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Vintage Rifle

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Oompa Lumpa22/10/2014 21:52:07
888 forum posts
271 photos

So, as interesting as the Vintage Motorbike thread is, I thought it would be of interest to some of you if I posted these pictures of a very rare Giffard Air Rifle.

This particular rifle is 6mm bore and pneumatic, made in England (yes, really we were very good at this sort of thing) in or around 1870. For your delictation:

giff rh.jpg

giff buttplate.jpg

giff breech.jpg

The photographs show it well but in the flesh as it were it is of several magnitudes nicer.

The finish is superb.

graham.

Eugene22/10/2014 22:08:33
130 forum posts
12 photos

Graham,

It's a wonderful bit of work alright, and although I've never seen a Giffard in the flesh, the case colours look all wrong to me, more like "applique" done with a cotton bud and hot blue solution and then torched, rather than the genuine article. I think it's been extensively refinished.

Do you know it's history or where it can be seen?

Eug

Hacksaw22/10/2014 22:16:02
419 forum posts
173 photos

Lovely.

This Giffard air rifle bloke.. did he invent the "Giffard injector " (as briefly mentioned in Jack Foremans "4 jaw work" thread last week) too ?. Another thing, how is a barrel rifled ?

Russ B22/10/2014 22:32:54
549 forum posts
21 photos

Very nice indeed. I don't know much about air rifles but I've had more than my fair share. I wasn't aware PCP's were so old, a quick hunt on Google has put me straight blush


I bet charging the cylinders was a task for the healthy 100+ years ago! Do you have an example of the sort of pump they would have used back then?

ronan walsh22/10/2014 22:40:47
539 forum posts
32 photos

What a lovely piece. The colour case hardening looks wrong to me too, there are people who cheat and use a blowtorch (have a look on youtube) rather than the bone, leather and charcoal pack cch. What sort of power does this rifle produce ? A bit more than 12 ft/lbs i'll bet.

Oompa Lumpa22/10/2014 22:45:46
888 forum posts
271 photos

Another pic showing the colour on the Breech Block. I do know the photographs have been "enhanced" in Photoshop but the colouring is genuine:

giff block lh.jpg

graham.

Oompa Lumpa22/10/2014 22:49:14
888 forum posts
271 photos

Ronan, an interesting question. I have access to another and if I get a chance voer the next few days I will put it over the Chronograph and find out. The chap who has it uses it regularly.

graham.

JohnF22/10/2014 23:03:21
avatar
892 forum posts
114 photos

Yes Graham a rare piece indeed and a delight to see.

Personally I reckon the CCH is genuine, I've seen.a lot over the last 40 years and had quite a lot of guns re-hardened. The pattern is unpredictable and depends on many factors. One of the best outfits still operating is in Birmingham and their work is superb.

Hacksaw, rifling is done in several ways, cut rifling, as its name suggests is cut by pulling a cutter through the tube, a bit more to than just that but it would require a long explanation. Then there is button rifling, done by pulling a carbide button through the tube. Lastly there is hammer forging, a process done cold on a blank the barrel comes out finished and chambered for the desired calibre. A very impressive process, incidentally some makers use this for shotgun barrels as well.

"Bill Hancox"22/10/2014 23:20:55
avatar
256 forum posts
76 photos

Beautiful piece of design and craftsmanship. Definitely not from an average gun maker and definitely not the average air gun of the period. I thoroughly enjoy viewing this sort of metal engineering. Obviously others do as well.

Cheers, Bill

ronan walsh22/10/2014 23:40:25
539 forum posts
32 photos

I wouldn't be too harsh on the ordinary run of the mill british made airgun, they were usually of a pretty conventional design. A lad in the gun club has a collection of early (pre ww1) lincoln jeffries bsa air rifles, and later (up to the 60's) webleys. They are beautifully made and finished, very good quality walnut and bluing you can see your face in. Certainly not built down to a price. Great fun and cheap to shoot too.

ronan walsh22/10/2014 23:48:48
539 forum posts
32 photos
Posted by JohnF on 22/10/2014 23:03:21:

Yes Graham a rare piece indeed and a delight to see.

Personally I reckon the CCH is genuine, I've seen.a lot over the last 40 years and had quite a lot of guns re-hardened. The pattern is unpredictable and depends on many factors. One of the best outfits still operating is in Birmingham and their work is superb.

