Navy Arms Le Page flintlock pistol Essay

One of the newer additions to the Navy Arms lineup of black powder firearms is the Le Page flintlock pistol in .45 caliber.

This flinteris a definite cut above many reproduction pistols since it is a handcrafted representation of a circa 1805 European flintlock. This handsomereplica boasts of a nicely hand-checkered walnut stock, cut 18 lines tothe inch, with a very neatly carved shell motif at the fore-end. Thestock design also incorporates a hinged butt-cap with a small storagecompartment in the pistol’s butt. It has a single set trigger and a highly polished lock (inside andout) and furniture. Portions of this furniture are etched to resembleperiod floral and scroll engraving, while other parts are actually cutengraved. The handgun’s 10-1/2-inch octagonal barrel is richlybrowned and is available in either a smoothbore or a rifled version.The overall length of the Le Page is 17 inches and it weighs about 2pounds, 2 ounces.

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All in all, I consider this one of the betterlooking, and higher quality replica flint pistols I have seen in sometime. The gun handles quite well also. During some familiarization sessions with the Navy Arms Le Page flinter, I found that the lockmechanism works smooth and fast.

There was no noticeable drag from panto main charge during ignition–evidence of a quality, well-tuned lock.The single set trigger broke crisp at 3 pounds unset, and when set, canbe adjusted to a mere touch. Because the Le Page is a faithful copy of an early 19th centuryflintlock pistol, the sights are rather crude by modern standards–butauthentic nonetheless. The front sight is a simple blade that measures3/8-inch in height and tapers in width from 1/8-inch at the base toabout 1/16-inch at the top. This blade is dovetailed into the barrel,and the rear sight is a “V” notch set into the tang. Althoughprimitive, these sights are precision made and do allow the shooter toget a clear sight picture.

On the range this flinter is a good performer. Fired offhand, itis capable of producing about 4-inch groups at 25 yards–this is on apar with original arms of the period. It was reported to me thatrecently, during the qualifications for the U.S. Olympic Muzzle LoadingTeam (which will be competing in the 1985 Black Powder Olympics inMadrid, Spain), a smooth-bore version of the Navy Arms Le Page flintlockpistol took 1st place in the Comminazzo Reproduction Event (25 meters).

In this match, the marksman’s best 10 out of 13 shots are counted.The winning target had all shots placed within the 7-inch black!That’s some shooting for a smoothbore flintlock pistol! While this gun is primarily a target arm, I thought it might be funto try my hand at some mock duelling sessions. I challenged afull-sized silhouette target to a duel (of course his own sense of honordictated that he accept) and with my pistol held in an upright duellingposition, I walked several paces away from my paper opponent, turned andfired.

I’m pleased to say I emerged from each of severalconfrontations without a scratch, and was able to inflict mortal, torsohits in each encounter. This exercise is loads of fun and certainlyhelps to give a better understanding of the practical capabilities ofthese early firearms. Actually the only negative comment I can make about thisItalian-import replica is that while the overall gun is quiteimpressive, and the checkering, in general, is quite good, I did noticea couple of slight over-runs around the border. In all fairness though,they are not noticeable except upon close scrutiny. Navy’s Le Pageflint, in either rifled or smoothbore version, retails for $360. Thisis a fair price when one considers what a flint pistol of this qualitywould cost were you to commission a gun-smith to produce one for you.The pistol comes with a blued steel loading rod equipped with a turnedwood handle, a nylon muzzle guard and a threaded end for attaching acleaning jag.

If you like flintlock pistols of the type prized by the gentry ofalmost two centuries ago, the Navy Arms Le Page flintlock pistol shouldplease you. It is handsome, well made, accurate, and economical for itsbreed. For more information write to Navy Arms Co., 689 Bergen Blvd.,Dept.

GA, Ridgefield, NJ 07657. CUSTOM KNIFE KITS A black powder shooter without a knife is like a cowboy without hishorse, or a car without fuel. You can imagine how far either would getin their intended task without the important components which make uptheir complete unit. Besides their many uses in and around the campsiteand back country, a blade is primarily used in the loading process of amuzzle-loader for cutting patches. Of course a good knife can be put tomany other uses not normally thought of, such as using the back of theblade for knapping worn flints in the field, as a screwdriver, orperhaps the handle might be employed to help seat a ball in the muzzleof a firearm in the manner of a short starter.

As you can see, thereare many jobs a knife can tackle when you’re in a situation whereyou are separated from your normal working tools. However, a good knifeis much appreciated when it fulfills a needed service. J.A. Blades Inc., Dept.

GA, State ; Ferry Street, Miamitown,OH 45041 (513) 353-1321, offers a selection of inexpensive, qualityknife kits that are suitable for muzzle-loaders, modern gun enthusiasts,campers, hikers and backpackers, or just about anyone who needs alightweight, but durable belt knife. There are four entirely different,custom designed knives in their Forge ; Anvil series. Each kitcomes complete with a high carbon cutlery steel blade, wood handle slabsand all hardware necessary for assembly.

