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Thread: Patented Breach/Chamber shapes and makers, What's Best

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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Patented Breach/Chamber shapes and makers, What's Best

    Hi,
    Wondering if there's anyone who can help me out there, as I'm building my first Muzzleloader. I've been reading what I can find, about Patented Breach or Chamber Designs for Muzzle loading rifles, Mr Nock's was the first I start with, with have no dimensions, and I've been wondering about this aspect of it's design, and what efficiency can be found. the rifle will be a .45cal Target Rifle, with 1 in 56 rifling, and a straight 15/16inch Hex x 32inch long Barrel. I'm using a small but quick, Tuned, low friction flintlock action, with set triggers. Styling it on a sort of early Britishicon type Jaeger rifle I've seen built by Grice and Others.
    The best breach to use for this, is now the only part I cannot get sorted out. Could anyone out there please supply some advise on this, or a good book, even a good supplier to talk to and use. I'm truly an infant at this, so any help will be appreciated.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Having dismantled and cleaned up a number of old BP guns, often getting fairly desperate in the process. I would advise you to

    a) get a breech with a clean-out plug, as this really does make maintenance easier,
    and
    b) BEFORE taking a single shot, make sure that the barrel, breech and clean-out plug have been assembled with copper paste.

    Whatever kind of grease you may put on the threads, after the rifle has been used a few times, that grease will be carbonized and the threads baked together. Copper-loaded anti-sieze paste enables you to disassemble the barrel/breech/plug at a later date without using brutal methods!

    As to which breech is better - I really don't know. All makers/inventors claimed that their breech was better than all others. Many rifles, and all the target rifles I have examined, have an ignition hole that goes round a corner to enter the chamber pretty close to the back, but at the side. The bend makes it very difficult to clean the hole, hence the advisability of a breech with a clean-out plug.

    I would definitely advise against the type of breech that has a chamber narrower than the bore. Those things are traps that can jam a cleaning rod so tightly that removing it becomes a nerve-twanging problem. One of my rifles, sold as a wall-hanger, actually had the remains of a cleaning rod and "button" in the chamber. Another even had a load of buckshot jammed in. It is on such occasions that you have to face up to the problem of unscrewing a thread that has been baked solid for a century or two (see above).
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 07-11-2018 at 01:45 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    One of my rifles, sold as a wall-hanger, actually had the remains of a cleaning rod and "button" in the chamber. Another even had a load of buckshot jammed in.
    Very rewarding to find you just have to clear it and it's perfect again...or at least serviceable...

    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Jim, it's not the "just" clearing it that is the trouble. It's the removal - without damaging the rifle - of a breech plug that is practically fused into the barrel after a century and a half of neglect that costs blood, sweat and tears!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 07-12-2018 at 05:37 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    It's the removal - without damaging the rifle - of a breech plug that is practically fused
    I can see that, not as simple as heat and twist. I'd have to settle with clearing the blockage and being happy I guess. Many examples known of a musket that's been over the fireplace for decades with a ball and charge still aquessing inside...and until you try a rod to see you can't guess.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks very much for that advice. I few a few old Guns like that too, but I don't think I'd be brave enough to trust pulling them apart, although I'm so tempted with this lovely old Damascus steel Barreled Fowling piece, it shoulders so nice and is in very good condition but the wood shows heavy wear. That's interesting regarding the bent ignition hole, perhaps a method of trying to maintain the pressure in the chamber as much as possible. Thanks for the tip on the clean out plug I've seen a couple on some of the breaches opposite the ignition, I was wondering if it was a good idea, thanks Ian.

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