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Thread: T./C percussion breech plug - Senaca, Cherokee, Patriout - 13/16" barrel

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    T./C percussion breech plug - Senaca, Cherokee, Patriout - 13/16" barrel

    Does anyone know of a source where I could purchase a Thompson Center percussion breech plug for a Seneca, Cherokee or Patriot? This would be a breech plug for a octagon barrel that is 13/16 across the flats.

    I recently purchased a nice little T/C Senaca from a member on this site in 45 caliber. I have had a .36 cal. 13/16 barrel on my parts rack for a number of years and I'd like to convert it in to a "drop in barrel" for the Senaca so I could swith back and forth between the .45 and .36.

    Track of the Wolf still shows them but they are "out of stock" and it is my understanding that they are not going to have any more of them. I have looked at the other normal suppliers - Gun Parts, etc. but have found nothing - nothing on fleabay, etc.

    Evidently, by what T of W shows, they were made in either 5/8" X 18 or 9/16" X 18 thread. My barrel is already breeched for 5/8 but if I had to, I could cut off the breech and re-breech it to a different thread size. It has to be cut down some as it is.

    I have posted a Want To Buy in the WTS/WTS section but no answers.

    I don't care if it is new or used as long as it is a usable breech plug as I can finish it to match the barrel which I will probably blue. I have seen a couple of barrels on fleabby with the breech plugs - all in 45 cal. and they have all been majorly overpriced IMHO. I'd prefer to just find the breech plug, but I'd even consider a "junk barrel with abad bore" that I could have bored to a smoothbore and use for another build.

    Does anyone know where I might find one? I've googled but have come up with nothing. Is there anybody who may have bought up the surplus of T/C when they discontinued these guns that is selling parts?

    This is the first T/C I've ever owned so am not really familiar with what is out there as far as parts, etc.

    Thanks.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Have you tried Cainsoutdoors?
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    waarp8nt's Avatar
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    You might give Green Mountain a call, when I called Track of the Wolf they mentioned GM was the supplier of their breech plugs. However they also mentioned GM would not be making any more. Green Mountain fellows are decent folks, they would likely help you if they had one.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here is a breech plug for t/c it may have to be modified it fits a 15/16 http://longrifles-pr.com/breechplugs.shtml

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for your responses - it's greatly appreciated!

    Cains is a no go. The 15/16 won't work and can't be modified as the alignment of the nipple and the hammer on a Senaca will not line up. I sent an e-mail to Green Mountin and am awaiting an answer but I couldn't find anything on their site.

    So. . . still looking! As many of these rifles that have been "parted out" on fleabay, etc. you'd think there would be some parts floating around but not being that familiar with the T/Cs, evidently not. I have run across T/C barrel blanks and some other parts on different sites that evidently were "surplus" when they discontinued making the various models but very little in the line of individual breech plugs.

    Thanks for you reply - appreciate it!

    Jim

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    try fort chambers in Chambersburg pa. they have a web site. last time in they had a case full of breach sections.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well - so far, all the places above that I have checked are a "no go" as far as a breech plug goes.

    Track e-mailed me back that the place that they used to have theirs made wasn't able to do it anymore due to illness. They did say they were thinking of possibly having some made up this winter but nothing for certain on that.

    Green Mountain e-mailed me back that they no longer had any since they were no longer producing the drop in barrels - their suggestion would have been to try T of W but since I had already done that and they didn't have any, they had no idea of who might.

    I have contacted another individual that a member put me on to but i haven't heard back from him yet and I'm beginning to think that these are a scarce as hen's teeth. Making a drop in barrel out of the GM .36 barrel blank that I have was a good idea but right now, I think it is going to be one of those projects that you put on "hold" with the hopes that a breech plug will either surface at some time or until someone thinks it's a good idea to have some made up. LOL

    At least I never lack for other projects to move on to!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    As the years roll by the scarcer T/Cs small parts get to be.
    TOTW up until a couple years past T/C s decision to discontinue their side-locks was the place to buy nearly everything for any model T/C side-lock. Not any more.

    I know there is little help in my comment.
    What your experiencing now bedbugbilly. Was one of the reasons why I gave up my search for a locally bought Cherokee a few years back. Hand-writting was on the wall even back then spare parts sources were drying up for those little rifles. I now believe not all that distant in years. Those owners of Seneca's & Cherokee cousins. I too. Will suffer the same disappointment. How I hedge such a disappointment. I own more than one T/C sidelock and model of. 7 to be exact. No matter what!! I have the ability to scavenge parts so to keep on shooting. A theroy on mine. I refuse to pay a scalpers price 5 years from now for a locks fly or tumbler.

