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EFFICIENCY OF THE WHOLE CHARGE. About one-fourth of the charge All the pellets of the shot retain is so injured in rubbing up the their certain roundness which is barrel as to be quite useless at any the cause of their being found so distance, and the whole is so much more effective in the field at jammed into angles as to entirely long distances than can be shown neutralize any value supposed to at a target; all the shots being be attached to its "patent” ro- propelled with equal force. If fired tundity. The unequal force of the against a fence at 100 yards, the shots may be ascertained by firing arrival of the shot will be simula loose charge, at 100 yards, at a taneous. thin fence; the notice of its arrival at the mark will be continuous, like a feu-de-joie.
For game early in the season and battue
shooting For snipe and other small birds . For game (second barrel early in the season. and
first barrel when game is wild).
Royal, No. 5 or 6.
* If within this distance one of the others would do better.
The following rules should be carefully remembered and followed, in order to prevent accidents during loading
Rule 1. Always uncock the loaded barrel of your gun after discharging the other. The loaded one should be left at half-cock, and the other with the striker down on the nipple.
Rule 2. In loading the last-discharged barrel, always keep the loaded one farthest from the band.
Rule 3. Never put the caps on before loading—the cock may slip, even with the best lock. Moreover, the powder is prevented from reaching the end of the nipple.
Rule 4. After the caps are on and pushed home, never leave the cock down on them, as in this position a blow on the cock, or even on the butt, may occasion an explosion.
Rule 5. Never point the gun at any living object during cocking and uncocking, when the cock is very apt to slip from the hand of a cold or awkward person ; and to avoid all danger of this, keep the muzzles pointing to the ground at an angle of 45°.
To clean the percussion gun in all its parts, it is necessary to be able to take it to pieces, but for common purposes all that is required is to wash out the barrels and oil the locks. A turnscrew, nipple-wrench, and cleaning-rod are the tools for all but taking the lock to pieces, which requires in addi
tion a cramp:
To clean the barrels, first take them from the stock by pulling back the stop from the eye or eyes in the fore-end of the stock; then having half-cocked the locks, lift out the barrels, take out the nipples with the wrench, put them on one side, and proceed to wash out the barrels. For this purpose take the cleaning-rod, which is armed with a brass roughly-notched end on purpose, wrap round this some tow, and then placing the barrel's muzzle upwards in a bucket half full of cold water, proceed to wash them well out by working the tow up and down in them. Remove the tow in a short time, and apply fresh as long as the barrels stain it, then take them out, pour some boiling water through them, and set them to drain by the fire till quite dry. Lastly, take a piece of rag (not tow), wrap it round the cleaning-rod, touch it slightly with the proper oil (neat’s-foot clarified by suspending pieces of lead in it for two or three months), then pass it up and down each barrel once or twice, oil the inside of the screw in which the nipple fits, oil the nipple, and reapply it with the wrench, when the operation is complete.
To clean the locks, first remove them by unscrewing the head of the screw, which is just in front of the hammer at half-cock, when the two locks will come out readily, both being secured in their places by this long screw passing through the stock, and called the "side nail." The inside of the lock is then exposed, as shown in Fig. 28, page
238. If any grit has got in, which it ought not to do in a wellfitted lock, it may be removed by an oiled feather, or if the members are rusted by damp, they may be wiped with a piece of leather, then applying just enough oil to lubricate them, the locks are restored to their places and the side-nail screwed home. Sometimes, however, from neglect, the various members may have become so rusty, that they require to be taken to pieces, which may readily be done by cramping the mainspring at full-cock, screwing the little cramp sold for the purpose on to the spring, and keeping it on while the various screws shown on the bridle are removed, when the swivel is unhooked from the spring, and all the parts are loose, and can be cleaned separately. Should the plate be so rusted that the spring cannot play freely upon its surface, the latter also must be removed by inserting a turnscrew under it, and lifting out, when the plate being cleaned, it may be restored to its place. Unless, however, the owner of the gun has some considerable mechanical skill, he had better not at
tempt to clean his locks, but should give the job to his gunmaker.
If the barrels are leaded, a wire brush is attached to the cleaning-rod, and with this they are rubbed up and down with the aid of a little silver-sand, if necessary, till the lead is all removed. There is, however, in this process, great risk incurred of spoiling the barrels, and if really necessary, it is better to allow the gunmaker to remove the lead.
THE GUNCASE AND CONTENTS.
The guncase may be of wood or leather, or of the former within the latter material. Patent leather gun-cases are, however, now the most generally used, and as they are cheaper as well as lighter, they are in my opinion better than wood. They should contain, in addition to the gun, a nipplewrench containing two spare nipples, powder-flask, shotpouch, cap-holder, dog-whistle and whip, wad-punch, and a supply of wadding, besides such cartridges as are approved of if they are used. In addition, there should be for cleaning purposes a turnscrew and cleaning-rod, with tow, linen, and oil in a small metal bottle; the proper sort for all but the locks being neat's foot oil clarified by suspending in it pieces of lead for some months. The locks should never be touched with any but gunmaker's oil, usually known as Wilkinson's. Ai these articles should be arranged in compartments, so as to avoid friction on the
The price of percussion double guns varies from 4l. or even less, to 50 or 60 guineas, which Purdey, Lancaster, Manton, and one or two other fashionable London makers, obtain for their articles. At the lowest price here mentioned the iron used in the barrels would be twopenny, or perhaps sham damn. Keepers' guns are sold at all prices; but a good useful one, with barrels of charcoal iron, should cost from 101. to 15l. No safe gun can be purchased for less than 201., if tolerably well finished, and none, in my opinion, ought to cost more than 35 to 40 guineas complete in case, and I believe that for the latter sum as good a gun as can be
may be obtained. At the same time, I confess that if I were offered my choice, regardless of price, I should select a gun of Mr. Purdey's make, believing that he is supremely careful that every part is of the very best quality, and that the workmanship is the best which can be obtained by money
I have reason to believe also that all his guns are actually tried at brown-paper targets, those only being passed which perform to his satisfaction. But though I thus place them at the head of the list, I would not give 5l. more for a gun of his make than for one built by Pape of Newcastle, or Dougall of Glasgow, or Henry of Edinburgh, or 0. Smith of Derby, all of whom turn out guns which handle well, look well, and perform well, and who charge from 35l. to 401. for a double gun in case complete. Prince and Green, Fuller, Jackson, Reilly, and some others in London, may be mentioned as selling excellent guns at about the same price, or perhaps a trifle higher, and among these I would specially call attention to the gun patented by Mr. Prince, of the firm of Prince and Green, on the principle of elevating the left barrel higher than the right, which has been already alluded to at page 223.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES—THE LEFAUCHEAUX GUN-BASTIN'S MODIFICATION
OF IT-THE NEEDLE-GUN OF NEEDHAM-LANCASTER'S COMBINATION OF THE TWO-COUNT CHATEAUVILLIER'S GUN-CHOICE OF BREECHLOADER-LOADING OF CARTRIDGES-CLEANING.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION.
It has already been mentioned that there are some two or three defects in the muzzle-loader, consisting in slowness and danger of loading, and in the amount of leading, to which it is liable. To obviate these, it has been proposed in