain of the wrist is bad, but the breech area makes it worse.

Having not only broken, but actually shattered the wrist on my old Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine and remembering what it took to fix that, I may also be at least somewhat more gun shy of the weakness in that wrist.

I would get a piece of 1/4 inch diameter "All Thread" rod (either brass or steel) that will go down under the the inletting for the bottom portion of the breech plug and use a deep drilling drill bit to go down through the center of the wrist and into at least one if not two inches beyond the wrist and into the cheek piece portion of the stock. I would glass bed that in place and VOILA, you would never have to worry about the grain in the wrist cracking.

Just a thought.

Gus
 

Ironoxide

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Gus and Britsmoothy, your advice is very much appreciated.The reason why I'm not following it has to do with my way of thinking of the value of the product, manufacturer and seller standing behind it etc.

One thing is certain. Whatever happens, I'll write about it here :)

Edit: Just one more though of clarification. A rifle (like an Enfield) gains in value by being glass beded. A glass beded smoothbore musket says, "I already had a broken wrist that got repaired" and is usually valued accordingly.
 

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Gus and Britsmoothy, your advice is very much appreciated.The reason why I'm not following it has to do with my way of thinking of the value of the product, manufacturer and seller standing behind it etc.

One thing is certain. Whatever happens, I'll write about it here :)

Edit: Just one more though of clarification. A rifle (like an Enfield) gains in value by being glass beded. A glass beded smoothbore musket says, "I already had a broken wrist that got repaired" and is usually valued accordingly.
An Enfield glass bedded does not gain value for being glass bedded as it will be limited as to which competitions it can enter.
It will gain accuracy in its shooting ability though. Just the same as my smoothbore versions did after testing before and testing after with canvass bedding.
It never ceases to amaze me how folk are devoid of imagining or deducing what happens to a barrel on firing.
It rings, like a bell, very subtle but it rings. It wants to vibrate at a high frequency. They are though not free floating, as so the frequency is disturbed or dampened. That is fine. Just as long as the dampening of the barrels ring is consistent!
Due to wood being organic it likes to change, also very subtle but change it does. One of the reasons why stringed instruments have to be tuned regularly, pianos too.

Any voids, gaps between that barrel and timber will degrade its performance on the target period.

I apologise for not realising you are building the gun to sell on.
I thought as an engineer you were seeking excellence in its potential.
👍
 

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