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#641122 01/21/24 10:56 AM
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Sidelock
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New here (sorta). I have a Alex Henry double rifle that is missing the sling swivels. Would anyone have some period correct swivels and studs for sale??. Thanks.

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The" correct period" sling swivel studs on your Henry double rifle may not be what you expect; as in the late 1800's through the early 1900's (you do not indicate when your Henry double rifle was built) when British double rifles with slings attached appeared the slings were not detachable. In fact the slings were canvas straps (and maybe leather) of a 1 1/2 inch or more in width and at each end of this strip was a leather strip of about 1/4 inch width by about 8 inches long. The sling was tied onto an "eyelet" at the barrels and a similar eyelet at the butt stock via these two 1/4" x 8" long leather strip. The two eyelets had internal diameter opening of about 5/16" inch allowing the 1/4" wide strip to be tied in a loop of 5-6 loops securely to the eyelets.

Page 142 of the book "ALEXANDER HENRY --Rifle Maker" by Donald Dallas has a photo of Henry double rifle serial number 2977 built in 1873 with the eyelet I have described above and page 153 illustrates the same type eyelet in the butt stock of rifle number 5317 built in 1882 as well as page 155 illustrates a pair of double riles numbers 5871/5872 built in 1885 with the same type eyelets; page 176 of this same book has a copy of an advertisement of 1903 which illustrates the non-detachable sling swivel to fit a 1 inch wide leather sling strap. I think you can assume with some confidence that a Henry double rifle built before say 1895 will have the described eyelets described in the paragraph above. It is interesting to note that on page 167 of this same book a Manton double rifle advertisement of 1909 illustrates the large 5/16 inch inside diameter eyelets on their 8, 10 and 12 bore double rifle. I have seen photos of double rifles made in the 1920-30's with these large eyelets. Look at the photo of Mike Harrell's .577 European double rifle at the post below yours and you will see what the sling swivel looks like on page 176 of the A. Henry book. Also look at the post below yours with the photos of the Grant double rifle and you will see the eyelets I have described although they do not appear to be of large inside diameter---they will help you to understand the principle.

The tie on sling were desired as they make no noise as do slings with metal swivel attachments; however, it should be noted that experienced dangerous game hunters would never have a sling attached to their double rifle while stalking as it was too dangerous and one risked death if the sling caught on something during the charge of such a dangerous animal.

I had such a leather sling made for me to duplicate the period style as well as I made the two eyelets attached underneath the barrel and at the butt stock.

If you do not have a copy of the Alexander Henry book and want to see photos of the eyelets and the sling on one of my rifles send me a private message and your email address and I will send you photos.

Kind Regards;

Stephen Howell

Last edited by bushveld; 01/21/24 04:58 PM.
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Sorry, didn't think to include the manufacture date. It was made in 1875 (completed on Oct 2, 1875 to be exact). That was a wonderful description of the swivels, thank you for that. I was roughly aware of most of what you posted regarding the physical nature of the swivels I need. I say "roughly" because I was aware of the general configuration but not the specific measurements. In fact, if I am unable to find original replacements, if I could get detailed pictures and specs, I can just make some. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, very much appreciated.

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Contact Rod England (rengland451@gmail.com) for a proper stock sling eye.
Rod sells AH percussion rifle kits (previously Don Brown)

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Thanks Rick, I will check that out.

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Licensed;

I suspect you know that attaching a sling eyelet to the bottom of the barrels is a task that is more than drilling a hole in the bottom rib, tapping it to a screw thread pitch and screwing in a sling eyelet. Often the bottom rib alone cannot take the pressure of the weight of the rifle via a single threaded hole with a sling in use and rib will pull away from the barrels if you attach a sling eyelet that way. Heavy double rifles had/have a block between the barrels (placed there during barrel regulation) that the sling eyelet screwed into.

At the time of your Henry's build you often see an eyelet attachment of a few inches in length soldered to the bottom rib.

Does your double rifle have a under barrel attachment for a sling now? If it does not you will want to think about how much effect the addition of such a under barrel attachment will change the regulation of your barrels.

Last edited by bushveld; 01/22/24 01:07 PM.
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Interestingly, it only has a single threaded hole in the bottom rib, not the two that is the norm that accepts a "bridge" that the stud attaches to. The fact is, if it didn't already have (what I assume to be factory) provisions for a sling in the lower rib, I would not even entertain the thought of adding a sling. Since the provision is there and it was supposed to sport a sling, I would like to put it back. Thank you for mentioning that. It is a valid concern (and not one that I have not already had regarding the single threaded hole). However, while I had put my concerns behind me, I am now re=pondering the wisdom of adding the sling. Is there anything ng else that could have requires a single threaded hole in the bottom rib?. I admit, even though I am aware that a single hole is not the norm, I am just assuming that it was there for a sling. The location is correct. BTW, the gun has been re-stocked so as of now, there is no hole in the buttstock for the rear swivel stud (and I am apprehensive of adding one to such a beautiful stock). Any more thoughts and advice is welcome.

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I have a couple of thoughts for you about the origin of the single threaded hole in the bottom rib of your Henry DR. There are two phases of screw thread sizes and thread pitch in vintage UK guns and rifles. Phase one is prior to about 1900 when the UK gunmakers largely made their own screw taps and dies and there was mostly no standard thread sizes in the gun trade; and secondly after 1903 when the BA thread size was adapted although it was introduced in 1884. Your rifle made in 1875 had screws made peculiar to the Henry shop one expects.

