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Posted By: Michael Petrov Leopold’s Rifle - 10/14/06 10:10 PM
So as not to mess up the original thread about finding things under the buttplate I started this one.

This note was found under the buttpad of my Maynard .44-100 Long Range Creedmoor rifle. The note and many years of research lead to a 1997 Gun Digest article about the rifle.

Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/14/06 10:12 PM
The buttpad was fitted by A.O. Niedner, a gunsmith in Dowagiac. Dr. F.W. Mann gave the rifle to Niedner, Mann got it from E.A. Leopold’s family after he died. Not many folks know these names today.

MP





If these pictures are too big I'll remove them and just post the links.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/14/06 10:17 PM
775:
Michael,

I have relatives, and spent much of my youth in and abouts Dowagiac. Finch Lake. Relatives still live there, any idea on the correct spelling of the fitter?

AAAAnnnd yes, right about now it's hitting me....the "A E Leopold" seems crystal clear!!!
(Can't be THE "AL", can it?!)

"A G Neidmer"?

Best,
Mark
Postoak: Dr. Mann authored, "The Bullet's Flight", I may be a little off on the title, but it is a great book on exterior ballistics.


TW:Great photographs! Would like to know more about their origin, the tales & tails.
TW,

I don’t want to hijack the thread so if enough folks have an interest I’ll move this to a new one.

Dr. Mann, Leopold, Niedner and Dr. Baker were four people who had a large influence on the modern high-speed accurate rifle before WWI. Any shooting magazine from these days had something in it about one or more of them. I collected information on a large scale on Mr. Niedner and a lot on the others as well. I am also lucky enough to have acquired a least one rifle that was owned by each of the four, I’m still shooting the Niedner-Borchardt that Dr. Baker is holding in the picture.

MP

Reb 87 MP,
Please start the thread!!!
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/14/06 10:22 PM
MP; Pics were great for me & I'm on dial-up. I recall most of those names (from reading of them) & have a copy of F W Mann's "The bullet's Flight". Very interesting post, thanks.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/14/06 10:59 PM
Too bad Mr. Leopold didn't put the recipe for his famous bullet lube under the butt plate. It was considered to be the best by many riflemen of the day, but the secret apparently died with its maker.

Glenn
Posted By: Shotgunjones Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 12:26 AM
Very cool. Not a bunch I'd want to play cards with...
Posted By: Distel Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 01:36 AM
Michael Petrov :The correct title to F.W.Mann's book is
"The Bullet's Flight from Powder to Target" with a sub-title of "The Internal and External Ballistics Of Small Arms"
There is yet another explanation on the Title Page as follows"A Study of Rifle Shooting with the Personal Element Excluded Disclosing the Cause of The Error At Target.
The book as originally published by Munn & Co in New York in 1909.
Wolfe republished it in 1980
Best Regards
Gene
Posted By: tw Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 02:53 AM
>about those tails that Mr. Leopold is wearing ?

>and the rear elevator/height adjustor for the scope I can easily understand, but how did the front mount pivot? Do you know?

>and the cartridge the Borchart is chamberd for? Were you lucky enough to get the cartridege or was Dr. Baker using more than one as it would appear his counterparts were. Is that a cartridge bag he is carrying?

Sorry for all the questions, but you know that I am interested in this stuff & the lore.

BTW, for others who may also be interested in the rifles of recent old and their builders .. I have found Michael's recent book most interesting and will own up to having read it more than just once. His approach is straight forward, unpretentious and genuinely interesting. I'd bet there are at least one or more members here who might add a bit of knowledge about some of the builders mentioned in it. Its a bolt gun book mostly, "Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century. ISBN 1-931220-21-2 (hardcover)
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 04:12 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Fewless:
Too bad Mr. Leopold didn't put the recipe for his famous bullet lube under the butt plate. It was considered to be the best by many riflemen of the day, but the secret apparently died with its maker.

Glenn
Glenn,

I’m not sure why the lube formula is still missing, I have heard several times over the years that folks have some of it, found in old shooting kits. I keep thinking someone will have it analyzed, but as of today nothing. Might be the cost is too high or the components are no longer available.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 04:15 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Distel:
Michael Petrov :The correct title to F.W.Mann's book is
"The Bullet's Flight from Powder to Target" with a sub-title of "The Internal and External Ballistics Of Small Arms"
There is yet another explanation on the Title Page as follows"A Study of Rifle Shooting with the Personal Element Excluded Disclosing the Cause of The Error At Target.
The book as originally published by Munn & Co in New York in 1909.
Wolfe republished it in 1980
Best Regards
Gene
Gene:

Thanks, I have a copy(s) of his book but I’m sure others may not have heard of it.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 04:28 AM
TW:
“about those tails that Mr. Leopold is wearing ?”

Leopold and friends spent a lot of time using their rifles on the woodchuck and I would suspect, but don’t know for sure they are woodchuck tails.


“and the rear elevator/height adjustor for the scope I can easily understand, but how did the front mount pivot? Do you know?”

One of the best scope makers of the day was John W. Sidle and I believe the scope on his rifle is a Sidle. There was a “Leopold Snap Shot” scope made by Sidle named for him so that may be what that one is. There were a lot of mounts back then and Sidle did make a figure “8” front but the one in the picture looks like wire or rubber bands , not something I have seen before.


”and the cartridge the Borchardt is chambered for? Were you lucky enough to get the cartridge or was Dr. Baker using more than one as it would appear his counterparts were. Is that a cartridge bag he is carrying?”

Most likely a cartridge bag he has as all the others seem to be loaded down with ammo. Every year they went to New York to shoot Woodchucks.
The rifle is chambered for the .25-Niedner known today as the .25 Krag, a 30-40 Krag necked down to .25 caliber.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 04:55 AM

Posted By: Mike Armstrong Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 09:56 PM
Super post; a little OT, but I have a stinkin' suspicion that more than a few of us double enthusiasts are also SS nuts... I'm always bemused that this area (Eastern NY state and adjacent Vermont) were such a hotbed of rifle experimenters and theorists back at the beginning of the last century. That all seemed to have moved West by the 2nd world war, following the defense industries. But I still shoot chucks up by Shushan at least once a summer, with a .22 Hornet that would have been a familiar ctg to these guys (in a Win SS or a Ruger #1).

Michael, is your .25 Neidner/.25 Krag the short version or the full length? Not just a varmint ctg. either; good as a .257 with right bullets! Lovely rifle!
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 10:36 PM
“Super post; a little OT”

Mike, Thanks, Yes it is, however as a young lad A.O. Niedner was allowed to shoot William R. Schaefer’s (the celebrated double gunmaker of Boston) muzzleloading rifle and that was how he first got interested in firearms. There are very few places on the web to discuss historical rifles so I would hope that we could now and then touch on the subject. Even the DGJ is now the DG&SSJ.


All four lived in the Boston area, shot at the famous Walnut Hill Club and traveled to Shushan to shoot woodchucks at least once a year. Dr. Baker had a ‘Woodchuck Reserve” that he spent a lot of time at.


”Michael, is your .25 Neidner/.25 Krag the short version or the full length?”

This rifle was modified by Niedner in 1911 and it uses the full length 30-40 case which was pretty much standardized by then. I have one of Mr. Niedner’s rifles (model 1911) and it’s chambered for the same cartridge. I had a Winchester High-Wall that belonged to Dr. Mann for a 1909 version of the cartridge, the case acted like a breech seater and the outside diameter of the case was .257”. It also has a set of Mann-Niedner bases soldered to the barrel, I still have the barrel but used the high-wall for a different project.

