Jacks 6th one

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imfuncity
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Jacks 6th one

Post by imfuncity » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:14 am

Jack gets six?! :roll: Where's mine?
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Good for you Jack.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

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jack1653
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by jack1653 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:27 am

Hey Guys

A great big "Thank You" to my frined, imfuncity, for posting the pictures. :D

What can I say that hasn't already been said about these rare birds. There is something really neat about the FN's and I think it is the level of craftmanship that the people in Belgium brought to the table. The rifle just stands out.

This rifle is in by no means perfect. Unfortunately, the same auction company that I mentioned in the thread about the Police Model was involved in this sale also. They omitted many details about the imperfections and of course the sell was a "As Is-No Returns". I did not show some of the flaws in the wood, but I think I will leave it as is. There is one noticeable incorrect part and it is the safety lever. It is a replacement from a model 8 Remington. I have a solution for that problem. One of the nice things about having multiple rifles is that every once in a while you get one that offers opportunities and this is the case with another FN that I have.

I think many of us have been in the position that fits this example. I was so anxious to get the first FN that it did not bother me that it had some parts that were incorrect or missing. But, it was an original FN so I bought it. I am going to remove the safety lever from that rifle and place it on the one just purchased. I plan on doing the same thing with the butt plate.

The butt plate looks like a bunch of termites went through the edges of the piece. In talking with 81police, I was told this is not an unusual situation with some of the butt plates on the FN. He told me that many of these butt plates were made from horn and indeed an insect would get into the material and make the holes I described. Boy, you learn something every day.

The picture of the bottom tang shows three markings which I do not understand. If anyone can share the meaning of the marks, I would like to see your definition.

I hope you enjoy the pictures thanks to Mitch.

Regards,

jack1653

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rem81auto
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by rem81auto » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:58 am

Jack,

I can't help with the markings but I can offer congrats on another nice addition to your collection. Dennis

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by sighthound » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:11 am

Congrats Jack, market seems to be getting cornered, way to go. Hope Swedish Fosta Platz is still First Place and #1 in your eye, Jerry

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by jack1653 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:12 am

Hey Jerry,

You don't even have to ask about the Swedish FN. It will always be No. 1. I feel a real kinship to that rifle since my Granddad came from Goteberg, Sweden. The story behind that rifle is truly interesting in how it was won and got back to the USA.

I had sent you a very long email and never heard back from you. I sent it to the new email address that you had sent me. If you don't mind, drop me a confirmation on your email address. I want to catch up on your project. My project is in the final stages and I hope that it will be worth all the time it has taken.

Kindest regards,

Jack

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45guy
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 45guy » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:20 pm

Is there any way to get a photo of the inscription slightly more wide angle? I've been digging through some books, and I highly doubt it is a Phoenician inscription.... The middle character resembles the Phoenician Yodh...
"The sound of shot sweeping through the air toward you is impressive though. I'll give you that. It's like being swatted with the broom of God."

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jack1653
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by jack1653 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:28 pm

Wide Angle :!: Are you kidding me? It is all I can do to take normal pictures and get them to Mitch for posting. Regarding the yodh, does this mean it came from Star Wars? :lol: Seriously, I tried a couple of different angles to send and the one that you see is the best I could do. The inscriptions are different and something that I haven't seen before. I thought it looked like something from Egypt. :roll:

jack1653

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by DWalt » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:47 pm

I don't know about the buttplate being horn. I have a mint condition FN Model 1900 Browning .32 auto pistol made about 1909, I figure. It has some sort of black composition grips that are also shot through with worm holes, probably made of the same material as the rifle buttplates. I had heard it was a hard rubber-type material (Gutta-percha) that was filled with wood flour (i.e., fine sawdust) that some insects like for lunch.

From Wikipedia piece on Gutta-percha: "Pistol hand grips and rifle shoulder pads were also made from gutta-percha, since it was hard and durable."

