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Manish

Punt guns

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Cleaning a muzzle loader of any size with boiling water is much as above, but slower and messier. Some modern muzzle loaders are designed to have the breech plug removed but on old guns it could be a problem. Apart from a handful made post-war by Adams at Cummertrees any M.L. puntgun is probably pretty old and fragile.

If you get around the shows then they are not  hard to find. Wells WA had one on display this last summer at Holkham and FWA last year at Stow. They can also be found in collections such as WWT Welney, Spalding, and the Broads Museum at Stalham. As far as I can see there are a great many old guns languishing as "decorators" somewhere out there owned by dreamers who intend to go afloat one day. The same is true of of big shoulder guns regrettably.

Mudpatten (see above) is very knowledgeable on these matters and I am open to correction by him !  Incidentally the boat built by Willock and Hargreaves found its way to the Solway where it was rebuilt into a larger and more conventional form. It may still exist.

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Would be safe to say that many old guns that slightly fragile would be too far gone to fire?

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Thank you Pushandpull for your kind words.

Manish, good question. I think it would all depend on how much substance the gun had in the first place and how badly it had been neglected. My punting friends have brought a few guns that were heavily built back from the brink. This has entailed some radical surgery on the end of the barrel with a hacksaw and a lot of time spent with a hone polishing the bore in addition to completely replacing the stock and lockwork. 

Incidentally, if you want to see how truly far gone a punt can be, and yet still be restored to useable condition, take a look at this...

 

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17 hours ago, Manish said:

Im talking muzzle loader. Like I said im ok cleaning my ML rifle and pistol. I guess I can use a pressure washer and some boiling water

I’m sure mudpatten would be able to go through the process of cleaning a ml punt gun 😊👍

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One interesting book I have got with some old photos of the punt gunners around the Solway , the book is called Wildfowlers And Fishermen On The Solway Coast by Wally Wright , apart from telling you the people and the bags they got it also mentioned how dangerous it can be with the untimely drowning of Archie Blackett who lost his life on the last day of the season on Friday , the 20th of February in 1970 . according to the book his punt gun was never found and in his 20 year career the bag consisted of , 1.889 ducks , 532 waders and 136 geese .

This book was written in 2000 , so maybe some of the gunners around that neck of the woods, or anyone else can enlighten us if the gun was ever found .

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I know one or two folk who stay in that area and have never heard of it being found. I think Wally is still going strong - there was talk of his bringing out a second edition.

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11 minutes ago, Pushandpull said:

I know one or two folk who stay in that area and have never heard of it being found. I think Wally is still going strong - there was talk of his bringing out a second edition.

THANKS for the update :good:

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9 hours ago, mudpatten said:

Thank you Pushandpull for your kind words.

Manish, good question. I think it would all depend on how much substance the gun had in the first place and how badly it had been neglected. My punting friends have brought a few guns that were heavily built back from the brink. This has entailed some radical surgery on the end of the barrel with a hacksaw and a lot of time spent with a hone polishing the bore in addition to completely replacing the stock and lockwork. 

Incidentally, if you want to see how truly far gone a punt can be, and yet still be restored to useable condition, take a look at this...

 

That and the punt above seem very narrow. What do they draw?

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4 minutes ago, Pushandpull said:

That was a very good price for a gun by Owens if it was in anything like good order. Among other things, he was the man who restored "Irish Tom".

I know no more of it really, other than a friend had viewed it and mentioned that it look in good condition. I dare say it'd be cheaper than having a new one built!

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

One interesting book I have got with some old photos of the punt gunners around the Solway , the book is called Wildfowlers And Fishermen On The Solway Coast by Wally Wright , apart from telling you the people and the bags they got it also mentioned how dangerous it can be with the untimely drowning of Archie Blackett who lost his life on the last day of the season on Friday , the 20th of February in 1970 . according to the book his punt gun was never found and in his 20 year career the bag consisted of , 1.889 ducks , 532 waders and 136 geese .

This book was written in 2000 , so maybe some of the gunners around that neck of the woods, or anyone else can enlighten us if the gun was ever found .

Wally has reprinted his book and available at £10 a copy. There are still punts out here at Glencaple from time to time. Also worth reading Dee Wildfowler.

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There is a muzzleloader in the sealed bids at Holt's that I might go for. Mind you I rather like the thought of an old 4 bore at least I won't have to sneak a punt past the long haired commander 

Edited by Manish

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Breech loading punt guns are easy to clean, just remove the breech plug, and clean the same as any gun.

punt 005.JPG

The gun that fired this cartridge is lying in the mud at the bottom of the Tay estuary.

IMAG0617 (2).jpg

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16 minutes ago, moongeese said:

Breech loading punt guns are easy to clean, just remove the breech plug, and clean the same as any gun.

punt 005.JPG

The gun that fired this cartridge is lying in the mud at the bottom of the Tay estuary.

IMAG0617 (2).jpg

Cant let you without you telling us how , or why the gun is that fired that cartridge is now lying at the bottom of the Tay estuary , was it an accident ? or a burial request ?

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ClemFandango, they draw about 3 to 4 inches on average. The south coast harbours are feeding rather than roosting grounds so a shot would typically be taken well on the flood when the birds were bunching on the front of a making tide so there would be plenty of water underneath them.

The average length of a south coast single like this one would be between 19 to 21 ft -  larger than many others, and the extra length would provide the carrying capacity for the gun. This punt was originally used quite comfortably with a 130lb 1 3/4" muzzle loader.

