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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Drill Muskets         Reply with quote

These don't 'stricly' qualify as weapons but I thought you guys may be interested in a little project I recently completed for a major arms & armour museum here in the UK.

Their Education Dept wanted a batch of twenty 'dummy' muskets, loosely resembling the fish-tail stocked matchlock muskets in use during the English Civil War, that they could use to run through some drill with members of the public/visitors to the museum. As is the case with these things, the budget was tight so they had to be simple, robust and maintenance-free.

The criteria was to make the stocks from hardwood, the barrels from steel and they had to be ram-roddable. No other functionality was required, or budgeted for (no lock, trigger, etc.) with a minimum of metalwork to keep the budget down. Basically, they wanted a piece of pipe nailed to a piece of wood. I hope my interpretation lifts them up above that level!

The stocks are beech, stained and oiled. The metalwork (barrel, barrel band and dummy lock plate, all the fixings) are all made from substantial, maintenance-free stainless steel. Some butts have more 'shape' to them than others, but they all have 42" barrels (tanged to the stock). The two-part barrel band is an inauthentic but simply effective solution to the problem of retaining both the barrel and ramrod over a wide variety of tolerances in stock thicknesses and depths. I don't have an 'industrial' workshop so these were made with nothing more than a bandsaw and hand-held router (with lots of jigs!!).

I hope it inspires others to try their hand at amateur gunmaking, as these are only a few extra steps (and a few weeks work, of course) away from being 'reproductions'. For what they are, they look and handle well.

Julian



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Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Julian,
You've done such a good job on these dummies that it's a great shame you couldn't fit a simple matchlock cock and pan, and trigger, albeit non-working. It would make them look so much better.
Neil

N Melville
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,428

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very nice.

interestingly a few months ago at a 2 dollar shop i saw a pirate pistol toy, that, you could close the pan, pull back the cock to half or full cock and best of all when you pull the trigger, the frizzen flips UP as the hammer is released and swings down,... i was quite franly amazed and i feel silly that i didnt buy it on the spot. it was only a toy but ive never seen one that properly replicates the action of the corresponding movement of hammer and frizzen on a flintlock..
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I couldn't agree more with you guys. However, the additional metalwork (lock, cock, trigger and guard) would have added at least another 100-150+ to each musket. Multiply that by twenty, and that additional cost simply wasn't there in the customer's budget. In addition to the extra cost, to custom make and fit twenty sets of metalwork of a quality and robustness that would stand up to the abuses they are expected to receive, would have nearly doubled the customer's (already extremely short!) lead time.

Interpreting cost-effectively a corporate customer's brief in order to balance their expectations and your capabilities, whilst providing an affordable cost price with a reasonable return for the craftsperson and a high quality durable product delivered at short notice, involves a mass of compromises. If I had three times the budget and time, these would have been very different. If wishes were horses.....

As it is, these came out at a fraction of the cost of even a cheap Indian-made replica, and the customer is more than happy with them. Considering the brief and the budget, they have turned out far better than expected, and I am therefore very pleased with the end result, too.

Julian
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks really good and maybe you could make some with functional matchlock parts but still dummy guns that wouldn't need any " licensing " to sell just about anywhere in the World. Wink

Even more primitive Hangonnes ( Barrel at the end of a staff ) would also be interesting.

Closely made to originals dummy early firearms would be worth the price for those who don't intend to use them i.e. do black powder shooting.

A functioning matchlock wouldn't be a problem under Canadian laws, and don't even need to be registered, so in theory, it's always more appealing to have the real thing than an unfiring dummy version but like I wrote in the above paragraph there a place for purely display pieces.

These, do look really good and for the purpose they are being made, perfect.

Oh, maybe you could convince the museum that having 1 to 3 finished with dummy matchlocks ( At a higher price for those units ) could be useful as the person leading the drill could show the steps needed to charge the priming powder and the handling of the lit match while the others holding the " dummy " versions could mime the same actions and use their imaginations to simulate having the whole firing mechanism. The more complete versions could be passed around and each person could have a chance to do the entire loading/firing drill at least once before doing it as a group with the plain versions. Wink Anyway, just a suggestion. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean.

The museum in question already has plenty of replica (and live firing) versions they use for public demonstrations, as well as many, many, originals!! What they didn't have were 'dummies' members of the public could chuck around, drop, bash about and generally abuse!! I believe these will also be used for drill practice by groups of school kids as part of the National Curriculum, although how they will do loading drill without having to stand on a chair is not clear.

Functioning matchlocks require a shotgun license in this country, another reason why 'dummies' were needed.

I have made replica handgonnes in the past (I love the look of these old 'pole' guns) for hands-on demonstrations and for display (see below).

Julian



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Thanks Jean.

The museum in question already has plenty of replica (and live firing) versions they use for public demonstrations, as well as many, many, originals!! What they didn't have were 'dummies' members of the public could chuck around, drop, bash about and generally abuse!! I believe these will also be used for drill practice by groups of school kids as part of the National Curriculum, although how they will do loading drill without having to stand on a chair is not clear.

Functioning matchlocks require a shotgun license in this country, another reason why 'dummies' were needed.

I have made replica handgonnes in the past (I love the look of these old 'pole' guns) for hands-on demonstrations and for display (see below).

Julian


Ah, good point the museum can use the real ones to supplement the instructions but I see what you mean about making " dummies " that can take abuse. Wink

Really nice looking Hangonne and now that you mention it I think I remember you're posting of it before. is the barrel made out of steel ? These would probably have been useful or used as a club or mace in a pinch if one had to fight up close.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,428

PostPosted: Sun 27 Nov, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Julian Reynolds wrote:
Thanks Jean.

The museum in question already has plenty of replica (and live firing) versions they use for public demonstrations, as well as many, many, originals!! What they didn't have were 'dummies' members of the public could chuck around, drop, bash about and generally abuse!! I believe these will also be used for drill practice by groups of school kids as part of the National Curriculum, although how they will do loading drill without having to stand on a chair is not clear.

Functioning matchlocks require a shotgun license in this country, another reason why 'dummies' were needed.

I have made replica handgonnes in the past (I love the look of these old 'pole' guns) for hands-on demonstrations and for display (see below).

Julian


Ah, good point the museum can use the real ones to supplement the instructions but I see what you mean about making " dummies " that can take abuse. Wink

Really nice looking Hangonne and now that you mention it I think I remember you're posting of it before. is the barrel made out of steel ? These would probably have been useful or used as a club or mace in a pinch if one had to fight up close.

especially once you consider the fasct that maces wernt always beautifull and compact flanged implements. we see in the 15th century, the older maces very much resemble that handgonnne

http://manningimperial.com/item.php?item_id=2...mp;c_id=37
this mace head isnt very big, the man who uses it, quarf morgan, has it on a shaft about 2 cm thick, the ball of the mace is barely wider than the shaft, i reckon the ball is about 3-5cm across, according to quarf, this mace is dated to the 9th century.

also remember the fact that upon realising the effectiveness of the shaped gunstock as a club, the american indians actually changed the shape of their warclubs to recreate the dimensions of the matchlock, and later flintlock muskets of the colonising europeans.

and id imagine that, prior to the development of a good bayonet, the musketeers would have, aside from scampering, turned the musketr over in their hands and swung them like long maces.
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