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Author Topic: Volunteer by Hughes  (Read 267 times)

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Offline Racing

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Volunteer by Hughes
« on: September 18, 2019, 06:43:25 PM »
Yeah.
I about forgot i put a bid in for this one guys! So judge my surprise when i open my e-mail up today  (?^

Yes. Yes,it has seen better days but..hey! That´s what i´m here for right!  ->i

Volunteer rifle. As the writing says,450 caliber. I´ve got a feeling this is a rifle based on a Monkey tail barrel. But..we´ll have to wait n see i guess.

Thing here is..
As Sir Joseph Whitworth,Brunel and Westley Richards got together and laid down an in essence completely new plan as far as putting guns together when it comes to rifling twist and bullets..that hit the world pretty hard. NRA,British that is,came to endorse the thing like you won´t believe...
..and as the dust cleared we saw builders like Metford,Turner,Gibbs,Henry and so on presenting rifles on the same theme,just with their particular twist to ´em.
Well.
Of course there was more obscure builders too,one of them being R.Hughes. There´s a bit of reading on him if you google..

Rather poor state as mentioned and i plan to overhaul this one into "running condition" to the best of its abilitys. Thus handing Sweden yet another sharpshooter rifle,which we´re in dire need of.
See,the point is that as the current CEO/chairman of my shooting club i´m pushing that we setup a fresh series for "medium range" competitions with these rifles.
Rules,we´re of course eye balling the US counterparts...just with one exception. For starters at least,run what ya brung..and hope ya brought enough!  &j( :-*
DVC - 2019

Online Hawg

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 07:56:21 PM »
It doesn't look that bad to me but I know you're going to do her up right.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 01:22:26 PM »
Thx Hawg.

Search..and you shall find..

There was a bit of debate on the subject on another forum. This due that Hughes bought rather many Enfield produced Whitworths (-62 and -63 pattern) and bored these out to become shotguns,which were mainly for export.

Well. This rifle sports a Monkey tail barrel right but i was still weary as to IF..so wrote the auctioneer and asked for a couple of pics of the muzzle of the gun.
They came through and no doubt that there is an octagonal muzzle. Ie;a Monkey tail barrel,exactly what i thought. So..in short this is a high accuracy "451" rifle.

Now...
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Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2019, 01:29:04 PM »
...due that i kept on searching and lo n behold.
Ran into a series of pics of a similar rifle,just a military stocked "english" stock.

But..Monkey tail barrel and so on. Thought it might be neat to some of you to see what a Hughes in NICE condition looks like.
A nice rifle it indeed is.

From the Whitworth registry they kind of frowned on this rifle...which i for one find kind of moot as the only thing "Whitworth" about it is the use of a Westley Richards barrel. In other words,pretty thin...

Who cares. This will become a nice shooter with a little effort. That the barrel is cast,which all Monkey tail barrels are,is just a limitation to take to heart,and then take it from there.
But the basic performance features is sure there. Octagonal rifling (polygonal) with a 1 turn in 20" twist. It´ll fit just fine next to the other high accuracy rifles in my gun cabinets...no doubt.

The one in the pictures got sold by Anthony Cribb in Britain. An auction house i recommend. Have dealt with them previously and they´re the real deal.
Nice rifle it is no doubt.

Well. Now for the downright hassle of having that Hughes of mine shipped over here.
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2019, 12:41:44 AM »
So.."last call my ass..."
Well. I´ve been told that this thing is to show up tuesday.
We´ll see how that fares.
DVC - 2019

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 07:19:48 PM »
Can't wait to see the rest of the story unfold!
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 01:07:20 PM »
Hm.
So,got a mail from UPS stating that the rifle will be delivered late tomorrow even.
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Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 11:57:07 AM »
Hughes rifle showed up.
No pics,to dark right now.

First impressions... First up in better shape than i had anticipated. Second up a very nimble and light little rifle. 25" of barrel making it a short rifle,in its own right i guess.
Short indeed,i´d say just the other side of 1 meter.

Barrel indeed sports monkey tail octagonal rifling within. Needs a really good clean before i´ll talk of how the rifling does.

Tail screw has been out at least and a first swab done.

Nah. This´ll turn into a neat little rifle i´d say. Needs a bit of work n TLC and we´ll get there.
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Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 03:29:02 PM »
Like stated,in way better nick than i anticipated.

Haven´t gotten around to cleaning the stock out yet but as visable it carries quite the ding or two. Giving thought to steaming them out to the best of capacity as i clean the stock out.

Todays true "battle" though has been the barrel. Or innards of it at least. First up,i´ve hit the nipple with an oxy/ace torch you won´t believe,won´t budge.
True that the nipple was run into the ground and thus sports no provision for tools to get a hold of it but.. No matter,i´ll hit it again tomorrow and will start by cutting a trace into it before hitting it with heat again.
Push come to shove i´ll drill the thing out of there.

Barrel then. I´ve hit it REAL hard. Approx 200degC via the torch and then rust removal coupled with a brush. Did so until the fluids came out reasonably clean.
"Vaping" the entire shop in the process  ->i

Rifling,now,i´d say is on par with my Monkey tail short rifle. Iow above average and mind you these poly rifled barrels are way less sensitive to wear then regular rifled ones.
That said i believe i´ll cast a few "lappers" out of lead and hit it with valve grinding compound. A barrel as neglected as this one..might be i´ve cleaned it out but lapping it atop that sure won´t hurt seeing it´s a 150yrs old after all.

Nah. This´ll turn into a neat little rifle,rest assured.
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 03:34:33 PM »
The lock then.
Got to be the dirtiest one i´ve ever handled - and it still worked. Simple enough to remedy though.

