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Rifle to Smoothbore?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by This45Colt, Apr 30, 2012.

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  1. This45Colt

    This45Colt Member

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    So I know very little about black powder, I have one muzzle loader, a traditions deerhunter flintlock. All of $150 off of Gun Broker (NIB).

    What I really want is a Pedersoli trade musket, or some sort of long barreled smooth bore. What I don't want is to fork over the 1k plus to get my hands on one. Now, is it possible to get something like a Traditions Pennsylvania .50 that has a nice beefy barrel and have a gunsmith ream the rifling out of it and make it like a .54 smooth bore? Is this just wishful thinking? I would think it must be possible, but I don't know enough about these guns to know whether or not it would work. Would I be better off getting a slightly cheaper brown bess smoothie and using it as a shotgun? thoughs?
     
  2. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Why not just get a Pedersoli 20 ga. percussion or flintlock shotgun!?
     
  3. This45Colt

    This45Colt Member

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    Because I don't want to fork out 1k for a BP firearm... I like BP but at the 1k price point there are other center fire guns that would be on my list....
     
  4. Zerstoerer

    Zerstoerer Member

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    Hey, welcome to the sport.
    I just attended my first Mountain Men Rendevous.
    I was surprised to see shotguns and smoothbore muskets being shot with round ball and actually hitting things!
    I mean Bowling Pins at about 50 yards and metal gongs through heavy brush!

    Just buy a rifle for distance and keep the smoothbore for close in work.
     
  5. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  6. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Yes.
    Yes, in my opinion. It will also serve as a decent conical or roundball gun at iron sight ranges.
     
  7. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Mt first thought is that a person could make a business out of reaming old production barrels.

    BUT, if there really was the demand, Green Mtn would be selling truck loads of drop in smooth bore barrels.

    Investarms did sell smooth bore barrels for a few years to be used with their hawken rifles. (I am lucky enough to have one) The problem is that the weight of the barrel wall thickness is really bad for trying to swing and shoot at a flying bird.

    Again, if there was such a big demand, Traditions would be selling them as an option to go with their rifles.

    If a person could buy a companion smooth bore barrel to go with their Lyman rifle, I'd think Lyman would be all over that.

    From a simple construction standpoint, production rifle barrels tend to be straight octagon . They have insufficient barrel wall thickness at the breech to accommodate a large ga bore and sort of too much at the muzzle. So the best that can be done is a compromise bore that is really just a rifle bore without lands and grooves. A 54/55 caliber 28 ga just doesn't cut it for many shooters. Going larger in a 15/16th barrel has serious liability issues. In a one inch barrel, one could go out to 24 ga. still not real big.

    Yes I know there were some 20 ga smoothies built on a hawken platform. That was years ago. The companies stopped. Why? law suits?

    I have a bubba made flint lock smooth rifle. Ugle as sin, never finished, but with a 50 caliber smooth bore 36 inches long. It really does shoot great. You just can not get a turkey load in a half inch bore.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There is at least one state that defined a "primitive weapon" as a smoothbore.
    TC used to make .56 smoothbores for that jurisdiction.
    I do not know the current regs and barrel availability.

    By the time you paid a competent gunsmith to ream out a rifled barrel to smooth and do a good enough job of it for it to shoot well, you would have a very good down payment on a musket, fusil, or fowler.
     
  9. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    a retired gunsmith that owed me a favor, said $100 to ream a TC barrel. He won't touch a CVA or Traditions because of the breech design, Although he said they could be reamed without removing the breech. Something about his equipment and needing to remove the breech plug.
     
  10. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Member

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    Have a gunsmith check out your gun. If it is safe to ream it, and then shoot, fine you can ream it. I personally think you should consider an 1842 Armisport smoothbore. Check the boards and you should be able to find one used for $450 to $650. Armisport makes a good product. Might need a trigger job but the quality otherwise is fine.

    Stay away from the India made guns. Some of the guns Middlesex sells are made there and they are not safe.
     
  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Not every gun that's made in India is unsafe.
    There are folks on this forum who own and fire their MVT & similar Indian made guns without them having failures.
    The well known Dixon's muzzle loading shop in Pennsylvania sells them so evidently they don't believe that they're unsafe.
    According to question #7 on MVT's FAQ page, they will proof test any of their guns before shipping it for a $50 fee.

