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Thread: Shooting antiques, pros and cons?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I shoot antiques. No problem and no regret they were made for it.

    I do not shoot rotted out wrecks some here call an antique. Those are called relics for a reason. They are to show what was.

    Thankfully those who won't own a gun they won't shoot hopefully leave them for those who are willing to preserve history instead of destroying them.

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Central Connecticut
    Right. There's nothing to disrespect about a private firearms museum in the hands of a private collector.
    Whether a person has heirs or not, some folks choose to will their antique guns to the NRA.
    Some guns are so ornate that they are true works of art.
    And then there are the antique guns that are the shooters.
    As their value increases, some owners may decide to retire them for the duration of their lifetime.
    The next individual owner can then decide for himself whether he wants to make it become a shooter again or not.
    It's a very unselfish act to collect a potential shooter without actually shooting it,
    and giving someone else in the future the opportunity to shoot a piece of history.
    The more guns that are clubs collecting dust today is better for the antique shooters of tomorrow.
    Denying yourself some pleasure today is like sending the pleasure off into the future.
    Last edited by arcticap; 07-05-2018 at 04:23 AM.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post

    That said, the one thing to be concerned with is the safety issue. Most people, when they hear that, will think of "bursting barrels" - but there are other factors as well. In working on many original guns - flint and percussion - the one thing that I usually ran across were possible problems with the breech-plug. Today, we use breech plugs with finer threads giving more grip to the plug and barrel relationship. Many, if not most, of the originals had a very coarse breech plug - think of the thread of a modern day "lag screw". I became convinced that one of the reasons for this was that the plug cold be removed with a minimum of tools if necessary by the owner or a gunsmith. It is much easier to break a breech plug loose with very coarse threads than one with fine threads. BUT, time takes it's toll too. I ran in to many with rusted threads that would make a person question the strength of them. So there are safety factors to look at like that before considering the use of an "original". Military muskets? Most of those had breech plugs with finer threads so not so much of
    In practice both coarse and fine threads are strong enough. The general rule is that the coarse thread series in the three main systems (American Unified, British Whitworth and metric) are pretty much alike in pitch, because that gives the optimum strength. Make it finer and it will more easily strip, or make it coarser and it will more easily pull in two across the roots of the male thread. The breechplug thread, however, isn't pulled but pushed. The threads are equally loaded all along the length of engagement, and it doesn't have that weak spot where the make thread parts company with the object into which it is screwed.

    So why do all those systems have a series of fine and perhaps extra fine threads as well? The fine thread moves less distance for one turn of your wrench, so it has a greater mechanical advantage, and can draw something up tighter for a given amount of muscle power. It is also less easily vibrated into unscrewing itself, which is useful with things like tool adjustments you lock with a wingnut, but hardly applicable to breechplugs.

    The only disadvantage of coarse threads is that it might be more difficult to make the joint close enough to exclude black powder fouling from the threads. That is what would cause the rust you found there. I don't trust a copper washer to exclude them, as different metals in conduct can themselves promote corrosion. Nowadays I would epoxy or Loctite it, with a little note under the barrels for future generations to find, explaining that heat, less than soldering heat if it is a double, will be required to remove it.

    The screw thread is a very interesting example of a machine that badly needs to be less than 50% efficient. If it was more efficient than that, your car would lower itself while the screw-jack handle merrily whizzed round and round. Von Mannlicher experimented with an early semiautomatic rifle in which thrust on the bolt would overcome the friction of its steeply angled locking lugs, rotating and opening it. This magnificently simple system turned out not to be the way forward. A wet, oily or fouled chamber, or differences of anneal in the cases, could change what happened, and In the best of circumstances it ejected cases at a dangerous velocity.

    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    He told me that when he had clamped the barrels in a vise to remove the breech plugs, he noticed movement in the barrels at the webs that are soldered to the barrels to join them. Upon careful looking, he discovered that they were loose spots all along the bottom web and along the front third of the top web. He was disappointed but glad he had found it before shooting it. He sent the barrels off to a guy to have them desoldered - once the repairs were made all was fine and he had a nice shooting shotgun. Again, it pays to check things out if you are going to shoot an original.
    This can be dangerous - not just a little, but very. If water gets under the ribs and is never cleaned or dried, it can produce very deep pitting, often in a part of the barrel which is thick but subject to very high pressure. If they were soldered with acid flux rather than resin, which makes the job easier, it is worse. It doesn't have to be unsoldered enough to feel odd. If you suspend the barrels, without forend or ramrod, by a thread, you should hear them ring when you tap them. If they make a dull clunk, something is loose.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Bensalem, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by pworley1 View Post
    A rifle you can't shoot might as well be a club.
    What's the difference then? You wouldn't club someone with it either.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Southernmost State of the Union
    I would not own a gun I couldn't (wouldn't) shoot or hunt with. If all I wanted was a pretty gun I'd put a picture of it on the wall.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

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