Hacksaw, rifling is done in several ways, cut rifling, as its name suggests is cut by pulling a cutter through the tube, a bit more to than just that but it would require a long explanation. Then there is button rifling, done by pulling a carbide button through the tube. Lastly there is hammer forging, a process done cold on a blank the barrel comes out finished and chambered for the desired calibre. A very impressive process, incidentally some makers use this for shotgun barrels as well.

John is that ray st ledger you speak of ? I believe he is one of the best in the world at cch, turnbull in america is supposed to be fantastic too. I have been told cch is not a trade or a science , but a sort of black magic. Some of the old gunsmiths had recipies of hardening compound that they would get good results with and would never reveal to anyone else.

Maybe the magazine would do an article on case hardening , its an interesting subject, and its now more difficult to achieve seeing as kasenit is no longer available. One chap on an american forum recommends aquarium charcoal to me , anyone have any experience using this for hardening ?

Ady123/10/2014 00:36:25
avatar
3463 forum posts
513 photos

I reckon that the delivery kit has been well engineered for decades

The bit they've never changed since I was a child is the cannonballs

In the real world ammunition is hugely variable

Edited By Ady1 on 23/10/2014 00:48:38

Ady123/10/2014 00:54:09
avatar
3463 forum posts
513 photos

There was one guy who was ambitious and looked for the limits of what we could do

I leave you to draw your own conclusions

Ady123/10/2014 01:05:32
avatar
3463 forum posts
513 photos

Don't get too good at what you can do, ESPECIALLY if you do stuff that scares the system

Barnaby Jack

The French supersonic exocet program was cancelled for no reason except it was un-exportable

(excocets, The Falklands)

Supersonic excocet abandoned 1983

exocetabandoned1983.jpg

Edited By Ady1 on 23/10/2014 01:22:26

Ady123/10/2014 01:26:21
avatar
3463 forum posts
513 photos

So we keep making beautiful bits of gear to fire cannonballs... because it's in our best interests

Oompa Lumpa23/10/2014 10:14:12
888 forum posts
271 photos

Thought these might actually be "on topic". The first picture shows a vintage Mk1 Webley rifle (quite rare) But underneath is a fully working model of a BSA Airsporter.

tim4.jpg

I don't know what scale it was made to - if any but the barrel is a turned down .177 cal. BSA barrel. The two miniature pistols shown in the pic below are also interesting. The model of the Webley Junior in it's box is just fabulous and I just missed owning this myself. The present owner is a friend of mine and I have first dibs should he ever sell it. Again fully functional but you have to use cocktail sticks as ammo!

The other tiny "Pop Out" pistol is a model of a Diana and I suppose most of us had a Pop Out be it Diana or Gat at one time or another.

tim1.jpg

the other Wenbley pistols are also interesting, but only to an anorak like me

graham.

Gray23/10/2014 10:52:20
1018 forum posts
8 photos

Hacksaw, there ids a good explanation of rifling here

Geoff Theasby23/10/2014 11:32:04
595 forum posts
15 photos

I had a Gat once, great fun it was. The muzzle velocity was so low you could watch the pellet in flight, and the way gravity caused the trajectory to droop at longer ranges. I have a couple of Airsoft replicas firing plastic pellets, they are better, a Glock 17 and a Luger. One of them is very inaccurate, but the other is quite good. My brother has Dad's .177" air rifle, I think its a Diana. The first time he taught us to shoot with it, he took along a plywood backing so we didn't endanger any sheep in the distance. Then we found out that the pellets were bouncing off it and coming back at us too close for comfort! We therefore tilted it back a little so they bounced off higher into the air, just as 'stealth' techniques are used to hide warplanes and warships from radar.

Geoff

Gordon A23/10/2014 11:40:46
142 forum posts
4 photos

When I was a lad, the Diana pistol was referred to as a "push and blow". Quite a good description of the way it launches the projectile I think.

Gordon.

Ady123/10/2014 11:48:39
avatar
3463 forum posts
513 photos

I had a GAT, couldn't hit a thing with it at more than 10 feet and it had a terrible range

I managed to "improve" it by crunching up match heads into powder and packing them into the back of the slug

The pin would ignite the slug upon firing and gave it a much better range, with the added pleasure that it looked like a tracer bullet as it flew off across the neighbours gardens

Aye. Them were days

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