Thinking About Having a Scottish Musket Made.

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Tacksman45

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I have been looking into the possibility of having a "Heron Butt" Scottish Musket made based on one of the surviving examples in the National Museum of Scotland. I was wondering if anyone else has tried to take this on as a project, or if anyone has and advice on this subject? I have read Scottish Firearms by Blair and Woosman-Savage, and talked to several people who's opinion I value on this subject, and from what I presume to understand this type of musket were never produced in large numbers, and were all made with snaphaunce locks, with the distinctive banana shaped lock plate. However some of these would have been converted to early flintock mechanisms. From what I have read, 2 of ~28 surviving examples known to exist have been converted to what we would call "English Locks." So I may look in to having the musket built with an English lock which is made to look like it has been converted from a Scottish snaphaunce lock, which may make it more plausible for the early 18th century period which I portray. From the discussions I have had with the people I have discussed this project with, the biggest hurdle will be finding or making a lock. Two possibilities I have heard are having a gunsmith build a lock with a set of castings, and fabricating a correct lockplate, or modifying a premade lock, by possibly re-profiling the shape of the lockplate, and welding the pointed finials to the ends of the lock. If anyone knows of someone who makes reproductions of these types of muskets, or has any advice, I would very much appreciate it!
 
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Pukka Bundook

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My old mate in Tapawera, NZ has made a few of these. He has a good supply of lock parts , but he's a long way off these days!
He particularly likes making archaic guns, and the Scottish snaphaunce is a favourite of his.
He has and does make guns for folks in the US so if you PM me, I can pass you his contact info.
(Maurice Taylor is his name)
Myself I don't have any snaphaunce or English locks kicking about.

Best,
Richard.
 

Tacksman45

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My old mate in Tapawera, NZ has made a few of these. He has a good supply of lock parts , but he's a long way off these days!
He particularly likes making archaic guns, and the Scottish snaphaunce is a favourite of his.
He has and does make guns for folks in the US so if you PM me, I can pass you his contact info.
(Maurice Taylor is his name)
Myself I don't have any snaphaunce or English locks kicking about.

Best,
Richard.
Richard,

Please do send me his contact information!

Thanks so much for your reply!
 

Pukka Bundook

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OK, am sending contact info to you B-Skinner.
I had plenty of photos of Maurice' work, but lost them when comp. coughed up.

Tell Maurice I sent you.

Best,
R.
 
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Hi Buckskinner. That would be an interesting project. Not sure what the Heron shaped butt stock looks like, but here is a Link on the Forum I posted back in 2012: https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/scottish-snaphaunce.78470/

If you prefer an "English" style lock versus a snaphaunce, possibly the easiest route would be to use a Leonard Day lock, with some modifications to show a bit of Scottish influence. Just a thought.
DSC00727 (Medium).JPG
 
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Hi Richard

I don't know what the Day's would charge for the lock - only. But it would be considerably less - and - faster to obtain than a custom made lock. Since they are still building guns they may even have one in stock (?) Rick
 

Tacksman45

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Hi Buckskinner. That would be an interesting project. Not sure what the Heron shaped butt stock looks like, but here is a Link on the Forum I posted back in 2012: https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/scottish-snaphaunce.78470/

If you prefer an "English" style lock versus a snaphaunce, possibly the easiest route would be to use a Leonard Day lock, with some modifications to show a bit of Scottish influence. Just a thought.View attachment 4819

Thanks a lot Ricky, I am leaning towards going with an English lock, or an early flintlock (One of the surviving examples has a dog lock, although it is probably a conversion) The Rifle Shoppe actually has a Scottish musket parts set. I would like to see what it is supposed to look like since their online catalog does not have pictures of it. I would also like to see their James II lock. I am also thinking about an early French banana shaped lock if I can find a source for a Scottish musket with a lock of that type.
 
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Here is a pic of the earliest English Doglock I've seen. It's mounted on a musket that has been dated 1685-1715. But I think it's a bit earlier. Note also the carry-over parts from the snaphaunce. I don't have a good pic, but the pan and pan cover portion of the frizzen looks like it came from a matchlock. LOL I'll try to locate a pic of the frizzen. Notice the banana shape lock plate.