     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  12. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Member

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    Until they are allowed to be shipped into the US AS FIREARMS, I will consider them unsafe.

    The only way these get into the US is as decorative pieces or shipped dismantled in seperate containers.

    For more information, see the whole debate on this board. It is quite long. Why pay someone to improperly proof something India's own proof house has not approved.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  13. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    In your opinion. So far, I haven't seen you back it up.
     
  14. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    50 years ago, many folks warned and railed against the Italian made cap and ball revolvers. Some were allegedly so out of time that the balls would shave a third off entering the forcing cone. People were frequently injured by lead spit out as it was shaved off at the forcing cone.

    Frankly, there was some real junk. As the companies were weeded out by economics those who made fair and better quality survived. Those who became known for junk went out of business.

    The same is true for the Indian guns. They made some good ones back 130 years ago, they can make good ones now.

    I agree that I would be leery of anything that isn't shipped here as a firearm, but then again, it may be just a gimmic to get a cheaper import tax. There are a few firms in India making guns. Some are probably better than others. Heck in 1965 I bought a honda motor cycle. I heard no end of it from my parents about buying a foreign POS, that it won't lost 2 years, won't be able to get parts, etc, That motorcycle still runs although I haven't owned it in 30 years. (My ex BIL has it) I can not say which Indian made gun is junk and which is better. Dixon's does sell them, (and they won't sell a certain brand American made muzzleloader ) That alone says something for them. But which of them I don't know.
     
  15. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Member

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    Defend them all you want but even THE MFGS. FROM INDIA SAID THEY ARE NOT FIREARMS!!! AT THE NURNBERG IAW GUN SHOW. See the N-SSA Board for the discussion and video of the 2 Indian mfgs. selling their decorations. (See topic who is the maker and small arms committee, poster Space cowboy [​IMG])

    Every one of the India made pieces I have seen were equipped with barrels of welded tubing. Middlesex does not guarantee the barrels and refuses to disclose the manufacturer.

    From Middlesex Web site FAQ:

    (Notice they omit the barrel.)

    I very much wish the India companies would start making barrels of good steel that are submitted to their national proof house so that they can be imported as firearms. Competition for the Italian houses is sorely needed. My problem is not with place of origin, but the fact that they are NOT FIREARMS and they are dangerous when shot like they are firearms.

    Each person can take a chance if they want but think about this:

    Did the person next to you on the line agree to shoot next to what was sold and imported as a "Decoration". I have seen up close two of these decorations that had burst barrels. I Have seen pictures now of three others with burst barrels.

    You can take your chance if you want but think about your fellow shooter and be far away from them when you fire this thing live.
     
  16. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Interesting that an Indian MANUFACTURER has been advertising their FIREARMS in some of the black powder publications.


    I have AND fire an Indian made cartridge gun. It is well made for it's age, (130 years) and quite accurate.

    I agree that welded tubing is unfit for a barrel. I do not doubt that some idiots have loaded up "prop" guns and "decoration" guns. I remember some Chinese junk muzzleloaders that blew up in the early 1970's and they were made to fire.

    I have seen pictures of American made Muzzleloaders that blew up. That doesn't tell me that all American guns are junk. Frankly, I would not touch a Markwell Arms or Ultra High gun. A few of the FIE items were very questionable as well.

    However, It is indeed buyer beware. Not all Indian guns are junk but at this point I couldn't tell the good from the manure and there is some Indian stuff that shouldn't be fired, so let caution be your guide.

    As for the other shooters on the line. I was at my local range and the jerk at the next table was stuffing 5 pellets of something down his in-line and then a large lead bullet. He was unable to hit the target at 100 yards and i over heard him saying he was increasing the powder. I left. I heard that a half hour later the barrel cracked. fortunately no one injured.
     
  17. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Member

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    Smart Man. I have seen this type of thing before and there is no excuse for willful ignorance. Idiots are every where.

    My research on the Indian ML imported in the last few years is ALL have had the tubing for barrels. I know India is perfectly capable of producing fine firearms and would gladly shoot a Peabody or Martini made there, even might shoot a 150 year old Enfield after checking it out. A friend of mine has and shoots it very well.

