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Thread: Double Over/Under Swivel Breach Flintlock .54 Rifle

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    Default Double Over/Under Swivel Breach Flintlock .54 Rifle

    Itís been well over a month since the last post here on the muzzleloading forum, as there just donít seem to be many Alaskan hunters into black powder. After a very long wait for a rifle Iíve wanted for a long time, I finally received my new muzzleloader today. Itís David Prices latest masterpiece, a fairly rare but not uncommon over/ under double barrel swivel breach flintlock rifle...in .54 with both barrels rifled using proprietary lightweight tapered Green Mountain 32Ē tubes. Itís balance is absolutely perfect with an overall weight of just 8.5 lbs. and 48Ē overall. Although Iíve yet to shoot it (Iíll remedy that in the morning), Iíve got targets provided by the master craftsman who created this beauty, having put 10 balls down each barrel...and shooting into an inch at 50 yards with both barrels. Iíve been here now 29 years, and think my win. mags. are now destined for dust in the back of my safe. Using real black (Goex) and one single firelock, Iíve got two primed frizzens igniting 100 plus grains behind a 220 grain patched round ball! Launch the 1st barrel, back to half cock and depress the side lever ever so slightly, rotate the barrels 180 degrees, full cock and launch the 2nd shot! My rifle was built to have been period correct for the time between the French and Indian wars and our American Revolution. To those in the know, Iím feeling my inner ďTimothy MurphyĒ coming out. For fellow firelock lovers, I would really like to hear from any other Alaskans shooting a swivel breach.
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    That looks like a spectacular piece! I've handled a few, and I note one big difference in yours. At just 8.5#, that's about the same weight as a Lyman Great Plains Rifle or a T/C Hawken. Both the swivel breech rifles I handled (and didn't get to shoot) weighed over 10# and balanced like a chunk of 1" rebar on a stick. I've handled and shot a couple of Beretta O/U shotguns, and both had major reliability issues.

    Looks like a pure winner!

    As you note though, having a fine reliable traditional muzzleloader knocks the heck out of your consumption of modern ammo. You just end up not really caring about long shooting and the tribulations of affording good glass. For the price of a modern rifle and decent glass, you've paid for a custom front-stuffer that will steal your heart.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    That's one beautiful smokepole...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Really nice! Thanks for posting.
    Louis Knapp

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    wow wow I might have to have one of those .

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    That's one fine looking rifle!

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    AlaskaGrizz, that's a beautiful rifle. I know David personally and he introduced me to shooting flintlocks when I lived in NH. he is a great guy and an incredible craftsman. I completely undertand about the centerfire rifles taking a back seat as since shooting my first flinter I have sold or traded off most of my other guns for more flinters LOL. its an addiction for sure but a good one!

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    Wow, to those whoíve sent such kind words...thank you. I havenít looked back at this post in sometime, as I canít figure out how to set my preferences to email me when someone posts regarding anything Iíve written. I am both blessed and fortunate to now own such an incredible functional art masterpiece! It gets more accurate each time I shoot it and more beautiful each time I take it out. It is truly the epitome of a ďtack driverĒ and thatís an understatement! Roughneck, youíre lucky to know David Price...though weíve yet to meet, Iíve developed a very close personal friendship with him through phone and email over the past 2 years concerning him building me one of his incredible Swivel Breech kits and actually completely finishing it for me entirely with the talented hands of the master gunmaker that he is. Whatís even better, is that the building of my very rifle is actually being immortalized on video as a multi part online tutorial reference for those blessed to have one of his kits to build themselves. They can be found both on YouTube and his own website. His granddaughter has filmed him taking one of his incredible kits from the point where he ships a kit...to being entirely built to completion custom made to my order. Attached are a few more photos of my ďDavid Price Swivel Breech Video RifleĒ. Iím practically counting the days to opening day Moose this year...one sure thing is the bolt action stays home! Coincidentally, David took the New Hampshire state record Moose with his own swivel breech several years ago!

