Jan 062016


I’ve now done four guns for Fred, one single barreled gun, two based on sets of McKnight casings from Kevin Blackley and one conversion of a double percussion gun by Clough of Bath.  I have put pictures from all four jobs here ;-


Fred’s single barreled gun – the first I engraved for him;-


to read more, click on the message;-




Geoff Moor did the lettering on this lock – I didn’t feel confident enough to do it with the flash guards in the way!

Here are a couple of photos Fred sent me of the above parts colour case hardened and mounted in a gun he made, along with a photo of the original McWilliams lock from which Kevin Blackley made the castings for the locks.

colour case hardened lack

breech block










mcWilliams original

Original McKnight lock


This is the second gun I engraved for Fred – a double;-

Here are the raw parts for the new work, the locks and furniture are as the first one,   – I have started to freshen the locks;-

Mk 2 locks beforeMk2 cocks before








Mk2 breech before

Mk2 on wood







First step is to fix the parts to blocks of wood so they can be held reliably and swapped quickly.

I’ve refreshed the locks and a cock, and I did a test name to choose the best size and spacing for the name;-



Recut locks – I did the lettering on these locks


Finished breech block and false breech etc.

brrech 103 case

After colour case hardening



The butt tang has a somewhat obscure engraving – I’ve recut it in the spirit of the original, which was probably a variation on a ‘stand of arms’ but lacking most of the common elements

Here is Fred’s third gun I’ve engraved, another double;-

You can see the finished lettering above – below is my procrastination……..



Probably best spacing is half way between these two – and about 1.5 to 1.6mm high ( 1/16th inch)  

Still a few issues – the ‘C’ is uneven and the heavy strokes of the ‘M’ are a bit light, but better.

scroll name

Test for the breech block – the outer rectangle is about 11 xx 22 mm – I couldn’t be bothered to polish the ‘as rolled’ marks out of the metal. 

Here are the engraved parts for my third Fred gun ;-

trig guard 3-16

This didn’t need recutting – Kevin’s castings are superb!

finial 3-16

cocks 3-16

topjaw 3-16

screws 3-16


aaaFB-almost finished lght

Here is the forth gun I’ve engraved for Fred;


Clough is a pretty awkward name to engrave – 4 curved or round letters and only 3 straight ones!  On that scale curves are not easy to get right.



POW feathers

This is the classic Prince of Wales feathers – I’d forgotten it when I did the first one.

cock pins

Cock pins for Fred No 4 – an inward  scroll was used by TWIGG on pins around  the 1770s 

  2 Responses to “Engraving Fred’s Gun”

  1. Tim…..My parts are copies of an Irish gun by McKnight of Dublin. That may or may not help you with your research. From my point of view, the lettering is very good and I am not trying to create a new antique, but I am aiming for the best result.Your work certainly will help achieve that goal.

    • Hi Fred,

      I have a couple of Dublin pistols, but earlier than the McKnight. Might be interesting to look at a few more later examples. I’m aiming to get something that looks ‘right’, whatever that is!


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