Converting Muzzleloading Rifles

Converting most flintlock rifles to percussion or a rifle that has been converted back to flintlock is usually an easy job.

by Paul Mazan

The rifle pictured here is one I picked up at a local estate auction. Although pretty well done, it is a prime example of what happens when you don’t do your homework on what you are building. The rifle is a .32 caliber Southern Mountain Rifle, also known as a “Poor Boy” in Yankee or “Po Boy” down south. These rifles were traditionally unadorned and as simple as possible.

As good a job as the maker did making a beautiful rifle, he did make a few slips in recreating the style. However, it was his rifle and he was certainly free to make a gun that pleased him. The first miscue is a nickel silver sideplate that he engraved his name and year of manufacture on. This should have gone on a steel plate because the nickel silver would simply have been seen as an extravagance. The double set trigger is also rarely seen on these rifles.

Upon disassembling the rifle I discovered one other common problem I often see on modern-built muzzleloaders.

Read more in the September 2018 issue.

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