Sunday, November 06, 2011

Underhammer rifles

Muzzleloaders of course!  It now seems to be ancient history but about 1966 or so I remember seeing advertising for the Numrich Buggy Rifle (and other underhammers).  Of course it was pretty laudatory and I was pretty naive and so I was smitten.  We had friends who were muzzleloader shooters and had a small bore cap lock gun hanging on the wall behind their sofa.  I would sometimes just kneel in front of that rifle and stare at it.

Numrich Buggy Rifle caliber .45
Anyway, there is something rather enticing about the small buggy rifles.  They are short, light, slim and yet, given sufficient caliber,  potentially powerful.  The problem with the Numrich guns is that the quality might not be all that one would like and the supply of these has pretty much dried up.  There are many admirers of the simple action used and I think that John Taylor Machine will still make up an action.  The Pacific Rifle Company was making a large caliber rifle.  Blue Grouse and Deer Creek also made up similar rifles or rifles on the same actions.

These actions were very popular in the north-east US during the percussion period until about 1890 or so.  There was recently an exhibit of the Terry Tyler collection of Vermont made firearms at the Shelburne Museum which included a number of high quality underhammer firearms.  

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