The picture of Leopold with the tails, the rifle he has looks like it’s chambered for the .28-30-.22 Niedner or .28-30-.23 Niedner but have not idea which, Niedner made both.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/15/06 11:25 PM
What an interesting rifle that Borchardt is! It looks like he extended the striker back through the end of the block like a bolt rifle. I wonder what he had in mind there? To be able to cock the rifle with after the breech is closed? Adding all that mass to the striker seems a high price to pay for whatever intended benefit.

I would really like to examine the double set trigger as well.

Thanks for posting the picture.

Glenn
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 01:21 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Fewless:
WhI would really like to examine the double set trigger as well...
Glenn
Wouldn't we all. Then we would pay you vast sums to install them in our Borchardts.....

(exactly zero sarcasm there. A bunch of us would kill for those triggers).

Brent
Posted By: Recoil Rob Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 02:17 AM
I want a picture of myself and hunting partners that rivals the group photo Michael posted, damn, those guy look good!

Somehow neither camo, nor tweeds look as manly.

Michael, thanks for the pictures and info. I second the recommendation of Michaels latest book.

Rob
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 02:49 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Fewless:
What an interesting rifle that Borchardt is! It looks like he extended the striker back through the end of the block like a bolt rifle. I wonder what he had in mind there? To be able to cock the rifle with after the breech is closed? Adding all that mass to the striker seems a high price to pay for whatever intended benefit.

I would really like to examine the double set trigger as well.

Thanks for posting the picture.

Glenn
Niedner removed the cocking cams from the Borchardt and made a new breechblock. In order to install the double-set-triggers the safety had to be removed. This is fine on a target rifle but not one used in the field. It’s a little hard to explain but the firing pin is inside of the striker and very light weight, I have no way to measure the lock time but it is very FAST and safe to carry with a loaded chamber. For the work on this rifle Niedner (from Niedner’s Malden, MA shop books) charged Dr. Baker $108.50.

It’s been a while since the last time I had this rifle apart. I wrote this back in 1993 about the rifle.

‘When the lever is lowered a cam on the lever retracts the firing pin a short distance from the fired primer; after the action is closed, the cocking knob must be pulled back before it can be fired. The cocking piece that holds the firing pin is hollow and weighs less than half of the original Borchardt firing pin, resulting in a very fast lock time.”
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 03:01 AM
Mp are those turkey beards around his neck ?
What do you suppose that is stuck in his belt in the top picture ?
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 03:07 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by HomelessjOe:
Mp are those turkey beards around his neck ?
What do you suppose that is stuck in his belt in the top picture ?
I assumed they were woodchuck tails but have no way to know for sure.


What do you suppose that is stuck in his belt in the top picture ? The same thing that’s in Dr. Mann’s hand a Niedner-Shooting stick. As time allows I will post pictures to better explain them.
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 03:12 AM
I think you're right about the tails they look to similar and short to be turkeys. Nice photos I'd love to see the shooting stick.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 03:16 AM
Posted By: crossedchisles Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 04:16 AM
MP. Excellent Photos of the Rifle Shooters from the Past.In 1966 & 1967 I spent time with Tom Shellhamer, Dowagiac, Mich. at his Workshop. I chequered a rifle stock for him. It had to be'London Style' Standard Points Patt.Flat-Top.He gave me a Full-Length French Walnut Stock-Blank,with 'Fiddle-Back' Figure.It has a date on it of 1930 & Shellhamer's name written on it.When John Amber saw it he wanted me to stock one of his Creedmoore Rifles with it.I still have it in my'Collection' of'Olde Stuff'Years ago I stocked 2 Single-Shots and used Orig.New A O Niedner Steel Butt-Plates.I had Arnold Grieble Engrave a monogram & a date on one of them.One was a Winchester Hi-Wall with a Pope Barrel. As you said, MP,not too many Folks know these names from the 'Past'. C/C....dt
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 04:42 AM
David,

An interesting story, not many folks nowadays remember Tom Shelhamer. After Tom died his daughter Alice stayed in the house and when she passed on she left the house and property to friend who as a young man mowed their lawn. Tom kept a file on every stock he made and the new owner promised to archive and make these files available to the public, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Do you sign your stocks and if so how?

Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 05:36 AM
[/qb][/QUOTE]Niedner removed the cocking cams from the Borchardt and made a new breechblock. In order to install the double-set-triggers the safety had to be removed. This is fine on a target rifle but not one used in the field. It’s a little hard to explain but the firing pin is inside of the striker and very light weight, I have no way to measure the lock time but it is very FAST and safe to carry with a loaded chamber. [/QB][/QUOTE]


Michael:

I see how that could be done and now, after your explaination, why. That is a very creative solution and obviously well done. I always tend to think of such rifles as target rifles and have not considered the dificulties involved with having a safety on a DST conversion. This solution would be difficult to improve on.

You have an exceptional rifle with a most interesting history. Thanks!

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 05:45 AM
“You have an exceptional rifle with a most interesting history. Thanks!”

Glenn, Thank-you, many firearms had an interesting history and it’s very satisfying when I can put it all together. I’ll add that I had a thick file on this rifle long before I became the caretaker of it. Normally I find an interesting firearm then try to do the research. When it surfaced I jumped.

Although not well known Zischang also made a safety when he installed DST’s on a Borchardt hunting rifle. His was incorporated into the forward part of the trigger guard. One of these rifles resides with a member here and shows typical superb Zischang workmanship.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 05:50 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BrentD:
Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Fewless:
WhI would really like to examine the double set trigger as well...
Glenn
Wouldn't we all. Then we would pay you vast sums to install them in our Borchardts.....

(exactly zero sarcasm there. A bunch of us would kill for those triggers).

Brent
Brent

Gosh, this sounds like my big chance to be rich! :rolleyes:

I have a Borchardt action that I am going to build into an international rules Long Range rifle and am considering a DST conversion. I have (incomplete) drawings of the Zischang trigger and one designed by Zika. Both seem far more complicated than necessary and an absolute nightmare to build and set up properly. I am expecting copies of yet another design to arrive soon, and I have an idea of my own that I am toying with.

We shall see. The one man I know of that built a set swears he will never do so again. There is a reason no one is offering them.

Glenn
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 10:29 AM
Wonder what year shooters learned 'not' to rest their barrels on anything ?
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 11:42 AM
Glenn,
I'm interested in your alternatives. I've dreamed up a few myself - not that I have a single qualification necessary for executing them.

Most folks that have built these triggers are swearing off them forever. But I remain hopeful nonetheless.

You might check with Al Sledge as well.

Brent
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 03:38 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by HomelessjOe:
Wonder what year shooters learned 'not' to rest their barrels on anything ?
It’s a common misconception that all rifles should not be rested on the barrel. I have been shooting single-shot rifles in general and Schuetzen rifle in particular for over thirty-five years and shoot them all “off the barrel”.


Posted By: Terry Buffum Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 05:34 PM
A modern version of Niedner's shooting sticks used to be available from G T Glebe Co., Bryn Athyn, PA. They made their "Chuck-Stick" from a piece of drill rod with a padded aluminum casting providing the rest arm; a wooden knob was the handle for pressing it into the ground, then was losened to permit the rest to pivot and slide to the desired height on the shaft. Two thumb screws then held it.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 07:27 PM
][/QUOTE]Brent

Gosh, this sounds like my big chance to be rich! :rolleyes:

I have a Borchardt action that I am going to build into an international rules Long Range rifle and am considering a DST conversion. I have (incomplete) drawings of the Zischang trigger and one designed by Zika. Both seem far more complicated than necessary and an absolute nightmare to build and set up properly. I am expecting copies of yet another design to arrive soon, and I have an idea of my own that I am toying with.

