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Save The Drum And Nipple

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Feltwad

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One of the most popular ways for converting a flintlock to percussion at the start of the percussion era was to fit a drum and nipple. This lasted for several decades which added to the gun history with all bore sizes been converted but of the last 20 to 30 years there has been a large number converted by butchers of our gun heritage who have converted them back to flintlock .These people call themselves restores once converted they never look right when you have new castings fitted to an old gun .If a shooter wants a flint lock then there are plenty of repros on the market but to destroy the drum and nipple is totally wrong. These people do not believe in the guns heritage I have examined several of these conversions which brought me to the conclusion that it was mostly done for financial gain. Like all types of muzzle loaders and their heritage from different periods we hold them in trust and must account for them that come after us
Feltwad
P1010010.JPG
 

Sam squanch

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I think it would depend on the quality and workmanship of the percussion conversion on the gun. A well done professional job I would leave alone. I once saw a very nice French (I think) Fowler with a very crude frontier conversion. Rough forged hammer, out of round drum. THAT I would get restored to flintlock!
 

Feltwad

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Thought there would have been more interest in this thread fore or against, Is our muzzle loading heritage not of any concern ?
Feltwad
 

Griz44Mag

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One of the most popular ways for converting a flintlock to percussion at the start of the percussion era was to fit a drum and nipple. This lasted for several decades which added to the gun history with all bore sizes been converted but of the last 20 to 30 years there has been a large number converted by butchers of our gun heritage who have converted them back to flintlock .These people call themselves restores once converted they never look right when you have new castings fitted to an old gun .If a shooter wants a flint lock then there are plenty of repros on the market but to destroy the drum and nipple is totally wrong. These people do not believe in the guns heritage I have examined several of these conversions which brought me to the conclusion that it was mostly done for financial gain. Like all types of muzzle loaders and their heritage from different periods we hold them in trust and must account for them that come after us
FeltwadView attachment 46233
Hmmmmm.......
So I wrestle that -
Does the current owner of the gun have less rights to change a gun that he owns than the owner of the gun who changed it the first place? Did folks who saw flints getting converted to percussion lament and proclaim it wrong then?
Do you think the old flintlock may have been taken in trade for a new percussion, then converted by the gun shop so he could re-sell it for a profit? What's the difference?
Is that anymore wrong than a man taking a '38 Ford street rod with a 396 ci chevy engine in it and replacing it with an original L series flathead and putting the fenders back on it?
There are MANY people who restore old things for a profit. Guns and cars are just a couple of these...
What about restoring old houses?
 

Feltwad

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There are people who restore old cars and such which are no more than maybe 50 years old but when your have a gun that was converted from flintlock too percussion almost 200 years ago which was part of the development and history of the gun and reconverted and classed has restoration with no thought on the heritage and done for financial gain is wrong . These people class them selves has restores of antique guns which never look right , I see them has butchers of our heritage.
Feltwad
P1010006.JPG
 
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Sam squanch

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Those guys back then converted their guns to survive, to get the edge on shooting dinner, and bad guys. Part of history. So unless it is a crude, badly done conversion done on an otherwise high quality gun, I’d leave it.
 

Griz44Mag

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Feltwad, it's a matter of individual rights and freedoms, something that us modern men seem to be losing these days.
So how about an 800 year old building that is renovated into a modern home?
I watched a show a few months ago about a couple that bought a 1200 year old town with multiple rock buildings on it.
They are renovating the old abandoned village - leaving the old stone walls but converting and modernizing the interiors to meet modern standards. Then they are selling those as homes and businesses for a HUGE profit.
They own the property. In your opinion - do they have the right to do that? Is the historical importance more important? If it really was more important then the governing body of the land should have bought the property and protected it.
To tell a person he\she does not have the right to do with their property as they see fit is bordering on total socialism........leading to fascism.
That's a pretty deep rabbit hole and one that has been proven to not be Alice's Wonderland.

Now - my personal feelings. I would like to see old things like 1200 year old castles, old guns, old cars, old WHATEVER preserved. However - denying an individual the right to do what they want to do with their own property as they see fit - That is the reality of what is WRONG.
If you feel so strongly about the situation - then BUY THE GUNS YOURSELF before they are converted back - and protect them.
 

