Wasn't .52 common?

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Baxter, Nov 24, 2019.

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  1. Nov 24, 2019 #1

    Baxter

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    Wasn't .52 once a fairly common bore? I remember reading that Jed Smith's rifle was a cal. .53. I recall references also to .42 cal. Cannot cite specific references to the foregoing comments. My own rifles are .54 but if I was to choose a custom barrel, .52 might be considered, if only to have something different.
     
  2. Nov 24, 2019 #2

    Grenadier1758

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    Yes, 52 was fairly common. The Western Arms/Ithaca/Navy Hawken were designed for a 0.526" ball based on the original rifle that used to design the replica rifle. It was described in the catalogs as a 54 as the groove depth was about 0.540".
     
  3. Nov 24, 2019 #3

    tenngun

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    Guns oft came as bore size back then, and even that was a bit sloppy.a Bess was an eleven bore but it was counted as a twelve. Sixteen, twenty, twenty four, thirty two were all handy numbers.
    A .52 with a proper fit ball will be a little lighter then 32(.54) but close enough it would count, and a shooter would know he got two shots per ounce.
     
  4. Nov 24, 2019 #4

    hanshi

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    Especially earlier on, bore sizes were all over the map. The differences may not have been major but definitely enough to need a smaller or larger mold.
     
  5. Nov 25, 2019 #5

    rich pierce

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    I’d like a .52. But then I like variety.
     
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  6. Nov 25, 2019 #6

    Treestalker

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    Somebody used to make a 'Santa Fe' Hawken in 52 cal. Friend had one back in the 70's-80's (modern gun, but supposedly based on an original)
     
  7. Nov 25, 2019 #7

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    The Santa Fe Hawken was the name generally associated with the Western Arms, Ithaca and Navy. Now I think Pedersoli is making that rifle but now in a size to use a 0.540" ball.
     
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  8. Nov 25, 2019 #8

    Smokey Plainsman

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    I’ve always wanted a .53 Hawken or plains rifle.

    Not sure why, maybe just to be a bit “diffurnt”.
     
  9. Nov 25, 2019 #9

    tenngun

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    Even today what we call a gun might be a little different. I had a .54 from the now defunct Green River barrels company. It need a .526. A green Mountain that needed a .535.
    Most .50s I’ve owned shot a .490, had one that need a .500.
    And today’s .62 smooth might run from .61 or .615 up to .629
     
  10. Nov 25, 2019 #10

    Dr5x

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    In the olden days when a gunsmith made a rifle from scratch you got more than just the rifle with your purchase.
    I bought one made in the later 1800s which was heavily barreled and came with a false muzzle that fit on the actual muzzle which was a help in fitting the paper strips around the elongated projectile. The paper strips were produced by a special paper cutter that cut the strips to a very precise size. There was also a kind of short starter to aid in pushing the pace striped projectile so carefully into the false muzzle and on into the actual muzzle itself by the very custom ram rod.
    The gunmaker made the barreled rifled the barrel as well. A lot depended his decision as to bore size and he also made the mold for casting the projectile specifically to fit that specific barrel . I imagine the bores in those days were all over the place..
    It has been over twenty years ow but I remember the caliber of that rifle was either in the upper 20's or lower .30's
    Today with the standardization of factory manufacture we assume there are certain bore sizes handball/projectile sizes. It isn't like that when rifles were hand made and hand rifled back in the old days. If you acquired a rifle without its mold you could have a heck of a problem getting ball/projectile olds that fit happily to your barrel.
    We read about the old timers sitting by the ever present fire, melting lead and casting their own balls/bullets. That isn't just being folksy and old time, It was because you very likely had NOplace to buy these things that would fit your rifle. You had to to make your own using your specific size mold.
    So to answer your question, yes there wee probably a lot of .52 caliber rifles out there also .53's. .57 and what ever.
    The Hawken brothers made a lot of rifles here in the St. Louis area, down near where the Eads Bridge now stands. I doubt very much the they sold a rifle without the accompanying equipment such as the ball mold with maybe 25 or 50 sample balls.

    Dutch Schoultz
     
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  11. Nov 25, 2019 #11

    Dr5x

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    Good News! I am apparently getting a BLOG connected to my web site sometimes later into December where I can then print my endless prattling away and thus spar yards of bandwidth (?) from cluttering the the Forum.
    I will no longer feel the quilt of being space hog and you good people will no longer have witness my endlessness.
    It gets a bit repetitive as new members ask the same old questions time after time nd we must give thee same old advice just as frequently. It can become tedious but it is also necessary to perform that service if we want to the sport to spend and continue.
    There are thousands of perfectly fine muzzle loaders out there in dusty closets and damp basement inactive for years because the owner began all ex filled with excitement which quickly died as he could not shoot with any accuracy and was embarrassed by his efforts.
    Dutch Schoultz
     
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  12. Nov 25, 2019 #12

    longcruise

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    You go, Dutch! A blog is a great idea.
     
  13. Nov 25, 2019 #13

    Dr5x

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    I don't know exactly what a BLOG is.
    Can people contribute or ask questions?
    Or is it just a field of blather coming from one narrow source. In this case me
    I have started with some non male or bp subjects just to show I am broader than you might think.

