The journey begins.

A forum for gunsmithing how-to's and walkthroughs, some moved or copied here from other fora. Posts with lots of pictures are encouraged.

Moderators: The Double D, Viclav, Johnny Yuma, GrantR Canada, Carignan Salieres

Snortch
Sergeant
Snortch
Sergeant
Joined: December 18th, 2015, 1:47 am

February 11th, 2018, 4:49 am #61

I had a Brunswick I was sure was loaded....nope, it wasn't.
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Johnny Yuma
Veteran of the Regiment
Johnny Yuma
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Joined: November 16th, 2009, 1:07 am

February 11th, 2018, 11:35 am #62

Mr Cooper, it is not unheard of that a loaded one gets bye them now and again. I know from examining the barrels at IMA directly, that the Nepali's, at the start of the guns time travels were not entirely consistent in turning them in unloaded. IMA is generally good about checking, but over time some get bye. Ive had one loaded one come through. It is possible that the fragmentary guns such as you purchased may garner less attention than the cleaned and complete, or intact and untouched. But thats just my conjecture. Like death and taxes, but unlike fun, black powder can last virtually forever, so it pays to beware while pulling that ball. Pulling it may not be easy because the barrel itself looks pretty occluded down there.
Best, Johnny
"The Ideal situation, is that a man acquire a British flintlock musket or pistol every day. Any more and he will be perceived as greedy. Any less and his dedication will be suspect."
Johnny Yuma
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 11th, 2018, 4:25 pm #63

Adrian, that's good advice about using the ramrod to gauge the depth and as soon as I have repaired the one ramrod I got with the guns I'll see what that tells me.

Johnny, I realise that having taken possession of  50,000 guns it would be a massive job to check each and every one for things like  loaded barrels but that is what IMA assure potential buyers they have done.  Now like all humans the people at IMA could well have made a mistake here and I am not one to expect perfection but in this case the results of anything going wrong are extremely serious.  Being air-freighted as it was, if the gun had by any chance exploded then there could have been a very nasty accident.

As to the condition of the barrel.  Yes, I agree the bore looks very clogged up and getting whatever it is in there out looks like a job and a half, one that I am by no means sure that I am able to do.  I have refilled the barrel with the mixture of brake fluid and acetone.  With a bit of luck that *might* help to loosen the corrosion a bit.  What I will do later is to stand the breech-end in the brake fluid and acetone in the hope that some of it penetrates the nipple and neutralises any powder from that side.  I don't suppose that given the state of the barrel unbreeching it is a possibility,  That would certainly do the job but as I envisage the use of a lot of heat to break any rust then that's out.

If anyone here has any idea how to clear this barrel please let me know.  Otherwise I might have to either write this one off or take it to our local gunsmiths, with whom I have a difficult relationship at best.
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TectorGSF
O/R
Joined: January 6th, 2017, 10:13 am

February 13th, 2018, 6:11 pm #64

There are ball puller attachments for ramrods available at places like Track of the Wolf. I've used them a couple of times to pull a ball out of a rifle or musket. You might consider running some penetrating oil down the barrel and nipple to help loosen up the fossilized grease and grime that is probably binding the bullet to the barrel walls, and also hopefully get into the powder so as to contaminate it and render it safer to handle. 
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The Double D
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The Double D
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Joined: March 11th, 2003, 5:45 am

February 13th, 2018, 11:38 pm #65

If you put oil down the  bore to soften things, it might.  You are more likely to form an oil seal unless you find some way to get the oil out  before you try to pull the ball. You will only make things worse.

Mix a 50-50 solution of Acetone and Automatic transmission fluid and immediately pour down the  bore and let the  barrel stand upright.  Repeat for a couple of days.  You will have to make a new  batch each time.  When you do this watch for the solution to run out your nipple. It should.

You may need to make slide hammer rod to  pull this one. 

Needless to say no smoking. Acetone is very flammable.

Here is a video. 
Douglas

"And don't forget.  That isn't your Martini you have.  It  belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone.  Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it."  Malcolm Cobb,  The Martini Henry Note-book
*********
To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 14th, 2018, 8:29 pm #66

Double D,  I have done nearly what you advise.  I mixed up some brake fluid ( I haven't got any automatic transmission fluid to hand and I don't know where I would get some seeing as we mainly use manual transmissions here in the UK) and acetone.

Just the smell of the acetone warned me that this stuff is pretty volatile and flammable.  To ensure safety the barrel has been banished to my garden shed. 

