4. March must be totally uninteresting, because nothing major seems to have happened on this date.
31 December 1775

Battle of Québec
The Battle of Quebec was fought between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of Quebec City early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came with heavy losses. General Richard Montgomery was killed, Benedict Arnold was wounded, and Daniel Morgan and more than 400 men were taken prisoner. The city's garrison, a motley assortment of regular troops and militia led by Quebec's provincial governor, General Guy Carleton, suffered a small number of casualties.

In the battle and the following siege, French-speaking Canadians were active on both sides of the conflict. The American forces received supplies and logistical support from local residents, and the city's defenders included locally raised militia. When the Americans retreated, they were accompanied by a number of their supporters; those who remained behind were subjected to a variety of punishments after the British re-established control over the province.



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      Shooting the Black Powder Shotgun

    • Shooting the Black Powder Shotgun

      Loading muzzleloading or breech-loading shotguns with black powder and shot is not difficult. A prerequisite is that you use lead or bismuth shot, if you don\'t have a modern replica that is approved for the use of steel shot. This article covers the loading of muzzleloading shotguns and shotgun shells.

    The Longrifle Project

    Category: Muzzle-loading
    Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
    Edited: 24 November 2007.
    Views: 31725
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    The Longrifle Project

    I have always wanted a genuine American longrifle, and by genuine I mean a handmade gun, not the kind of mass produced, machine made replicas we usually get from Italy. Nothing wrong about the Italian replicas, I have several of them myself, but they just do not feel right.

    Some time ago I decided to have one made, and I decided for a rifle by Steve Bookout of Toad Hall Rifleshop. Master Bookout is building rifles according to his family's tradition, and I really liked the style of his longrifles. His rifles also have special features, such as a brass tailed lock with his cartouche stamped on it and his family's distinctive side plate. Made to my own specifications it will be a one of a kind rifle.

    Find out more!
    You can learn more about the history and use of American longrifles, as well as Norwegian, German and English muzzle-loading rifles in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

    The rifle is not going to be a fancy piece with shiny brass inlays, but primarily a working gun that would be similar to the one's frontiersmen, hunters and farmers carried in the southern mountains of America 200 years ago. It is going to be used heavy, just as the originals were.

    The finished rifle is going to be a Bookout family styled flintlock East Tennessee mountain "hog rifle" in .50 calibre, with a 42" barrel and a maple stock. It's from about the 1815 time frame. Many of these "hog rifles" found their way into the hands of the people who settled in the mountains and were used to harvest the hogs that had been running wild. On this page my intention is to follow the gun from its birth and forward in its life as a hunting gun in the Norwegian woods.

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    Day-by-day Journal

    03.27.2001: The latest reports from Iowa says that the stock is roughened out, and there is even some stripes in the maple. See Picture.

    04.17.2001: The work has not yet started, but scrap metal has been collected for the making of furniture for the rifle.

    04.21.2001: The basic lock is assembled and will stay in the rough until the wood is sanded for the last time. Works very well.

    05.06.2001: The barrel has been on the rifling bench, and has been rifled by hand. It is going to be a 1:72" twist barrel with .20012" groove depth. Picture of it below.

    06.12.2001: About 25 % of the rifle is finished. See new pictures at the bottom of the page.

    06.17.2001: Butt plate is being forged. Picture and movie here.

    06.23.2001: The lock plate is inlet and now Bookout is starting on the guts. He has chosen a select grade ramming wood rod for the ramrod and it will be made as soon as the lock is inlet.

    06.26.2001: The stock is cut to final dimensions, the lock is buttoned up with the lock nail and Bookout side plate. 1 1/2 pounds of wood has been removed from the stock. The ramrod is about 1/2 finished too. It is starting to look like a gun!

    06.28.2001: Bookout has named the rifle "Death Wind". I hope that name will bring luck to her in the forests!

    07.17.2001: Work has started up again after Bookout's holiday. Now the triggers are undergoing modifications as they are store bought. Steel-iron-scrap-junk is gathered up in preparation to forge the trigger guard. Picture.

