Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by Flint62Smoothie, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. Oct 7, 2019 #1

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    50 Cal.

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    My 1st build ...

    I bought a used Sitting Fox Muzzleloaders kit (for $350) from someone who bought it & decided they couldn’t put it together. Working with Ray from SF, I modified the components to a longer (>44”) barrel & a suitable walnut blank w/ no inlet for the lock, since I made mine left-handed; all traded for the RH’d L&R lock from the kit.

    For all of my research & all measurements, in early French pouce (inch) & pied (foot) units, I used Russel Bouchard’s book, The Tulle Fusil de Chasse in New France, 1691-1741. I also have Kevin G’s book on the St. Etienne trade fusils, but I stayed with the post-1727 Tulle contract requirements, where I even made up a ruler of the early French measurements.

    To get a left-handed lock, slightly banana shaped & 6“ long, my only option was a LH Caywood trade lock, but that is a round face or ‘domed’ lockplate, so I hand-filed it flat then reset the cock to the tumbler; also faceted the pan & added the Tulle ‘A. TVLLE’ mark & the French fleur de lis.

    I am still finishing off the ramrod, but I think the rest came out pretty good for my 1st attempt. There are mistakes or ‘lessons learned’, if you look close ... like the teardrop after the lock panel does not align to the tail of the lock. The comb also looks ‘flat‘ in the picture, but there is drop to the stock, it just doesn’t show up too well. Someday I may get another buttplate & inlet it even lower, but believe me, I know more of the errors than any of you will. As well, some of the arms depicted in Bouchard’s book had fairly mild-rounded to flat combs, as these early year models are not the extreme ‘cow’s foot’ or pied de vache style.

    She weighs in at 7-1/2 pounds in 62-caliber & it would be lighter if it wore a premium brand barrel with a thinner profile & barrel thickness at the muzzle. The earliest recorded LH French flinter dates to 1730-something... but this being my build and as a lefty, well ... how could I resist, non?

    Overall I think I made it pretty trim & svelte, as Alex Efremenko opined (paraphrasing) ”Remove as much wood as you dare, then put it aside. Do that 3 more times & when you think you’ve finally ruined it ... you’re done.”

    This NOV I will be taking it up to Anticosti Island in Quebec, where once again ... a Tulle Fusil de Chasse will take to the woods in New France to hunt whitetail deer!

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  2. Oct 8, 2019 #2

    Westbrook

    Westbrook

    Westbrook

    32 Cal MLF Supporter

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    Nice job!

    Is that the Caywood Wilson lock you used?
     
    bud in pa likes this.
  3. Oct 8, 2019 #3

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Yes, thank you! That is the round-faced LH’d Caywood trade lock (an early one built by Mike Rowe, who used to build their locks) that I was saving for a special project. I filed it flat.
     
    Treestalker and Westbrook like this.
  4. Oct 9, 2019 #4

    dave_person

    dave_person

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    Nice job!! Looks very credible as an early French gun. I would not worry about staining the rod. Leave it blond with just finish on it. It will look very nice and it won't matter when the finish gets scraped off during use.

    dave
     
  5. Oct 9, 2019 #5

    rickystl

    rickystl

    rickystl

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    Hi Dale

    WOW!! Nice job. Especially for a first build. Congratulations. The stock stain and French Grey really stand out nice.

    Rick
     
  6. Oct 9, 2019 #6

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Thanks Rick! I used the trick by Mike Brooks, where I put on 1 thin wiping varnish coat, then spray-painted the stock with flat black paint. And then I rubbed it off with a gray (fine or ultra-fine) scotchbrite pad, not to leave it ‘aged’ like some people do, but will leave it in the pores.

    This allows any figure or grain in the stock to be ‘highlighted’ and to me - gives it some character. Note I used no sandpaper on this build, as everything was done with hand tools and furniture scrapers.
     
    Kansas Kid likes this.
  7. Oct 12, 2019 #7

    Cruzatte

    Cruzatte

    Cruzatte

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    That's pretty clever filing a round faced lock to flatten it. I like it. I'm inspired to finish mine for sure.
     
  8. Oct 12, 2019 #8

    Lobo

    Lobo

    Lobo

    Pilgrim

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    AH, A brother lefty that likes French guns. Your gun is BEAUTIFUL :cool: I have a couple French Tulles, one 20ga and one 16 with another 20 in the works.

    A good friend made my LH 16ga Fusil Fine it has a 44" barrel. He reworked a Siler lock making it unbridled.

    fusil4.jpg
    \
    Then he made a copy of the side plate of a LEFT HANDED original that was dug up in Louisiana some years back. I named her "Matilda", it means "Fierce in Battle"
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  9. Oct 13, 2019 #9

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    It worked well, just keep in mind I need to modify the tumbler to set the cock down upon the plate. Took a few tries!
     
  10. Oct 13, 2019 #10

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Thanks for the kind words. Love Matilda too! Your friend did a great job faceting the pan on that Siler lock! It looks perfect!
     
  11. Oct 13, 2019 #11

    irishtoo

    irishtoo

    irishtoo

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    a fine job and a beautiful gun!!!!
     
  12. Oct 18, 2019 at 2:51 AM #12

    OldNo7

    OldNo7

    OldNo7

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    Nice work brother!!!

    Those pix look even better than the small ones you texted me. Elle semble bien!

    Righty (aka Old No7)
     

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