We shall see. The one man I know of that built a set swears he will never do so again. There is a reason no one is offering them.

Glenn [/QB][/QUOTE]


When K-Mart was closing their stores in Alaska and had a sale on everything I pick up a set of Zischang DST, wish I knew then that more people would want one

Posted By: H A Roberts Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 08:52 PM
Regarding the picture of Leopold with the scoped Stevens and the tails around his neck, the tails are likely squirrel tails and the cartridge is likely 25-25 Stevens or 28-35 Stevens. The last two issues of The Single Shot Exchange ran a very interesting reprint of a late 19th Century story of several friends in New England off on a week long bicycle hunting trip. They had two 25 and one 28 caliber single shot rifles, and if I recall correctly two Moog telescopic sights. The host of the hunt referred to as “L” had the 28-35 Stevens with a scope.

I’m making this post at work, and the magazines are at home, but I think I have the main points correct. In any case, a very interesting photograph; thanks for showing it to us.

Bob Roberts
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 09:45 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Petrov:
]
When K-Mart was closing their stores in Alaska and had a sale on everything I pick up a set of Zischang DST, wish I knew then that more people would want one

[/QUOTE]


Ain't that just how it always goes?


Thanks a bunch for the picture! I have copied it into my highly organized filing system. I don't suppose you would have any other views of the trigger assembly? I would like to see it from the top and am uncertain just how this system interacts with trigger bar. Will this trigger system fire front trigger unset?

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 09:47 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by H A Roberts:
Regarding the picture of Leopold with the scoped Stevens and the tails around his neck, the tails are likely squirrel tails and the cartridge is likely 25-25 Stevens or 28-35 Stevens. The last two issues of The Single Shot Exchange ran a very interesting reprint of a late 19th Century story of several friends in New England off on a week long bicycle hunting trip. They had two 25 and one 28 caliber single shot rifles, and if I recall correctly two Moog telescopic sights. The host of the hunt referred to as “L” had the 28-35 Stevens with a scope.

I’m making this post at work, and the magazines are at home, but I think I have the main points correct. In any case, a very interesting photograph; thanks for showing it to us.

Bob Roberts
Bob, welcome to the forum. Do the shells in Mr. Leopold’s belt look like they have a neck on them to you?
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 09:51 PM
Glenn, The pictured triggers were made from a Zischang not from the Niedner. Later in the week I’ll get a picture from the top for you. I’ll take a look at the Niedner and see how much trouble it will be to photograph them as well.

The front trigger on the Niedner will fire the rifle without the rear set, and not a bad pull at that. The Zischang triggers are not yet installed on a rifle but they will do the same.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 10:31 PM
Michael:

It looks like the Zischang trigger set that I have the drawing of. The mainspring is pretty distinctive. I would appreciate any images you could provide on this. I would also really like to see how Mr. Niedner approached the problem, howsomever I don't expect you to take your rifle apart just to post pictures. If you should ever happen to have the rifle apart please do take some pictures.


As for the cartridges on Mr. Leopolds belt, it appears to me that they are straight cases. My guess, based on their length and the fact he is holding a Stevens rifle, is that they are .28-30 Stevens. Could be .25-25 Stevens but they look larger than .25 caliber.

Glenn
Posted By: H A Roberts Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 11:20 PM
Michael,

After looking at the dimensions of the Stevens action and at Leopold’s stature in the first image, I would agree that the cartridges are more likely 28-35 Stevens - relatively larger, straighter and little taper, with a seemingly larger rim.

As you well know, these old boys were fierce offhand competitors, and relentless experimenters in service of that competition off the bench. But when they wanted to just have some fun and let their hair down, they seemed to like to go hunting for ground hogs, squirrels, grouse, and such. I can’t recall exactly in which book, but either Pope or Mann writes about the two of them just getting away to hunt ground hogs. Maybe it was Mann trying to coax or entice an exhausted, overworked Pope away from the shop for some outdoor recreation.

Bob
Posted By: eightbore Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/16/06 11:34 PM
A good friend who is going to turn 91 soon gave me all his Single Shot Rifle Exchange and Single Shot Journal (??) magazines. I love them to death, but it's a little like giving my Double Gun Journals to a Cowboy Action Shooter. I devour them but I don't know a tenth of what I'm reading. I sure wasted my early days. I could have been messing with single shots. I hope I get a few of my friend's rifles, but I'll probably have to stand in line. Murphy
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 03:18 AM
Glenn,

I’ll try to get some good pictures and post them on this thread, I have all the pieces for a Zischang-Borchardt just trying to get the person who made the triggers to tackle another installation. At the time he built four set’s installed two and made one from himself and one for me. Says making the trigger is just half of the job.

I located the original Leopold picture and it’s plain that the cartridges are a straight taper and no neck, so it’s the .28-30.


Bob,

I believe that your reference to Mann and Pope getting away might be in the Gerald Kelver book on Pope with all the reprinted letters.


Murphy,

Buying original single-shot rifles such as Schuetzen rifles are a thing of the past for me. I’m lucky that I bought well when I was younger, I never dreamed that the prices would rise to where they are today. All my good single-shots were bought from friends and acquaintances, just had to be in line. One Ballard took twenty years
Posted By: crossedchisles Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 03:23 PM
MP...Did you ever see the John Amber Auction Catalogue? I belive A few of Johns 'Creedmore'Rifles,(That survived the Barn fire)sold for 'very little money'. I worked on several Sharps S/S,A Borchard(sp)S/S. He had a fantastic collection of'Set triggers' some still in the 'white'I think I still have one set that I was going to fit into a Winchester 'Lo-Wall' for him,but he died.I think JA wrote several articals on the S/S rifles in his collection. I imported some of the 1st Martin Hargen(sp)S/S actions for him,,This could become the New"Doublegunshop&SingleShot.com(Lots of Single Shot Shotguns out there)!! C/C
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 03:29 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by crossedchisles:
This could become the New"Doublegunshop&SingleShot.com(Lots of Single Shot Shotguns out there)!! C/C
You bet it could. There would be room for such a forum, although the ASSRA forum does cover this to some extent.

Brent
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 05:24 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by crossedchisles:
MP...Did you ever see the John Amber Auction Catalogue? I belive A few of Johns 'Creedmore'Rifles,(That survived the Barn fire)sold for 'very little money'. I worked on several Sharps S/S,A Borchard(sp)S/S. He had a fantastic collection of'Set triggers' some still in the 'white'I think I still have one set that I was going to fit into a Winchester 'Lo-Wall' for him,but he died.I think JA wrote several articals on the S/S rifles in his collection. I imported some of the 1st Martin Hargen(sp)S/S actions for him,,This could become the New"Doublegunshop&SingleShot.com(Lots of Single Shot Shotguns out there)!! C/C
David,
My friends got together and paid my way to the Amber auction in Hyannis, MA. I examined and bid on what they wanted and bought a couple of things for myself. Very exciting five days, John had a wonderful collection. I don’t remember anything going cheap, we all felt that we and everyone else way overpaid, hindsight shows there were some outstanding deals. Two months ago I bought a rifle for about ten times what I stopped bidding on it at the auction for.
Posted By: JohnM Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 06:40 PM
Wonderful stuff, this. In 1959, the Public Library in downtown Toledo, O had many, many of the pre-war classic authors and books. Visiting columns like this one is like visiting with old comfortable friends, whom I haven't seen in some while.


