The socket or tip on the forend into which the ramrod is inserted is usually a brass, silver or German silver casting. If such a tip cannot be had from one of the dealers already mentioned, a pattern may be carved from soft pine and sent to a brass foundry; or if one has a forge or other suitable means of heat, he may make his own casting, using a mold of tine sand, stiff clay, or plaster of Paris. The casting is them filed to shape and size, drilled, polished, and finished to the color desired (See Chapter 20). A butt plate can be cast in the same manner as well as a trigger guard. I have seep a number of these parts in Mr. Moore's collection which show that they are crude sand castings, made in the smith's forge.
The tip of the forend at muzzle was usually covered with a lead cap in the older guns. If missing, this lead piece is easily Replaced. Sometimes the wood will be damaged or broken at this point, in which event an inch or so may be cut off and a new tip cast in place. The wood should be shaped up into a renon, and the tenon undercut as shown in Figure 210. Then wrap barrel and forend with stiff strong paper, letting the paper wrapping extend an inch or so above the muzzle. Spread a layer of soft clay or plaster of Paris over the outside of paper, and pour in a sufficient quantity of melted lead to fill the space between paper and underside of barrel, completely covering tile end of wood tenon. Remove the paper, and file the lead smoothly to shape.
RE-CONDITIONING ACCOUTREMENTS. Often the fortunate collector will find with an old gun the pnwder-horn or flask, leather hunting bag containing mold, pick and other implements. In other instances he will be able to assemble these things by picking them up from various sources. They coo should be carelully gone over and cleaned and reconditioned, with due regard to their natural deterioration after years of disuse.
The powder horn may show cracks; if not bad, let them alone. Sometimes it is possible to force a little du Pont cement into the cracks, joining the edges firmly. Clean the horn by washing in white soap suds (cold), same as you did the stock. With toothpicks clean out the accumulation of dirt in the engraving or carving, if any. Polish the Iwrn with fine powdered pumice rubbed on with the palm of the hand; wipe off with a damp cloth and polish dry; then rub briskly with the hand with a very little neat's foot oil, which will relieve the brittleness.
Was this article helpful?