Oldest Firearm I own. Queen Anne Turn Off Pistol

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Johnm1, May 31, 2021.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I realize that Queen Anne is a modern term and might not apply to this pistol. But the term is bandied about and a lot of people would recognize it as that. It is a pretty neat pistol no matter what it is called.

    20210530_235923.jpg

    Ketland & Company trade pistol made up until 1816. So it is at least 205 years old and now it is fully functional. I'm not sure when Ketland started to export this model, but I think the model was made backmto around 1750. I spent the last year tinkering to loosen the barrel so it could be loaded like a turn off should be. I had to make a tool to help grip the barrel that has a lug for that purpose.

    The rest of my terrible pictures:

    20210530_235954.jpg

    20210531_000702.jpg

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    20210531_000620.jpg

    20210531_000510.jpg

    I just learned today that when at half cock the trigger guard moves forward and acts as a safety. Pretty neat design.
     
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  2. Bibbyman

    Bibbyman Member

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    That's really great!

    Not many of old guns survive that well. They are usually discarded when they become obsolete. Or they let the kids play with them.
     
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  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Very, VERY, nice.

    I'll bet those barrel threads get a generous dose of anti-seize now that the pistol is functional.
     
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  4. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I still have a lot of cleaning to do. The penetrating oil got everywhere. I'm going to have to soak it in alcohol to remove all traces of the petroleum-based oil. The threads held up very well.
     
  5. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Proofs I have found

    20210531_000441.jpg
     
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  6. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    That gun is in really good shape. Love shooting the old guns more than shooting new ones. Just think. That gun might have heard tales of a group of rebels who broke from England and wanted to form a new country.
     
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  7. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    Wow that is awesome!
     
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  8. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    I have two of my Great Great Great Grandfathers long rifles built in the 1840's. Both are percussion guns. One is a .32, and the other a .35. I take them out on occasion to squirrel hunt with. both are in great shape for their age, and both shoot better than I can with iron sights.
     
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  9. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    20210531_085050.jpg So, the fear was that the threads were so corroded that the barrel could never be removed without breaking the pistol into pieces. I made the tool in the below picture as the gun must have been sold with a barrel wrench of some sort. That is the reason for the lug on the bottom of the barrel. My fear was if I put the breach and in a vice and turned really hard I would break the pistol in two pieces. With the grips off and the tool installed I held the breach end of the pistol in my hand and used the small adjustable wrench as a hammer on the tool hoping the momentum would finally break the rust free and allow the penetrating oil in to the Joint. Over the last year the pistol was frozen in my freezer on and off and I applied heat to the barrel hoping to get expansion / contraction enough to allow penetrating oil to seep into the joint. Up until I made the tool that was unsuccessful. Using the tool and freezing/heat allowed the oil into the joint. Once I got the barrel to turn a little bit it only took about 10 minutes you get the barrel removed completely.

    20210531_084957.jpg

    The threads turned out to be ok. They had a layer of red rust on them that is cleaning up well. I have no concerns that they will hold while firing.

    20210531_085133.jpg

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    Now I have to design the tool as ornate as the pistol. I assume the tool that was sold with the gun looks a little like the modern choke tool in the picture.
     
  10. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I bought it just for that purpose. I can’t date it any closer than 1750-1816 though. Revolutionary war? Maybe. War of 1812. Possible/probable? Will probably never know unless some expert knows if the signature changed or possibly the proofs have an end date that could narrow down the time period.
     
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  11. windini
    • Contributing Member

    windini Contributing Member

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    What a fantastic piece! I look forward to more posts - especially the test firing!
     
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  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Well, no flints to be found in the greater Phoenix area today. Plus, I slugged the bore and it measures 0.464" at its 'least' dimension. I pushed it all the way through so I get the smallest dimension for its entire length. A 0.454" 45 caliber ball just rolls out and all I could find in 50 caliber today were 0.495". They were too large for me to screw the barrel on all the way. At least by hand. There are 0.480" balls available and maybe that solves the problem. Or, Maybe it was designed as a 50 cal 0.495" ball and one was supposed to use the barrel wrench to snug it up. Cant really ask the designers/retailer. I'm going to try the 0.480" balls and see if the barrel can seat with minimal force. If not i see a custom mold in my future. Next weekend for the test fire.

    All of the clean up is done and the alcohol bath is complete and a light coating of Balistol applied. I'm still considering the use of anti-sieze on the threads.
     
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  13. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Well proof house dates are no help narrowing down a manufacture date. The London Proof House has been using the same crown over C P since 1672. Tough to see in my photographs but under high magnification both appear to be the same mark. So it is going to have to be a change in either the firearm or the company name to help date the pistol.

    Screenshot_20210531-170141_Chrome.jpg
     
  14. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    Beautiful piece. Nice job getting it back into shooting condition.
     
