I have gun fever again. A hundredn'twennyfive years ago our ancestors were transitioning from muzzle loading front-stuffing black powder guns to suppository guns that load from the rear - or the breach! At first they were ultra-manly, ultra-retro single shot cartridge guns with graceful lines that appealed to our forefathers - and today they appeal to their great and great-great grandsons. Specifically, I have fallen in love with the Martini-Henry chambered for the obsolete 577/450 round.
There are certain challenges in making these old guns live again... a feasibility
study is underway as we speak.
My great grandfather may have carried a rifle just like this in his youth. Family lore has it that he was a bit of a scoundrel. It was a common scam of the peasant class in Edmonton, England in those days: you took The King's Shilling (Enlistment) not once - but twice! I dunno how that worked but in the days without computers, one could apparently enlist under one name and then later, do it again under another and you could even get away with it for awhile. He probly got an extra squid, or a bob or a farthing a week under the scam until the bean counters caught up him. Apparently he was even remanded in the Tower of London whilst he awaited the Judge's pleasure in court! The story goes that he got off lightly because of the grinding poverty in his family and community - and was sentenced to a lenient couple years of back breaking public service hard labour rather than prison. That was a good deal for cons in those days and he worked his sentence off and flew straight after that. My uncle even showed us a picture of him once - he had jet black hair, a ridiculous Victorian era mustache and a happy look to him. We marveled as we looked at it - I have his nose and jaw line and ape-like austrolapithacene brow line. (At least I did - too many years of soft living and good food have rounded me out a bit)...
In any event I am scouring the internet and curio/relic stores and pricing out dies, sourcing brass, bullet moulds and all that junk - and I end up getting side tracked by all the other cool junk and antique floatsam and jetsam of people long gone from our world.
I love old tins. These are Ovaltine Energy Tablets and Gorges Grouse decided to help himself
and gobbled the lot!
Now he's stuck to the ceiling and the Missus is poking at him with a broom handle and
trying to get him down because she wants to go to China-Mart! It's gonna
take a putty -knife to peel him down from there! Hopefully the tablets wear off
Serves him right I suppose. Thankfully all is not lost: I was able to procure some Nigger Hair Pipe Tobacco, some Snake Oil From Mars, and some camphorated radioactive toothpaste for Chicken Mom. Why, I am finding useful gifts for all my internet friends! Rest assured, I will find something that is just perfect for you too!
I'm finishing up in Fort Mac today and driving home... it's been pretty quiet. The oil boom has gone bust and tough times are on the way. I may not get off the ground with this project but even so - it has been a great way to pass the time!
Have a good Thursday and watch out for falling Grouse. :)