Rare Flintlock Rifle

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Spence10

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There are examples of breech-loading arms from much earlier, by a couple of hundred years.

The British Royal Archaeological Institute, The Archaeological Journal Volume 24, 1867

By Brigadier-Gen. Lefroy, R.A.___ Examples of early rifles and firearms.
Curious breech-loading smooth-bored matchlock harquebus, dated 1537, from the Tower, class 12, No. 1. It is thus described in the catalogue:__Harquebus loading at the breech, with moveable chamber. This arm appears to have belonged to King Henry VIII. It is named, with others, in the Tower Inventory of 1679:__ “Carbine, 1; Pistol, 1; and Fowling Piece, 1; said to be King Henry VIII.” The barrel is chased and gilt. Among the ornaments are the King’s initials “H. R.” and a rose crowned, supported by two lions. The date, 1537, is engraved on the breech. The armourer’s mark is a fleur de lis, surmounted by the letters, W. H. Length of barrel 1 ft. 11 in. This arm is figured in the Archaeologia, vol. xxxi, p. 492.

Curious breech-loading smooth-bored matchlock harquebus, not later than 1547, from the Tower, class 12, No. 3. It is thus described in the catalogue:--- harquebus, with fluted barrel, of same period as the preceding. Among the carvings of the stock are the rose and fleur de lis. It is a breech-loading arm, and it is remarkable that the moveable chamber which carries the cartridge has exactly the form of that in vogue at the present day: length of barrel, 6 ft. 6 in. This is probably the arm attributed to King Henry VIII. under No. 1_ the “fowling piece” of the monarch. Both of these arms are remarkable for the resemblance of the breech mechanism in principle, to what has been lately introduced under the name of the “Snider” system, the moveable iron charge chamber being represented in the modern example by a metallic cartridge.

Spence
 

Squatch84

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I'll have to dig through my old muzzleblasts but I have an issue where they recreate a non sidelock "shall not be named" from old drawings and historical accounts. Pretty interesting read. Hint the flint striker is directly behind the touch hole.
 

Grenadier1758

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Correct but that name is against the rules too discuses although it was built 100 years before 1860
Feltwad
No, the use of breech loader to describe firearms made and designed before 1865 is allowed. We can talk of Ferguson, or Hall rifles. We can talk of the Queen Ann screw barrel pistols. We can certainly talk of these early breech loading experiments rare as they are.

I am quite curious to see how the the breeching mechanism worked.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I am quite curious to see how the the breeching mechanism worked.
The sight is also the plug to access the breech
Instead of the Ferguson rifle that rotates a plug down from the bottom, thus opening the top for access, with the screw mechanism in the underside, this merely uses bolt at the top of the barrel at the breech. The top of the bolt that seals the breech is fashioned to be the sight. Rotate the sight to unscrew the bolt, and you gain access to the interior of the breech for loading. Simpler than a Ferguson, and likely easier to make, but probably not nearly as fast (depending on the pitch of the screw portion I suppose)

Here's an earlier thread on the same idea but with a side mounted opening. I think this Manton breech loader is perhaps a better application of the idea.

LD
 

vezePilot

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... something is wrong about that Frizzen. Someone has sanded it, or used a file? No longer any evidence that it has made sparks.
 

dave_person

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Hi Feltwad,
Very nice rifle and thanks for posting the photos. What about it indicates it to be military? Are there government marks on it? Who is it the maker?

dave
 

Feltwad

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Hi Feltwad,
Very nice rifle and thanks for posting the photos. What about it indicates it to be military? Are there government marks on it? Who is it the maker?

dave
Hi Dave
It is stamped on the butt plate regimental marks also images showing how this BL gun is loaded from but I am afraid there now is not a good gas seal
Feltwad
100_0452.JPG
100_0463.JPG
 

GREENSWLDE

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From the look of the plug threads it would never have had a good seal. If it had been seriously good it would have been adopted. Must have taken an age to load and what if the squaddie dropped the plug in the battlefield mud?? OLD DOG..
 

Loyalist Dave

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From the look of the plug threads it would never have had a good seal. If it had been seriously good it would have been adopted. Must have taken an age to load and what if the squaddie dropped the plug in the battlefield mud??
The Ferguson had a good gas seal, and was extremely effective at impact compared to similar ball and powder loaded into a muzzle loading rifle, as the modern copies show as well as documents from testing done when it was proposed for adoption...., but it was not "adopted".

I wonder if this was for use by a private man..., or was it used by an NCO or Officer, so might not have been intended to be fired very often in combat, especially if it was in the hands of a subaltern, or higher ranked officer

I also wonder if it could be loaded from the muzzle the old fashioned way so long as the chamber was filled with powder and perhaps a filler?

LD
 

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