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Smoothbore flinter

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by aflineman, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    Probably the wrong place to ask this, but here goes.
    I have wanted a smoothbore flint lock for quite awhile and have narrowed it down to a couple.
    http://www.middlesexvillagetrading.com/MDBF.shtml This one is a double barrel, which would be nice, but it is imported from India. I don’t want a wall hanger; I want something I can hunt birds with.
    http://sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com/Virginia Smooth Rifle.htm This is another option. I like the kit form. More work, but not anything I can’t do with a little patience.
    http://sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com/Penn Dutch Barn Gun.htm Another kit, a little cheaper, and a little plainer. I kind of like the “theme” of this little firearm.
    http://sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com/Appalachian Barn Gun.htm I’m kind of leaning toward this one. A little less expensive and a little more work. Also somewhat plainer. I think this would be a good walkabout gun. Kind of like my 12ga survivor.
    So, what says the hive? Pursue this, or come back to modern times? It will be awhile before I have any spare cash, but it will give me something to build next winter after I graduate.
  2. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    For hunting birds, a shorter, more balanced piece handles much better. This other one from the Middlesex site is more like it:


    In this case, percussion ignition would also be desirable over for bird hunting in the field. There is nothing like a short barreled double for upland birds. Percussion locks are also simpler to make and to make well....something of concern with imports from the third world.

    The long piece you show by Middlesex, the flintlock double, looks interesting. I would definitely be concerned about the quality of the locks. They might be ok, but maybe not. A flintlock without reliable ignition is pretty worthless. I would also insist on getting definite assurances that the barrels have been reliably proofed, or that the dealer has shot enough of them himself to assure you that they stand up with an occasional heavy charge.

    I would recommend getting on one of the muzzleloading forums and see what kind of reputation Middlesex guns have among those guys. Since they are an American company, they are probably ok, but check. Not everything from India is junk. They have a long tradition of small shops that can produce high quality machined items and cast parts. But check nonetheless.

    The other pieces you show, by Sitting Fox, appear to be variations of trade guns. These are smoothbore pieces that were (historically) built cheaply (no rifled barrels) for trade with the Natives or used by those who couldn't afford rifles. The length alone would make them cumbersome to use on upland birds, I would think. Might be ok for ducks. Apart from that, these are fun to shoot, but don't expect much from them in terms of performance or accuracy, compared to modern standards.

    Quality muzzleloading rifles, on the other hand, are quite accurate out to 100 yards and deadly to 200 yards or more.

    The kits by Sitting Fox have decent quality key components (barrel, lock, triggers) by well established American makers. I would be less worried than with the imports.
  3. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    Thank You Natty. I have though about a percussion, but I would like to stick with a flinter. I currently have a GPR that I have been playing with, and have used a couple of cheaper flinter smoothbores years ago. I do mostly Grouse and Quail for upland. Somewhat quick action, so I will be shortening whatever I get to fit that (part of the reason I an leaning toward a kit). Also, I have shot a few birds with my borrowed smoothbores, so I realise that lock time can be longer, so follow-through is important.
    I figure the limit of Grouse is three anyway. Might as well have as much fun getting those three as I can. :D
    The double really looks nice, but I have read that they can be hit or miss. I have messed with a number of the other Middlesex imports. They are OK for replica and reenactment. I'm not so sure about them for hard hunting use.