For some of us, few things can compare with the satisfaction we derive from shooting muzzleloading arms. For some fewer of us there is nothing like the thrill of shooting a firearm that we designed and built ourselves - a rifle, pistol, or shotgun that embodies our best ideas of design and ergonomics. It actually is the manifestation of our imagination and in that respect it becomes a very personal item indeed - much more so than any off-the-shelf "ready-made."
It pleases me so much to learn of our many readers who are taking up the challenge and building their own underhammers. While it seems that most are too bashful to share their work, I thank those who have sent copy and photos describing their work to help inspire even more of you underhammer aficionados to give it a try. I would like to add here that I hope that you builders are identifying your work. There is so much confusion today regarding the makers of obscure underhammer designs of old because the makers did not consider marking their work for one reason or another. Who knows, maybe your design will someday be viewed as significant in modern underhammer history. At least your great grand kids might bask in the glory - if you had the foresight to mark your work.
Greg Sefton is one of our readers who, like a growing number of you, decided he wanted an underhammer done his way. After a bit of research, he jumped in with both feet and built the pistol you see below. What’s more, his prize is now winning him prizes as he competes with it in muzzleloading competition. But I’ll let him tell his story…
Thanks, Greg, for sharing your project with us.
So, if you’re thinking of building an underhammer firearm, come on in – the water’s fine.
NOTE: Some of you may notice that the lockwork of the MBS Billinghurst action does not provide a safety notch. If you are planning to use this action, I would like to recommend that you scroll down the page and take a look at our earlier post, The Billinghurst Underhammer Rides Again! With close observation you can see how a half-cock notch was added to the hammer of the Billinghurst. You can also check the Older Posts for my article, Underhammer safety. Low-tech to the rescue, which will provide a simple means of making these earlier underhammer designs much safer at the range or field.