Incidentally, the knife bladetang has been drilled for placement of the handle pins. These kits arepackaged on a shrink-wrapped card with easy-to-follow instructions andillustrations printed on the backside. The Forge ; Anvil Models 1and 2 retail for $19.95 each. Models 3 and 4 are priced at $21.95 perset. Scabbards are available for each model for $6.95 (Models 1 and 2)and $7.

95 (Models 3 and 4) each. However, J.A. Blades, Inc. arecurrently offering a free knife scabbard with each kit purchased. Thatsounds like a good deal to me! For more details about the Forge ; Anvil knife kit series, send50 cents to J.A. Blades.

Also, ask them about their complete line of21 contemporary and early American knife styles. There’s bound tobe one to fit your needs. I’ve seen many of them and have usedthem in the past and consider them to be solid utility tools. Drop thema line and see what they have to offer. CAP ; BALL POWDER HORN Here’s a dandy item that I’d like to share with you.

It’s called the K-W Cap & Ball Dispenser Plug powder horn.Offered by K-W Cap and Ball Horns, 5073 Townsley Road, Dept. GA,Cedarville, OH 45314, this unique approach to a hunting horn and”ammo” carrier for muzzle-loaders makes a lot of sense.

Briefly, the powder horn is like any standard traditionally styledpowder horn, except that the plug is made so that it has a series ofcompartments built into it. These compartments are designed so that around ball of a given caliber will fit into one, while a percussion cap can be stored in another, smaller one. When the top portion of the plugis rotated, exposing the compartments, the ball and cap can be emptiedinto the shooter’s hand, ready for loading into the firearm. Theplug’s lid can also be rotated in such a way as to allow the ballto be dumped into the hand, but not the cap. A slight further turningof the lid will expose the cap. Available in standard sizes of .32, .

36, .40, .45, .50, .54, .

58and .62 caliber (custom fitting is available for off-sized calibers anda plug can be tailored to accommodate Minie balls and musket caps), theK-W Cap & Ball Dispenser Plug horn is offered in an easy-to-assemblekit form. Priced at $25 per kit plus postage, each unit is furnishedwith the base plug holes in your specified bored size, a plug for thepouring end, a semi-finished cow horn, and a leather carrying strap.The horn is of small to medium size, which is ideal for a huntingsituation where one would not want to carry a very big supply of powderand ball. If you’ve been contemplating the purchase of another powderhorn, or some new hunting gear, the K-W Cap ; Ball Dispenser Plughorn is definitely worth your consideration. It is handsome, practicaland inexpensive and that’s three pretty big plus marks in anymuzzle-loader’s book! For more information on this or any otherK-W product, send 25 cents for their brochure.

I use K-W’s hornsand related horn-made accessories and consider them to be extremely wellmade and reasonably priced. I recommend them highly! BRITISH ARMSMANUAL Here’s an inexpensive and invaluable little booklet thatshould be of interest to English arms collectors, Confederate weaponsbuffs and arms enthusiasts in general. It is a reprint of an originalBritish War Office instruction booklet that was produced for GreatBritain’s Corps of Colonial Volunteers in 1859. It is the officialRegulations for the Marking and Preservation of Arms Issued to Corps ofColonial Volunteers. Briefly, this pamphlet describes, withillustrations, how English guns and edged weapons issued to colonialvolunteer troops throughout the mid-19th century British Empire weremarked.

There are also instructions for dismounting and cleaning thepattern 1853 series Enfields, which were widely used during our CivilWar. This 10-page, 5-inch by 8-inch military manual reprint retails for$2.50 postpaid from: Service Arms (U.K.

), Brian C. Knapp, Dept. GA, 94Teglan Park, Tycroes, Ammanford, Dyfed, England. ALLEN FIRE ARMS GUNPOSTER Allen Fire Arms, 1107 Pen Road, Dept. GA, Santa Fe, NM 87501, isoffering a colorful poster of many of their more popular guns.Photographed against a natural wood background, this 39-inch by 27-inchfull color poster features such reproduction arms as the 1873 Winchesterrifle and carbine, their Henry rifle, a Remington Rolling Block repro,their Griswold Confederate brass-framed revolver, 1875 Remingtonrevolver, several of their Colt Peacemaker replicas, a Walker Colt, aDragoon revolver, an 1858 Remington and several shooting accessories.This would make a nice decorator item in your gunroom, workshop, saloonor wherever you like to relax and talk guns.

It retails for $3.50postpaid, or if you would like the poster plus Allen Fire Arms’latest catalog of quality replica black powder and smokeless powder guns, send $5 postpaid. I’ve seen the poster and it is indeed adandy. I’m sure that you’ll like it too.

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