Having tried to soften the crud in the barrel when I first got the guns I can say that this one is sealed tight.  Not a drop of the mixture came out of the nipple unlike the other one where it absolutely poured out.  The bullet, and I'm now certain that the gun is loaded has formed a hermetic seal, probably with the aid of corrosion products so the only way to get the brake fluid/acetone mix in to the powder end is to stand the breech in the mixture and hope that it will trickle in via the flash hole.  I have thought about cutting the cone off of the nipple as it is rusted in pretty tight and will need to be replaced anyway to see if that would help but I wouldn't want to mess around with it too much.  When, if, I get the rod to make a new ramrod I'll fit the worm I also have on order though one from Track of the Wolf in the US might get here sooner than the one ordered from the UK.  As soon as I  have the tools to try and shift the obstruction I will have a better idea of if it is going to be a practical proposition.  I am looking at writing this one off if I can't get it shifted.😥
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The Double D
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The Double D
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Joined: March 11th, 2003, 5:45 am

February 15th, 2018, 5:19 am #67

The idea is to soften rust and corrosion in front of the ball. It's not about killing the powder charge. If you think the gun is loaded, shoot it, before you contaminate the powder.

Look around for auto transfluid. It has different properties than break fluid a nd that is what breaks down and softens corrosion. Pour it in an let it sit until it leaks out. If it won't leak, you will never pull the ball. 
Douglas

"And don't forget.  That isn't your Martini you have.  It  belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone.  Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it."  Malcolm Cobb,  The Martini Henry Note-book
*********
To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 15th, 2018, 8:19 am #68

Double D, much as I want to get the barrel cleared shooting it is not an option here in the UK. The powers that be would be all over me like a rash if word got about that I had fired the thing.

Secondly as you may have seen the barrel is badly gummed up and even were I to shoot it I think that the chances are the barrel would burst.  It does not looks me as if it is all that soundly made and even firing it by remote control would have its dangers.

I will look around for some automatic transmission fluid and see what that does but first I will give my mixture a chance. I might even look at using vinegar to see if that does any good.  One thing that does concern me is the bullet.  If it is a Pritchett style then the skirt may have deformed to fit the rifling and will be a very good fit.  If however, it is a ball then I might have a chance.  The way I am thinking of tackling this is to try and bore right through, soak what is in there and when certain that it is safe to do so try and remove the obstruction piece by piece.

All I need to do is get hold of the right tools and that is proving to be a lot more trouble than I had anticipated.

I will of course let everyone know how I get on.  With pictures.
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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: March 3rd, 2004, 3:19 pm

February 15th, 2018, 1:24 pm #69

Ephraim,

Give it a bath in caustic soda.
Make up a trough or something for the barrel to lie in, (Guttering or eaves trough work) pour boiling water over  the barrel until covered, and sprinkle a serving spoon or 2 of caustic soda over it. Do this Outside!  and stand well back. Keep upwind as well.
It will boil and act really ugly for  a start.
Let it cook a day or three, a week won't harm,  then dump out and rinse with plenty of fresh water.
Wear eye protection of you are naturally unlucky...and rubber gloves.
The caustic will destroy All organic matter, and loosens rust by eating the old oil that sticks the rust to the barrel.
It will not destroy any original finish.

After washing and drying, oil immediately to prevent rust.
If a ball is loaded  with a patch, the caustic will eat the patch.  It will also get rid of any powder.

A wire wool wrapped jag will then be good for scouring out the barrel. Don't use too fine, as it'll just polish, not cut the remaining rust.

Good luck, an don't forget the gloves.
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CQMS
Sergeant Major
CQMS
Sergeant Major
Joined: September 9th, 2017, 8:49 pm

February 15th, 2018, 1:41 pm #70

Mmmmm.  Looks very much like  a ball. Sounds like you have things well in hand. Let us know what you find?
CQMS
Being first isn't everything. Remember, its the second mouse that gets the cheese!
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 15th, 2018, 2:48 pm #71

Pukka,  thanks for the tip.  I have just ordered some caustic soda and look forward to trying this out.  I have cleared the nipple, it was really clogged up with rust so with luck the soda should be able to reach all parts of the barrel. Now all I need to do is get hold of a piece of drain pipe to lay the barrel in.

CQMS, thank you for the vote of confidence.  I'm nor sure that I agree with you about having things in hand but taking things slowly, carefully and using the advice on offer on the site should give me a fighting chance of clearing the barrel. 