    Dutch
     
  14. Nov 25, 2019 #14

    longcruise

    longcruise

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    I think it can be what you make it. Most I have seen are the blogger pstin topics and allowing readers to comment.
    Seems like it's your decision.
     
  15. Nov 25, 2019 #15

    Dr5x

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    I have just learned that there is a possibility to hav readers comment and ask questions. A sot of back and forth conversation set up/
    Wee shall see.

    Dutch
     
  16. Nov 25, 2019 #16

    Kansas Kid

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    My Santa Fe Hawken is a .53 marked .54 I use .520 balls.
     
  17. Nov 25, 2019 #17

    longcruise

    longcruise

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    Around '77 I met up with a fellow ml hunter on a mountainside. He was carrying an old plains rifle that he said was a 52. Only marks was "Tracy" engraved on the top flat. Was probably a last half of the 19th century gun but it could have been made in the 20th as well. He got it at a farm auction here in Colorado.
     
  18. Nov 26, 2019 #18

    Cowboy

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    A blog is a great idea Dutch. I personally like your stories and sound wisdom. A person can learn a lot from you if they apply what you have to offer. A lot of us already has. You definitely made your mark on the muzzleloading world.

    I would only ask you to keep posting here on the forum as well as your blog. You have to much to continue to offer!

    Lastly, thank you for everything that you’ve contributed to untold numbers of people to include myself.

    Respectfully, Cowboy
     
  19. Nov 26, 2019 #19

    Dr5x

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    COWBOY.
    THANK YOU FOR THE KIND WORDS.
    I HAVE THIS TERRIBLE FEAR THAT I AM DOMINATING THE ML FORUM SPACE AND TIME.
    WHAT YOU SAY TOUCHES ME BIG TIME.
    THEE ARE ABOUT 6 OR 7 WHO HAVE EXPRESSED THAT SAME THOUGHTS AND THEY AL WRM MY HEART.
    HOWEVER THERE AREELEVENTY THOUSAND SILENT LURKERS WHO DON'T SSAY SQWAT AND THE LORD ONLY KNOWS WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT ME OR MOST OF THE OTHER SUBJECTS THAT COME UP HERE. I MAY BE CAUSING THEM TO FALL AWAY BECAUSE THEE BABLING BROOK I HAVE BECOME.
    THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS THAT WILL PROBABLY LIMIT WHAT APPEARS TO BE A LECTUREE SERIES. THE MOST EFFECTIVE STOPPAGE WILL OCCURR WHEN I CEASE TO EXIST AND THE OTHER IS THAT IF I DON'T CASH IN. MY VISION WILL PREVENT ME FROM SEEING MY GREAT YELLOW BOARD WITH THE JUMBO LETTERS PROBBLY WELL BEFORE THE FUNERAL CELEBRTION.

    THOUGHTS POP ITO MY MIND FROM I KNOW NOT WHERE. THHIS AM I REMEMBERED A PORTBLE FIELD OMELET RECIPE THAT I LONG AGO THOUGHT WOULD BE SOMETHING TO BRIGHTEN THE CAMP CUISINE. I WILL PUT THAT RECIPE IN THE FORUM OR MY BLOG. RIGHHT MOW I'M EXHAUSTED FROM MY DIALYSIS ADVENTURE AND WILL PROBABLY SALVE WITH A NAP.

    THANKS AGAIN
    DUTCH
     
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  20. Nov 27, 2019 #20

    Dr5x

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    Speaking of Silent Lurkers
    I bet every one of them has a good story to tell.
    They don have to involve being partially eaten by a bear or vice cress. Just some interesting thing that happened to them or a stupid thing they saw someone else . I like the the very great stories about finding a long forgotten rifle or musket that is still in survivable condition and restored to use or jt as a a wall hanger that hangs over a fireplace.
    Speaking of which has anyone on the forum visited the incorrectly named Daniel Boone home in Defiance. Missouri?
    Defiance is about 5 buildings including a wee bar. The home was actually Boone's son's home and Daniel spent his final years there.
    The question I have was the rifle hanging over the fireplace in the kitchen was a percussion model or a flintlock. I seem to remember it as a percussion but that was early days for me as well.
    The other odd thing was Boone's bed which was about 4 and a half feet long with a lot of the supporting pad pushed up against the headboard.
    "My God. I thought. Daniel deserverves more respect because we apparently was a dwarf or what we call today. a little person.
    Having expressed my surprise I was told that people back in those days slept in a pretty much sitting up position. That also puzzles me as a lot of contemporary old time homes had more or less regular beds such as we are accustomed to today. Somebody check me on that last. What might be the case is that then as now people in their very later years are way more comfortable sleeping in a sitting up position to aid in breathing.

    See that's a comment that may be of interest based on a 15 minute visit to a somewhat colorless site.
    I would like to hear these stories about the bits and pieces that make up history.You probably are working under a Handle and that makes us sdsuffer in trying to hunt you down. Apparently you stood in class and the unapproachable maiden you adored remarked that yo were unzipped and you have been shy for all these following years.
    When did Boone stop his famous activity and when did the percussion system become general. Enquiring minds want to know...

    Dutch Schoultz
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2019
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