This rifle, in the style of Melchoir Fordney, was built as an instructional project by members of the Montana Historical Gunmaker's Guild. Approximately a dozen members, half of whom were first-time or inexperienced builders, worked on the piece.
The project entailed research of Fordney's work, selection of artistic embellishments, preparation of necessary drawings and a combination of classroom and hands-on instruction followed by supervised work on the rifle and its component parts. The gun was scratch built from a blank using a commercially purchased lock, barrel and brass castings. A Dreppert lock was made, but not used, because it was not ready when the time came to inlet the lock (See Wheeler-Johnson Lock on the Blog, June 13, 2008).
The members breeched, coned and lapped the barrel, made the set triggers and all of the furniture, except the buttplate and triggerguard, and did all stock shaping, inletting, carving and engraving. The stock was finished using member-made aqua fortis and varnish oil.
Photos and copy by Bill Madden
Past-President, Montana Historical Gunmakers Guild