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How were guns made in the 1800s?


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Old 03-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #31
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See if this linky below works.Its Harpers Ferry,site of the great armory.They've done a decent enough representation,all things consider'd with this museum.The RR and river "ate" the site where the original armory was.

And as a side note,when studying old gunmaking as well as how the industrial revolution got its "legs"....you'll be looking into a rather short time frame window where water power ruled the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harpers_Ferry_gun_smith.JPG
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #32
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This is a little earlier than John Browning's time but you all should check out The Gunsmith of Williamsburg. Watch a young Wallace Gusler hand forge a Kentucky rifle. The complete video is on YouTube. Amazing what people were able to do.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTrizzae View Post
This is a little earlier than John Browning's time but you all should check out The Gunsmith of Williamsburg. Watch a young Wallace Gusler hand forge a Kentucky rifle. The complete video is on YouTube. Amazing what people were able to do.
Jeeze. I didn't know one person made the whole thing. It must have taken a month or two to make just one rifle.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:57 PM   #34
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T- many of the old time gunsmiths purchased locks, but made barrels, made stocks. Yes, it was very labor intensive (for a rifle, cutting the rifling, 100 passes up and down the bore for EACh groove, hammer forging a damascus barrel, grinding the flats on a barrel by hand, etc.

In terms of hours worked to pay for a gun, they are MUCH cheaper now than they were back in the day. That was also a time that, unless you were VERY wealthy, you might own one gun in a lifetime.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:01 PM   #35
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Surely more improvised arms existed. Indeed they must have been commonplace.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:00 PM   #36
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hour upon hour upon hour of brain numbing, teeth grinding file work.

How were guns made in the 1800s? - Gunsmithing Forum

How were guns made in the 1800s? - Gunsmithing Forum
lost track of the hours I've put into this and far from done...

Clock makers were cutting watches with precision in the 15's. Buddy has a 1890's 30-40 craig, I marvel at the action and precision of that rifle. By far exceeds the quality and workmanship of rifles today, imo.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:03 AM   #37
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Default They were made with very careful filing

My dad makes guns with technology that dates from about 1750 to 1840 depending on the gun. We are making a flintlock together. I started carving it. It's a tedious process.

The first photo is one that I am carving. The second is one he is carving. And the third is three of his finished ones.
File Type: jpg flintlock2.jpg (55.3 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg lock and tang carving.jpg (58.9 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg 3 Gun Close up.jpg (39.1 KB, 50 views)
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:15 AM   #38
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Yeah as C3 says. They had ;lathes and mills Steam powered and hand cranked types. Water driven if in a mill house, etc. Slaves may have been passe, but muscle power was still cheap. Most of humanity worked for about a silver dime a day. I have a half dozen rifles and revolvers from the 1870s - 1880s and they clearly had mills and lathes pretty similar to todays. Electricity had begun to be used in the workplace after the 1860s. Nickel plating required electricity. Electric motors began to be common in factories around 1888 or so.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:44 AM   #39
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Quote:
Stamping is a post WW2 process.
Not true.

Stamping was a well known process and used extensively in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Stamped tin ceiling tiles were common, and stamped parts were used by numerous automobile manufacturers in the early 1900's.

Ford used stamped sheet metal in construction of their automobiles including the Model "N" and Model "T." In fact, Ford was the first company to use vanadium alloy steel in their stampings in the early 1900's because the vanadium steel was stronger and would retain its shape better.

The first stamped oil pan was on the Model "T" when Henry Ford revised the engine's lower end that included a cast oil sump as part of the engine casting. Ford told Charlie Sorensen ("Cast Iron Charlie") to try making a full length stamped steel oil pan. The stamping later was revised to include the flywheel housing as the flywheel included the magneto and needed to be kept as clean as possible - so it was enclosed with the stamped sheet metal housing.

Ford outsourced their stamped sheet metal parts to a company in Buffalo, NY. When the company could not keep up with the number of parts and quality Ford required, Ford purchased the company and moved all of the machines to the Rouge site.

Ford got Bill Knudsen (who later became president of GM) as part of the deal...as he worked for the stamping company.

You need to read "My Forty Years with Ford," by Charles E. Sorensen, and / or "Ford Methods and Ford Shops," by Horace Lucien Arnold and Fay Leone Faurote - the use of stampings is detailed in both books.

Last edited by buckhorn_cortez; 09-12-2016 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:49 PM   #40
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Eli Whitney is considered the father of interchangeable parts. Brown Besses, etc. were made using patterns - each lock made by hand using files. Colonial Williamsburg has had an excellent gunsmith exhibit for decades (Herschel House). Barrels were made by wrapping iron flats around a round rod on an anvil while red hot, hammering and reheating repeatedly. Octagon shapes hammered, then filed.

I helped a friend rifle a muzzle loader barrel using a "rifling machine", powered by "me". A rod somewhat longer than the barrel had a slot in the front end which held a cutter made from a piece of a small file which cut one groove at a time. Each pass out the end of the bore, the cutter was removed, the rod pulled out, and a shim of typing paper added to cut the next pass that much deeper. Lots of thread-cutting oil used. That cutter would come out smoking. Repeat hundreds of times. There's more to it, but that's the basics.

Samuel Colt made the "model" for his revolver out of wood, whittled out while he was on a ship. Black powder, likewise, was a local product ,made from urine, charcoal, and guano. People collected urine which was evaporated, leaving a form of "salt peter". Quality/reliability is quite variable when making black powder from scratch. Guano's source is bat poop.

Cherokee Indians used blowguns as a small game harvesting tool quite effectively.
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