    07.22.2001: The tang has two screws and the rifle is now officially "buttoned up." The triggers are inlet and are working very well. They are heavily customized Davis double set triggers.

    08.04.2001: The stock is now final shaped and rough sanded. The rifle is soon finished, the only things left to do before it is in the white are: inletting the toe plate, drill the grease hole, install the vent liner, inlet the Bookout side plate, install the front and rear sights and forge the trigger guard, install it and the Southern Mountain rifle called Death Wind will be up and running!

    08.13.2001: The trigger guard is finished by blacksmith Bookout. It's a real mean looking piece! (Picture of it below). It was hammered out of a piece of cold rolled steel, 3/8ths of an inch in diameter and a piece of steel from an Opel automobile! The two pieces were riveted together with rivets made from steel rod from an old lamp shade frame. Picture.

    08.28.2001: Bookout has poured a beautiful chevron style nose cap on Death Wind. Picture of it below. It is also being sanded, oiled and stained. There are some very nice stripes in the stock. Picture.

    09.10.2001: The barrel is now proofed with a 200 grains 2F charge with two .490" balls with .20010" patches. The lock has also got a brass tail with Bookout's cartouche stamped in the brass. Picture.

    09.17.2001: The barrel is now left to rust in Bookout's shop. The stock has been stained with aqua fortis and has several coats of boiled linseed oil on it. Drying right now. Picture.

    09.29.2001: Death Wind is ready. Picture of the finished rifle and Bookout below. Picture.

    10.15.2001: The lock arrived today. I can tell you all that it looks even better than in the pictures. It has a very strong mainpring and is better tuned than any of the other replicas I own. The finish couldn't have been better. This looks promising!

    10.17.2001: Then the day finally came, and the rifle arrived in Norway. I can tell you for sure that I was very pleased! The barrel was just as I ordered it with fine, deep cut rifles. One of the largest Bookout barrels Bookout has ever made by the way.

    The inletting and wood to metal fit was perfect in my opinion. I have many machine made guns with barrels and locks that are poorly inlet compared to Death Wind.

    The stock is nice and very slim, and a good combination with that thick 1" diameter barrel. The finish was also very nice. I'm very satisfied with the looks and feeling of the rifle. I haven't been able to try her yet, the first shots will be fired by the end of next week.

    Now this chapter of the journal will be closed, and another chapter will be opened. Next the rifle will be sighted in and then we'll see what the rifle is capable of.

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    The stock blank.

    The barrel on the rifling bench.

    The barrel with a 6" beaver-tail tang.

    .50 calibre 42" barrel.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    In these pictures you can see Bookout preparing the stock for the inletting of the barrel, and the barrel inlet in the stock.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    These pictures shows the process of making the ramrod thimbles. They are made from the piece of metal you can see on the second picture. On the third picture they are pinned to the stock.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    On the first photo you can see the Siler flintlock that's being modified by Bookout to fit the rifle. These locks are made by Jim Chambers, and they are probably the worlds best commercial made locks. The following pictures shows various parts such as the forged butt plate, side plate and the ramrod.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    Here you can see, among other things, the hand forged trigger guard which has been made from scrap from an old Opel automobile and an old lamp shade frame. On the third picture you can see the muzzle of the barrel made by Bookout at the Yeller Tom Cat Forge.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    The butt of the rifle with one grease hole drilled on one side and cheek piece carved on the other.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project
    The Longrifle Project

    Here you can see the process of pouring a "chevron" style nose cap on the rifle. First a plain nose, then some mysterious writings on the nose, some even more mysterious carvings and finally a beautiful nose cap.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    The lock with brass tail and Bookout's cartouche. The picture in the middle shows the lock after it has been rusted. The last picture is from the shop where the stock is hanging to dry after another coat of boiled linseed oil, and the barrel is hanging to rust.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    This picture shows various parts such as butt plate, toe plate, ramrod thimbles and the Bookout family style side plate. To the right the finished browned and assembled flintlock.

    The Longrifle Project

    The barrel finished. It has been rust browned the old way. The liner installed is Jim Chambers' "White Lightning".