These fellows and their world was a enchanted forest to me, and still is. What an age of craftsman and visionaries. True, we have our own contemporary excellence, but those fellows are still a measure of the rifleman.


From the above posts it seems that world of SS is alive and well. Happy days, indeed. BTW, aren't thos shooting sticks a hechuva lot classier than a foldaway bi-pod? Bi-pods are great on the stainless and synthetic shooting machines, but for real blue steel, case, and walnut what could be better that antique design?

As for being an antique, this string got me to thinking that my Single-shot Rifle Exchange and Single Shot Journals have been good friends. But active interests evolve, and I think that it's in the measure of time that they move onto a more active shooter's hands.

Best Regards to the SS Clan,
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 08:09 PM
John,

My core interest has always been the early shooters and custom makers of single-shot rifles. Back in MY good old days the ASSRA was sort of a collection of folks who were trying to preserve the history of Schuetzen and other single-shot rifles. Although it has grown the focus has changed so much I don’t even recognize it anymore. I guess this rearview mirror view comes with age. I think that it would safe to say that many more modern single-shot replicas have been made than originals. The sport is alive and doing well.

Shooting sticks or anything from Niedner’s shop were special as far as I’m concerned, but then I’m a little one sided on the issue. As well as the shooting sticks Niedner made telescope mounts on the same principal, I have his and it has an attachment that fits a Model-T mirror bracket.



Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 08:55 PM
Can you stand more shooting-stick pictures? These are from a 1912 & 1918 chuck hunt in NY. I don’t know who the man and boy are with Niedner, from his photo album.


Posted By: Utah Shotgunner Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 09:14 PM
Michael,

Do you have Niedners photo album or copies?
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 09:30 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Utah Shotgunner:
Michael,

Do you have Niedners photo album or copies?
I have his photo album.
Posted By: Utah Shotgunner Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/17/06 10:03 PM
Very cool.

I don't know how you guys that have been at this for 30+ years did it before the internet. There are only 24 hours in a day.....
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:14 AM
Gentlemens:

I was pawing through some books and came across that picture of the gang of four in front of the car in "The Breech-Loading Single Shot Rifle" by Roberts/ Waters. The caption under the picture reads, in part:

--------------------------------

Four of the most noted rifle experts on a woodchuck shoot at Shushan, New York, in May 1911.

-------------------------------


The book also has a picture, not too good, of a Zischang Borchardt with a DST. It appears that the trigger is different than what is normally seen. It looks like the original lever shape has been retained and the rear setting trigger is longer and set right close to the back of the trigger bow.

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:35 AM
Glenn,

Is your book a reprint, that picture is not in my copy? Is it the same picture with the names written under them?
Posted By: JohnM Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 02:01 PM
My Esteemed Mr. Petrov,[isn't old-fashioned stuff fun? ;~`) ]

Enjoy the pics and history. Almost like a time machine, for one's memories of being an awed youngster haunting those quiet library shelves, filled with books of another and nearly forgotten era.

Those classic single shots certainly set an American standard for elegance and accuracy. I remember Warren Page's 1970's book on benchrest riflery. Somewhere in it he mentions that some of the standards set with those early guns and shooters, were not bettered or equalled by modern goods until well after WW2. Not a footnotable contribution, there, but just a general observation.

I'd be interested sometime in seeing an article with good photos or drawings of Niedner's sticks. While there are perfectly adequate versions of that idea [MTM, etc.] over-the-counter available, it might be interesting to make a replica for personal enjoyment. Not that I'm not already some longrifles, and three months of work behind, already this fall. ;~`)

Anyway, it surely has been fun seeing this discussion continue. I'd suspect that folks who admire the doublegun also find a lot to admire in elegant single-shots. Surely has been my case, tho mildly, from rehabbing Steven's Favorites as a young man, to playing around with assorted oddball Euro pieces before they became "collectible".

Definitely need another book on the subject!! LOL.

John
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:21 PM
Michael:

The copy of the Roberts book I have is softbound, published by Wolfe in 1987 and this is the only publication date listed.

The photo is on page 256 and is, as near as I can tell, the same photo, not a similar one. Likely a copy. The names of the gentlemen are written on the photo at the feet of each man, but only the last name, no initials or titles. It appears to be in the same hand as what is written on your photo. Also the "Shushan, N.Y. 1911" is absent from this copy.

The photo is credited: Courtesy of Dave Wolfe


Glenn
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:31 PM
Mr. JohnM

--------------------
Relax; we're all experts here.
--------------------

This is by far the best tag line I have ever read. I cannot help but think you would be grand company, sir.


My thanks to all for tolerating this off topic thread. It is most interesting and entertaining.

Respectfully,

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:34 PM
John,

I never left the library shelves, difference now it’s my library. I still live in the past with these folks, now all gone.

One pleasure I get is sitting down at the local range with one of the OLD single-shot schuetzen rifles and exposing new people to how-it-was. Most just can’t believe how well these old rifles can shoot. It takes a pretty good modern rifle today that you can cover ten shots at 100 yards with a dime.

If you ever want to build a Niedner style shooting stick, let me know and I’ll try to help. I have located several of these over the years but once I explain to the owner what he has they don’t turn loose of them. I have two scope sticks but not a shooting one. It would be a hard sell to an editor for an article on just sticks but I have a Varmint rifle article that I might include this info in. Problem is I have get back to work and finish off several articles that I dropped for summer shooting.




Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 05:40 PM
Glenn,

Thanks, I’ve never seen a reprint, this photo seems to get around, interesting.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/18/06 10:25 PM
Glenn,

Here are some pictures of the Zischang triggers, a couple have too much glare, sorry about that. Hope it helps.




Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/26/06 02:16 AM
Glenn,

Back to the top, I wanted to make sure you saw these pictures, bad as they are. MP
Posted By: outdoorlvr Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/27/06 12:19 AM
Michael - - Thanks for the treat. Great stuff.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 10/29/06 02:50 AM
Michael:

I just found the pictures. Thanks!!!

After studying them I finally grasp how the trigger actually works. It all makes sense now. It would be a serious undertaking, but they are buildable. It would be a most interesting project.

I have saved the pictures and will be refering to them. It is my intention to build the rifle next winter. Thanks again.

Best regards,

Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/04/06 10:56 AM
On the Photograph of Dr. Bakers rifle, there is what appears to be a large pin (approx 3/8" dia)in the side of the receiver below the receiver barrel ring and above the lever pin.

I have seen similar pins on more than one photograph of Zischang modified Borchardts. Does anyone know what the purpose of this pin is? It must serve some function, although it's not to be found on factory made Borchardts.

Harry
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/04/06 06:57 PM
Harry

The Baker-Borchardt started life as a Long-Range Creedmoor rifle. I can tell this by the milled out recesses in the action and the hollow through-bolt. When Niedner got the rifle he made a new breech block and fitted DST’s, although the triggers are a lot like ones made by Zischang the treatment of the lower tang is not and is case-colored in the Niedner-Malden style.

The tapered pin in the action is a take-down so there may have been more barrels for the action at one time. It’s very possible that the take-down pin was the work of Zischang. Dr. Baker had many rifles and this rifle may have been something else between the long-range and woodchuck rifle we see today.

