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NW Gun … a few more thoughts

NW Gun … a few more thoughts

I took the new NW gun out a few days ago and put some powder and lead through it.  I was just in the back yard and was shooting at 30-35 yards without a rest.  It shot fairly well.  I had some ignition issues and the trigger pull was a bit tough, but it shot straight and on the mark considering my frustrations.  I should probably note that the trigger pull issue is as much me as it is the gun.  I am a bit psycho about trigger pull, having spent a good portion of my younger years shooting competition rifle and being used to hair triggers.  I have since done some tuning and think that the lock and trigger are MUCH better.  I will have to get it out to shoot again when I get home after the weekend to try it out again, but I suspect that it will be quicker igniting and I already know that the trigger is lighter.

A few more thoughts also on the gun have come up due to a reply to my last post by historian, author, and gun guru Mark Sage.  Mark mentioned that he also has a gun from North Star West that he had built to replicate a Wheeler (the maker) NW gun that is in the Minnesota Historical Society collections.  This reminded me that I did not mention in my last blog that a person could more easily replicate other makers using the stamps and parts that NSW has.   The biggest problem of my Barnett (which I chose due to it being the main maker for the NWCo) was the proper tombstone fox and the appropriate RB/TB maker’s mark.  Other marks are easier to make and other makers even used the circle fox that NSW typically uses.  Other choices could be a Wheeler, Willets, Grice, Wilson, etc.  All of which could be done, and perhaps easier, than my Barnett, using similar changes to parts and stock reshaping.

A few good books that are useful in seeing earlier Trade guns like this are For Trade and Treaty by Ryan Gale, the Firearms Vol. of the Encyclopedia of the Fur Trade by Charles Hanson, and Vol. one of Gordon’s book on Early American Gunmakers.

A few gratuitous images..

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