Berdan’s US Sharpshooter bench rest rifle

Twlunt

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Nov 6, 2017
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Update. Sorry it took so long. My life is super busy with 4 kids etc but I finally got time to work on getting the false muzzle off. It took a few days if kroil, bench vise and gentle wiggling. I’ve never seen this gun without the false muzzle. It’s awesome and looks like the pins are in good shape. Not rusted. Just a century of grime.
 

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gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Awesome that you got it removed! Awesome!

My schooling wasn't wasted after all. :D
 

Twlunt

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Nov 6, 2017
Awesome that you got it removed! Awesome!

My schooling wasn't wasted after all. :D

Nope! I am eternally grateful for all the information, tips, and feedback you guys gave me. Is it safe to try to clean out the scope? I can see the glass and there’s a lot of dust and muck in the tube
 
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gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
I know nothing about scope repair. It can't be that hard though since it wasn't nitrogen sealed. If I were to tackle it, I'd document everystep so I can reassemble it correctly.

You may have to make special spanner wrenches to unscrew the lens.
 

Twlunt

Private
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Nov 6, 2017
I know nothing about scope repair. It can't be that hard though since it wasn't nitrogen sealed. If I were to tackle it, I'd document everystep so I can reassemble it correctly.

You may have to make special spanner wrenches to unscrew the lens.

I am not comfortable in my abilities to disassemble the scope. I was AT MOST, going to blow air in there to remove loose particulates and maybe gently use a Qtip on the outside of the lens. My concern is my ignorance of the construction of the scope. How is the glass held in place? I DO NOT want to move or dislodge a lens.

Also, question for @gary or @Jobe Holiday or @Lanyard Puller or anyone with knowledge of these weapons...The barrel needs a thorough cleaning. I assume to do that the barrel would be removed from the stock. I am not terribly comfortable with that idea. Thoughts?
 
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Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
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Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
I wouldn't advise disassembly of the scope. The lenses are not just a single piece of glass, as found in a simple magnifying glass, but are rather "cells" or a unit of 2 lenses or more [with or without cross hairs} in a sleeve. The Davidson scopes, such as on a Whitworth rifle, have 3 such cells. {front, middle and rear} each threaded inside the tube, or held by external screws through the tube.. The threads are quite fine and tolerances are tight. There's a zillion ways to screw one of these things up.

I'd suggest Malcolm Addoms at http://www.antiqueoptics.com/default.aspx. He's my go-to guy for this type stuff
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
One of the instructors at TSJC (gunsmithing school) who is now working at Cabelas was offered a chance to become a scope repair guy. His instructor would have given him all the tools as he was retiring. Being young at the time, the instructor declined and now regrets that decision.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Great images! Thank you.

Can you give me the length of the barrel? Overall length of the gun? Length of the scope (and if possible, what estimated power)? What about weight and caliber?

It obviously doesn't fit in the box, so is it hooked breech for ease of separation between the barrel and the wood stock?
 

Twlunt

Private
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Nov 6, 2017
21lbs exactly
Barrel with FM 35 1/4”
Barrel without 33 7/8”
Scope length 38”
Total gun length (tip of stock -end of barrel) 49 7/8”
Stock length 16”
Barrel 1.5” across
False muzzle 1 5/16” long
Not sure about the caliber. I have some balls I can measure

Not sure what hooked breech is. I’ll post close ups of the barrel/stock connection.
 

Twlunt

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Nov 6, 2017
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This shows both sides and the underside. Any idea if it’s a pin or screw? Or both
 
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gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Is the rear of the scope free floating on that elevation rest? If so, I suspect removing the screw at the side opposite the lock and on the bottom of the trigger guard will allow you to separate the stock from the scope and barrel. Do not attempt this until you hollow grind a couple of screwdrivers to fit the screws. You don’t want to chew up the screwheads.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Is the rear of the scope free floating on that elevation rest? If so, I suspect removing the screw at the side opposite the lock and on the bottom of the trigger guard will allow you to separate the stock from the scope and barrel. Do not attempt this until you hollow grind a couple of screwdrivers to fit the screws. You don’t want to chew up the screwheads.

Got to see a heavier target telescope rifle than yours today. It took two of us to safely move it without injury. Made by Rood in Denver, CO, it was never wielded in combat by a sharpshooter.
 
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Location
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View attachment 164784 View attachment 164785 View attachment 164786 View attachment 164787 I am lucky enough to live in a house built by my great great grandfather, Ira Lunt. He served in 2nd Regiment Company D US Sharpshooters out of Maine. Here is his target/bench Rifle he used. My question is if anyone knows anything about this specific weapon. One pic shows the stamp of where the barrel was cast and the name M. W. Long. I assume this is Malcolm Long the gunsmith. But I can’t find out much about him or his weapons. Was hoping I’d come across a CW gun expert. I’d also love to get it appraised.

You're living in the house built by your great great grandfather, and you have his target rifle. That is something to behold.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Tools: On barrel cleaning, find (1) a jag that fits the bore, (2) a scraper to clean the breachplug, (3) a worm and since you're at it, (4) a stuck ball remover. Get (5) a solid brass cleaning rod (black powder people like Tipp Curtis has them). The worm is used to retrieve a patch that gets stuck in the bore. The stuck ball remover is like a wood screw that is attached to the cleaning rod and is used to bore into the bullet to withdraw it (note: there are better ways to remove a stuck bullet but that's for later).