For decyphering symbols, you might try symbols.com

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45guy
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 45guy » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:47 pm

Just pulled out one of my anthropology books. Looks like it may be Indo-Aryan numerals. Is there a 5, 4, and possibly a 2 in the serial?
"The sound of shot sweeping through the air toward you is impressive though. I'll give you that. It's like being swatted with the broom of God."

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by jack1653 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:51 pm

Hey John,

The serial number is 3059. One out of four isn't too good.

jack1653

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 81police » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:57 pm

I'll pull out the FN Browning book, I had always heard of the early A5's being made out of horn (and the FN 1900's are identical) so I'll recheck!

Terrific FN Jack, looks great. Once you change that safety lever it'll look just like it should. Never seen markings like those before but not real surprising. These FN's have travelled!
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rem81auto
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by rem81auto » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:19 am

Jack,
I put a few feelers out on a couple other boards where their are some pretty smart guys. I had more than a few people think the symbols on your FN may be from the ancient alphabet >> " Runes " <<. I guess if you think it is worth the effort google Runes and start searching. Dennis

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jack1653
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by jack1653 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:59 am

Thanks Dennis. Curousity has got me and I will check it out.

Jack

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rem81auto
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by rem81auto » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:38 am

Jack

I forgot to add my first thought seeing the symbols that it might translate to a good luck hunting Talisman. Dennis

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 81police » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:40 am

I did a little research on the composition of F.N. buttplates, particularly A5 Browning shotguns which have the same buttplates as FN 1900 rifles. I checked in "Browning: Sporting Arms of Distinction" by Matt Eastman and "Browning Auto-5 Shotguns – The Belgian FN Production” by H. M. Shirley Jr. and Anthony Vanderlinden.

All seem to agree that early F.N. buttplates were made of horn and hard rubber. According to Matt Eastman, "for the first 10,000 guns, the buttplates were either a hard rubber material or horn with 7/8" x 2" scroll overal with the F superimposed over the N in a horizontal pattern of lines which are 1/16" apart" (p. 156).

The awesome link below is a great research tool for the A5 collector. It appears the horn buttplate came about in 1909 (1 year before F.N. 1900 rifle production) and continued for many years. It may be the buttplates can be found in both horn and hard rubber.

http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtop ... 3&t=216472
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by DWalt » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:35 pm

They say horn, but I'd sure like to know how you'd go about shaping horn into a buttplate. I don't think horn's like a thermoplastic which can be heated and molded into shapes. Maybe it was ground up into a powder and mixed as a filler into some sort of hard rubber or phenolic matrix and formed into a buttplate.

In addition to Gutta Perchs (hard rubber), thermoset phenolics such as Bakelite were around for most of the A5's production history, and I don't understand why it wouldn't have been used in the manufacture of buttplates (except it is brittle).

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 81police » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:35 pm

Good points Dwalt!

Now I'm not certain about the particulars of their production, but according to F.N. expert Anthony Vanderlinden (http://www.fn-browning.com/) horn buttplates (and grips on some pistols) continued in use until the beginning of World War II, molded plastic was also used. Horn butplates (and grips) are easily identified by their flat backs, whereas plastic buttplates have depressions in their backs from the molds.
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by DWalt » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:56 pm

Maybe someone out there knows how it was done. My experience with horn is limited to making up a few powder horns. As I remember, horns are somewhat thin-walled, except at the tip, and wouldn't make much of a buttplate even if they could be formed into uniform shapes. Horns are made of essentially the same type of cells (alpha keratin) as skin, hair and fur. Do the cattle in Belgium have big thick horns?

The only reference to current use of horn as buttplates involves the use of Asian water buffalo horn, not domestic cattle horn. They are possibly much thicker.

I did a little search on Wikipedia and found the following:
"Horn is somewhat thermoplastic and (like tortoiseshell) was formerly used for many purposes where plastic would now be used." I would think that would apply only to thinner items. Also, in addition to the outer horn sheath, there is a core of bony material inside the sheath, and maybe that was the part used to make buttplates. I have seen that material removed from cow horns by boiling, and as I remember, it was fairly porous. Also a stinky job.