If you find that the threaded hole in the bottom rib fits a standard thread size of today whether BA or some other thread pitch then the thread age is suspect. If the threaded hole is not a modern day thread pitch examine the number of threads in the bottom rib of the threaded hole and if the threads are more than 4 then Henry may have made the bottom rib thick for the addition of a sling eyelet. A typical bottom rib usually is only thick enough for about 2 threads maybe 2 1/2 threads.

You may want to procure a double loop English style shotgun sling such as this one:

https://www.franken-cie.com/Shotgun-sling.htm?websale8=franken-cie.English&pi=1-4070

Last edited by bushveld; 01/23/24 12:04 AM.
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It will be easy enough to check the threaded depth of the hole. A bigger issue would be determining the pitch in a hole that small if it is a morphadite pitch should I choose to make my own studs. There are still relatively large numbers of these guns still there so I would be interested if anyone else has one similar with the stud mounted like this and not on a bridge. All good intel and I MAY forgo adding studs all together if it becomes more complicated than I want. Thanks. BTW, couldn't get the link to work.

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One way to determine the pitch on a threaded hole is to force-screw a soft wood dowel of appropriate size into the hole. It will take the impression of the threads and then you can use a thread checker to try to determine the pitch. Once it is determined it may or may not yield a result that is easy to match. In replacing a stripped screw on a drilling's sidelock I once did this, but then had to drill and tap to another size, anyway.


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Originally Posted by Stanton Hillis
One way to determine the pitch on a threaded hole is to force-screw a soft wood dowel of appropriate size into the hole. It will take the impression of the threads and then you can use a thread checker to try to determine the pitch. Once it is determined it may or may not yield a result that is easy to match. In replacing a stripped screw on a drilling's sidelock I once did this, but then had to drill and tap to another size, anyway.
That's a good idea. As far as match g whatever the thread is,inless it is somewhere between pitches, I can cut them on my lathe. I COULD drill/retap to the next nearest standard thread but dont think I would do that. I don't like making permanent modifications to historical things even though, being a restock, its already no longer "as made".

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A very good method for situations such as this was passed on to me by a superb gunmaker. Do as Stan has suggested and try to determine the closet standard pitch that you can find, thread the new screw for that size and pitch and then use the hardened female mate to form the threads to create a very good match. Once the threads are formed they are then hardened. This technique has saved my bacon more than once.


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Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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BTW: Here's an interesting thread that's related to this discussion.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/prin...dblbuild&main=202807&type=thread

OWD


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Thank you OWD, interesting read. Now I know what to look for as far as hooks go (not that there os any prayer of finding any but.................you never know). Appreciated.

Last edited by Licensed to kill; 01/28/24 10:20 AM.
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Yeah - the chances of finding them are minimal. I don't think Mike is making his version anymore.

I like Bushveld's suggestion. I would like to have a sling like that made for my Henry.

OWD


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He is not making them. I tried to buy some several years ago. The were lovely, wish I would have bought a set when available.

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I have several old sets, all of which deserve new leather. Several other similar projects laying about as well, such as cases needing straps, handles and partition adjustment.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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Originally Posted by SKB
I have several old sets, all of which deserve new leather. Several other similar projects laying about as well, such as cases needing straps, handles and partition adjustment.
Would you have a set of studs and swivels for sale?. I can get a thread size and pitch for the forward stud to see if you have something compatible if you have some available. I can make new leather slings.

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I have way more rifles in need of slings than extra sets of swivels. I do not want to part with any of the ones that I have.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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I had an acquaintance who hunted Africa a lot and he kept borrowing one of my canvas web slings with hooks that I had picked up in London to take on his safaris. He finally talked me out of one. He said leather slings were too hard to keep from getting moldy under field conditions.

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Originally Posted by HalfaDouble
I had an acquaintance who hunted Africa a lot and he kept borrowing one of my canvas web slings with hooks that I had picked up in London to take on his safaris. He finally talked me out of one. He said leather slings were too hard to keep from getting moldy under field conditions.
That is good to know, would not have thought of that. In my case, I have no plans to hunt in Africa and the conditions here during hunting season is not very friendly to mould (almost always below freezing). Another option would be "mill felt". It is 100% mould proof extremely tough and even mice won't chew it. However, it would LOOK more at home on a $75 musket made in India than an English SXS LOL.

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Originally Posted by SKB
I have way more rifles in need of slings than extra sets of swivels. I do not want to part with any of the ones that I have.
Fair enough.

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Watch EbayUK, some good stuff pops up from time to time. I just picked up several, NOS express sights there. I am currently negotiating with a dealer in the UK on a buying a large quantity of accessories and have told him I will buy any slings or swivels that he has. If I end up with some surplus swivels I will let you know.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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I may be in need of a front sight. Was working up some loads and it is shooting very high (9" high @ 50 yards). I have a couple loads that look promising so will load some up and shoot 100 yards but doubt very much that it will come down to POA from that high. It also shoots a bit right (an inch or so) at 50, even though I see the front sight is made slightly to the right already and the rear was centred and marked. I drifted the rear a bit to the left to see if I can dial in the windage but my OCD does NOT like to see the rear off centre, even if it is just a little (don't like the front being off centre to the right either but it is not very noticeable). Anyways, if it still shoots high at 100 with the 100 yard leaf, I will need to get a slightly higher front sight. I suppose I could make one but the dovetail appears to be very shallow and "delicate" but if I can get a proper sight and just replace it, that would be preferable.

Last edited by Licensed to kill; 02/20/24 09:49 AM.
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