Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pistol Pete

I need to make an opening statement that I'm not a gun nut. What I enjoy about them is that they are mechanical things, and machining parts for them is not different than machining parts for any other metal project, and I can express myself with a bit of art work.
When our son Mark was in high school he worked part time in a little gun store to earn some spending money, and through that experience he acquired the nick name "Pistol Pete". A name that he quite liked. In fact, at age 50 his wife still calls him "Pete". So a while ago, for a project for me, and a memento for him I built him a muzzle loading pistol. The barrel is a remnant from a rifle barrel. Patterns were carved and castings poured out of aluminum bronze. The butt cap is a casting that looks like the face of his little beagle dog. The hammer spring was hand forged out of a pitch fork tine. It has a carving of a moose, and an antelope, both of which Mark has bagged during his lifetime, plus oak and maple leaves. Although it does not show in very well in the pictures, the barrel is engraved with scroll work and the words "Pistol Pete". Ruby garnets are set in the fore end cap, the dragon's eyes and the beagle dog eyes. Although it is fully functional, it is very doubtful that it will ever be fired. It is a show piece.

When I gave the pistol to Mark I was telling him that the hammer was a "Fire Spitting Dragon". His little daughter Shyrel who was about 6 at the time, put her hands on her hips, looked me straight in the eye, and said "No its not Grandpa, Its a baby dragon and it is sucking on the nipple." Oh well, you cannot fool then all the time, and some you cannot fool any of the time.

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