Unfortunately my better guns have been sold,or are on slides. Maybe not all wood,but pretty much all hand made,except the screws were made on a lathe. Their contours were freehand turned like wood,though,and their heads detailed by hand. With these lock contours,etc.,I couldn't do it any other way,anyway. To tell he truth,even CNC equipment doesn't compare to what can be done by hand on ornamental work. CNC does have its place,though,for precision things like turbine blades,engine blocks,etc.. I have never felt inclined to get into it,not being too computer savvy.
This is a late 18th.C. target pistol I made in the 70's. It is starting to show its age. Tiny specks of rust from being fired with black powder. You can never get it cleaned away but so well,it seems.
It is not a dueling pistol because it is rifled. Duelers were strictly smooth bore in England to increase the chances of missing your opponent.
The stock is walnut,and the checkering was done strictly freehand. I made a special file with 2 edges side by side. The edges were V shaped. One was smooth,and 1 edge had teeth. You made 2 master grooves with a needle file. Then,the smooth edge of the file was put into the master groove,and with reciprocating action,the file was carefully canted down to bring the 2nd.,toothed file's edge to cut. Try hard to not jump the shallow groove and scar the gun up!!!Then,the process was repeated till the grip was filled up.
The flat topped checkering is typical 18th.C. checkering.
The gun has all of the latest and last improvements of the flintlock age. The pan is the "waterproof" type,meaning that the edges of the pan are filed away so the rain wouldn't puddle and creep into the priming powder. The pan and its lid(the battery(the frizzen,later) were fitted tightly to exclude water. It wasn't reliable anyway in rain,but they did their best before percussion models came along.
The little spring under the frizzen(which the flint hits to make sparks) has a roller bearing about 1/4" diameter,seen under the "toe" of the frizzen. The toe itself with no roller,would be a source of friction,and slightly slow down lock ignition.
The lockplate is a Manton style,but I chose to not make the French style hammer he sometimes used. Manton was a very high class gunsmith in London.
There is a bit of engraving on the hammer,though engraving is something that must be done every day to stay good at it,which I never did. My name is stamped with individual stamps as I had no name stamp back then. It is difficult to get the letters all straight!!
The border line around the edge of the lock plate,and the engraving on the tail of the lock are also hand done.. Every part,even the screws were individually made on this pistol(and my others,too) of tool steel.
The screw threads,especially the threads of the cock screw,holding the top jaw against the flint wrapped in leather,are authentic style threads. Note:the top jaw is blued,while the rest of the hammer,and lockplate is bright. This was a standard practise. I don't know why. I could have color casehardened everything,but like bright as the color casehardening is so thin,and easily damaged by corrosive black powder.
The main spring inside the lock was hand forged,a rather tricky operation to get the square corner at the right end of the spring. There is a little roller bearing against the tumbler.
Notice the little "birds mouth" holding the end of the sear spring in place. I see I didn't notice that the screw slot on it isn't quite parallel with the other screw slots. I must have been messing with it. You see these details with a close up picture.
The inletting in the stock to take the lock is painstakingly done by applying candle soot to the lock,pressing it against the wood,and carefully chiseling away the soot.There has to be sufficient space in it to allow the spring and parts to move.
Believe it or not,the trigger is forged out of a flat sheet of iron. The trigger is formed by hammering the edge of the iron sheet,spreading it out,and forming its curve.
The top view shows the tang of the barrel. The mouldings around the end of the breech were strictly hand filed out. Their sharpness,and lack of rounded over corners is an indication of the quality of the gun. So are the crisp corners of the octagonal barrel.
The breech mouldings hide the joint where the barrel can un- hook from the breech to facilitate cleaning the barrel separately,without getting the stock wet. The little silver oval has a steel key that slides out to remove the barrel.
The best work is in the forged out spring steel trigger guard. the pineapple was filed out from the solid,including the little leaves projecting from it. The pineapple was the symbol of hospitality. You wouldn't want to be inhospitable in your duel!!
The breech tang has a bit of engraving on it also. The screw heads were ornamented with carefully filed notches on the guard screw,breech screw,and lockplate screw(not seen),to look like little petals on high class guns.
The ram rod is Brazilian rosewood,with a buffalo horn tip. You would not use it normally,using a thicker one in the supplied accessories.
The nose cap was easier than it looks: The wood was carved away as desired. Then,stiff paper was snugly wrapped around the assembled stock and barrel,and melted pewter was poured in,filling the stock perfectly.
then,the outside shape was filed and polished to shape. This was a common way to make nosecaps. The pewter doesn't melt high enough to scorch the wood,or even the paper.
This gun took about 6 months to build in evenings and weekends.