Another interesting thing about this rifle is the barrel on it was original on one of Niedner’s rifles, who then mounted it on Bakers rifle. I have a Borchardt that belonged to Niedner that has a Stevens-Pope .38-72 barrel on it that originally belonged to Dr. Baker and was on his Remington.

Michael
Posted By: crossedchisles Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/04/06 11:21 PM
Michael Petrov, Don't know if this is'too late for you to read, but I was unpacking a box of old stuff, John Amber Photos, Letters from long dead Customers,John Pirie(sp)Carson, Pirie,&Scott,Dept Store in Chicago,Good client of Purdey's,Elmer (THE HAT)Keith.Have a GREAT photo of 'The EX' with a db 375H&H and Elmers Big Hat,Dead Lion Rug with the EX(sans clothing)looking "VERY Trophy-Like"...But, an Englishman's Promise is a Promise!!!!I think Barry Hands may have had 'a peek' when we were unpacking these boxes couple of weeks ago!!!!!But I've regressed......I have a page from a 1972(?)Gun Digest from John Amber,with the obit'for Tom Shelhamer,1890-1971 and in the next column,Nash Buckingham,1881-1971.Amber wrotea nice, short(65words) piece for Mr Shelhamer. Two'Biggies' Off to the Blue Yonder in the same year..C/C
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/04/06 11:55 PM
Originally Posted By: Michael Petrov
Harry

The tapered pin in the action is a take-down so there may have been more barrels for the action at one time. It’s very possible that the take-down pin was the work of Zischang. Dr. Baker had many rifles and this rifle may have been something else between the long-range and woodchuck rifle we see today.

Michael


Hello Michael,

Thanks for the prompt reply, but it has brought up another question. I know that some different makes of rifles,(including target rifles)had the barrels pinned in place by one or two crosspins. There being no threads on either the receiver or barrel.

Is Dr.Bakers rifle 'threadless' or, is the barrel a light hand tight screw in fit, locked in place by the cross pin, or is the pin alone holding the barrel in position?

I only ask,because I am building a 'Borchardt' from scratch and the thought had crossed my mind to have two or more of barrels in different calibres that could be changed quickly, in the field, instead of having to take the rifle home and do a barrel change there.

It would make my project a lot more interesting if I could have one barrel in 45/70 or 45/90 for long range BRCR, a .38" -.40"BP round for hunting Roe Deer, and, with a spare breechblock it could be converted to a .22 rimfire for rabbits and vermin.

Provided the receiver ring and the barrels are precision ground so that they fit together without any movement or play, I see no reason why a tapered locking pin shouldn't hold them together as well as the traditional screw together fitting. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Regards,

Harry
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/05/06 06:07 AM
Originally Posted By: crossedchisles
Michael Petrov, Don't know if this is'too late for you to read, but I was unpacking a box of old stuff, John Amber Photos, Letters from long dead Customers,John Pirie(sp)Carson, Pirie,&Scott,Dept Store in Chicago,Good client of Purdey's,Elmer (THE HAT)Keith.Have a GREAT photo of 'The EX' with a db 375H&H and Elmers Big Hat,Dead Lion Rug with the EX(sans clothing)looking "VERY Trophy-Like"...But, an Englishman's Promise is a Promise!!!!I think Barry Hands may have had 'a peek' when we were unpacking these boxes couple of weeks ago!!!!!But I've regressed......I have a page from a 1972(?)Gun Digest from John Amber,with the obit'for Tom Shelhamer,1890-1971 and in the next column,Nash Buckingham,1881-1971.Amber wrotea nice, short(65words) piece for Mr Shelhamer. Two'Biggies' Off to the Blue Yonder in the same year..C/C

All interesting stuff , I have all the “Gun Digest” but was unaware of the Shelhamer obit, I will look it up, thanks for the alert. Do you ever remember talking with John Amber about an “Accident” in his gun room that involved a pellet rifle and a very historical custom rifle? If so I would like to hear more!
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/05/06 06:23 AM
[/quote]

Hello Michael,

Thanks for the prompt reply, but it has brought up another question. I know that some different makes of rifles,(including target rifles)had the barrels pinned in place by one or two crosspins. There being no threads on either the receiver or barrel.

Is Dr.Bakers rifle 'threadless' or, is the barrel a light hand tight screw in fit, locked in place by the cross pin, or is the pin alone holding the barrel in position?

I only ask,because I am building a 'Borchardt' from scratch and the thought had crossed my mind to have two or more of barrels in different calibres that could be changed quickly, in the field, instead of having to take the rifle home and do a barrel change there.

It would make my project a lot more interesting if I could have one barrel in 45/70 or 45/90 for long range BRCR, a .38" -.40"BP round for hunting Roe Deer, and, with a spare breechblock it could be converted to a .22 rimfire for rabbits and vermin.

Provided the receiver ring and the barrels are precision ground so that they fit together without any movement or play, I see no reason why a tapered locking pin shouldn't hold them together as well as the traditional screw together fitting. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Regards,

Harry [/quote]

Harry,

If your building a Borchardt from scratch my hat if off to your sir and I wish you the best of luck. I like your idea about using it for both target and hunting. The barrel is threaded and I would not consider anything else. I don’t believe that I would build a rifle (target) with no threads and only cross-pins. We just built a spare barrel for my Stevens 44 ½ that I can change with the barrel in a padded vise using an oak block of wood in the breech-block cut out. This barrel is then held in with a screw from the bottom of the frame that is tapered on the sides of the end but does not bottom out. I also have a Ballard that has this same Stevens set-screw in the bottom of the frame. I have seen take-down single-shots by both Zischang and Schoyen that have the cross-pin and they were all threaded.




Michael

Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/05/06 09:37 AM
Hello Michael,

Many thanks for the reply, I've sent you a PM to avoid cluttering up this fascinating thread.

Harry
Posted By: crossedchisles Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/05/06 04:05 PM
Michael,I did'nt hear that particular story, butI saw the "Speed Graphic" that got 'Itself'shot at "A Farm" Marengo,Illinois!!!I wonder where those Beautiful Single-Shot rifles are to-day?? I have a English Oak,"Coffin Rifle-Case" With a Brass Name Plate on the outside of the lid, Engraved'William Cooper. 7 Union Court. Liverpool.The case is 55" long. JA told me it was built for a'Whitworth Rifle aprox 1850-1860" A similar case is pictured in Gun Digest1983 P110(JA gave me the page with the case)..DT
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/06/06 10:09 PM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Hello Michael,

Many thanks for the reply, I've sent you a PM to avoid cluttering up this fascinating thread.

Harry


Harry,

No PM, send me a note to mjpetrov@acsalaska.net
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/06/06 10:09 PM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Hello Michael,

Many thanks for the reply, I've sent you a PM to avoid cluttering up this fascinating thread.

Harry


Harry,

No PM, send me a note to mjpetrov@acsalaska.net
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/06/06 10:12 PM
Originally Posted By: crossedchisles
Michael,I did'nt hear that particular story, butI saw the "Speed Graphic" that got 'Itself'shot at "A Farm" Marengo,Illinois!!!I wonder where those Beautiful Single-Shot rifles are to-day?? I have a English Oak,"Coffin Rifle-Case" With a Brass Name Plate on the outside of the lid, Engraved'William Cooper. 7 Union Court. Liverpool.The case is 55" long. JA told me it was built for a'Whitworth Rifle aprox 1850-1860" A similar case is pictured in Gun Digest1983 P110(JA gave me the page with the case)..DT

My Amber catalog is dog eared and I have wondered were they all are, I few came to Alaska and are still with the owners. I was just looking through a auction catalog for next month and saw a rifle that looked familiar then realized it was one I had sold many moons ago. Looks like John had more than one “Accident”.
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/06/06 11:02 PM
Hello Michael,
Email and photographs sent.

