by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Spring break!
- The end
I said last time I would show you more of the details of the outside lock airgun in the next report, so let’s get started.
Gary Barnes made the gun a rifle, by boring a 36-inch long brass tube for .25 caliber and then rifling it with a left-hand twist. I don’t know the rate of the twist. He shaped the outside of the tube with 8 flats to resemble the octagon barrels of the past. But he left the breech portion round, so the barrel transitions from round to octagon, just like the finer makers used to do it.
He also made the gun a breakbarrel, which no originals were, as far as I know. The original guns were smoothbores that were in the great majority of what was being made at the time the outside lock was popular (1700-1775 — give or take a quarter century, either way — no one really knows). They were loaded from the muzzle with either close-fitting lead balls called bullets or else shot. But this gun would be shooting .25-caliber diabolo pellets and those don’t load from the muzzle! So it had to load from the breech.