    As far as a parts supplier for your Seneca. The wanting of a drop in replacement breech plug. The search alone for a breech plug. " Undoubtedly can instigate a migraine."

    I wish you well sir. Hopefully you'll find what you desire. O/M
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    O/M - thanks for the kind words! I never had any interest in T/C when they were built as I started out with shooting original rifles or ones I'd built. Funny how things change as the years seem to fly by. The eyesight isn't the best to be building new ones but the desire to shoot is still there after having smelled the "sulphur" for 55 years. LOL

    I'm ssure I won't wear out this Seneca. The previous buyer good exceptional care of it. But as you point out, the parts availability and the prices they want for them is kind of mind boggling - and about the only way to insure you can keep one going is to have two or more of them "just in case". I'll enjoy the .45 barrel but was just thinking that a .36 go switch out would be fun but it's getting pretty obvious in my search that I probably won't be able to make the .36 barrel work due to the lack of a breech plug. And, I refuse to pay the price of what they want for a .36 barrel IF and WHEN you can find one - one on flabby right now that is more than I paid for the rifle. But I guess it's more power to 'emit they can get the price.

    After getting the Seneca, I've been tossing the idea around of getting a.45 T/C Hawken to set up with sights that will work with my eyesight issues = just for shooting at the range and plinking. I like the .45 caliber for what I want to do with it, but, just "getting acquainted" with the T/Cs, the "part's situation" in regards to them, etc. is causing me to think twice about it. It's not that I question the quality or shootability of them - they obviously serve many shooters well and have for years - I'm thinking though that it may be better to go with something that is ore current as far as parts, aftermarket parts, etd. availability. It might mean stepping up to a .50 caliber but I can live with that.

    I have always shot both flint and percussion. For a new range gun though, I want to stick with percussion. I bought a Lyman flint .50 GPR from a member here and for a "current" production rifle, they are pretty good in IMHO. The fit and finish is not the greatest on some of them now is the quality of the "European walnut" that they use for the stocks - it is softer than American walnut and certainly not the quality of the walnut they used on the T/Cs - but it is sufficient.

    I'm still tinkering with the idea of maybe doing a percussion conversion on that one or see what I can find as far as a good used one in percussion or possibly one of the Lyman trade rifles in .50 - then customizing it to what I want. In my "downsizing" from our recent move, I did keep my gun parts I had accumulated over the years - locks, stock blanks and barrels but I had used up my 45 and 50 caliber GM barrels so if I decide the best route for the range rifle that I want is to build one, I'll have to see what is out there. All fun though and interesting to see how things have changed over the years when Turner Kirkland was about the only place you could buy parts. Dog gone I'm gettin' old! LOL

    Thanks all for your help and suggestions - greatly appreciated!

    Jim

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    It seems like a good machinist with a lathe could make one if you knew the thread pitch specs.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks bodice but the breech plug for this has to be a 13/16" octagon and it is a patent breech that has to fit the T/C Seneca/Cherokee patent breech tang. And, not all patent breech plugs are created equal - even if I could find a 13/16 breech plug from another brand/make, it would probably not work as the nipple location would be off - possibly in alignment with the hammer cup and/or in the throw of the hammer.

    dondigo - I agree with you. I have machinist training but no longer have access to lathes and mills, etc. To hire someone to make one from scratch would end up a far greater expense than it is worth. T of W, who had them made in quantity at one time (they no longer have the in stock) had a price of around $45 each on them - just the patent plug for the end of the barrel. And of course, they were made in large batches so the unit price was kept down. I've breeched many muzzleloading barrels over the years as well as repairing/rebreeching many original rifles. If I still had access to the lathes/mills I used to, I could do it but it would require a lot of set-up and time to get it right due to the bolster that is on the side of them and keeping everything within tolerance so the nipple is correctly aligned, etc. A lot easier to do when you have the jigs to make multiples with. I'm guessing that there is a "limited" market for something such as these and it's just not cost effective to have a batch made and then have them sitting on the shelf for a long time waiting for a buyer.