    If you watch that video, they are basically saying, yes you can shoot them but if something happens they are not responsible because they are decorations, not firearms as the touch holes and fire channels are not drilled when they leave the factory!! After seeing the video and hearing how they are promoted, it is clear that this is pure subterfuge to increase sales. That is why I am so adamant about getting the truth out about these props.

    The N-SSA has totally rejected these things based on safety issues. I am a member of the N-SSA and am proud of our safety record, namely 60 years of no serious firearm injuries at an N-SSA sponsered event. Re-Enactors of CW CANNOT say that where they only shoot blanks. (I don't know about Revolutionary or other re-enactors. )

    SAfety begins with knowing your firearm and its capability. From what I have seen, these things are not even suitable for blanks because many of the things are not cleaned properly by their owners, which leads to trouble.

    Sales hype is not always true and shooting something shipped as a decoration is insane to me. PT Barnum said it best: There's a sucker born every minute.

    No Question, American firearms makers have produced quite a few pieces of junk. It is not place of origin but the product. Since Midsex and Loyalist don't identify MFG, I cannot identify them by name. Thus, all of the India made pieces are slandered with the same brush in the interest of safety. How else can they be described until we know names of MFG.. Identify the MFG. and I will happily use it when talking about these things.

    I feel American law enforcement and\or products liability lawyers would shortly take care of American companies if they pulled this bull here.

    I am not famillar with Dixon's or their reputation so I cannot give that any weight one way or the other. If I was friends with them, I would let them know about the video and give them a chance to reconsider selling these things.

    One bad incident threatens all of us who shoot muzzle loaders. Safety is paramount!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  18. raubvogel

    raubvogel Member

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    OMG! I fire an Indian firearm! It will blow in my face at any moment. And then eat my testicles! Run away!!!

    *stares at his Ishapore-made Lee Enfield No1 Mk III*

    Jokes apart, it reminds me of a lot of cheap (not the good quality) Chinese-made stuff you find at the dollar tree, wal mart, and other fine places of business. I mean, if you are not willing to put your name on your product, maybe it is not that good. But then again, they might have been told by their American buyers (wholesalers) not to put any markings on them.
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    You'll be waiting a long time, as muzzle loading guns are not firearms, regardless of who made them.

    I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of the guns, just stating that they are not defined by ATF as firearms and will not be imported as such.
     
  20. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    Yes, it's possible. Back in the 1990s I had a .54 flintlock Lyman Trade Rifle reamed out to .62 smoothbore.

    [​IMG]
    By ofitg at 2012-01-17
     
  21. This45Colt

    This45Colt Member

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    How much did that job cost you to do? and by whom was it done? Thanks
     
  22. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    For an Indian gun of unknown quality, you can proof the barrel. Better yet, have it lined and then proofed.

    BTW, returning to smooth bore guns, Author historian professor Lawrence Babits managed to hit a man sized target at 75 yds 5 times out of six with his replica Brown Bess. Unlike the adverage red coated British soldier, he practiced before he performed this feat. Within 75 yards a smoothbore can be reasonably accurate. He didn't use the ramrod and tapped the butt on the ground to seat the powder and the ball.
     
  24. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    That was 15 or 16 years ago, I've forgotten some of the details. I live in AZ so I telephoned a few gunsmiths up in Prescott and one guy (can't remember his name) agreed to do it.
    I mailed him the barrel along with a check for $150, and a few weeks later he mailed the reamed-out barrel back to me.
     
  25. hawkeye74

    hawkeye74 Member

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    MachIVshooter and Raubvogel:

    RV: No problem with the Lee-Enfields or any of the Cartridge guns made in India that I have seen. I like the Lee Enfields I have seen. My comments are strictly about these unidentifiable Muzzle Loaders. Tell me how to more specifically ID these decorations and I will use it.

    MachIV:

    Yes you're right to a degree. ATF does not consider old ML designs as firearms. However, for import/export , there are regulations that control the international trade of items such as this. This is why "defarbing" Imported Muzzle loaders and CW breach loaders puts you at risk. There are laws against removing markings, numbers, MFG names, etc. These laws do not fall under the ATF.
     
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