Harry
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 12:50 AM
Guys, please don't hesitate to clutter the thread on my account. I really enjoy reading this one, and the more added to it the better.

Meanwhile, everytime I see Leopold mentioned, I wonder if he has any relationship to either of the other two famous Leopolds that I know of. Michael, I am willing to wager a small sum that if there is a connection to the scope manufacturer or the father of wildlife biology and management, you will know of it. Any luck?

Brent
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 02:16 AM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
Guys, please don't hesitate to clutter the thread on my account. I really enjoy reading this one, and the more added to it the better.

Meanwhile, everytime I see Leopold mentioned, I wonder if he has any relationship to either of the other two famous Leopolds that I know of. Michael, I am willing to wager a small sum that if there is a connection to the scope manufacturer or the father of wildlife biology and management, you will know of it. Any luck?

Brent



I agree, no need to go into the closet on our account. This is good stuff.


As far as the Leopold connection, Aldo was born in 1887 and I would guess be a comptemporary of E.A., more or less. I believe the scope guy spelled his name Leupold.

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 05:49 AM
When I did the research on the Maynard Long-Range rifle that belonged to Leopold for my article I did some background work on him. To be honest I was not as well versed in that type research as I am today but I found nothing to connect him to anyone else we would know. E.A. Leopold was one of the moving forces behind the work of F.W. Mann and Leopold like Mann had a very inquisitive mind.

Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 12:30 PM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
Guys, please don't hesitate to clutter the thread on my account. I really enjoy reading this one, and the more added to it the better.

Brent


Very well chaps, you did ask for it.

Ref. My question to Michael regarding the cross pin in the Borchardt custom modified rifles.

Yesterday I found an answer in the Single Shot Rifle Journal Vol.59, No. 6 for November / December 2005. (Reprinted from the American Single Shot Rifle News Vol. 37 No.3. May/June 1983). There is an article there on breech seating bullets. In it, it was stated that these pins were mainly used to permit takedown of the rifle to ease the transport of rifles too and from the range.

Some gunsmiths such as George Schoyen used a slightly longer pin and used it as an anchor point for a breech seating tool. There is also a reference to a drawing and an article by John Dutcher in the 1971 Guns Digest which shows a drawing of this set up, for what appears to be a Ballard Rifle. A similar item could be used for the Borchardt, or indeed many other single shot rifle actions. Admittedly this breech seating of bullets was mainly used by Schuetzen aficionado's, and to a lesser degree by Long Range BPCR competitors.

It may come as surprise to many, but it appears that some of the best shots in the early decades of the last century assembled their rifles at the range, shot their competition, and then took their rifles apart to carry them home in a convenient fashion.

It certainly seems to demonstrate, that you don't need a massive vice and the muscles of a Gorilla to screw the barrel into a receiver in order to get fine accuracy. Essentially the barrel has only to be a hand pressure screw fit, which is then locked in a precise position by a tapered pin, to be very accurate indeed.

Amazing, isn't it, I don't know something, I ask, then the next day I read all about it in a magazine. One of life's strange anomolies.

Re the photo in the previous post, I thought my workshop was a bit rough and ready, until I saw that picture. lol.

Harry.
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 01:40 PM
Yeah, Harry, your shop may be pretty tidy, but do you wear a coat and tie when you are grinding away?

I gotta wonder if they didn't get dressed up for these photos. Every one of them look like they just came home from church.

Pretty cool Michael. Keep at it.

Brent
Posted By: crossedchisles Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 02:28 PM
Mr Harry Eales,Reading your 'posts' reminds me of many of the 'Older' Riflesmiths/Gunsmiths that I had the pleasure of meeting/working with in some small way over the last 42 years of my Residency here in the US. at one time I had one of Harry Popes bench 'set-ups'. Large Mahog.block with steel plate in the top suface,steel pin at front to locate the 'V' in the foot of the bbl clamp. I think it was pictured in one of the Gun/D. that Amber gave me on one of my many visits to his'Office'.Do you or any of this Esteemed Group know the name of the Rifle-maker,(who;s name and photo is still packed in my 'stuff) who took to the'Woods' Snake River, Idaho, Had a TV Special of him Just before he died,aprox.1989 90?. He was a 'Very Clever' Pimitive Rifle & Gun maker.I shot the Friendship, Indiana,Matches, 1975-1982. with several 'Shots' who knew him. I have a P/Back Book of his life story(In storage)MP, Great photo of Workshop, One of my Favorite subjects! I still use hand tools from the 1860-1900s on a daily basis.Another name from my S.Indiana Past'William S Schilling,was a S/S builder, Shot with Harry Pope often, had a good collection of Pope Bbl. rifles.he was also a'hellava' Inventor, had some US Pats. for Farm Equipment I belive.One of the many'Hands-On'Type of Firearm Enthusiast' that dont seem to come to the top of 'The Cream-Bucket' in this PC era.Who was it who said something to the effect" Theres no Future Without a Past?...CC.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 05:15 PM
The take-down rifle became popular with the expansion of public transportation.

It’s fun to look at old photos of men at a shooting match dressed in coat, tie and jacket.
One of my favorite photos of Harvey W. Rodgers at the work bench.

Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 06:01 PM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
Yeah, Harry, your shop may be pretty tidy, but do you wear a coat and tie when you are grinding away?

I gotta wonder if they didn't get dressed up for these photos. Every one of them look like they just came home from church.

Pretty cool Michael. Keep at it.

Brent


Hello Brent,
I haven't worn a tie in the past 30 years, except to go to funerals. I only own one (in black). I certainly wouldn't wear one anywhere near machinery. Hell, I don't even wear suits, the last one I owned had flared trouser bottoms. (circa 1972). lol.

As for my workshop being tidy, If I'm working on something I daren't put it down, I'd never find it again.

Keep those pictures coming Michael, they open up a whole new and little known world, of how things were done 80-90 years ago.

Harry
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 06:07 PM
Harry, we are more alike than I thought. Though I still don't know which way is up on a file.

Brent
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 06:32 PM
One thing no one has mentioned or is it just me but there looks like someone standing in the doorway on the picture with the three sitting on the steps. Is this a man with a shooting stick, a woman with a broom or am I seeing things. I have seen other Niedner pictures with what looks like another person in the background. Bad eyesight, a good imagination or do I need to change meds?
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 06:47 PM
I think it's a man with a gun and a black hat. That's my guess anyway.

Brent
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/07/06 11:11 PM
I can't agree Brent, I believe it's a fairly elderly woman with either a broom or a rake. The handle is too large to be a shooting stick (compare the size with those in the foreground).

I thought all those little cabins out in the boonies came with a little lady, who's job it was to cook those varmints the men shot. lol.

Harry
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 02:44 AM
Another project for the future, the Zischang triggers will go in this one. A Zischang style schuetzen rifle in caliber 32-40.


Posted By: akjeff Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 03:35 AM
Just wanted to quickly chime in, and thank Michael, et al, for the incredible information, and wonderful photographs. I hadn't looked at this forum for some time, and sure glad I checked in. Wonderful stuff!!!