Rick
musket 16 (800x600).jpg
 

Tacksman45

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Here is a pic of the earliest English Doglock I've seen. It's mounted on a musket that has been dated 1685-1715. But I think it's a bit earlier. Note also the carry-over parts from the snaphaunce. I don't have a good pic, but the pan and pan cover portion of the frizzen looks like it came from a matchlock. LOL I'll try to locate a pic of the frizzen. Notice the banana shape lock plate.

RickView attachment 4877
Rick,

Thanks so much for this! The banana shape of this lock looks very nice! Where did you see this if you do not mind me asking?
 

WKD

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English locks
 

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Buckskinner, here's an interesting website - http://www.johnkirkcollection.com/ It's titled "A Collection of Fine & Rare Scottish Weapons", they have sections on Scottish pistols, swords, dirks, horns, axes, spears, shields & tools, BUT no muskets (heavy sigh, said Poohbear).
The pistol section is from 1620 to about 1730. Anyway, it's a treasure trove of Scottish weapon information.
Mike
 
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I recently had a Scottish snaphaunce fowling piece made up. I think the term "musket" implies a martial influence which was not the case. These guns were both smooth bore and rifled. Contemporary references to Princes Charles Edward's army entering Edinburgh in 1745 describes some Scots carrying "pieces of an enormous length with butts turned up like a herons." My barrel is 55" long and I used the TRS parts for their Elizabethan snaphaunce carbine lock with the mechanism mounted on a custom lock plate to give it the length and curve necessary. I think it looks very nice and is certainly practical since the alternative would be to have a custom lock made up which would probably be prohibitively expensive. I personally have never seen a Scottish long fowling piece or rifle of this type that was not a snaphaunce.
 
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Thanks a lot Ricky, I am leaning towards going with an English lock, or an early flintlock (One of the surviving examples has a dog lock, although it is probably a conversion) The Rifle Shoppe actually has a Scottish musket parts set. I would like to see what it is supposed to look like since their online catalog does not have pictures of it. I would also like to see their James II lock. I am also thinking about an early French banana shaped lock if I can find a source for a Scottish musket with a lock of that type.

Just an observation: When referring to a typical Scottish lock, this generally means a lock with no safety but a horizontal sear that engages the front of the cock through an aperture in the lockplate arresting it. When brought to full cock, the sear retracts into the lock. The TRS James II musket lock does have this feature but is stylistically not Scottih either. The TRS Scottish musket lock is a very plain very early French type lock with nothing at all distinguishing it as predominately Scottish in origin. I have never, ever seen a "turned-up" Scottish butt fowling piece or rifle with anything other than a snaphaunce lock. Scottish pieces using English locks or French locks have conventional stocks.
 

MacRob46

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Jumping into this discussion rather late so excuse me if I missed something above.

The English locks found on the handful of Scottish long guns are clearly replacements. Over their working lives -and their lives as collectibles as well- many of these guns went through repairs, using older or newer parts with mixed dates, and modifications such as the aforementioned locks, triggers and trigger guards to "update" them. When Whitelaw and Blair began to write about these guns their then owners sometimes "backdated" them to their previously documented condition. An especially ornate piece by William Smith is a prime example. It originally had no trigger guard, then it did, then it didn't, if you get my meaning. There is no indication that any of these guns, with the exception of the 18th c. Gwynn piece, had anything but the Scottish - made snaphaunce lock which which we are familiar.

This complicates things a bit in that TRS does not supply a Scottish snaphaunce lock and the English style simply isn't really appropriate, unless you build a long gun which is supposed to have had its lock replaced at some point.
 

MacRob46

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Hi Buckskinner. That would be an interesting project. Not sure what the Heron shaped butt stock looks like, but here is a Link on the Forum I posted back in 2012: https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/scottish-snaphaunce.78470/

If you prefer an "English" style lock versus a snaphaunce, possibly the easiest route would be to use a Leonard Day lock, with some modifications to show a bit of Scottish influence. Just a thought.View attachment 4819
Rickystl - I replied to that post at the time and still do not believe that is a Scottish long gun. It is IMHO, a mixture of parts, mostly Spanish from the markings on the barrel, with what may be a Scottish lock. It should also be noted that during the Victorian and Georgian eras, some pretty good copies of Scottish firearms were manufactured, and I am not referring to "costume pistols" in this comment. The butt stock on this one is not the heron shape found on Scottish National Long Guns.
 
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