As for the markings? No idea but will try and check with people more clued in than me.

The tumbler carries one of them small "fly" jobbies normally associated with set trigger setups. This one´s not,a set trigger that is,but this makes me wonder if that was an option?
The tumbler heal for the sear though..seen better days so i took to cleaning that up severly and while at it i added a little silver solder to raise the absolute bottom position for the sear.
Worked wonders.

Thus the sear was damaged accordingly. Same deal there,cleaned it up and set it with a minor inclination angle wise vs the tumbler. Long story short i´ve now got an absolutely wonderful trigger..but plan to lighten it a bit later on.

Then for the broken off screw for keeping the hammer in place. Leveled the thing with a file and center punched it before drilling it out.
DVC - 2019

Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 04:00:14 PM »
Pic 1.
Took to adding material to that insanely damaged tang screw. Turned alright i´d say.

Pic 2.
Barrel i tossed into the lathe and let her rip. Stopped when there was like 5% of the pitting left and called it a day. Last out was 1000 grit with oil.
Giving thought to if to blue the barrel or just keep it in the white. Point being that in the white + gunoil seeing the 1000 grit (and more to come) will stay ok too and..it kind of looks kind a fresh to me.?
U guys tell me.

Pic 3.
That "band" on the barrel that hasn´t seen any appreciable work yet is just due to the bracket underneath for the barrel wedge. Going to handle that manually,such a small surface all said and done so..

Pic 4.
As it´s a Monkey tail barrel that brings that there´s sorts of a chamber piece. This then mates to the tang why i sand them both together for a sleeker line. Notice that the welded up tang screw now fits the picture way better.

Pic 5.
The working end. As i write above i handed the piece a fresh muzzle crown. In all honesty it was shot so there really wasn´t that much of an option,from more than one point of view.
Front sight in turn.. What was left was the base for it,which was molested too. So ripped that off,it was brazed in place. So..going to install sights.
Have a set laying around for a Chassepot that should fit reasonably well but..a friend says he has a few around that´ll look even better so need to check that out.
As much as i´m going to,per normal being me,fab a base for a scope i still want the stick to sport iron sights,and then usable such.
Front sight i think i´ll fab a fresh base for and then just dovetail the piece so it´s adjustable for windage.

Pic 6.
As i cleaned the rear part of the stock out,was eager to see how it´d react to oil,i discovered this stamping. Top bow says "Robert Hughes". Center one just says "firearms" while the low bow..haven´t been able to determin that.
That said the walnut on this piece darkens up out of this world with oil added. To the point where i´d actually like it a tad lighter even.
But..will refrain from passing judgement until done. As is i´ve just "hazed" the wood with 240 followed by 400 and then oil n 800 grit.

Pic 7.
Right. Nipple. It was in there alright,and as it turns out it actually WAS welded in there,rather poorly. Guess someone had "stitched" it in there with a torch.
Sad part about that is that the threads for the nipple are shot on the barrel. Hence why the nipple had been secured by a weld. I for one would think..how much of a hassle would it have been to drill n tap oversize and then turn an insert back in the day? Idiots. The "Mr Handymans" of the world. *sighs*
Anyways. That brings that i´ll install a Heli-Coil.

Thing is surely coming along. Next step up will be the iron sights and casting a few laps to lap the barrel with valve grinding compound.
As some of you are aware i normally go no holds when i run into really dirty left for dead barrels and this was no exception. Yeah..approx 200degC and solvents coupled with a brush,until the solvents came out clean.
Barrel thus looks a TON better but i want to try lapping it out regardless. I checked dimensions of it and indeed it comes all in at .450" as is stated on the barrel.
Should lapping increase that to 451 or 452..so be it. No worries on my count.

Have given the whole deal with loads some thought. Think i´m going to try using the original mold Thomas Turner 451 bullets for starters,backed with 70 or so grains of 3F. See where that takes me at a 100 meters.

Scope base then. Yeah. Gonna keep it simple,the base can always be used for whatever setup..so for starters an el-cheapo old jap made 3-9/40 Tasco.
DVC - 2019

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 09:11:38 PM »
That's a real looker, Racing! Can't wait to see it up and shooting!
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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2019, 01:40:13 AM »
That's a real looker, Racing! Can't wait to see it up and shooting!


+1 on that.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2019, 03:21:20 AM »
Thx guys.

Following two pics..stunts like this really pisses me off. Really.

When you´re out of your league you back off. That´s just simple reason.
Threads for the nipple were no doubt shot. Ok.
Then WHY not do a proper repair?
What would it have cost to drill n tap that hole oversize and turn a bung on a lathe that carries them new size threads and a threaded hole for a fresh nipple?

WHAT exactly is it that "weld" is supposed to solve? The entire worlds Mr Handyman at work...so help me gawd.. Had to grind ever so little of it off to be able to center the tap for the Heli in there.

Welp. I got to install a stainless Heli-Coil insert down there. You can just get a minor glimpse of it in the one photo. Leaves that abomination still visible...
Going to turn the TIG on and melt that material down,and add what might be needed. For the eye if nothing else,cause that there truly looks like Mr Handyman has been at it. Again.

Oh stuff like this pisses me off,does it EVER.

"How to get a nipple sent off with speed enough to kill. 101"
Idiots.
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Offline Racing

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Re: Volunteer by Hughes
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2019, 01:03:27 PM »
Right.
So all said and done decision is..one for a Remington RB,for the Swedish sharp shooter corps.

DVC - 2019