Jeff
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 03:37 AM
Harry, I think the "broomstick" is a gun. Possibly even a double. And if it was a little old lady and she was cooking their kills, I feel sorry for them. Woodchuck, pasture poodles, are generally not considered fine dining. Though a very few folks claim otherwise.

Michael,when do you anticipate first light from that gun? Seems it looks about the same as it did a year ago.

Love the scallop cuts on the action.

Brent
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 06:25 AM
Originally Posted By: BrentD

Michael,when do you anticipate first light from that gun? Seems it looks about the same as it did a year ago. Love the scallop cuts on the action. Brent

Yes it’s about the same as it was a year ago and it might be the same this time next year. There is only one person that can fit the triggers and do the rest of the metal work. Until that is done I can’t have the stock or engraving done. The good news is he is my best friend the bad news is he is my best friend and I would rather have him as a friend than a gunsmith. I’m not pushing; he is going to build one for himself at the same time so when he has the time I have the parts. I have plenty of other projects, don’t we all? We just finished a .22LR target barrel now it’s five-below and all I can do is look at it.

I almost hate to say this but take a good look at the picture with the car.

Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 06:55 AM
Michael:

In the car photo that is a woman with a bonnet. It looks like one can see that same broom/ firearm in front of her. Maybe the place is haunted. Anything about ghosts in Mr. Niedner's personal writings?

As for your Borchardt project, it looks real good. Howsomever, mayhaps you having to wait for the 'smith is a blessing in disguise. You could use the time to save up and get a good piece of straight grained wood instead having to use that junky one with all the disorganized grain...

Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 09:34 AM
Hello Michael,
I have a query on your Borchardt Military Action pictured above.

Om the underside of the action in your picture is a rectangular plate immediately in front of the trigger.

I haven't seen this before on any Borchardt photograph. What is it's purpose? Is is a factory 'cover up for an machining error, or has someone been 'at it' at some time in the past? It appears to be held in place by a through pin drilled through the bevelled lower edge of the receiver.

A nice looking project, photo's please when it is finished.

Harry
Posted By: bsteele Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 01:12 PM
The time period that these pictures were taken was pretty early in the life of Photography. I would think that it was quite an event and that even the non-subjects of the photograph would stop whatever they were doing to see it happen. Remember many Native Americans would not have their picture taken because they felt it would steal their souls, I've got to think it was similarly novel, even to white folk, into the teens.

I see the guy at the door in the car photo, but It looks like a butter churn & a light inside the house on the front porch photo (to me).
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 04:55 PM
Glenn,

It took me years to find the proper wood for this project, I needed one that had a bit of figure in the butt and the rest straight. Also because the back of the Borchardt action is at an angle needed grain flow a certain way. When done this rifle needs to look like it came from Zischang’s shop. I was whining to Jerry Fisher about “No one understands me and the wood I need”. He said he had bought a bunch of this type wood years ago but people did not want it because it was so “Plain”. Problem solved. . I had the same wood problem when I was looking for wood for the pictured long-range, you can see in the picture how the wood grain meets the action.


Harry,

The photo is not very good, if I have time I’ll shoot just the action. The action is a commercial action with an octagonal frame. The plate can be removed to install factory set triggers. I was visiting a friend in Portland about twenty-five years ago and he showed me this. He had bought an almost new Borchardt sporting rifle before WWII pulled the barrel, wood and sights and threw them away (insert tears here) then had the action profiled, he had a varmint rifle planned but never got around to it.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 06:05 PM

Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/08/06 10:37 PM
Hello Michael,
Thanks for the pictures, they're very interesting. I've only come across one photograph of an octagonal receiver ring before. It turned out to be quite a nice rifle. I may just make mine like that, It's certainly easier to machine.

A sad story about the demise of a good rifle, but then again if he hadn't stripped it, you may not have got it now. Every cloud has a silver lining. lol.

Harry


Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 06:37 AM
Gentlemens:

Shucks, I did not even know that there was such a thing as an octagon topped Borchardt. Sure, now you tell me after I already have the round barrel.

Were any Borchardts made with "Rigby flats"? I will be using a round barrel and have toyed with the idea of Rigby flats. Mayhaps they would be best saved for a Ballard...

In any event, thanks for the pictures. I will save them with the rest for future reference.

Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 09:03 AM
Originally Posted By: Glenn Fewless
Gentlemens:

Shucks, I did not even know that there was such a thing as an octagon topped Borchardt. Sure, now you tell me after I already have the round barrel.

Were any Borchardts made with "Rigby flats"? I will be using a round barrel and have toyed with the idea of Rigby flats. Mayhaps they would be best saved for a Ballard...

In any event, thanks for the pictures. I will save them with the rest for future reference.

Glenn


Hello Glen,
There are a very few modified Borchardt rifles with Rigby Flats.
The two below are from my files. One is a custom engraved and modified original action, the other is a 'Scratch Build' made by the Dutchman Leon Kranen, who I may add, has been of very great help to me in building mine, even if all his measurements are in 'Metric'. Machining Rigby Flats on a round barrel must be a nightmare.

Harry




Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 08:53 PM
Some folks you can just never please, I would trade my octagon Borchardt action for a round (commercial) one in a heartbeat.

IMO, being a traditionalist I prefer Rigby barrels on rifles that original had them, in my eye they look out of place on others.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 09:13 PM
Harry:

Thanks for the pictures. I rather like the looks of the second rifle.

The machining of the Rigby flat is not a big deal, it is the handwork that is brutal. Lots of quality time with files and abrasive paper.

Glenn
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 09:32 PM
Originally Posted By: Michael Petrov
Some folks you can just never please, I would trade my octagon Borchardt action for a round (commercial) one in a heartbeat.

IMO, being a traditionalist I prefer Rigby barrels on rifles that original had them, in my eye they look out of place on others.


Michael:

We are strange creatures, aren't we? You have an action so rare I did not know of its existence and would rather have a "common" one. Being something of a traditionalist myself, I am asking about examples of original Borchardts with Rigby flats because somehow that will give me permission to put them on my own rifle.

Well, part of my own irrational makeup is a liking for octagon barrels. If I should stumble onto a round top sporting action we will see about a trade.

Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 10:17 PM
[quote=Glenn Fewless
We are strange creatures, aren't we? You have an action so rare I did not know of its existence and would rather have a "common" one. Being something of a traditionalist myself, I am asking about examples of original Borchardts with Rigby flats because somehow that will give me permission to put them on my own rifle.
Glenn [/quote]

Glenn,

I've never seen pictures of an original Borchardt with Rigby Flats, or in any of the Sharps Factory Catalogues. Rigby Flats were known in the USA in the early 1870's, or earlier, and they weren't confined to the top of the barrel either.

I have attached three pictures of the ultra rare D.S.Cole long range rifle from the early 1870's. One of eight known to exist of the 36 made. Cole obviously thought highly of Rigby Flats, he put one on the top of the barrel one on each side and possibly one underneath. I must admit I don't see any advantage to having them at all. Does anyone know the theory behind them?

Harry



Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 11:03 PM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
I must admit I don't see any advantage to having them at all. Does anyone know the theory behind them?

Harry


Harry,
I'm surprised at you! Those flats make it so much more convenient to latch on to that barrel with a pipe wrench of course!

With that, I shall retire to the hunting fields with my Sharps in pursuit of a wiley mule deer.

I lok forward to seeing what transpires while I'm going.

Brent
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/09/06 11:31 PM
Rigby barrels on American rifles.

