Jun 162016

A group of us went up to Harrogate to man the MLAGB ‘have a go with a muzzle loader’ stand and I did an engraving demonstration with my new microscope suitably modified, and a new bench with space to transfer my turntable – it all worked splendidly.


Clare took this photo which shows the digital microscope quite well.


Here I am doing my stuff near the end of the show – you can see the pile of blunt gravers to my right  The large notice stuck on the Microscope is a bit unfortunate!   Very unusually I managed to stab myself with the graver – see bit of cloth wound round finger  and held with self-amalgamating tape – the only things to hand!

 Posted by at 2:47 pm
Aug 232015

Update; Saturday and Sunday were busy but it rained on Monday so that was a bit quiet!

I’ve had lots of interest in the engraving – it gets interest from people who are accompanying gun nuts but are not interested in guns themselves!  I’ve reverted to screwheads as it doesn’t require too much concentration, and shows up well on the screen, which is very successful.  It is difficult to do anything much larger because I don’t have my proper turntable and its difficult to rotate things and keep them in the field of view.  Here are some pictures of the setup –  today I took a few percussion revolvers – a rather worn Colt Navy, a restored Deane, Adams and Dean 56 bore, A Beaumont Adams and a Tranter double trigger – all from the 1851 to 1870 period.  I also took my much restored Lancaster Oval Bore double rifle – see separate entry  in in this blog.



Screwhead shown on the tablet screen


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Jun 042015

Back from a lovely weekend in St Andrews with Tom shooting at the rather grandly titled Scottish National Muzzle Loading Championships – actually mostly our crowd from the  Anglian Muzzle Loaders – we even have to take our own Scotsman – Tosh – to make sure they are represented!  Anyway a grand time was had by all, in beautiful weather.  Only slightly marred by my Land Cruiser diff lock mysteriously getting engaged and refusing to disengage, but a very helpful garage fixed it for the princely sum of 30 Scottish pounds.  Anyway here are a couple of photos – unfortunately I was too busy during the muzzle loading part before lunch to take any photos so these are all black powder breech loaders.   (I didn’t bring the results back – but the mostly prizes went to the usual suspects!)

Martin hammer flashcrop-small

Martin Crix shooting his Black Powder hammer gun

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 Posted by at 12:32 am
May 282015


The Rat Gun in action – Arthur busting another clay with a whole 9 grams of No 6 shot!


At some point in their shooting life I guess most people have had one, or at least have shot one – a very basic single barrelled .410 – like my old bolt action Webley that I bought for a song years ago.  I have a great affection for mine, and it gets an occasional outing when I feel nostalgic, or have a beginner to introduce to shooting in a totally non threatening way.  Today I took a friend’s son Arthur to the Cambridge Gun Club for his second go at shooting – he has started with muzzle loaders, which is unusual, and managed to hit quite a few with my little percussion 16 bore Henry Nock.  After a mid morning break I thought we had done enough poking things in from the muzzle for one day, so out came the ‘Rat Gun’.  I’d found a box of 2 1/2 inch Eley cardboard cartridges among my father’s old junk so Arthur fired them off at clays with a very good success for a beginner, but 25 cartridges don’t last long and the club only had 3 inch which the Webley won’t take, so I broke open a box of 2 inch No 6 shot cartridges I’d also found, thinking that it was really a waste of time firing such dinky cartridges at clays, but wanting to give Arthur a few more shots.  Much to my surprise he did as well with them as with the 2 1/2 inch and with the muzzle loader shooting 1 oz of No 8 shot!  To finish  the morning off I had half a dozen shots and managed to break four clays, which is above my usual incompetent rate.   I think that is amazing when you look at the difference in the loads  – the muzzle loader is shooting 28 grams of No 8, that is around 360 pellets, whereas the  2 inch cartridge in the.410 is shooting 9 grams of bigger shot – I counted a total of 80 pellets  – that is a difference of a factor 3 in shot load and 4 1/2 in number of pellets. When I came to clean the Webley I could feel that it has a pretty hefty choke – maybe that is  the secret although that implies that we were shooting very accurately – be interesting to pattern it – there is always another question to answer…….

cartridge comparison1

Looks like a bit of a joke cartridge beside a 12 bore?

But who is the joke on?   I do love my Rat Gun…………..