Spanish Escopeta

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Hello ALL.

Here is another addition to my collection. I need another Spanish gun like I need a hole in my head, since I just had another custom made a year and a half ago. Here's the back story....
About a year ago, out of the blue, I received a PM from another Forum member. He had changed his mind and asked if I would be interested in a Spanish rifle kit from The Rifle Shoppe. Everything was there - including an ASSEMBLED lock - except the stock. And, he lived less than 100 miles from me. So, all things considered, especially with an assembled lock and no shipping cost, I turned weak and accepted his offer. We met at a half-way point. Unfortunately, it took me 7 months to get the stock (only) from TRS. But that's another story. LOL

Description: Spanish Light Military Escopeta. The Rifle Shoppe Kit #766.
LOCK: Typical Spanish patilla miquelet lock.
STOCK: Appears to be American walnut. Simple lock and side moldings. Iron button head ramrod, threaded for attachments. Brass hardware. 13.5-13.75" LOP.
BARREL: Colerain octagon to round smooth bore, 39" long, .69 caliber.
BUILDER: Brian Anderson

It has an antique type finish overall which turned out great. The lock sparks perfect (even with that dull band-sawed flint) LOL These escopetas are similar to the full size Catillian muskets of the period, but with a smaller, overall profile, and weighs in at about 8.5 lbs. They were simple, military style working guns used throughout the Spanish Colonial Frontier. Probably in use from about the Mid-18th through the early 19th Centuries. This would be an ideal gun to fit in most any Spanish Colonial impression.

Word of warning for those anticipating a build from a TRS Kit. Here is the gunsmith's opinion of the Kit before the build started:

"l usually avoid kits but l was curious / the stock was very coarsely done (length of pull restricted) and the forestock was shattered but salvageable. brass castings borderline but workable. The mainspring on the lock was double heavy even for a miquelet and had to be reduced to function. Good barrel and ramrod
The kit did copy an actual gun"
Brian

Anyway, alls well that ended well. Here are some pics. And thanks for looking.

Rick

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Wow that's awesome! I love the "crude" look of the Spanish miquelet locks. How does it shoot? I would imagine it being very accurate in the right hands.
 
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Looks wicked aweomse Rick, as only a guy from Bohstin (that's 'Boston' for those south of the Mason-Dixon line, LOL!)!

The epitome of simplicity and function. It's interesting that Spain stayed with the miquelet locks even well after the true French-style flintlocks were developed, believing that their lock style was more robust and/or reliable, I believe it was. One also notices they preferred 'slip on' barrel bands versus pinning or trapped bands. I also really like the color of the stock.

Now I've seen similar vertical grooves in the frizzen faces of snaphaunces ... do you know what 'functional' purpose the Spanish believed that they offered? Was it due to their flint quality?

And ... most interesting the comments as to the buildability of a 'kit' from The Rifle Shoppe (TRS). I too would caution, if not WARN the lay person that their kits are NOT for the medium-experienced or faint-hearted at all, as on my wheellock lock assembly build, not all of the parts were found to be usable.
 
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Thank you ALL for the kind comments.

Hi Flint. Yes, that stock stain turned out really nice. It seems to contrast with the aged finish on the barrel and lock just right.

For their standard military muskets and pistols, Spain actually went to the French style flintlock around 1750. But then went back to the miquelet lock around 1790 for the reasons you mention.
The Spanish guns with pin fastened barrels seem to be from the pre-1650 period. Somewhere around the turn of the 18th Century barrel bands were the norm with gun builders. Even the high end sporting guns made the use of barrel bands. I've never read any particular reason for this. But it would allow for a slimmer forearm since there is no under pinning required.
The theory of the grooves in the frizzen has been an area of speculation over many years. Personally, I've never found it an advantage or disadvantage. Others say they can use the flint a bit longer between knapping, with the grooves acting as somewhat of a self-knapping feature.

Rick
 
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Haveing come by an original well worn Spanish belt hook it seemed fitting to restore it into original context ,So as I had an old single 16 bore barrel that would lend itself to a border guard Escopeta & useing up a rude possibley North African lock .I made it in the same Catalan Style .Now Ive to take a picture & post it later .

The reason both Spanish& Turkish barrels didn't generally use loops & pins to secure their barrels is I believe that the perfection of their barrels made the pin & loop idea rather sacreligious hence the bands / Capucines , Ile go with that, More then anon,
Regards Rudyard
 
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Hopefully below are pics of the' restored belt hook' Escopeta & poor pic of a overall pic. includeing a rough Scots altered to 'English lock with dog 'only to use up the old middle East Barrel it being a bit thin but rifled and used it hunting hence the brass bands ( no wall thickness to cut loops into ) , Oh one below it is a late English lock carbine with its smaller dog catch If plate looks familiar its based on Jim Chamber's parts he gave me for singing a humerous song one time at F ship .But the internals are English lock not flint .
Regards Rudyard
 

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Being that information on Spanish arms seems difficult to get, does anyone have any additional information on what time period this style would be from? Thanks.
 
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I based my stocking on the Catalonian & mid to late18th but the books of Lavin & Kieth Neals on Spanish arms will pin it down Ile look at mine later. I Just did there is a photo of a Goya tapestry depicting two tobacco agents if only the belt hooked pistols are clear in one of them .Lavin gives a date of circa 1780. The Madrid stocking is more fluted & hasn't that distinctive curved style . That's a thumbnail scetch Im'e sure there where many varients and evolutions over the years & into percussion times . How helpful that is to you I can only guess but trust it is .
Regards Rudyard
 
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If you don’t mind me asking (and if its none of my business or you don’t wish to say that’s fine) how much did the builder charge on top of the kit price? Looks like he did a fine job. Seeing the original stock pics I was worried there wasn’t ENOUGH wood to properly shape the stock.
 
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If you don’t mind me asking (and if its none of my business or you don’t wish to say that’s fine) how much did the builder charge on top of the kit price? Looks like he did a fine job. Seeing the original stock pics I was worried there wasn’t ENOUGH wood to properly shape the stock.
Dear John You must mean Ricks gun my own was just' winged' no kits, old barrel & lock rest just bit of wood AND the all important original belt hook which was the purpose of the exercise .
.Rudyard
 
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That is really impressive looking. I enjoyed seeing it and how nicely it is preserved.
Dear Angie The guns I show are all my make relativley new so little presevation .Only the Escopeta was some old parts used up in a befiitting setting rather than just be bits floating about in boxes was entailed in what might loosely be called preservation .
Your most appreciative Servant . Rudyard
 
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If you don’t mind me asking (and if its none of my business or you don’t wish to say that’s fine) how much did the builder charge on top of the kit price? Looks like he did a fine job. Seeing the original stock pics I was worried there wasn’t ENOUGH wood to properly shape the stock.
Hi John

Will advise you by P.M.

Rick
 
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Rick, that is one very interesting gun! and beautiful to boot!
one question, does that flint spark the frizzen? if it does i want one of those frizzens!
Hi Deer

That band-sawed flint was sent with the finished gun. I didn't even try it out. I immediately changed it to a knapped flint.
I remember using those band-sawed flints when they were first introduced back in the 1970's. They worked, but thought the knpped flints made more sparks.

Rick
 
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