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I don´t remember exactly when I got my interest for flintlock rifles but my friend and I are determined on making at least two as soon as we trust our skills well enough and have the licence to make them but it´s gonna be at least a year until that happens so I´m going to use that time to study and research everything I can get my hands on and I figured this might be the right place to both record this research and share the information with all of you, maybe even get some helpful input.

I think I have the rough idea on how to do it now but since I quite like my head I´m not all that interested in having the breech fail on me and go backwards, I´m going to need way more than that rough idea.

The plan so far for this gun is quite elaborate so it´s going to need safety precautions that will make OSHA proud, I´m planning on making a pattern welded barrel like the ones made in Nessonvaux, for that I´ll need tough steel that´s not too hard to forgeweld and can give off a good pattern, my current ideas are 4140 and L-6, I´ll order the stock of course but I´m not familiar with the weldability or how the pattern develops on those two.

Just in order to make the barrel I imagine I´m going to have to make a swage block and top swages, a mandrel for forgewelding it on, a large twisting mechanism for even twists and something to aid with coiling the barrel around the mandrel and a gauge for getting the correct thickness. I'll see if I can get the barrels X-rayed somewhere just to be safe and I'll  mount it to a plate somewhere far from civilization and try shooting 4 times the recommended amount of powder (charge? load? ) after that I'll take it to a professional gunsmith and get him to inspect it.
I think I understand how the trigger mechanism works, I'll probably make that out of some  new car leaf springs, atleast the springs and the frizzen. I believe common mild steel is fine for the tumbler, trigger, pan and all that, I also want to try to use mokume gane for all brass parts like trigger guard, the things that hold the ram rod because I like having pretty stuff.

now that I think I have the plan so far laid out I have a few questions, how should the  breech plug be attached, I'm considering forgewelding it first and then just give it a precautionary TIG weld  where the seam should be, what kind of files would I need for this since I understand that 80% of a gunsmiths work is filing or would it be OK to turn it on a long lathe and how would you forgeweld the barrel together, I'm mostly looking for alternatives to the method they used in Nessonvaux and just general tips or tricks you might have for me 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa9dlvRDuQU

 here's the Nessonvaux video if you haven't seen it before

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAzJOULyx5c&t=3124s

Here's Wallace Gusler making a rifle, I'll be watching this one over and over and taking notes, if you have more videos or pictures of people making guns I'd be very grateful if you would share them here

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You might benefit from this forum about traditional muzzleloading, Especially the gun builders sub-forum a lot of knowable folks there who are willing to share their knowledge.

If the link doesn't work it's www dot muzzleloadingforum dot com

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/fusionbb.php

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Dabb ... I have a flintlock Trade Gun .... come get it and use it for a model ...

... on the other hand..... put me in your will, if'n youse try to make one yerself ....

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4 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

You might benefit from this forum about traditional muzzleloading, Especially the gun builders sub-forum a lot of knowable folks there who are willing to share their knowledge.

If the link doesn't work it's www dot muzzleloadingforum dot com

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/fusionbb.php

Thanks a lot for the link, I'm not sure why I didn't think of looking for a forum first. 

5 minutes ago, rthibeau said:

Dabb ... I have a flintlock Trade Gun .... come get it and use it for a model ...

... on the other hand..... put me in your will, if'n youse try to make one yerself ....

I'd love to if I had any trips planned to the states, about the will though, even if I put you in there you're most likely going to have to wrestle my anvil out my friends hands, he's been drooling over my söderfors ever since we first met

 

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As far as the barrel goes, getting 100% solid welds should be your main concern, and how the pattern looks should be secondary. I would practice this.

Back when I was in welding school, to test ourselves, we had to make a 2'x2'x2' cube out of plates. We would then drill a hole and weld a nipple to hook to an air compressor to, submerge the cube in water, and add air pressure. If ANY bubbles came out around a weld, you failed.

I would recommend practicing a few barrels and doing tests similar to these on them before putting a detonation behind it. 

Having it x-rayed it a good idea as well, but to put all that work into it just to learn it has defects would be terrible. That's why I recommend practicing it a few times first. 

