Howdah update!


October 26, 2009, 06:11 PM
Ok I am doing some 'upgrades' to my howdah. I noticed that during range time the blast from the nipples would remove the cold blue that I had on the barrels. SOOOO I broke out the browning solutions and went to work. Here is the results of the barrel so far.

Up next is the breech plate, going to blacken it, IF I can.

FYI here is the blued version.

The hope is that brown will not strip during firing.


If you enjoyed reading about "Howdah update!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 26, 2009, 06:31 PM
That my friend is one beautiful firearm. The browning may not be period correct but it does look great with the color of the wood. Browning is actual rust formation and it should not shoot off. I did some wood carving a while back and I must compliment the artist who did the work. It is beautifully laid out and perfectly executed.

October 26, 2009, 10:40 PM
I like the plum brown. Few years back I took a Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine. Prepped the metal really smooth in the final polish. Then I used a butane torch, and Birchwood Casey Plum Brown. It took most of a day to do it, but 15 coats later I had a deep burgandy finish that turned out absolutely beautiful. I would post some pics - but unfortunately I am in Afghanistan right now.

Great looking stock on your pistol.

October 27, 2009, 09:34 AM
Every time I see your stock I want to start carving on mine.

PRM, stay safe my friend, if you or your pards need anything from the states that you can't get PM me and I'll see what i can do.

October 27, 2009, 10:43 AM
have you considered brass or German silver ''flash cups''?

October 27, 2009, 12:24 PM
"Every time I see your stock I want to start carving on mine."

Well THAT sound kind of funny :D

Beatiful Howda by the way...

October 27, 2009, 12:46 PM
now that is BEAUTIFUL... beats the blued barrels by a long shot...

very original and well done. got to love the carving too. looks like it's expertly done, not just stamped or milled out in an attempt to look custom...


October 27, 2009, 01:29 PM
the flash guards does not fit that well and leaves the nipples sticking out to far.

TMM it was professionally hand carved, no machine work on that.

October 27, 2009, 06:41 PM
Very nice Brown barrels : is it BirchCasey Plum brown ?


October 27, 2009, 07:09 PM
yes it's birchwood casey plum brown and a mapp torch.

October 27, 2009, 08:14 PM
Watch yer topknot PRM! Beautiful pistol!

August 25, 2010, 08:59 PM
Ok old thread yea I know. However I just recently bought a house and the back deck is turning into a fantastic backdrop, so this is updated photo's of my beautiful kit.

August 25, 2010, 10:26 PM
That is one purty gun my friend!

August 26, 2010, 12:41 AM
That is just beatiful. It's amazing just to look at it, but the fact that it can spew lead out the front makes it that much better.

August 26, 2010, 06:10 AM
Would ya be so kind as to explain the technique of using browning and the torch for those of us not familiar with it?

August 26, 2010, 10:47 AM
Clean the barrel and degrease it, put it in a vise but do not apply any pressure, you are just holding it there.

You take a propane/mapp torch and heat the barrel to a *LOW* heat, then apply the liquid solution to it. You wave the torch over the entire barrel, lugs, plugs and everything until it is one even coat.

Use something like steel wool to burnish the surface and remove any excess.

Rinse and repeat. (physically)

A note on the heat. You are lightly adding heat and nothing long lasting or any high temps, maybe 150-200F temp at the most. at no time is the barrel to get hot enough to burn you.

Carl N. Brown
August 26, 2010, 11:29 AM
Whether bluing, browning or parkerising, the oiling of the finish after it is complete is an important step.

August 28, 2010, 02:02 AM
Thank you Blacknet for the technique!!!!!!

October 27, 2012, 04:49 PM
Serious BUMP on this thread ;)

Wanted to add some more detail photo's.

October 27, 2012, 05:18 PM

October 27, 2012, 05:35 PM
I'd love to see a picture of it firing just as it started toward twilite -- big orange flash and fireball.

October 27, 2012, 09:14 PM
Currently I have no good way of doing video but there is a youtube video on someone loading and shooting this model.

Jim, West PA
October 27, 2012, 10:01 PM
Beautiful gun AND beautiful Burl.
How could it possibly git any better ???
Pic #2 is framable.

Dave Markowitz
October 27, 2012, 10:19 PM
That howdah is NICE!

Honest John
October 27, 2012, 10:37 PM
Congratulations. That is a very beautiful pistol.

October 28, 2012, 12:08 AM
I lovez mah Howdah.
Nice gun. Mine is the 20x20 and I love it. Way too much fun. Yours is beautiful. Very nice carving. I like the brown barrels, too.
I'd be tempted to strip the rest of the steel and brown it, too.

October 28, 2012, 12:42 AM
I was thinking earlier to do just that. Strip and brown, esp the trigger guard and cap. I wish now that I had bought the 20x20.