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11 minutes ago, mudpatten said:

ClemFandango, they draw about 3 to 4 inches on average. The south coast harbours are feeding rather than roosting grounds so a shot would typically be taken well on the flood when the birds were bunching on the front of a making tide so there would be plenty of water underneath them.

The average length of a south coast single like this one would be between 19 to 21 ft -  larger than many others, and the extra length would provide the carrying capacity for the gun. This punt was originally used quite comfortably with a 130lb 1 3/4" muzzle loader.

Interesting to know how gun punts slightly vary around the coast , one chap I knew had a single gun punt that was only 14 foot long , no doubt used more for getting from a to b rather than used for wild fowling , most of the punts used on our Norfolk estuary were built on the same lines , although the wood used for construction varied a lot , our first one we bought in the sixties was 20ft , a double and was made of all solid wood , it belong to one of the last professional fowlers on the estuary and when two people were rowing it was possibly the fastest punt on the estuary , although me and my mate were as fit as fiddles and the ole boys were pushing on a bit , the ones we had after that were quick but not as quick as our first one 

The chap who was next door in our row of boat sheds was the last one to fire a punt gun on the estuary before it was made into a reserve in 1968 , his punt sat a fair was above the water and the decking was made out of marine ply , I had a go in it once and you could turn it on a sixpence , mind you with his gun mounted on the deck it would have sat just right , one interesting point , he always rowed while looking ahead , do you , or any other punt gunners you know do the same ?

Pity no one as far as I know have wrote a book on the punts around the coast and including the fenland ones that had a open deck , maybe someone will before it is to late and most of the ole punts end up as fire wood . 

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On 10/12/2019 at 20:39, marsh man said:

One interesting book I have got with some old photos of the punt gunners around the Solway , the book is called Wildfowlers And Fishermen On The Solway Coast by Wally Wright , apart from telling you the people and the bags they got it also mentioned how dangerous it can be with the untimely drowning of Archie Blackett who lost his life on the last day of the season on Friday , the 20th of February in 1970 . according to the book his punt gun was never found and in his 20 year career the bag consisted of , 1.889 ducks , 532 waders and 136 geese .

This book was written in 2000 , so maybe some of the gunners around that neck of the woods, or anyone else can enlighten us if the gun was ever found .

In Desmond Batleys book A Goose in Galloway page 44 Archies brother relates the tale of Archie and Philip Wilson’s sad demise and says that both the punt and gun were later recovered by friend and fellow punt gunner Roy Martin.At Archie’s funeral Roy asked if there was a painting in Archie’s collection of a storm dying away over the mouth of the Esk with Criffel mountain in the distance.Archie’s brother found Archie’s final and unfinished painting showing almost the exact spot where Archie and Philip lost their lives.

Edited by Konor
Clarity

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9 hours ago, mudpatten said:

ClemFandango, they draw about 3 to 4 inches on average. The south coast harbours are feeding rather than roosting grounds so a shot would typically be taken well on the flood when the birds were bunching on the front of a making tide so there would be plenty of water underneath them.

The average length of a south coast single like this one would be between 19 to 21 ft -  larger than many others, and the extra length would provide the carrying capacity for the gun. This punt was originally used quite comfortably with a 130lb 1 3/4" muzzle loader.

Interesting. 

The punts I have seen have been lower and wider at the shoulder but you'd likely be shooting birds on the ebb feeding at the tideline in very little water. 

 

Marsh man. I row facing aft but can row the other way around, generally for short distances or for following up and picking shot birds. 

 

 

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On 10/12/2019 at 21:29, silver pigeon69 said:

Whilst i was "up north", we went to Sutton Hall, in Macclesfield,and they have some old shot guns and a punt gun on the wall.IMG_2571.JPG.23f8499825b365f85cef45542906d34c.JPGIMG_2568.JPG.efc08181030abbb7d28269fab1bd9a0a.JPGIMG_2566.JPG.725d0e4fbd8cdc66eb05077a46f71e1e.JPG

IMG_2567.JPG

Macclesfields no where near the north

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Gents, the outriggers on a south coast punt enable the use of a much longer oar which gives a significant mechanical advantage and these punts can move really quickly. Much of our work is against or across the tide, rather than with it so a punt that can cover a lot of ground quickly and hold a straight tactical line by virtue of the "grip" on the water conferred by it`s relatively long and narrow shape, is a real advantage.

The punts are set up to row with the gunner kneeling and facing forwards. Not only can you see where you`re going but one utilises the bodies largest muscle group, the thigh and buttock muscles, to provide the motive power behind the oar stroke.

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33 minutes ago, m greeny said:

Macclesfields no where near the north

Quite a bit north from Hastings! They even speak funny and have names like "balm cakes" for bread rolls!😂

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11 hours ago, Konor said:

In Desmond Batleys book A Goose in Galloway page 44 Archies brother relates the tale of Archie and Philip Wilson’s sad demise and says that both the punt and gun were later recovered by friend and fellow punt gunner Roy Martin.At Archie’s funeral Roy asked if there was a painting in Archie’s collection of a storm dying away over the mouth of the Esk with Criffel mountain in the distance.Archie’s brother found Archie’s final and unfinished painting showing almost the exact spot where Archie and Philip lost their lives.

Wow , THANKS for that , another book I will look out for and thanks again for the update ........ MM

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