Why didn’t I get into Black Powder Pistols sooner?
I bought a Black Powder Pistol (Pietta 1851 New Army, All Steel) to take with us to New York for John Coffer’s 2013 Wet Plate Jamboree. On Saturday John set up a bunch of water jugs for people to shoot at. About six of us had black powder pistols. A great time was had by all. I always wanted a flintlock rifle, and kind of overlooked pistols. I’m glad I decided to correct that problem. But this post really isn’t about black powder pistols. Maybe I’ll write something up later, it’s about CNC Woodworking and the thought process on creating a custom, multitasking tool. Plenty more photos after the jump!
Luckily, I realized back when I first took it shooting just one week prior that a pistol stand is certainly a convenience. Sure, you can hold the gun, measure and pour the powder, seat the ball, tamp the ball and then rotate the cylinder with your hands.. But it’s slow and cumbersome. Why not have a stand that gives you perfect access to load powder and the lead? Looking at the pistol stands online I saw two cut blocks of wood and a brass hinge so that it collapses and fits in your range box. I saw lots of complaints about the hinge. Of course I wasn’t buying one with the CNC machine, but I wanted to make something that would last and not come loose a few times at the range.
Version One of the pistol stand was custom measured to my 1858 New Army. I’ve got to say that I even surprised myself at how perfect all the measurements turned out. It made the perfect stand for my pistol and the groove for the upright part gave me a collapsible stand with a snug fit when I was using it. But there was one problem, while in New York, Christine bought her own black powder pistol, an 1851 Nord Navy. It was a mere 1/8″ smaller between the grip and base of the hammer and it just didn’t fit well at all in my stand. Since I’m all about multitasking, I wanted to revise the stand to take a few different versions of the black powder pistol replicas. Within reason of course.
I toyed with a bunch of ideas for a sturdy, yet adjustable stand. Just 1/8″ was certainly going to give me problem. I thought about sliding grooves, keyhole cuts and posts and my friend Jay even brought up dovetails. Everything I looked at wouldn’t have been sturdy, or would make the piece fragile. Then it hit me, square pegs, offset so that I could cut holes in the base stock at varying distances and then the upright could be reversed. I would have to redesign the upright as I had some craziness going on at the cut where the hammer rests.
The photos here are offset much more than necessary. The holes were offset much closer and spaced a bit more apart in the final revision. After a test fit, the stand was finish sanded, stained and applied felt to the top of the upright.
Now with two pistol stands, both handling the 1858 and the 1851 we’re ready to go. And they even nest together nicely when disassembled in the bottom of our range box. When things slow down I may make more and put online for sale, but I’d like to get an idea on how they fit other black powder pistols in the same time-frame. So, if anyone is reading this in the United States with a collection of black powder pistols and wouldn’t mind reporting back what fits and what doesn’t (and maybe photos so I can accommodate more models in later versions).. I’ll send them a custom pistol stand for free. Contact me!