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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 474

PostPosted: Sun 03 Oct, 2010 8:17 pm    Post subject: Scottish pistols under construction         Reply with quote

As most of you know, I am interested in all weapons Scottish, not just edged ones. Recently, I took delivery of two Scottish pistol kits from The Rifle Shoppe. After taking a good look at the work involved in completing them, I sought the help of a gentleman from Texas, Richard Davidson to help me complete the work. I thought my fellow Forumites might enjoy a little background and some pictures Richard shared with me of the work in progress.

First thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the kit castings from TRS, especially the frames. The frames are cast as a single unit, not "halves." This simplifies the assembly quite a great deal. I asked TRS to assemble the locks because getting lock geometry just right is not something I have ever gotten close to mastering, especially since these pistols use the unique Scottish sear release. For those who have heard horror stories about TRS castings, I can say without doubt that these castings were in very fine shape.

The only problem of any significance Richard has encountered so far is the main one that gave me pause when I considered assembling them myself...the trigger mechanism. What we discovered is that the triggers are made to accommodate the older English style flintlock that TRS once used rather than the Scottish sear-type. When Richard first tried out the pull, he measured it at an astounding 35 lbs! Obviously not good. The TRS triggers have to be reshaped to work with the lock sear and give a pull more in the 6lb range which is normal. Richard is working that out now.

Otherwise the work has progressed without a problem.

These castings do not have any design cast into them as do the old Carriage House pistols but are the proper size. Proper size means that for a gent with a normal hand, the little finger is going to hold the ram scroll, not the grip per se. The mass-produced Indian "Murdoch" pistol is about 25-30% bigger than it needs to be if one is working from an original. The TRS pistols, the Carriage HOuse model (alas! not made for many years) and the U.S. Historial Society Pitcairn pistol are all of approximately the size dimension which is a big plus.

So when these are completed, they will look right and fell right. I am having Richard put sterling Silver estucheon plates on the grip which will cover the holes you see. When everything is finished, I hope to find someone who can engrave them for me. The TRS pistols are plain. (Note: If anyone knows of such a person, I'd sure like to know!)

I'll update the pictures as more become available.



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"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Tom L




Location: California
Joined: 22 May 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Scottish pistols         Reply with quote

Hello GG
My wife collects Scottish pistols. As you know they have a wide range of engraving. You may find that a simple job can be done by a jeweler, where as a rather ornate project may take a real master. Have you studied or compaired the historic pistols to see the levels of quality. Thomas "Thos" Caddell and the Campbells produced some of the most desireable pistols made. While others were very plain. Some appear as if they wanted to say the were engraved, but very poorly done. Some of the MacLeod's are an example of just poor engraving. If you want to look at examples, use google images
" antique scottish pistols". If you open the images in flickr they will open to full size. Hers are listed under the name of
tntferrari.
Have fun and enjoy your pistols.

Tom L
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How did I miss this topic when it was first posted?

These are great! Any updates?

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JG Elmslie
Industry Professional



Location: Scotland
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 251

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and since people have performed a little bit of threadomancy on this, I might as well ask too...

any progress?

I keep looking at the wonderful engraved ones in the scottish national museum, and saying to myself "I really should make one of them"...

and then being struck by a rare moment of self-preservation, and abandoning the idea rapidly, before I go and do something stupid, like actually start working out what it'd take....
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Scottish pistols         Reply with quote

Tom L wrote:
Hello GG
My wife collects Scottish pistols. As you know they have a wide range of engraving. You may find that a simple job can be done by a jeweler, where as a rather ornate project may take a real master. Have you studied or compaired the historic pistols to see the levels of quality. Thomas "Thos" Caddell and the Campbells produced some of the most desireable pistols made. While others were very plain. Some appear as if they wanted to say the were engraved, but very poorly done. Some of the MacLeod's are an example of just poor engraving. If you want to look at examples, use google images
" antique scottish pistols". If you open the images in flickr they will open to full size. Hers are listed under the name of
tntferrari.
Have fun and enjoy your pistols.


Thank you for your wife's pics of the "Caddell"

As to the "variance"in the quality if engraving = YES.,

A couple years ago, I was invited to a discussion on a "high end" Engraving forum" where they where discussing this subject. ( provided pics etc & sat back & learned )
Their "conclusion was that -
1. Some Makers "out sourced" the engraving to "master engravers"
2. " " either were Good/excellent engravers themselves or had same on staff.
3 " " " But used "apprentices"
Note there a couple examples of guns that seem to have had the basic engraving done " in house" by a good" engraver, then, either an apprentice or more like a "after maket" engraver added.
4. After market local Engraver ( of iffy skill) or thew owner themselves.

Basically You got what you Paid for.

Good engraving is $$$, The more envolved +++$$$

Currently, a close friend of mine just had a "braise" of TRS guns made. He is now "saving" to have them engraved

Surprised

Jack
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Tom L




Location: California
Joined: 22 May 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Jack
Several months ago I stumbled on a blog where you were talking about Scottish pistol engraving. There were a few posted pictures, one of which was a picture of Tanya's McCleod and as I recall a second was her unsigned later dress pistol. That pistol was also used in Fergus Cannan's book " Scottish Arms and Armour. It always puts a smile on her face when we stumble onto pictures and references to her guns. She only has 9 Scottish pistols, but that is a good collection in the world of privately owned pieces. She is still looking to find a Christie, it we can afford it. We are glad there are other folks out there that also enjoy them
Tom

Tom L
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