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Thread: Hall rifle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ

    Hall rifle

    Does anyone out there shoot a Hall? I'm curious about the feasibility of shooting an original.


  2. Don't recall seeing any on the line. The reports I have read said gas leakage was a problem. It would be interesting to see though.
    Edwin Flint
    14th Mississippi Infantry, N-SSA
    Deputy Commander, DS Region

  3. #3
    John Holland is offline Moderator
    44th NY Volunteer Infantry
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Northeast- New York
    If it's a Hall Rifle, you qualify for the Single Shot Team Match ! ! !


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    in sky w/diamonds

    Shooting a Flint Hall Rifle

    Bob Fisch, veteran NSSA-er and retired Curator of Arms at the West Point Museum, several years ago published a detailed technical article on shooting an original flint lock Hall Rifle. At this typing I do not recall if it was in Gun Report, Man-at-Arms, or Society of American Arms Collectors Journal.

    I will endeavor to get the citation tomorrow at work. In addition to the comprehensive narrative, there are some great series photos of its fireing, with clever captions like "We have ignition!" Apparently, the Hall ignites slowly, much more so than the standard side-mounted pan and frizzen of the usual flintlock, because the primer powder has to burn downward, rather than sideways, to set off the main charge. A neat article!

    Not sure about the ramifications of percussion ignition, but have always heard that the breech block-barrel juncture blows out explosive hot gas up and down...

    yours in the hobby..

    Dean Nelson
    1st Maryland Infantry, CSA, N-SSA

    Private Alston Houston, Co. H,, 30th Virginia Infantry; the Sparta Grays
    Private Andrew Jackson Schroll, Co. E, 149th Illinois Infantry
    "...rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy." D. Parker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dayton, Ohio
    Have a friend who has shot his Hall percussion rifle some. The report is "Make sure you have something very solid covering your forend arm"; there is "A lot" of leakage.
    Greg Ogdan, 11444
    110th OVI

  6. #6
    I own and shoot an original Halls percussion rifle. Leakage at the breech is equivalent or less than a pan flash in a flint musket. I believe the results depend on the individual rifle given their age and the manufacturing technology during the time of their production. My worst experience was loading a blank paper cartridge and loosing some powder down in the stock. There is a metal plate in there for this and there are vents for the resultant explosion. It functions as designed rather spectacularly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Savannah, GA
    Deep South - Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas

    Hall's Rifle

    Don't recall seeing any on the line. The reports I have read said gas leakage was a problem. It would be interesting to see though.
    Ed, they said much the same thing about the Smith:

    Gilbert Smith’s invention was brought over to England about 1838, and submitted to the British Government; but the escape of the gas at the joint— which it was thought would be avoided by having the breech in the centre of the cartridge— was sufficient to condemn it. The gun is fastened to the top by means of a horizontal sliding bar actuated by a small trigger lever in front of the lock-trigger, the whole action being very similar in mechanism to that of the French flint-lock drop-down breech-loader of the mid-seventeenth century, called the “Amusette du Marechal de Saxe,” illustrated top of page 107. The cartridge is of india rubber, with a perforated cardboard base.
    [W.W. Greener (1907) The Gun and Its Development, pp120-21; "Army rifles": a paper read before the Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion on 5 Feb 1908, by Frederick W. Hinkle, of Cincinnati, Ohio, p10]
    SCV member Francis S. Bartow Camp #93
    SRTX member James George Chapter #59
    Former Heavy Weapons Leader, B-3-11 SFG(A)

  8. #8
    Jim Leinicke 7368V is offline
    114th Illinois Volunteer Co. G
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Western - Illinois and Wisconsin

    Re: Hall rifle

    I have had a Halls flintlock that I have been shooting for years. They are lots of fun, and really well designed. I formerly had a Ferguson breechloader also, and of the two, the Halls was by far the most comfortable to shoot and gave the least trouble. You do need to shim the chocks on either side of the Halls action to get the chamber tight and properly aligned with the bore, and then just blast away and have fun.

    I once shot my Halls in a match with a bunch of reenactors using their rifle-muskets and I beat them handily. However, the Halls does not have the accuracy needed for skirmishing and they are designed to vent their normal gas leakage out the side, which makes them very uncomfortable and loud to have next to you. Your team mates would not care much to have you shoot one! Anyhow, they do well with either a .530" round ball or a short conical, and use plenty of Crisco over the ball as in a revolver. If shooting a flinter, you will have faster ignition priming with 2fg as the finer powders fill the vertical touch hole and burns down like a fuse.
    Jim Leinicke
    114th Illinois

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