Rudyard

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Since I once wrote an article entitled "Lord save the drum & nipple" nobody else will' a sort of defence of the many bad ill considered conversions going on at that time .Some auction houses even called conversions 'Flintlock' despite its present state of side plug conversion even those with new proper percussion breeches ..So little was the conversion considered .One noted Collector & authority a Mr Herman Benninghoff of New Jersey considered any working alteration ( he collected Rev War guns ) as' Evolved guns' and would never think of them in other than those terms . He was right no doubt but this is not the common view Grizz 44 states the case for an owners right .He makes a good point if I am inclined to support Feltwads view . If theres middle ground it is Sam's view re the bad ness of the original conversion & I confess I have reconverted poor work to appropriate flint one was a lamp standard now its a Sargents carbine another had a truck wheel stud 'drum'. another so botched it was by then a basket case . & A double really' bubba rated' because the owner' wanted a flinter' it was a proper conversion by the makers but he' wanted a flinter' .Not for any profit though this is the most common reason for some, It wasn't in my circles the main reason .On balance I would support Feltwads reasoning we should be about preservation of originals the replica or' new gun' as I prefer to call them ( & Ive made enough) is made to be shot to death and poeticaly I've used the phrase"Its demise is its glory" .If any should survive into futurity Ide like to think that World gave some thought to their makers & my ones in particular but Il'e be pushing up Daisys so wont much care .
Rudyard
 

toot

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granted, it is called progress!! moving on with the times!.
 

Griz44Mag

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Since I once wrote an article entitled "Lord save the drum & nipple" nobody else will' a sort of defence of the many bad ill considered conversions going on at that time .Some auction houses even called conversions 'Flintlock' despite its present state of side plug conversion even those with new proper percussion breeches ..So little was the conversion considered .One noted Collector & authority a Mr Herman Benninghoff of New Jersey considered any working alteration ( he collected Rev War guns ) as' Evolved guns' and would never think of them in other than those terms . He was right no doubt but this is not the common view Grizz 44 states the case for an owners right .He makes a good point if I am inclined to support Feltwads view . If theres middle ground it is Sam's view re the bad ness of the original conversion & I confess I have reconverted poor work to appropriate flint one was a lamp standard now its a Sargents carbine another had a truck wheel stud 'drum'. another so botched it was by then a basket case . & A double really' bubba rated' because the owner' wanted a flinter' it was a proper conversion by the makers but he' wanted a flinter' .Not for any profit though this is the most common reason for some, It wasn't in my circles the main reason .On balance I would support Feltwads reasoning we should be about preservation of originals the replica or' new gun' as I prefer to call them ( & Ive made enough) is made to be shot to death and poeticaly I've used the phrase"Its demise is its glory" .If any should survive into futurity Ide like to think that World gave some thought to their makers & my ones in particular but Il'e be pushing up Daisys so wont much care .
Rudyard
Very well thought out. As I stated, I am in completely in favor of preserving these old pieces, but my convictions on preserving our rights as individuals is even stronger. In order to preserve many of these, the public must be willing to spend the common revenue to acquire, restore and then maintain both artifact and facility to perpetuate them.
What @Feltwad pleaded for was public awareness, and in that plea he has been successful in opening a dialog of awareness of the situation.
Thought there would have been more interest in this thread fore or against, Is our muzzle loading heritage not of any concern ?
Feltwad
Now, what means do "We the People" have to accomplish this - without treading on individual rights.
 

Intosomthin

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Forgive me felt, I converted a .45 traditions penn rifle from cap to flint. Not historic, didnt fire half the time, fires ever time now, and not for sale, so i dont think I wrecked any history, just fixed a janky rifle to serve me. That said agree with what your saying on old historic rifles. Jim Bridger is my hero, he converted flint to cap...
 

JB67

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Your gun, your property, your choice. Returning something to its original configuration (be it a gun, a car, or a house) is up to the owner.

One can only hope said owner educates himself before such an undertaking.
 

Feltwad

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It seems there is a different explanation to a guns heritage from the UK to the States . Maybe it is because from the flintlock , percussion the States have very little gun heritage because at that period most of their guns were imported from England and Belgium . Yes there was the long rifle but that was developed from the German Jager rifle. SAVE THE DRUM AND NIPPLE
Feltwad
 

Auldjin

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I won't say you can't see the join - joke for older UK members! but you do have to look hard. Even if it were possible to undo the change I would not want to spoil such a neat job. The original maker was Nock of London
Nock boxlock (1).JPG
 

Griz44Mag

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It seems there is a different explanation to a guns heritage from the UK to the States . Maybe it is because from the flintlock , percussion the States have very little gun heritage because at that period most of their guns were imported from England and Belgium . Yes there was the long rifle but that was developed from the German Jager rifle. SAVE THE DRUM AND NIPPLE
Feltwad
LOL, yes - you are right about that. The English and the Americans speak the same language - differently......
 

Zonie

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It's been said that, "The United States and Great Britain are two countries seperated by a common language". :ghostly:
 
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There is nothing wrong with a re-conversion to flint if the gun was originally a flintlock and the work is conducted by an expert gunmaker.

The elegant beauty and function of the flintlock deserves to be on every rifle converted IMHO.
 

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