The gun is owned by a friend of mine, John C, and was made by one John Braxton, about whom I have no information. The barrel is rifled, for those all-important long distance shots.
Here are a couple of close-ups of the trigger mechanism.
Note the rather unusual bottom striking feature. This probably helps the reliability of the thing, as the powder can be expected to creep to the bottom of the barrel prior to firing, and the percussion cap may have a problem igniting the powder around the ball. Here it is cocked.
Sorry for the focus problem. Here it is cocked. With only 3 parts, the mechanism is quite simple, and the spring can be made by a blacksmith.
The wood is straight-grain walnut.John tells me this gun has been fired and chronographed at:
350g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1100 fps, 9389 ft-lbs
550g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1340 fps, 14000 ft-lbs
600g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1400 fps, 15,209 ft-lbs
He does not normally load this thing to anywhere near this level, finding it enough to use 250g of ffg for himself and most normal people, and 300 g for the exceptionally manly.
This piece weighs 22 lbs, which is a good thing, as it packs a memorable wallop on both ends. He has a wrought-iron fork, which is pushed into the ground and supports the barrel when you’re firing this out at the range.
When the rhino charges, I presume you put it to your shoulder and make your shot quickly.I’ve fired it at 250g ffg, and it feels like a modern 12-ga with 3 in magnum loads, only spread out over a somewhat longer time span.I'm currently building 2 guns at 1-1/4" bore, which, for the purists, would be 2-1/2 bore. A mans got to know his limitations.