Marlin-Ballard rifles offered a “Rigby-Finish” barrel, using the design that John Rigby introduced to American on his muzzle-loading rifle. John Rigby, the Dublin, Ireland maker not only imported Ballards but used them personally in competition, his targets were used in Ballard advertisements. The barrels with the Rigby flats are not Rigby barrels just Rigby-style barrels and have the normal rifling found in other model Ballards.
More on this subject can be found in John Dutcher’s excellent book on the Ballard.

Rigby-Style flats on American rifles were found on the Sharps 1877 long range and both Remington Hepburn and rolling blocks.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/10/06 12:23 AM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Cole obviously thought highly of Rigby Flats, he put one on the top of the barrel one on each side and possibly one underneath... I must admit I don't see any advantage to having them at all. Does anyone know the theory behind them?


I read an opinion, I believe in Mr. Dutcher's book, that the reason for Rigby flats was to give rich folk something extra to spend money on. If there is a reason beyond cosmetics, I fail to see it.

Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/10/06 02:34 PM
[quote=Glenn Fewless
I read an opinion, I believe in Mr. Dutcher's book, that the reason for Rigby flats was to give rich folk something extra to spend money on. If there is a reason beyond cosmetics, I fail to see it.Glenn [/quote]

Hello Glenn,

I agree, it has to be cosmetic, a bit like the 'Go Faster stripes' on some cars. They don't work either. lol.

Harry

Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/13/06 01:23 AM
Thanks for all the input, I learned a lot even thought I did a lot of the talking; it’s always fun to share with like minded travelers who know how to travel in the past.

If any questions still linger my hats off to you (literally), pay attention that was a clue.

We will have to do this again sometime, might even be about shotguns.


>>>>My Hat<<<<
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/13/06 06:36 AM

Hey! That's the hat the old woman in the door was wearing!!!!


Glenn
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/14/06 04:33 AM
I have to agree about the hat Glenn. This has been one of the most iteresting threads I've seen on any of the 'gun boards' in a very long time. Only one question remains. Did Brent get his Deer with his Sharps Rifle? lol.

Harry
Posted By: BrentD Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/15/06 05:36 PM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Only one question remains. Did Brent get his Deer with his Sharps Rifle? lol.

Harry


Yes, he did. With only 15 minutes of light left on the last day.

Not a monster, but I'm pretty happy with him and the work I had to do to take him.

Brent
Posted By: Stallones Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/15/06 06:07 PM
My 38-55 Ballard Rigby has totally different rifling than other Ballard Models. It appears to be English style with narrow lands and wide grooves. I think I read in an article that Rigby furnished these barrels.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/15/06 07:50 PM

I have learned never to say never, however I know of no Marlin-Ballard rifle with a factory installed barrel by Rigby. The “Rigby” marked barrels I have seen are the Ballards with Ballard barrels Rigby imported and sold.

The Marlin-Ballard rifling was six narrow lands and wide grooves, right hand twist.
If the rifling in your barrel is different than that I would suggest without having more information that if your barrel is serial numbered to the rifle then it’s a rebore. If the barrel is not serial numbered then it’s a rebarrel.
Posted By: QTRHRS Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/19/06 07:38 PM
An absolutely fascinating thread. Thanks to M. Petrov and all contributers. These small slices of firearm's esoterica are what make these boards, sometimes, so rewarding. What fun, thanks again.
Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/23/06 06:34 AM

Michael and Harry:

I found a Borchardt for sale that is allegedly factory lettered with a Rigby flat. I was going to write and ask your opinions on it when it dawned on me that this is the SAME rifle that Harry posted a picture of as a modified and custom engraved rifle.

But at least it has a letter...

http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976704587.htm

-----------------------------------------------


Originally Posted By: Harry Eales


Hello Glen,
There are a very few modified Borchardt rifles with Rigby Flats.
The two below are from my files. One is a custom engraved and modified original action...
Harry


Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/23/06 05:15 PM
What it looks like to me is a Borchardt with non-factory wood, engraving, barrel, caliber and sights. I like to see what the letter says. Other than that it looks good;-).
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/23/06 07:09 PM
For those of you who don't know what another of the 'Old Masters' looks like, I've attached a picture of A.O.Zischang and a diagram of his rifling form. Sorry about the quality of the picture, but I didn't take it. lol.

Harry
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/23/06 07:28 PM
Hello Michael, that engraved Borchardt has been up for sale for over a year, that's how long I've had a copy of the picture which I took from the gunsamerica site. I see it's dropped $1500.00 in price since first offered.

The 'Factory letter' may be one from Dr,Moore who used to own the Sharps Archive. He used to type his letters on a copy of the original Sharps Factory Letterhead. If this is so, it will give the rifle's Serial No., who it was shipped to, and on what date, and the calibre it was chambered for. Any special features or customising to special order will also be mentioned.

The new owner of the Sharps Archive is less forthcoming and charges about $200.00 for such information and you don't get the copy of the factory letterhead. Most of the information for the Borchards produced is fragmentory and many records are abscent or otherwise missing. A great pity.

Harry.
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/24/06 03:14 AM
For you single-shot guys who might have missed this on the other thread. French polish is still being used, I have several rifles, both old and new that have a French polish. My friend brought this rifle over today for me to photograph for him. He used an original Ballard action and made a nice target grade .22LR, the finish on the stock is French polish.

Posted By: Glenn Fewless Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/24/06 05:29 AM
Michael:

That looks like real fine workmanship, both wood and metal. A .22 offhand rifle is perhaps the highest calling for a Ballard. Could you post a picture of the buttstock? I would like to see the lines and what plate it sports.

Glenn
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/24/06 06:12 AM



Glenn,

I'm not sure what buttplate it started out as but I remember John added a section to it then had it nickle plated. John made the Ballard windguage front and may have made the rear but not sure. MP
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/24/06 10:52 AM
Hello Michael,
Which section is the discussion of French Polishing in? I can't find it and the 'search' facility is out of order or not available at present.

French Polishing can get a lovely finish, but it is somewhat delicate and easily marred. It doesn't stand up to damp weather if you take it into the field.

Years ago I had such a stock on a rifle that I bought for Deer hunting, aftr a couple of days the finish took on a clouded milky look that I couldn't get rid of. Eventually it had to be stripped off and the stock refinished with a hand rubbed oil finish.

Harry
Posted By: Harry Eales Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/24/06 06:29 PM
It's O/K Michael I found the thread, the hard way.lol.

Harry
Posted By: Michael Petrov Re: Leopold’s Rifle - 11/25/06 05:31 AM
Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Hello Michael,
Which section is the discussion of French Polishing in? I can't find it and the 'search' facility is out of order or not available at present.

French Polishing can get a lovely finish, but it is somewhat delicate and easily marred. It doesn't stand up to damp weather if you take it into the field.

Years ago I had such a stock on a rifle that I bought for Deer hunting, aftr a couple of days the finish took on a clouded milky look that I couldn't get rid of. Eventually it had to be stripped off and the stock refinished with a hand rubbed oil finish.

Harry


My favorite Schuetzen rifle has a french-polish, it’s been wet a few times, water just runs off and no discoloration, it had it’s share of bangs and scratching. Works fine on that but not sure I would want french-polish on a hunting rifle that got a lot of hard use. I have seen several sporting rifles made before and after WWI with French polish but have never used one in the woods. I test for french polish with a wee bit of alcohol on a toothpick, one time I had too much and the alcohol ran in left a bad streak in the polish that took a lot of time to correct.
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