Firearm Safety: First rule of firearm safety is keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Second Rule of firearm safety is Keep your finger off the trigger and on the stock when handling it. The next thing check to make sure it isn't loaded. Insert the ramrod down the bore until it hits the bottom. Mark the rod with a pencil line or tape. Remove the rod and lay it alongside the barrel. If the end of the rod is near the nipple, your gun is unloaded. If it is a little distance away, it has something in the barrel (and may be loaded).

The safest way to remove a lodged in object is with a CO2 discharger. It takes a regular CO2 cartridge with an adapter that slips over the nipple. Pushing down on the discharger sends a blast of air into the barrel that should dislodge the ball. When you do it though, make sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. My classmate took out a vase that his mother-in-law gave his wife. Oppski! So, if there's an obstruction and you use the C02 discharger, be sure it's pointed in a safe direction where the discharged object won't damage anything. If the CO2 discharger won't dislodge the stuck object, then put the stuck ball remover onto the ram rod and push it down the barrel. Twist the ramrod to bore the stuck ball remover into the ball. Then pull it out. Had to do this last week for one of my students.

Cleaning the bore: The key tool is the jag that is snug to the bore but loose enough to attach a cotton cleaning patch. Never use patches made with synthetic material. Pure cotton only. For a cleaning solution, normally one uses hot soapy water. In this case, I would rather use Ballistol, which is a German made product that both cleans and lubricates. Put a bit of Ballistol on a patch (I use a sardine tin to hold my liquids) then place the patch on the center of the bore. With the jag attached to the cleaning rod, push it straight down the barrel and pull it out. The patch should come out with the jag. Inspect the patch. The bore is likely dirty for dried oils. Get a fresh cotton patch dipped in Ballistol and repeat until the bore is clean. Then push down a dry patch.

If the patch should slip off the bore, then remove the jag and attach the worm (it's like the field artillery worm used in the Civil War). Drop that down the bore and spin the cleaning rod several times to "hook" the patch. Then pull out the cleaning rod with the patch twisted onto the worm.

The gun dealer may try to sell you a bore brush. Do not buy stainless steel or brass/bronze bristle bore brushes. Stainless can harm the bore so they're a no-no. Brass or bronze brushes scrub well, but are designed to be pushed through the barrel and then pulled back out. If you stop midpoint and pull it out, the bristles will lose their flexibility and their scrubbing powder. Because muzzle loaders like the one you have don't allow the brush to be pushed through, don't waste your money. If you must buy a bore brush, buy a nylon one. They're more flexible and less susceptible to being ruined in pushed halfway in and the pulled out.

If you never plan to shoot it, then get Renaissance Wax, apply it to a patch and push it down the bore. Push a couple of dry clean patches down the bore after that to polish it and remove any excess wax. You may treat the exterior of the barrel and any exposed metal and wood with the same Renaissance Wax. If you plan to shoot it, then a light coat of modern gun oil may be rubbed on the metal. If you live in a high rust environment and plan to shoot it, then RIG Gun Grease may be applied on the exterior metal.

The NRA & National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association have jointly issued a book, NRA How To Series: Muzzleloading, on the use and care of muzzle loading firearms. You may want to check out if there is a muzzle loading class somewhere. Go to NRAInstructors.org to see if there's a class. If member Johan Steele was nearby, he'd be my choice of teacher for muzzleloading basics.
 
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gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Hooked breech. On a tradition rifle, the breechplug is integral with the tang and is screwed into the breechplug. Thus when one removes the barrel assembly from the stock, they remove both the barrel, tang and breechplug at the same time.

By the late 18th Century the hooked breech was designed. The breech plug was separate from the tang and the breechplug had a hook that was inserted into a hole in the tang to secure it. The advantage of a hooked breech firearm is that the barrel is easily dismounted for cleaning. The image below shows the hooked breech from the top view first and then a side view second:

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Below is the older, one piece tang & breech assembly:

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JCF

Cadet
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
option 1 is fine by me. Even though it would be pretty darn cool to fire his gun I can't see the reward outweighing the risk. This is a family Heirloom and a great piece of history and that is all I ever need it to be. I was just curious. I posted on another forum and I have to say I received some bad information and a much less friendly banter. I originally posted for two reasons.
1. to find out as much as possible.
2. Share this with all of you. As a civil war student I feel it is selfish to hide it away and not let others enjoy!
You guys have far exceeded my expectations and made me feel very welcome. Sadly I can't say the same for other forums. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me.

This is one of the 2 or 3 coolest threads I have found on the web - ever.
That your family has so obviously respected and cared for so wonderfully the legacy of your family over so many years - something far rarer than the objects themselves...in the same house - my GOD !
And clearly you are a chip off a very old block.
Having lost my father over a year ago I realize that, though the person is greatly missed - the presence remains, carried in many ways.
And those objects you have shared with us carry the character of generations of your family.
 

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