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Last Build Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:30:21 +0000

 



Forsyth Rifling - Forgotten Magic

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 05:06:00 +0000

Well, it’s about time again for my annual plug for Forsyth rifling. For those of you who are new to this blog, with your continued reading you will learn that I am a devout prophet of the Forsyth system of rifling gun barrels, having proven its advantages in the course of building over 200 Forsyth rifles of various calibres. Lately there seems to be a bunch more hub-bub about Forsyth rifling as muzzleloaders everywhere begin to discover the truth about big-bore round balls and their superiority over other projectiles for taking down big game - dead - with one clean shot.There’s also a lot of misunderstanding as to what Forsyth rifling is, does, and how it works. For those of you who are not yet familiar with the brainchild of Lieut. James Forsyth and wishing to learn more, just send me an e-mail request - underhammers@safe-mail.net - and I will be very happy to e-mail to you a pdf version of his wonderful book, The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles. Lest I steal his thunder and your enjoyment of his book, let me just touch on the subject of his rifling methods. Hey, slow down!In a nutshell Forsyth rifling features very narrow lands and wide, shallow grooves cut at a very slow pitch of 1 turn in 100 to 144 inches – the exact twist being the result of considering certain other factors. There are some barrel makers who offer slower twist rifling, but slow twist alone does not a Forsyth barrel make.In coming to an understanding of this concept one simple truth must be clearly understood - that is the round ball, being a perfect geometric form, requires very little spin to stabilize its flight. And, the larger the diameter of that round ball even less spin is required. While a 48-inch twist works in .36 or .45 calibre, it limits the full potential of a larger round ball. Again, the larger the ball, the slower the spin needed to keep it on a straight path. However, there are certain limitations with Forsyth rifling, too.Clicking on the photo will enlarge it for a closeup view of the rifling.Clicking the Back arrow will return you to the text.To really appreciate the significance of our re-discovery of Forsyth’s research it must be understood that he postulated those wonderful concepts about the optimum rifling for muzzleloading hunting rifles way back in the mid-1800’s. Yes, it’s been around that long. Unfortunately, the first edition of his book was printed in 1863 in England and by the time his revolutionary concepts made it across the pond and to the far flung game fields of the world, cartridges had made their debut and no one cared much anymore about muzzleloading performance. His work and his book were lost in history.The fact is that Forsyth had overcome all of our modern day objections and complaints about muzzleloading rifles over 150 years ago! Forsyth is for huntersIt should be understood that the advantages of Forsyth rifling are intended for the big game hunter in the field where shooting over unknown distances may be the norm. We burn lots of powder in our big bore hunting rifles which is not an objective of the competitive muzzleloading crowd.Could you accurately guesstimate the range of this deer within 10 yards? A mistake of a mere 10 yards at this distance with most muzzleloaders can mean mortally wounding and losing the animal.Because of the very slow twist that is used in properly made Forsyth barrels, there is very little fouling of the bore – hence, easy reloading and clean up. And, by virtue of those very narrow lands, loading a proper-sized ball and patch is easily accomplished with thumb pressure alone; then seated on the powder with an easy stroke of the loading rod. In my own experience, a ball that is .020" smaller than the bore diameter, wrapped in a Wonder Lubed patch of .010" - .012" and using a Wonder Wad over the powder provides the best results.If extreme accuracy is required you can increase the ball diameter, or better yet, the patch thickness, as a thicker patch holds more lube. However, the tighter the fit of the ball and patch in the bore, the more difficulty[...]



H & C DANIELS BREECHLOADING UNDERHAMMER RIFLE

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:21:00 +0000

H & C Daniels Breechloading Underhammer RifleThanks to our friend, Terry, from down under in Oz for pointing us to this very rare underhammer rifle. This is about as rare as they get, folks. Clicking on the photos will enlarge them for detailed viewing. Clicking the Back button will return you to the text.The rifle is for sale and featured by Collectors Firearms of Houston, Texas www.collectorsfirearms.com  who were so gracious to allow us to share this rifle with our readers. If you are interested in this rarity, you can call them, toll free at (877) 214-9327. Be sure to tell them that you saw it on The Underhammer Society page.The Daniels is certainly a very rare prototype underhammer rifle. Obviously, it is a breachloading design and was manufactured by C.B. Allen for the patent holder,  H&C Daniels of Chester, Connecticut. The top of the receiver is equipped with a hinged trapdoor with a removable steel cartridge that is fitted with a percussion nipple. The cartridge would be loaded with the nipple pointed downward into a corresponding hole in the bottom of the chamber where it could be struck by the upward swinging hammer. It appears that the wedge-shaped projection on the bottom of the door would force the cartridge into tight union with the bore thereby providing a better gas seal of the chamber. Armed with several loaded cartridges at the ready, the owner of the Daniels rifle would be a rather formidable opponent.  The top of the trapdoor is marked "H & C DANIELS / PATENT / CHESTER / CONN" and at the breech with an eagle over "C.B. Allen" in the center. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any other information regarding caliber and condition of the bore. However, if you are a serious contender for this fine piece of firearms curiosa, you can call for the details.Photos copyright by Collectors Firearms Thanks, again, Terry, as this is definitely a rare find.Cheers!.  [...]



Salvador Dali Underhammers?

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 04:41:00 +0000

As one who considers himself an artistic sort, I really appreciate others who can skillfully color outside of the lines, too. Robert Worthington is just such an artist. When he discovered the joys of making underhammers he jumped in with both feet and never looked back!Bob has agreed to share some of his underhammer work with us through the following photos. You will instantly recognize his flare for uniqueness in design.Clicking on the photos below will provide a closer look at Bob's work. Clicking the Back arrow will return you to the text. Here's Bob's story:I've been shooting and building muzzle loaders for a while, and started making underhammer pistols about 5 years ago. I had put together a kit for my son a few years before, and was intrigued by the simplicity and speed of ignition. There were some aspects of that particular piece I didn't like, however, and when I came across the Billinghurst action offered by Muzzle Loader Builder's Supply, www.muzzleloaderbuilderssupply.com (as seen below with my improvements) I decided to try one myself. Using the hammer, trigger, trigger bar, and mainspring, I fabricated my own breech collar and turned it into a pistol using a standard threaded breech plug. I've made a bunch of these now, from .32 to .50, with barrels from 8" to 12", and have also made a .40 schuetzen rifle with an Ed Rayl barrel using this action. I'm now working on another schuetzen, using the Allan Foundry action; a .36 with a 38" Isaac Haines-style barrel from Green Mountain. This is my personal rifle, with a fixed palm rest to accomodate my messed up shoulder, and cheek piece on both sides so I can shoot when my right eye gives me trouble. I call the rifle, "Salvador Dali gets a day job as a gunmaker," or "Flash Gordon enters the 19th century."  I'm also working on a "target model" pistol, with adjustable sights and trigger.   One of Bob's underhammer pistols.Yeah, I shoot 'em all, including cartridges, but the underhammer is the real deal! ~ Bob Worthington Bob also does an expert job of inlaying silver wire, mother of pearl and other semi-precious materials as part of the embellishment of his work. More photos of Bob's work can be seen at www.greyhavenarms.com.I must also compliment Bob for choosing to utilize a half-cock safety notch when setting up the hammer andtrigger of his firearms. . Thanks, Bob, for giving us a glimpse into your world.Keep up the great work.All photos copyrighted by Robert Worthington If you have an underhammer project or story that you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact me at: underhammers@safe-mail.net and we can discuss it. Cheers!Roger.[...]



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