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    Bookout and Death Wind as she turned out. A pioneer rifle made with old and crude tools in the old fashion.

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    Movie Clips

    Master Bookout has sent me some mpg clips from the forging of the butt plate:

    Movie 1

    Movie 2

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    Before and after.

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    Shooting Death Wind

    11.17.2001: My first opportunity to try the rifle. The weather was bad with heavy rain and wind, but I tried anyway. I measured up 2F powder in a 12,17x44 case (about 65-70 grs.), used a pre-cut Ox Yoke .020" patch and a .490" ball. The first shots impact was 1/2 inch below my point of aim. The distance was 50 yds. The two next grouped not far from the first shots. After the third shot I had to quit, because it had become too dark to see how much powder I put on the pan.

    Despite of the wet weather the was no ignition trouble at all. The next time I try Death Wind I have to have a slightly thicker patch and perhaps some more powder behind the ball. I'm pretty sure that the group will be even smaller next time!

    11.18.2001: Picture of the second target I shot with the rifle. The distance is still 50 yds, but this time I used 72 grs. of 3F powder and American pillow ticking lubed with 1/6 Ballistol/water mix. I also wiped between shots this time. Beginning to look good!

    12.10.2001: The accuracy is getting really good. Same load and patch on this 5 shot group, but I have changed the lube. I now use T/C Bore Butter. Picture below.

    02.17.02: I have been very busy after Christmas and I have had very little time to shoot. Below is my best offhand 100 meter target shot by Death Wind. 8 out of 8 shots into the black aren't all that bad, but it should improve when I get time to experimenting with loads etc. The load used in this group is the same as in the group above.

    12.10.02: After having used Death Wind during ten months since last update I have found out that the bigger the powder charge the better accuracy. This was also the plan when I ordered the 1:72" twist. The best load so far is 107 grains of 2F behind a .490" roundball, a .20018" patch and a milk carton wad and a felt wad between the powder and ball. I have noticed that with heavy charges some kind of buffer is needed between the patch and ball and the powder.

    09.07.04: The barrel has become kinder to the patches since last update, caused by the hundreds of shots that have passed through the barrel since last update. The rifling is not as sharp as it was when the barrel was brand new. I almost never find used patches with holes torn in them anymore and in turn that is eliminating fliers.

    Deathwind still works the way she is supposed to. This year I took her to the annual Norwegian Championships in July. The outcome was a silver medal in the Maximilian replica class. This event is shot from the prone position at 100 metres. The score wasn't very good at all. 79 point is in my opinion pretty bad and I had expected a score closer to 85. I'm still satisfied as I didn't wear any modern shooting clothes, I didn't use peep sights nor did I use a sling as many of the others did. Per Østby won by the way, and he broke the 12 year old national record in this class.

    I didn't have much time to practise before the championships due to my studies but managed to get off a few shots before I headed east. My front sight was way too tall for shooting at 100 metres, and I spend a lot of time filing it down. As a matter of fact I wasn't satisfied until the day before I left for the championships. The charge and components I used is as follows:

    • .495" cast ball
    • A denim patch of unknown thickness lubed with T/C Bore Butter
    • A lubed felt wad
    • 97 grains of FFg (PP) Wano

    97 grains sounds heavy, but the truth is that Deathwind needs this much powder to perform. She's built as a hunting rifle and the charges are accordingly. My standard charge is 94 grains but I increased it by three grains to lift the point of impact up the last couple of mm to the centre of the target.

    The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project The Longrifle Project

    The first shots to the left, the second shots in the middle, and to the right a target shot 10.12.2001. All at 50 metres. To the far right a 8 shor group shot from the prone position at 100 metres.

    The Longrifle Project

    Picture from the range at the Norwegian Championships. Deathwind in the foreground and the owner telling lies to Sverre Kvalø which used his Pedersoli Mauser in the Minié class.

    07.07.12: Death Wind won the 50 metre offhand competition during the Norwegian national championships last week. The score as 94 of 100, which was a pretty good score. 100 metres didn't go that well, so I have to do some adjustment for the World Championships in Germany next month.

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