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Thread: Help with this 1850s Dble barrel

  1. #1
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    Help with this 1850s Dble barrel

    I just took possession of a double barreled muzzle loader vintage mid 1800s that belongs to my wife's brother. He has asked me to "restore" it to whatever I consider a proper condition. It sat in her father's closet until his passing a couple years ago.
    The rifle is in pretty sorry shape - rusty/corroded, stock pretty rough with paint dripped all over it, and one barrel obstructed, probably with a load in it from who knows how long ago.

    I can deal with the obstruction and know a fair bit about restoring the stock, but how would the steel have been finished?

    The gun is engraved with two birds in flight on the metal behind the hammers and is labeled "Edward Middleton." He was apparently a gun maker from England from 1850-1895.

    would this be a muzzleloader shotgun? Any ideas would be appreciated.

    I will upload some pix as soon as I have a chance.


    Bob
    BobGrand is offline

  2. #2
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    It sounds like it's a smoothbore (shotgun). Measure the bore to tell what guage it is. Awaiting your pix.

  3. #3
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    1850s Dble BP Pix

    Here are pix of the double barrel muzzle loader.

    The muzzle ID is a bit larger than 9/16. Can't find my calipers so can't get a definite measurement.

    The barrel obstruction appears to be almost 2" deep at the bottom of the barrel. I will attempt to remove the nipple at the bottom to see if I can get any gunpowder out from that end.

    Should I use something like linseed oil and steel wool to begin polishing the barrel and stock? I will have a lot of work to get them cleaned up while I still work on the barrel obstruction?

    Bob
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  4. #4
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    Use extreme caution! It was very common for those old shotguns to be kept charged, and un-capped, to be readily availble in the event of a henhouse-raiding opossum , fox, etc. I really have no experience dealing with these pieces, but am sure someone on the forum has the best (e.g., safest) means of removing the charge. If it hasn't gotten wet during the past 160 years (or, possibly, even if it HAS gotten wet or damp at some point), that powder is still capable of detonation.

  5. #5
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    i think the best way of removing the charge would be something along the lines of a cork screw. i think id buy a cheap cork screw and rip the handle off and mount the metal into a long dowel using jb weld to secure it

    it should dig into the wad and shot and allow it to be pulled out, then you can dump the powder out. but be careful
    "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." --Sam Adams
    PAUL-NUGENT 2012
    USAF april 19th 2011-_____

  6. #6
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    "Ball pullers" are attachements for a cleaning rod, for pulling a stuck bullet out of a muzzleloader. basically, it looks like a wood screw with a brass washer at the head. You twist it into the bullet and pull it out. You can order a puller and suitable rod in many blackpowder catalogs. Try
    http://www.trackofthewolf.com
    or
    http://www.buffaloarms.com

    Needless to say, do not put your head over the muzzle while pulling a bullet, nor put your hand over the end of the rod.

    If that is a smoothbore, it could have a patched ball, "minie" bullet, or a charge of shot under a thin card. The bullet puller will work to remove all three.

    Old blackpowder has survived decades, in many cases more than a century, and on rare occasions more than two centuries. If it gets wet, and dries out again, it still goes off. (Modern blackpowder is made in a wet process.)

    Once you have the projectile out, use hot soapy water to remove the powder if is does not pour out. If it does pour, do not assue it all came out.

    Clean the bore with hot soapy water. It will quickly dissolve blackpowder and its burn products. Follow with a mix of 10 parts water to one part Ballistol oil. (rod and patch time...) Allow to dry and then oil the bore.

    Dont bother with Hoppes or other modern solvents. They are designed for stuff that is not water soluable.
    Burt Blade

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