One thing though, I am not very happy with being put in this situation but to err is human and anticipating the sense of achievement if I can do it is quite motivating.
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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: March 3rd, 2004, 3:19 pm

February 15th, 2018, 3:05 pm #72

Ephraim,

I seem to have landed a few that were still loaded. Not from IMA, but private purchases.

No problem really, and not likely to just "go off".

Sometimes the charge could be drawn and other times not.  It was all rather interesting I found!

One from back home in the UK, was loaded with a "Banger" firework and a 6" nail! 

A double percussionby Boss was loaded both barrels.

Richard.
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Snortch
Sergeant
Snortch
Sergeant
Joined: December 18th, 2015, 1:47 am

February 15th, 2018, 3:09 pm #73

Why not unscrew the breech plug and just poke it out?
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The Double D
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The Double D
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Joined: March 11th, 2003, 5:45 am

February 15th, 2018, 3:35 pm #74

Snortch wrote: Why not unscrew the breech plug and just poke it out?
Because  Breech plugs should  almost never  be removed. They are interference fit to seal the  barrel-breech.  Once removed they loose the interference and when put back in will have to go past center  to achieve interference fit again..
Douglas

"And don't forget.  That isn't your Martini you have.  It  belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone.  Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it."  Malcolm Cobb,  The Martini Henry Note-book
*********
To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com
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The Double D
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The Double D
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Joined: March 11th, 2003, 5:45 am

February 15th, 2018, 4:30 pm #75

The Double D wrote:
Snortch wrote: Why not unscrew the breech plug and just poke it out?
Because  Breech plugs should  almost never  be removed. They are interference fit to seal the  barrel-breech.  Once removed they loose the interference and when put back in will have to go past center  to achieve interference fit again..
I went to the OP and see this is a Nepalese P-53,  and this makes my warning even stronger. 
Douglas

"And don't forget.  That isn't your Martini you have.  It  belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone.  Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it."  Malcolm Cobb,  The Martini Henry Note-book
*********
To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 22nd, 2018, 3:13 pm #76

I have taken Pukka Bundook's advice and I am now soaking the barrel in caustic soda.  I didn't use boiling water as I was afraid that the reaction would be a bit too vigorous and as it's standing outside the current cold spell would soon have cooled it down anyway.  I did use really hot water and the solution did fizz a bit and a lot of rust from around the bolster has started to come away.  I'll leave it for a couple of days and see what happens. DSC_0029.JPG DSC_0031.JPG
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Pukka Bundook
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Pukka Bundook
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Joined: March 3rd, 2004, 3:19 pm

February 22nd, 2018, 3:25 pm #77

Boiling would have been better Ephraim.  It gets the caustic working.

If it's still rusted when it comes out, you can do it again and no harm done.

Very civilised trough you have there!!

R.
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flintlockandsteel
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flintlockandsteel
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: January 21st, 2011, 5:38 pm

February 22nd, 2018, 8:18 pm #78

Same make and model as my caustic bath but mine came in black. Off a 9' length I made up 3 troughs, long barrels, middle sized, pistol and parts. 
I sealed the endcaps in place on mine with plumber's solvent glue (same as Airfix modeller's but comes in larger quantities). Why? The caustic may eat the rubber seals in the endcaps and the solution may escape. Or simply get some solvent type endcaps which are half the price. 
I use boiling water, a bit lively but ok. Also just lift the muzzle so it's half in half out of the solution. The caustic will rush in and any air rush out. Than lay it back down in the caustic.
[font]"Luck occurs when planning (or research) meets opportunity"[/font] .... unknown
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Ephraim Cooper
Corporal
Joined: August 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

February 23rd, 2018, 12:08 pm #79

DSC_0033.JPG Not quite what I had in mind!  It seems as if my guttering is not up to the job of handling boiling water.  And why should it?

Still what boiling water can do, boiling water can undo.

DSC_0036.JPG I will copy Flintlockandsteel and use an adhesive and/or putty to seal the ends and only use hot water from now on.  Maybe not as quick but at least the trough might last a bit longer.
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The Double D
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The Double D
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Joined: March 11th, 2003, 5:45 am

February 23rd, 2018, 12:56 pm #80

FWIW, Richard's caustic soda Idea is better than my Acetone and   Auto transmission fluid idea.
Douglas

"And don't forget.  That isn't your Martini you have.  It  belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone.  Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it."  Malcolm Cobb,  The Martini Henry Note-book
*********
To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com
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