Here's a guy that had 8 FN Browning shotgun horn buttplates for sale: http://soldusa.com/rainworx/detail.asp?id=32580

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by sighthound » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:16 pm

One way to tell horn is insects feed on it, bore holes and eat away sections. Jerry

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by DWalt » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:15 pm

I don't think there is any question that horn buttplates or grips aren't really 100% horn, but finely ground-up horn may well have been used as a filler in a hard rubber matrix so that molding was possible. As I said earlier, I have a pair of original grips for a FN-Browning 1900 pistol, with wormholes in them, and they are definitely a molded product (with essentially flat back sides) that is black and looks like hard rubber. I had been told that wood flour (fine sawdust) was the filler used for gutta-percha, but it could well have been ground horn instead. I don't know how insect-resistant horn is. Why horn was used instead of something else is beyond me, perhaps to add color or durability. Or maybe someone at FN got a good deal on several tons of horns.

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by imfuncity » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:17 am

Not to horn in.... Sorry couldn't resist. :roll:

Cam, great info on the Shotgun World post. I copied and saved "sauerfan's" 7 pages into a MS Word doc. 7pgs (vs. the 28 pgs that actually copied off of the post!) If anyone would like the Word.doc copy, PM me and email address - I'll attach a copy.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by sighthound » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:48 pm

Hey Mitch that horn in is pretty shaggy!
Seriously is there a chemist in/on this forum that could do a chemical analysis of a Browning butt plate? I think I could find and donate one for scientific investigation to determine if the plates are solid horn, ground horn, a mixture of horn and/or something else. They may have been molded, engraved, heated or who knows how made. Have long assumed they were solid horn, but seems we have a tendency to go through life beieving what we were told as children, curiosity aroused and now would like to know for sure and everyday brings new discoverys and knowledge.
Shoot me an email at sodbuster37@q.com and I will forward a plate with a few worm? holes to analyze. Jerry

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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 45guy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 pm

Poor quality image, but this is one of the Gahendra Martinis that have been hitting the market.
Image
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by Sarge756 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:00 am

I will use the term "jump in" for this one. I`ve not done any horn buttplates but have used it for grips on single action Colts.To clear up any misconceptions the material used was 100% horn. Horn is not the easiest material to work but does have the characteristics (can be formed) like thermo-plastics and hard rubber. The temperature that it must be heated is above that provided by boiling it in water. At about 300 degrees the material loses its memory and can be formed/molded/embossed. My method was to use a cooking thermometer and Crisco heated to that temperature. Heat/Cook the horn until it is heated throughly and then it can be worked fairly easily .Designs such as the FN on the Browning buttplates discussed were done I imagine in the same manner that I used to emboss the owners initials on the grip job.Material heated till loss of memory, and then stamped/molded with the design. As the material cools the design and material restabilize and again become hard. Cutting horn is best done with a very fine tooth saw like jewelers use. Tools used in stock work,checkering files,rifflers and fine rasps can also be used to finish and fit. Final polish of the material with stock rubbing compound and rouge and a good quality paste wax and you are done. The "Test" to see whether you have horn or something else doesn`t require a chemist. Heat a needle to red hot and apply to the backside. If it melts it is plastic or rubber.If if burns it is horn.You will also get a distinct odor that will confirm what it is.
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by 81police » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:29 am

Sarge756,

This is some great info, thank you for the insight. Horn it is! Doesn't sound like manufacturing the buttplates was an easy job. Sure would have been cool to watch how these rifles (and model 8's) were built from start to finish.
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by sighthound » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:44 am

Much thanks Sarge for figureing this one out, will be most helpful in replacing a horn buttplate, was aware raw horn could be softened by boiling and shaping when fitting plug for powder horn but not aware of how to get more heat to make more workable. Thanks again, jerry

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Rem8&81
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Re: Jacks 6th one

Post by Rem8&81 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:48 am

The mentioned FN horn buttplates were 100% horn and they were made much as Sarge has suggested. The horn was not ground up or mixed with plastics as some have suggested. The horn was made flexible through a heat and moisture process, so it could be formed, pressed and molded.
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