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As this is a tricky process with possibly fatal failures, there is an intermediate step.  IIRC JPH welded a pattern welded piece around a solid core of barrel steel and so getting both strength and prettyness.  

It's a great goal you have and I hope you are planning to spend the next 10 years steadily working on it!

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Hello Dabbs and welcome to IFI. There are several exellent books on the subject and if I had to choose if any of them were the be all end all on the subject it is hands down definitely The Journal Of Historical Armsmaking Technology, a five volume set released from 1985-1991. Brace yourself for some sticker shock if you try to acquire these tomes because they are not being reprinted and are in demand. If you can find them you will pay dearly for them.

http://www.bogjagt.dk/product.asp?product=5489

Don't worry though because as I said there are several exellent books out there. Here are a few~

http://www.americanlongrifles.com/Books_frame.htm

And here~

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/advanced_search_result.php?s=1&keywords=Book&osCsid=3v9bn82fkei2u8s9bj3qgpbub3

I highly recommend that you send for the print catalog from Dixie Gun Works, trust me you will not be able to put it down. Along with several books on muzzleloading and building them they also have a huge selection of parts and tools specific to blackpowder gunsmithing.

 

Regards.

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9 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

As this is a tricky process with possibly fatal failures, there is an intermediate step.  IIRC JPH welded a pattern welded piece around a solid core of barrel steel and so getting both strength and prettyness.  

It's a great goal you have and I hope you are planning to spend the next 10 years steadily working on it!

Excellent idea Thomas regarding the intermediate step, I'm hoping to have a gun that I feel safe shooting in 1 1/2-2 years but if it takes 10 I'll take 10, I'll even bring the vice and all that with me to the retirement home if that's what it takes.

8 hours ago, Danoinbuffalo said:

Hello Dabbs and welcome to IFI. There are several exellent books on the subject and if I had to choose if any of them were the be all end all on the subject it is hands down definitely The Journal Of Historical Armsmaking Technology, a five volume set released from 1985-1991. Brace yourself for some sticker shock if you try to acquire these tomes because they are not being reprinted and are in demand. If you can find them you will pay dearly for them.

http://www.bogjagt.dk/product.asp?product=5489

Don't worry though because as I said there are several exellent books out there. Here are a few~

http://www.americanlongrifles.com/Books_frame.htm

And here~

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/advanced_search_result.php?s=1&keywords=Book&osCsid=3v9bn82fkei2u8s9bj3qgpbub3

I highly recommend that you send for the print catalog from Dixie Gun Works, trust me you will not be able to put it down. Along with several books on muzzleloading and building them they also have a huge selection of parts and tools specific to blackpowder gunsmithing.

 

Regards.

Thank you Dan for the welcome, I'm currently trying to get a hold of my friend to order those books, unfortunately I get a 403 error on the second link, I have a feeling that this website is gonna hurt my wallet big time but that's way better than myself or my friend getting severely injured, I figure we'll order a cheap flintlock just to get a proper feel for it and be able to inspect it carefully from all angles

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If I may suggest, check the below websites.  The Americanlongrifles site dedicated to gun building.  It's loaded with guys willing to help.  The Toadhall website is Steve Bookout's.  He is a retired builder now but used to have a barrel welding class once a year.  He is one of the most experienced barrel welders I know.  He authored a couple of small books on building a barrel rifling machine.

http://www.americanlongrifles.org/forum/

http://toadhallrifleshop.com/

 

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13 hours ago, Ken G said:

If I may suggest, check the below websites.  The Americanlongrifles site dedicated to gun building.  It's loaded with guys willing to help.  The Toadhall website is Steve Bookout's.  He is a retired builder now but used to have a barrel welding class once a year.  He is one of the most experienced barrel welders I know.  He authored a couple of small books on building a barrel rifling machine.

http://www.americanlongrifles.org/forum/

http://toadhallrifleshop.com/

 

Of course you may suggest, kind sir, I'll bookmark these sites and browse them when I'm not procrastinating on studying for my finals, those books might come in handy when I make a rifled version, first one will most likely be a smoothbore 

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thanks for that mate,makes me appreciate the old damascus things i have and didn't think about the work that went into every barrel, did hear somewhere the amount of steel in  a double shotgun ,more than i thought,glen

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