Mystery long range underhammer rifle by K R Bresien

Help Support Modern Muzzleloader:

offhand35

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
6
I have read Ned Robert's "The Muzzlleloading Caplock Rifle" a few times. When I found a target rifle built in the style of Brockway/Pope/Schalck I pounced on it. I will post some photos below.
The action is marked K R Bresien, Warsaw, NY and came with 2 barrels. One is a 36" Green Mountain 50cal that I found to have a 1:72 twist, and takes a .490 ball with patch very nicely.
The 1.25" round barrel is marked E B Meanley, Effingham, NH. I don't know if he built the barrel or was the original owner. It came with Anschutz and Redfield sights, a false muzzle, has a closed ignition system using a percussion cap, and also has a 1:72 twist. With this barrel on the action the rifle weighs 14 pounds. I thought it would also be 50cal, but a patched .490 ball will fall into the bore, so I slugged the false muzzle. It slugs as .5215/.5420, 52Cal. I have seen a listing of one other Bresien rifle as 52Cal , so I would tend to think that he also built this barrel and EB Meanley may have been the original owner. I found that Mr Bresien passed away in 2014, so I cannot ask him.
I need to determine where to start in terms of bullet mold design I was really surprised at the 1:72 twist (one half turn on a tight patched rod over the length of the 36" bbl), and it does not appear to be a gain twist. The grooves are 0.02" deep. I really don't think that the intent was to shoot patched round ball in this barrel. I could have a tapered bullet mold made up, with the taper running from .52 - .54 and put a 32ga (.530") overpowder card under it to minimize blow-by. I am concerned that there would be pounding involved with seating components. I don't think the early shooters with this style rifle did that. I only see statements of short starting bullets with a hand slap before lightly pushing the bullets home. The depth of the groove is probably telling me what it needs. I'm just not quiet sure if this is where to start.
Bench-Target-Percussion-Underhammer-50Cal-Stk-P-77-3_101649065_82756_DFFFBCF0BA340258.jpg
Bench-Target-Percussion-Underhammer-50Cal-Stk-P-77-3_101649065_82756_959644A5DB8BB75C.jpg
 

jims

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
1,718
I am of no help but interested in the rifle and what you find.
 

Docsv2pistol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
1,417
You might want to get in touch with a guy with the screen name Fleener over at American Longrifles forum. I know he shoots the long range 800-1000 yard shoots. He, and a couple of guys that post here can probably steer you in the correct direction to be successful with the new rifle.
 

offhand35

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
6
Thank you, I will have to find him. Meanwhile I have found that E B Meanly stamped on the target barrel is Edmund Branch Meanley, and that Branch Meanley Jr. is in the NMLRA Rifle Hall of Fame. I have been meaning to reinstate my membership at NMLRA. Now would be a good time to do that.
 

offhand35

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
6
An update of sorts. I found a "Meet The Buiders" article in a 1984 Rifle Magazine that covers Ken Bresien. This rifle is made from his No.3 Bench Action. One of Ken's specialties was the round ball bench rifle. Apparently he would sell the action alone, and the buyer could mount what ever barrel he wanted on it. My gunsmith strongly feels that the 50cal octagon round ball barrel that I did not show in the photos is actually the original barrel, as the flats match up with the receiver. The 1 1/4" round barrel with sealed ignition for #11 cap and false muzzle were added later. The octagon barrel came to me with a Redfield rear sight, and no front sight. This barrel has 0.420 dovetails cut into it for sights. I am having this drilled and tapped for a Redfield Globe front sight like that on the round barrel. Then I should be able to shoot that barrel while I figure out what to do with the 52cal. With a 1:72 twist I would think that it will take a .515 - .520 round ball with heavy patch, the bore slugging to 0.5215 - 0.542
 

45-70

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,179
It is what they call light bench rifle and they usually shoot an oversized roundball . A trip to Friendship will answer most questions . This would be in June or Sept.
 

45-70

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,179
Meanly , Branch he is called used to own Green Mountain Barrel, as he was the founder
 

Latest posts

Top