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Author Topic: 1803 Harper's Ferry Rifle  (Read 6191 times)
StrawHat
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Posts: 274


« on: November 02, 2010, 04:04:AM »

Let's start this section off with a good one, the 1803 Harper's Ferry rifle.  Setting the Lewis and Clarke controversy aside, the 1803 was a good looking and good shooting rifle that was designed well and by someone who knew what they were doing.



Mine was made in the 70s by Antonio Zoli (or more probably one of his factory minions) and came to me in a trade as an afterthought.  When I got it the stock was busted through the wrist as if someone were trying his best to John Wayne his way through a bolted door. After giving thought to fixing the original stock, I got a maple plank and started to work.  I used a variety of drawknives, hand planes, spoke shaves, and scrapers to get it where I liked it and back into firing condition. Chisels and knives were used to inlet the fittings and somewhere along the way I lost the brass nose piece for the forearm.  I have always wanted to put a 54 caliber barrel into this rifle but have grown found of it as is and prefer to think it was rebored after a long (and glorious) military career, perhaps going to the Pacific Ocean!!!!

I load 60 grains of powder under a patched round ball for a target load and up the powder to 80 grains for hunting.  
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 03:15:AM by StrawHat » Logged

Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 01:12:PM »

Strawhat under 10x observation the Zoli I have does say 1803 not 1805 as it looked like ... the "3" has a top to it that looks like a "5"...

So here's my 1803 Zoili Harpers Ferry as is yours in my foavored .58 cal barrel.

And here's a Pedersoli 1807 Harpers Ferry Pistol in .58 cal to keep it company.

my photographer was here the other day to help me out with full length pics



« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 11:55:PM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
StrawHat
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Posts: 274


« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 03:14:AM »

On the 1803, I may have had to reharden the frizzen. I've done that to more than a few flintlocks so it get confusing as to which ones have been resone.  When I resole them, it is easy to tell.  If yours does not spark well try to reharden it.  Some of them were great sparkers others, not so good.

Both of yours look good.  Waiting for a range report. Especially using minie bullets.  I can not recall the rifling twist but believe these were set up for the PRB.  I Amy be mistaken but the originals would have been PRB, not that the Italians would have cared.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 03:21:AM by StrawHat » Logged

Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 09:05:AM »

Hey there Strawhat mornin' ... ifin the Barrels are the same as the Zouave ... this Harpers Ferry will be a Tack Driver too out to a minimum of 300 yards as is my Zouave. Hell I'm even thinkin' of gettin' a Louis & Clarke type Hunting Shirt or Frock... and a Zouave Uniform made  :O)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 09:07:AM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
StrawHat
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Posts: 274


« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 03:20:AM »

I think I'll pass on the red pantaloons!!

The L&C guys would have been dressed as any common man.  I believe Mssrs Lewis and Clark brought along their uniforms to impress the natives but the rest of them wore hunting frocks and such as they could make or scrounge on the trip.

Somewhere, I read about the repairs made to one of the rifles they carried.  Perhaps I should find that and repair my rifle the same way.
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Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2010, 09:32:AM »

I find the L&C an interesting period from and pnematic rifles to the colapsable boat they carried around the rapids and such.
I ain't got a hunting frock and thinkin' on gettin' one ... a lady over on Dryballs old forum makes and sells um pretty reasonable. They are in cotton white only I think but would like a forest Green I thinks...wonder ifin they'd be difficult to dye?
It's that and a Reb Jacket I want too but can't decide on Grey or butter nut :O) ... will get the frock first I think it's a better deal and I feel the wearin' of one more useful. Now a canoe heehee!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 11:59:PM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
StrawHat
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Posts: 274


« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 04:31:AM »

I am still intrigued with the pistol.  When do we get a range report?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 03:54:AM by StrawHat » Logged

Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 12:20:PM »

I am still intrigurd with the pistol.  When do we get a range report?

The Range report will come when my body is able to walk on Rocky ground and stand for at least an hour without pain medication.
I'm gettin' closer and tryin' to get out there before Snow flies and can still make it to the Range  with Ol' Lexus.
There's a long string of Originals and replicas ahead of that Harper's Ferry ...but I'll get to it and need practice before the Spring Rondy as this year I 'll be able to shoot the Flintlock category and add to my score 10 more shots.  Wink Also will have to see if i can still throw a Hawk and Knife without screwin' up my arm. yes
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 12:00:AM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
StrawHat
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Posts: 274


« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 03:58:AM »

I was unaware of you being injured/hurt/ill.  My apologies and wishes for a good recovery.

If you need any help reporting on how things shoot, let me know and you can ship them to me for testing.  Of course you being on the West Coast and me being on the North Coast, my results might be different than yours but it would make an interesting comparison.
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Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 09:04:PM »

Hey Strawhat don't even think about it ... No worries my friend :O)  I forget that not eveybody was aware of my injuries and condition(i.e. the BPR Forum). I thank you for the well wishes though  shake
It's why I have or hadn't been on alot old the forums I used to got to dailey. I can't sit, lay , or stand long ...besides poppin' a lower bicep tendon from my forearm. Yes the left my shooting arm :O) Wink
I'm gettin there I'll go anyday now...the hard part is what do I bring first heehee!! that's a whole nuther post ya know laugh
Thanks again for the concern Strawhat it does mean a (K&lot
I'm doin' good jus' a gettin' older  Wink
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 09:07:PM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 08:52:PM »

A closeup or two of My Pedersoli Harpers Ferry Pistol...






And some of my Rifle Too  yes

and my Pups of my Wolfpack a course... yes


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Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 12:19:AM »

S4B ... I'm tryin' to figure out what size Flints to get for my Harpers Ferry 1803 Rifle and the Pistol. That one in the pic is a 3/4" square cut flint and sparks good, but I think I either need a 7/8x1" or 3/4x7/8" British flint. What ya think?
Or anyone else's thoughts or choice.
At $1.65 ea at Track of the Wolf ...lookin' to buy a couple other things there too.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 04:14:PM by Smokin_Gun » Logged
S4B
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2011, 08:24:AM »

The way I understand it, the flint should be as wide as the frizzen, and when at half-cock, it should not quite touch the closed frizzed. Maybe 1/16" clearance.
I only have the one flinter, but I've read a lot about them because mine is a PIA.
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Smokin_Gun
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2011, 11:17:AM »

That just what I needed to know... thanks S4B. dance
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StrawHat
Sr. Member
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Posts: 274


« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 12:45:PM »

I had the opportunity to drag my HF out the other day and looked at the flint in the jaws.  It is 5/8" wide.  Hope that helps.
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Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded.

Knowledge I take to my grave, is wasted.

I prefer to use cartridges designed before my Father was born!
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