    One solution would be to take the original 45 cal barrel on the rifle and re-breech it to a patent style plug but use a drug and nipple. Then it would be an easy job to make other drop in barrels of other calibers. But, this wold make it necessary to alter the lock plate as well. The Senecas and other models aren't made anymore so as time goes on, the price of good used ones will only increase. At some point, perhaps years down the road, they will be the "collector's guns" for a new generation. Even now, I have run across those who "collect" T/Cs as they are still affordable and there is enough variety of them to put together a fairly nice collection. I could do the alterations on my Seneca but in the end, it would just become "one more shooter" and it would ruin any future collector's value or appeal. It's just too cute of a little rifle to do that to.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    dondiego's Avatar
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    I forgot about the configuration of a TC patent breech and was thinking of just a simple threaded plug. Good luck in your search and I will keep an eye open for you.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    FWIW, Seneca/Cherokee/Patriot parts have become unobtainium, since the NH plant that was dedicated to these down-sized arms burnt to the ground, taking all the original buildings, plans, tooling, & machinery.

    Also FWIW, .45 Cal Seneca's ( & Cherokee's) are MUCH less expensive than .36's, so when I ran across one, what I did was buy a .45 Seneca for $100 as a "parts gun" (donor).

    To the selling funshop owner, the Seneca was just another sidelock - he was more oriented towards modern inlines (shame on him, good for me)


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Just a suggestion. TOTW has quite a few professional gun makers that auction & sell their products thru TOTW. You could call and ask to talk to John at Track. Ask if one of the smiths there could help you with a Seneca breech plug need. __Good crew of fellows always willing to help hang out there.

    BTW you'd like a 45 cal. Much different feel in recoil than all other bigger Brethren. No sharp snap back.. Just a gentle push rearward feeling on the shoulder shot after shot. Of all those I have. 45 is my favorite just for that reason alone.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    bedbugbilly,

    I don't want to get your hopes up, but I have one that I bought about 40 years ago. I may be able to find it in the next couple of days. It is for the Seneca model. I'll look and let you know. I've just got to find the box that I have it stored in.
    Good judgment comes from experience.
    Experience comes from poor judgment.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you all!

    Wayne - Greatly appreciate it! Drop me a PM if you locate it. Thanks.

    Jim

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    if I had a drawing I could make some.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Thank you for your responses - it's greatly appreciated!

    Cains is a no go. The 15/16 won't work and can't be modified as the alignment of the nipple and the hammer on a Senaca will not line up.
    Jim
    Ah! Bending the hammer to hit properly on a nipple is a normal process. Making one hit a 13/16 VS a 15/16 is no problem do not let that be an excuse that it will not work please.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Geezer in NH - I have worked, repaired, built and restored muzzleloaders for over 50 years so there is very little that I am afraid to try. But let's use some common sense here. A 15/16" breech plug is 1/8" oversize. Install it on a 13/16 barrel requires removing 1/16 all the way around. Not much I'm sure you'll say and it really isn't. BUT . . . I am looking for a plug to put on an additional barrel to use to switch out from 45 to 36 - back and forth.

    So . . . . I don't consider it much "common sense" to start whacking on a hammer to bend it to fit a barrel with a cobbled up oversize breech plug made to fit - bending the hammer. Especially when the 45 barrel, when put back on will not line up properly. And, in the end - what do you have? A "bubba" rifle. To me, solving the problem that way is akin to someone having a rifle that shoots to the left and they taking the barrel, putting it in the fork of a tree and giving it a yak to bend the muzzle further to the right - when the "proper fix" is to work on the sights nand the loads they re using.

    And yes, I know there are folks who would do that. I witnessed it down at Friendship many years ago when Lizzard removed the barrel from a trade gun and "adjusted the windage" in a fork of a tree. LOL

    It's evident that a lot of parts such as I'm looking for for T/C are getting scarce. All one has to do is look at flaabay and see the number of them that are being "parted out". Too bad as most of what I've seen of them they were well built production rifles and it's a shame that the fire occurred and they were discontinued. But, even if they went back in to production, I'm sure either the quality would drop (due to bean counters) or the necessity of having to cut corners to compete with a lot of the Italian production rifles.

    I'll keep looking and maybe a breech plug will turn up - if not - life goes on. I was looking at possibly trying to pick up a T/C Hawken in 45 but with what I have found in regards to availability of spare parts if needed, then I would be better served to just build what I want for what I want to do with it.

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