  15. Kevin Keith

    Kevin Keith Member

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    Well, you know that little firecracker saw some action...It's cool to think it might have seen some kind of action in the Revolution! Coongrats on a fine restoration. Very impressive!
     
  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    There wasn't any real restoration. All I did was get the barrel to come off without breaking it. Otherwise it is as I bought it.

    I'm reading a bit on the Ketlands and I'm thinking that they didn't import anything until the mid-1790's. Kind of hard to follow the story from postings on another forum

    https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=11664.0

    This is a trade gun evidenced by the artwork and company name being stamped and not engraved. These were not the quality of firearms sold by Ketland domestically in England. If this were the same configuration but made by Ketland for domestic sale in England it would be substantially more valuable.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm tickled to death having a firearm that is over 200 years old. Lesser quality or not. Heck, it functions the same today as it did over 200 years ago. There is a quality demonstrated by that alone.
     
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  17. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Since it doesn't shoot self contained cartridges, it technically isn't a firearm . . . but it is a cool Arm!!! (Sorry, just trying to protect "non-guns" as much as I can!!) They'll be on the "Anti" list next . . . don't want to push it . . .

    My oldest real firearm is a Whitneyville Dragoon in .45C (Uberti 2008)!! Lol!!

    Mike
     
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  18. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Well, the test fire may not happen this weekend. It depends on when the round ball (0.480") and flint arrive. Most everyone was out of 0.480" round ball. I ordered it from Optics Planet and dearly hope they don't send me an e-mail tomorrow telling me that they are backordered. And, Track of the Wolf was out of the exact size of flint I need for the flint and I ordered the next size down. It is the right length but 1/8" narrower. I need 1/2" x 5/8" and what I ordered was 3/8" x 5/8". I'm not sure when any of it will arrive.

    Now, if anyone in the greater Phoenix area has a couple 0.480" round ball and/or a flint I'd be willing to make a drive just to shoot it this weekend. Funny how that goes. I've had this thing for at least a year and there was no push to shoot it. But now that it is functional I am anxious to shoot it. 60 years old and as impatient as an 8 year old.
     
  19. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    No such luck. Optics Planet sent an e-mail indicating that the round balls would ship in 5-7 months. Sure wish their website had indicated that they were back ordered. I would never have placed the order with them. Midway has them on back order but indicated the delivery was overdue making me believe they would be in stock the 'soonest'.
     
  20. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    .490s are used in .50 rifles, they may be easier to find.
    I could spare a 1/2 box, you could p.m. me.
     
  21. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thanks Dave - I'm not sure that 0.490" will work either and i haven't exhausted my resources here in Arizona/Phoenix area for 0.490" so I can try them. I'm one of 'those' kind of people. If 0.495" is too big then of course I should try for the smallest diameter. For all I know the 0.490" is just right and I still have a couple of places here in the Phoenix area that might have that size. Work keeps on getting in the way of what is really important. I don't think the flints are going to make it for this weekend either.

    Thanks again.
     
  22. forward observer

    forward observer Member

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    Dixie gun works still sells a period-appropriate reproduction barrel key for screw barrel boxlocks like yours. The boxlock action is a little bit past the Queen Anne period although typical Queen Anne style pistols were breechloading screw barrel or turn off barrel types.

    https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/page/product/product_id/2840/category_id/354/product_name/MA0806+Barrel+Key

    In the picture, it appears to be cast without the notch for the barrel lug and also with the hole being on the small side. However, the entire ring part appears to be large enough that one should be able to enlarge the hole to fit just about any barrel. I would assume that one would also have to file out the slot to fit the lug.

    They also mention that the handle end could be formed into a screwdriver blade for flintlocks or a nipple wrench for percussion.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  23. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I thought finding the history of my Hopkins and Allen XL 8 from the 1890's was a little difficult, getting accurate information in Ketland & Company from a hundred years earlier id darn frustrating.

    I may have misinterpreted the years these were made/imported. I may have associated the year William Ketland died with the end of production. But I'm learning the company continued until the 1830's. So the date range may well be 1790ish to 1830ish.
     
  24. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thanks. That would have saved some time this weekend. And I might just do that. It looks like it could be period correct design. Even if i have to drill out the hole. I still have the 11/16" bit I used for my tool.
     
  25. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Deer Creek Products in Waldron, Indiana lists old stock .480 Hornady round balls as being available at a closeout price.

    https://www.deercreekproducts.net/store/p1638/Hornady_New/Old_Stock_Round_Balls.html

    They also sell 2 types of English flints under shooting accessories, but they don't give full dimensions.
    You can ask them for more info by sending a message.
    https://www.deercreekproducts.net/store/c7/Loading_&_Shooting_Supplies.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
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