Planning To Build A Under hammer Black Powder Rifle

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  • Last Post 22 February 2021
mashburn posted this 18 February 2021

Being cooped up in the house due to the cold and snow has got me thinking about a project that I've been intending to build for years, but have never gotten around to. I'm speaking of a under hammer black powder rifle. I plan on building the action myself and have had the barrel blank and steel for the action, laying around here waiting on me to get busy, for a few years .I have studied various under hammer action drawings and have sketched out designs for a long time and have never came up with exactly what I am looking for. I think that I am close to designing a action that will suit my fancy. One of the biggest short comings of under hammer rifles, to me, is that the hammer is in front of the trigger and that my friends hampers the ability to get the trigger pull that I am looking to achieve. I plan on the rifle being one that I can inlet into a one piece stock, also.

I have two D S Cole under lever, falling block single shot actions that I should take one and build a nice inline rifle, but I, for some strange reason, have always wanted a nice under hammer rifle.

I don't like what our primitive or black powder hunting has turned into .When black powder deer season first opened, here in Oklahoma, it was a great hunting season. Only rifles that were allowed were side hammer and scopes were not allowed. Getting caught with a scoped rifle was a hefty fine .Then the break open H&R's became legal and it took off from there. Now, it's just another deer season, nothing primitive about it. I have a inline black powder rifle in the safe that will shoot about as accurate as any firearm that I own and I hate it. I plan on going back to a real primitive rifle and enjoy the hunt again.

If any of you have any sources for plans or have ideas to share with me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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BigMan54 posted this 22 February 2021

I remember these from the 1960's. 

Navy Arms or Dixie Gun Works sold them as kits. My Dad had a .45Cal rifle, Lyman made molds specifically for them. 

They were very light in weight. Really shoved a little 10yr old back a step.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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mashburn posted this 20 February 2021

Hello Ken,

A self cocking inline black powder rifle would be neat but at the time I am set on a underhammer.

With your idea a man could take a complete  Model 37 Winchester action and build a very nice inline rifle with cock on opening. That would be the envy of a lot of High Tech shooters out there.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 20 February 2021

Hello Michael S

I have been spending a lot of time mulling the idea, that you brought up, of setting the trigger to one side and the hammer to the other. I have designed in my head (not on paper) a way of machining and offsetting  the trigger and the hammer and that way they would both swing from the center of the bottom of the under hammer action and both be in the center of the action bottom and could be hung from the same cross pin. There would be quite a bit of machining involved but it would be neat, and there would not be another one like it.

I like you spend a lot of time researching old firearms. I am 76 years old and started the crave for building guns at probably 10 years old, or younger. I had been planning on building a black powder rifle, and at that age one day while rummaging through some old junk, I ran across a piece of steel that my young mind thought would be ideal for my project. Needless to say that piece of treasure was never used in a rifle but I still have that treasure somewhere among all of my other treasures.

My first firearms builds were firecracker pistols and cannons. These were not very high tech but they would send a projectile and best of all I kept my fingers and eyes. I have built a lot of fine firearms during the years since but they weren't any more fun and getting that feeling of accomplishment any more than the firecracker pistols.

Thanks for you input,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Michael S posted this 20 February 2021

 Mashburn,

  Sadly building guns is one thing I could not learn how to do one handed. I do spend a insane amount of time thinking about building a side by side flintlock 20ga cyl bores because I have never found one for sale.

 

  Long ago the German gun makers made a multi shot in one barrel muzzle loading rifle flint lock. One version of the multi shot one barrel had three locks on it. One lock was almost at the end of the barrel, it was the ignition source for three shots. The middle lock ignited four shots and the last lock ignited 4 or 5 shots. All three locks were controlled by one trigger. The two locks forward down the gun were controlled by a rod. You could move your upside down lock forward and still have your trigger where you want it to be and control it with the same rod system that the German gun makers used back in the 1700's threw 1800's Sorry I do not remember the names of those multi shot single barrel MLs  but Vulcan or Vulcanator is in my mind all day at dr appt.

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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mashburn posted this 20 February 2021

cfp4570

That is a neat little action but the fire from the nipple has to make a 90 degree turn on it's way to ignite the powder charge & that is one of the things that I'm trying to avoid by going the underhammer route.

Thanks,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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cfp4570 posted this 19 February 2021

I have a book called "The underhammer rifle" by Jeff Baron which details construction of 6 underhammer locks. I think I bought mine from the Log Cabin Shop, and Dixie Gun Works also sells it as does Amazon. The one that interests me is the Carleton lock which doesn't use a swinging hammer, but more of a striker that utilizes the trigger guard/mainspring design. I haven't built anything yet, but it's on one of the burners.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 19 February 2021

would it be too much to use the winchester 37 type trigger-firing pin ... ? .. always thought that was neat.

ken

edit:  or is this a flinter ? ...

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mashburn posted this 18 February 2021

Mike, that is one idea that hasn't crossed my mind. I'm  going to keep it in mind. At the present I have a design drawn up with a floating sear on cross pin and the trigger just pushes the idler type sear away. With the amount of leverage gained it should result in a good trigger. Only thing the construction may be more effort than it's worth. I'm still studying and thinking. Thanks for the possible idea. Have you constructed an action using this method?

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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delmarskid posted this 18 February 2021

Navy arms used to have a side hammer that they called a Mule Ear. That was a direct ignition as well. The hammer was a flap that swung in and hit the primer. 

 I have one of those H&R inlines with a smokeless conversion and shotgun scope. It's fun to shoot but what really makes me giggle is the Italian two band Enfield with minie balls. Something about hitting that plate and making it do a loop over the bar is real gratifying.

 

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Michael S posted this 18 February 2021

  If you put the hammer on the left side of the under action it wont have to be in front of the trigger. Basically if the hammer is on the rt side when top side put the hammer on the left when bottom side and when the hammer is on the left when top side put the hammer on the right when bottom side.  

 

  Our state has muddied the true meaning of a black powder season as well. They allow any handgun with barrel length under 16" center fire cartridges. Our state of MO. now calls it alternative season. 

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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