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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011, 11:22 AM
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ElvinWarrior ElvinWarrior is offline
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Default Does anyone make a reproduction wheellock that actually fires?

Ever since I was a small boy I have always wanted to own a matched pair of working, firing, useable wheellock pistols, of the fancy Itallian variety, with white scolled wood, gold leaf and ivory inlays.

Obviously, a 16th century weapon of this design that still works would be upwards of $20,000.00.... Just a smiggen above my budget these days....

I have come across a couple of "Museum" qualilty pieces, faithfully reproduced down to the last knick and blemish... But those cost nearly as much as an original...

I have also come across a large number of "prop" or "stage" reproductions. They are very pretty, very well done reproductions, and they are "working" reproductions in the sense that the wheellock mechanism is windable, and actually spins and sparks... However, they do not fire an actual field load, they would explode in your face if you tried to fire an actual lead ball with a full load of powder...

I was wondering, if anyone else out there has a fascination for these very usual pistols... and if... anyone knew of a modern reproduction manufacturer that manufactures a working, firing wheellock that doesn't cost over $1,800.00 or so....

Just a wonderin....

Sincerely...







Elvin Warrior... aka... Dave
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Last edited by ElvinWarrior; 02-06-2011 at 3:01 PM.. Reason: minor adjustment to some adjectives
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Old 02-06-2011, 2:08 PM
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ElvinWarrior ElvinWarrior is offline
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Default Making your own Wheellock Pistol....

It occured to me, after posting this little article to the fine members here, that a somewhat low cost and affordable solution to my question may be to combine parts, from different sources, and make my own set of pistols from readily available parts sources.

The stocks, and working wheellock mechanisms can be had, very affordably, for less than $300.00 from a variety of "stage" and "prop" gun manufacturers. They have various wheellock mechansims in stock, from very simple plain ones used by field military people, to very ornate and fancy ones, with wheel covers and snapping flint hammers that automatically open and engage when the trigger is pulled. These were early safety mechanisms developed that would prevent an accidental discharge, which, apparently, was an inherant problem with weapons of this design. I would suggest purchasing the somewhat more expensive ones, with the safety mechanisms built in, as opposed to the simple utilitarian ones, which can apparently, accidentally discharge ocassionally. I would also strongely suggest that a weapon like this NEVER be stored wound, primed and ready to go... EVER.

Now, taking those affordably priced parts, and mating them with a modern reproduction flint pistol kit from a variety of sources such as Dixie Gun Works, or Traditions, or several others... Would give you a functioning safe barrel, breech, ramrod, and brass/nickel end butt cap needed to finish the piece off.

Obviously, some very meticulous and carefully executed gun smithing would be needed to mate these peices together succsessfuly. A home hobbyist amature gunsmith could probably achieve this with simple home tools, and alot of patience. Or, any good craftsman gunsmith could, for a PRICE.

The end result would be, a reasonably priced, reasonably accurate reproduction wheellock pistol, that worked and fired an actual real field load, safely. And could be achieved for less than $500.00 or so, more, if you have more to spend, somewhat less, if your on a limited budget.

So, I guess, that's my next home made gun project.... I am on a mission to re-create the buccaneer days of Erol Flynn, swaggering on my mast, waving my operational wheellocks under the noses of those dastardly pirates !!! (Damn the grapeshot bucaneers !!! Full sails ahead into the gaping jaws of the lions of War !!!) Ya, I'm a bit of the romantic, aren't all us BP nuts???

On a side note...

All of life is always presenting situations that can be viewed as barriers, or, if you step off to the side, with an adjusted attitude, you can view them as wonderful opportunities instead.

An economically challanged, but talented person out there, may find, that there is a real unspoken market for these kinds of functioning weapons from days gone by... One could, with a very modest start up overhead, start up a cottage company, in their own garage, or rented storage space somewhere, or even, rent a garage from someone else. They could, come up with a design, for 4 or 5 of these kinds of guns, a couple long guns, and 3 or so very fancy pistols... Ordering the parts, from various places, and performing the mating and assembly of their finished guns with simple hand tools, and alot of serious skills. They could then home manufacture, a line of products, offered on a web page (Cheap advertising, accepts pay pal and major credit cards...) and whammo... instant gun manufacturing company !!!...

Ten years down the road... That guy, with maybee a couple business partners, would be a very rich guy vacationing on the nude Rivierra (SP?) beach in his paid for resort condo in Southern France... delicately sipping his $500.00 a bottle high end French champaign with his brother in laws and neices and nephews playing at their feet, nude, on the beach.....

Nice thought that... and completely DOABLE !!!

So come on you young hustlers out there !!!... Start up the damned company already !!! You already have one customer waiting in line with a grand burning a hole in his pocket !!! (Or perhaps, a possilbe future partner ???)



Sincerely

Elvin Warrior... aka... Dave
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Last edited by ElvinWarrior; 02-06-2011 at 5:25 PM.. Reason: Typo correction
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Old 02-06-2011, 2:19 PM
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EmmaGoldman EmmaGoldman is offline
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Default

Memory says that Dixie at least did at one time?
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Old 02-06-2011, 2:37 PM
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VegasND VegasND is offline
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Default

I've seen them for sale but that was long, long ago. I recall a vendor selling them at the Renaissance Festival in LA county. I doubt he's still in business if I could even recall his name; I left CA in '79.
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