    Iíve found that 110 grains of Goex (I sure wish Alaskans had a source for the cleaner and faster burning Swiss) 2fg under a .530 ball with .018Ē pillow ticking patch, will give me just under 1700fps and put 5 rounds into between 2-3Ē at 100 yards (and from BOTH barrels). This rare and uncommon beauty just continues to get better every day...and I could not have a bigger smile on my face with this true work of art!!
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    Hereís a couple more photos of my David Price Swivel Breech Flintlock, as I just found out it seems this forum only allows 2 pics per post...
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    Really nice!

    My family shoots firelocks a lot, both smooth-bores and rifles. We have Revolutionary War period reproductions. Have not hunted with them but would not hesitate to do so given the opportunity.

    A double firelock rifle most likely changed the direction of the Revolutionary War at Saratoga. It is very likely that Timothy Murphy used a a double rifle, (probably a side by side that was custom made for him), when he shot and killed Sir Francis Clerke and General Simon Fraser at Bemis Hights, (The second battle at Saratoga). That changed the course of the battle and British were routed. The Colonist winning the battle convinced the French to "officially" enter the Revolutionary War on the side of the Colonist.
    ďMove that fat ass Henry!Ē
    ďDonít swing your balls or youíll swamp the boat!"

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    Hogfamily...thanks for the compliment on my rifle. I too am very interested in the historical period from the beginning of the French and Indian Wars in 1755 to the end of our American Revolution in 1783. I also have other faithful firelock reproductions of firearms from that period, however I donít see having allot of money hidden away in my gunsafe to never fire (unless an original piece of course), and thus own nothing I will not enjoy by shooting, and often...regardless of cost. My Swivel Breech is the perfect example, as this rifle was certainly a considerable investment. I must correct you on one issue though. Timothy Murphyís double rifle was indeed a .40 caliber swivel breech that weighed between 12-14 pounds. As such, he is said to have used it only while on garrison duty...being just too heavy to readily carry in the field. Most experts today agree that he likely shot Simon Fraser with a single barreled conventional longrifle, but the legend stubbornly persists today. One of the best accounts of this is the book Revolutionary Rangers by Richard LaCrosse. Iím also attaching a link which I hope works, regarding the whereabouts today of Murphyís very own swivel breech...along with the prominence of a bill of sale commissioning gunmaker Issac Worly to build this rifle for Murphy at a cost of 20 pounds sterling (thousands in the day) in early 1776. The main difference between Murphyís Swivel Breech and mine is his much heavier weight and smaller bore.

    The earliest known example of a firelock swivel breech was by a Dutchman in the 1640ís, and they were supposedly brought to the New World by the German Jeager makers around or preceding the outbreak of the French and Indian wars.

    http://timesjournalonline.com/details.asp?id=66578

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    AlaskaGrizz,

    Thanks for that link!

    When my family recently visited Saratoga, along with battle road, etc we were told by several NPS folks that because of recent diary finds they believe that it is quite probable that TM did use a double firelock at Bemis Hights. My opinion is that we may never know for sure one way or another unless further written accounts are found. It seems that there are new Rev War written accounts, diaries, etc found yearly.

    (There are still some historians that believe that the TM story never happened.)

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...outputType=amp

    https://allthingsliberty.com/2019/05...wxxGhU9bRdXzZo


    I'm with you. I would not own a firearm that I would not shoot. Even a historical firearm as long as it was safe to shoot.

    Our newest acquisition is a really nice reproduction of a 1760-1770 Club Butt Fowler. I'm very impressed with it. I had always wondered how the Club Butt would fit / shoot with such a stock. It actually points / aims much quicker than any modern firearm.

    Do you ever shoot at the USSA Range in Talkeetna?
    ďMove that fat ass Henry!Ē
    ďDonít swing your balls or youíll swamp the boat!"

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    Hogfamily...Iím in total agreement with you concerning never being able to absolutely nail down fact from fiction, concerning many historical issues going back weíll over 250 years or more. Even after finding that article from 2011 concerning Murphyís infamous double rifle, I would have to be lucky enough to actually examine both rifle and related promenance...that it is in fact the holy grail. Or that is was truly Murphy who took out Fraser ďon the 3rd shot while in a treeĒ! Both types of double rifles existed long before 1776 and LaCrosses book only mentions ďdouble rifleĒ and not configuration.

