very old caplock.

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andy52

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A friend of mine called me yesterday and said he had something he wanted to give me, I told him sure stop by I'm in the shop.
He comes in carrying this huge rifle and said I know you like muzzleloaders and I wanted to give you this.
I was stunted by the size of this rifle. It's a 36 cal. with a 47 inch barrel 1 inch across the flats it was all I could do just to host it to the aiming position.
The rifle is a all decked out in German silver except the cap box which is brass. I started going over it this morning checked to if it was loaded it wasn't, bore is pretty much a goner, rest of the gun not so bad.
Took it all apart looking for some ID nothing on the barrel, took the lock off and just barely legible under a glass in think it reads " C Baker".
The hammer is shot due to being misaligned which is a easy fix, the barrel don't know yet. It's a pretty old gun and I'm not sure having it rebored would be the right thing to do.
Here are some photos, if any of you have some info on this maker please let me know.
P.S. the gun is so large I had a heck of a time finding somewhere in my shop to get a whole shot of it.
 

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andy52

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It's your rifle, so do as you please, but if it were mine I'd make it shootable. I don't think that ruins the history of a nice old rifle like that. I think it continues the story for more chapters.
I can make it shootable with a barrel replacement and keep to old one as is.
 

andy52

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Probably would be a better shooter if the barrel was shorter anyway that 47" 1 inch across the flat is a handful.
 

Thagomizer

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This rifle has a back action lock which puts it later in the timeline up until cartridge guns. I would guess 1860's-1880's.
Trigger guard and patchbox look like typical Midwest. Ohio, Indiana, or even more west-might be local to you. My 2 cents.
 

Grenadier1758

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The dimensions of a very heavy barrel and small caliber lead me to think think your rifle was made for chunk gun, over the log or table shoots as the weight is too much for off hand shooting. The back action lock puts it in the second half of the 19th century. One common indication of shooting from a rest will be if the lock does not have a half cock notch. the half cock notch is totally unnecessary for these off a rest type of shooting. It does have more of a crescent butt plate than I like for off a rest shooting.

@andy52, you might consider bringing it to one of the Gemmer Matches and have our group that go to these table shoots in the area have a look at it. Start a conversation for more details.
 

andy52

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The dimensions of a very heavy barrel and small caliber lead me to think think your rifle was made for chunk gun, over the log or table shoots as the weight is too much for off hand shooting. The back action lock puts it in the second half of the 19th century. One common indication of shooting from a rest will be if the lock does not have a half cock notch. the half cock notch is totally unnecessary for these off a rest type of shooting. It does have more of a crescent butt plate than I like for off a rest shooting.

@andy52, you might consider bringing it to one of the Gemmer Matches and have our group that go to these table shoots in the area have a look at it. Start a conversation for more details.
I had to check the lock to see if your thoughts were correct about the half cock your right It doesn't have a half cock. The original barrel will never shoot in a target match again it's way to gone for that.
Here are a few more photos of the other side of the stock and the nipple which is unlike any of my other caplocks, it's more like a musket nipple.
 

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Kansas Jake

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Someone like Bobby Hoyt could freshen the rifling or rebore it to a larger size to make it shootable. I would do that before replacing the barrel. I personally would not shorten the barrel as that is the way it was made and part of its history.
 

Grenadier1758

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Certainly, having the bore freshened or bored out would make that into a shooter.

What are the dimensions of the cone? Measure at the tip and about half way down.

It does have a square at the base of the cone similar to a musket nipple. What are the threads?
 

andy52

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Certainly, having the bore freshened or bored out would make that into a shooter.

What are the dimensions of the cone? Measure at the tip and about half way down.

It does have a square at the base of the cone similar to a musket nipple. What are the threads?
Tip is 0.160 half way down 0.170, don't have a tread gauge that large but they're bigger then a 20 and 0.306 outside.
I suppose I could get the bore freshened and make it a shooter as a chunk gun and that's about all. I was thinking more in the line of a .45 cal 32 inch barrel that could be used for more things. however now that I know it doesn't have a half cock I'd be concerned using it for hunting.
Just to clarify I have no intentions of cutting the original barrel.
 

Grenadier1758

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The nipple seems to be sized for a #11 cap. The nipple was probably made by the maker of the rifle. 0.306 is close to 5/16 (0.312) and either 18 threads per inch or 24 threads per inch.
 

andy52

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The nipple seems to be sized for a #11 cap. The nipple was probably made by the maker of the rifle. 0.306 is close to 5/16 (0.312) and either 18 threads per inch or 24 threads per inch.
Just eyeballing it I'd say they're 18 they are pretty course.
 

Notchy Bob

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That's a nice rifle! I can't comment on its value, but as one who looks at auction sites pretty frequently, I can say a lot of fine old percussion half-stocks by unknown or little known makers are under appreciated, in comparison to prices asked for longrifles, trade guns in good condition, or "famous name" percussion rifles. However, late-era percussion rifles occupy an important historical niche.

I don't see any harm in freshing out, reboring, or even lining the barrel to make it into a shooter again. You could probably have any of those operations done for a couple hundred dollars or less. That would not change the character of the rifle. I would shy away from shortening this rifle. That would change its character dramatically! I would not rebarrel it either... That would make it too easy to lose the old barrel, and thus lose a major part of this rifle's history.

It seems clear that the original builder intended it to be of fairly small caliber. I believe our perspective, as modern blackpowder shooters, has been skewed by the modern made rifles with short, large-bore, thin-walled barrels. My dad collected a number of old percussion rifles in his lifetime (1907-1981), and after growing up with his collection, I would say a barrel of .36 caliber that is an inch across the flats is not unusual. That 47" length is a bit longer than most, however.

Of the percussion rifles my dad collected, I think they all had double set triggers, and if I remember correctly, only one had a half-cock. If a lock with a half-cock notch in the tumbler is used with double set triggers, it must have a "fly." This tiny part swings out of the way to allow the sear nose to engage the tumbler at half cock, when the hammer is being pulled back, but when the hammer is released from full cock, the fly swings the other way to prevent the sear nose from engaging the half-cock notch when the hammer falls. You don't need a fly with a simple, single trigger, because your finger keeps the trigger back during the hammer's fall, keeping pressure on the sear arm. Set triggers just "kick" the sear arm up to knock it out of full-cock. They don't hold the sear arm up. Fitting a fly requires cutting a very precise recess on the inside surface of the tumbler and fitting that minuscule part correctly. This can be avoided by simply eliminating the half-cock notch altogether. I am inclined to believe this was normal practice.

You have a very nice rifle. It will be great to get it shooting again!

Notchy Bob
 

andy52

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I think many of the bench guns were fitted with a false muzzle to aid loading. Are you sure the rifling is ruined back from the muzzle?
I ordered a endoscope and should get it next week then I'll have a look.
 

bpd303

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The first thing I would do is check to make sure the breech plug is sound. Then scrub the bore with a good rust remover like a 50/50 mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid. Then I would shoot some patched round balls through it. I have been amazed how well some of the barrels I thought were ruined shot.
 

Josephg

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Neat rifle with nice styling. You should go ahead and have the barrel rebored. Rumor has it 36 caliber rifles are going extinct/obsolete anyway. That hammer is an easy fix.
 
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