October 28, 2012, 10:43 AM
Simply beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

October 28, 2012, 12:09 PM
What make is your Howdah ,Pedersoli?

It sure is a nice one.

October 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
It's a Pedersoli, just like mine.

October 28, 2012, 12:22 PM
Who did that beautiful carving?

November 4, 2012, 05:18 PM
Errol Case did that. I shopped long and hard to find some good quality work and this guy is VERY good.

March 13, 2013, 10:20 PM
Did some range time over the weekend with my howdah.

Ended up breaking a nipple

but got some decent results. 23-24 paces with a large target and 2 howdah's :)

Some cleanup with black solve and a screw extractor bit and the broken section came out with no problem.

After this it was on to the full cleanup. Thing is amazing. We were using 3 different size shot, #6 and 50 cal in my howdah and in the 1850's howdah some #1 buck round balls, about 6 of them at once.

Here is the 1850's howdah.

March 13, 2013, 10:29 PM
It's hard to have something cooler than the regular Pedersoli Howdah guns but you've managed it. :-)

How did you like it with shot? I'm waiting on some #4 buck to arrive so I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

March 13, 2013, 10:31 PM
To be honest I like the larger size. #6 is to small and the #1 buck is a good size to use. Problem is finding it is hard unless you cast.

March 13, 2013, 11:54 PM
What nipple is that replacement? I replaced my nipples with some TC stainless steel nips.
The caps were loose on the original ones, and would fall off if you turned the gun muzzles up.

March 14, 2013, 12:18 AM
I got 2 red-hot nipples by knight muzzleloader. Picked them up at the local gun shop.

March 15, 2013, 12:51 PM
Good looking gun, BlackNet. Glad to see I'm not the only one that's been suckered into spending my money on these smokechuckers. I haven't had a chance to shoot mine yet, but I'm itching.

March 15, 2013, 01:48 PM
Good looking hand cannon.

Texan Scott
March 20, 2013, 05:48 AM
Oh boy... another expensive hobby. :(

That gun is gorgeous! Also, I now need one of these, in the interest of science. ;)

Soooo... it's basically a muzzle-loading black powder SBS I can get mail ordered, for the price of a "real" SBS but without a federal registration and a year's worth of paperwork?

Can it be left loaded? Or would it corrode? If I could load one up with a moderate charge and an ounce of #4 shot, the next thing to harass the chickens would catch it good.

Not sure what it would do that a pump gun wouldn't, but it has hammers and caps and I could play with black powder, right?

March 20, 2013, 09:09 AM
Texan Scott, correct :) I am finding instead of looking for bags of 0, 00 or 000 buck to just get boxes of 32 caliber round balls. As for legal issues I think some states has issues with these but no free state does.

March 20, 2013, 09:29 PM
Texan Scott - they also make a bunch of black powder SBSs with stocks. Just to give you ideas, check out:

The Howdah's probably more fun though, and there is an optional stock for it.

And yeah, you can leave them loaded. You need to read up a little on how to load it for that, especially if you're using shot (some people use lubes on the cushion that will eventually soak into the powder - don't do that).

#4 buck is supposed to pattern well in the Howdah. We'll see - Grafs finally delivered 10 pounds of it I ordered ages ago. I'll try it in a couple of weeks.

As BlackNet notes some states have more issues than others with black powder in general, but put it this way, even California doesn't care. You can mail order them right to your door. Lets us pretend we live in civilized parts.

March 22, 2013, 08:00 PM
They're also the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

March 23, 2013, 12:10 AM
Normally I'd agree but I've been skydiving.

Texan Scott
March 23, 2013, 12:33 PM
Agreed.... skydiving without clothing sounds like fun.

Wait... WHAT?

March 23, 2013, 01:28 PM
Yeah, but I don't have to worry about the possibility of crashing into the ground at 120 MPH when shooting the Howdah.

March 23, 2013, 05:11 PM
@Texan I have some stories but this is off topic enough already.

@Jaymo Yes, but with skydiving you don't have to worry about shooting your eye out.

But seriously, the Howdah is darn fun to shoot, it's flexible both in terms of powder load and what kind of lead you use, they're pretty quick to load, you can hold it a couple of different ways (one handed or with the support hand under the Howdah both being good), and it gets attention at the range. It's not the cheapest option but not the most expensive either. Definitely recommended.

March 23, 2013, 06:18 PM
You can also hold it Hollywood-scattergun style, with the weak hand over the top of the barrels.
It's not terribly comfortable, though, as the recoil/muzzle climb will be felt by all the bones in your wrist/hand.

March 24, 2013, 07:09 PM
Ok what is "Hollywood-scattergun style" ?

Texan Scott
March 24, 2013, 07:22 PM
Has anyone (to your knowledge) tested loads from this over a chrono?

If you enjoyed reading about "Howdah update!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!