    Thanks for the links, Iím always eager to read anything I can regarding both early American conflicts in the second half of the 18th century. Iíve long wanted to make it to Saratoga, as it was in fact such a pivotally important turning of the tide. I just recently signed up for an online subscription to the Journal of the American Revolution. As for shooting in Talkeetna, Iíve not been in probably the last 5 years and need to remedy that soon. I would love to coordinate our meeting up there sometime. Again, thanks for your valuable and much appreciated input.

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    I've been enjoying reading this very informative thread. Thanks! My only gripe is that I'm trying real hard to convince myself that I don't need to buy a flintlock this year and you guys aren't making it easy.
    Louis Knapp

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    AlaskaGrizz,

    Yup, we should do a greet-n-shoot at Talkeetna. My work schedule allows me quite a bit of free time. Let's figure out a time. I would love to see your double rifle in person.


    Louis,

    You need a flintlock.

    I enjoy shooting ours as much if not more than our modern firearms

    Of course you will need all the accouterments.

    Yeah, we have gotten into it a bit...


    ďMove that fat ass Henry!Ē
    ďDonít swing your balls or youíll swamp the boat!"

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    Guys, let me know if you dont mind me tagging along as i am dying to shoot my flinters. i am in Palmer currently and just moved to this area. i lived down in Soldotna previusly. i need to make some smoke LOL. i have several custom flintlocks i can bring to the range for whoever wants to try them. i tried to slim my collection down before i moved back up here but i still have about 11 of them. i would like to meet some fellow blackpowder shooters. are any of you guys going to the Rondy up near Chena Hit Springs this coming weekend and week? i am going to head up there to check it out.

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    Grizz, those green mountain barrels are true tack drivers for sure. only others that have rivaled them for me is the Rice barrels. I recently built a 36 caliber Lehigh Valley and it shot very good in the beginning now after about 500 rounds its driving tacks. the green mountain barrels are extremely tough as well they are made of higher grade steel, I know David told me they loaded 4 charges on top of each other to see if they could destroy a barrel to check its limitations and the barrel handled 4 charges with 4 ball loaded. I thought that was impressive to the strength of the barrels.

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    Roughneck,

    That would be awesome to meet at the Talkeetna Range.

    If you have not shot there yet it is a really nice facility. Rifle ranges available are 100 and 200 yds with 20 X 20 inch steel at 200 yds. The steel can be moved up to 100yds. It is usually not that busy especially during the week. (There is also a great 1000 yd range with steel at 400, 600, 800, & 1000.)

    I'm thinking when we decide on a date I will post it here. Maybe we will get a few other folks that shoot BP.
    ďMove that fat ass Henry!Ē
    ďDonít swing your balls or youíll swamp the boat!"

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    Hogfamily and Roughneck...as much as I would enjoy meeting you both for some firelock smoke up in Talkeetna, Iím just not able to make it in the near foreseeable future for health reasons, and I certainly donít want you guys waiting on me. Iíve been trying to stay one step ahead of that wheelchair chasing me with my name in it. I was badly injured in a work accident involving a long fall awhile back and am permanently disabled as a result. Thus, I have serious mobility issues and all the Kings men have yet to put HumptyGrizz back together again. Iím anxiously awaiting final VA approval to attempt more surgery soon and hopefully give me back a bit more mobility and better quality of life. Otherwise, I would be active in McKinley Mountainmen...to which Iíve been a member in hiding for the last few years. I just canít walk too far or stand very long without debilitating pain that defies description. Luckily for me, I live right in the middle of a 5.5 acre parcel that is in a location that allows me to shoot as far as 150 yards from my front deck.

    So you guys donít wait on me, Iím hopefully optimistic that with surgery...2020 will be a much better year for what I can actually do. My only hunting is to have my son drop me by Argo in the perfect location near his remote Trapper Creek property...where several well used game trails intersect. There are some big moose out there, and plenty of both flavored bears as well. You guys have fun and post pics here. Iím thinking Iíll send you both a PM with my contact info.

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    hogfamily, I will definitely be interested in coming up to the Talkeetna range. I have never been before. let me know when works and I will see if I can make it happen. I appreciate it.

    Grizz, sorry to hear about your situation. I hope you get fixed up soon and can get back out there.

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