Thanks so much you guys!!! I hope I haven't been premature about it... I still need to pay for the thing after all. But it looks like I've found a way to get some funds together much faster than anticipated, so I'm shooting for having it in my lap on January 12th.
Do you think I did well overall considering a price of 195,000 yen?
God this is overwhelming, I'm finally part of the club!
Oh and btw, here is the only bit of decoration on the barrel itself. It's in the red circle. The rest of the barrel is just a plain black finish with no inlay. Would it be safe to assume this is an ashigaru barrel? The whole thing is about the right length for an ashigaru musket.
LOL @ Arthur. Your descriptions and enthusiasm remind me of when I bought my first gun, a long Awa Hazama-zutsu of rather smallish caliber. I loved it to bits, the patterns in the stock, and the steel of the barrel, and everything about it, even if the serpentine was slightly loose and wobbly. The vaguely unreal and guilty feeling of having laid out a large sum of money for such an object was scary, (250,000 JPY in my case) but then again so reassuring every time I looked at it or handled it. It felt right, as though I was making a real statement in this lifetime!
Arthur, here is a Teppo-stand that I designed about 2 years ago. Will def hold it´s own against an earthquake unless the roof caves in...
We all have different tastes, but I aimed for a slightly basic "armoury" look which was custum-made to fit my bookshelf. We are talking about matchlocks here. No need for decorations. Let the beauty of the weapon take center stage.
Not even two years on and I´m currently in the process of making a second one. These suckers have an amazing way of filling up...
I'm already seeing what you mean! I just put down the first payment of 50,000 yen...
I got to take another look at it today, and my god I am in love with it... unfortunately I forgot to take more pictures like an idiot, but still!
The lock is a little bit stiff. Smooth, but... hmm, maybe not stiff. More like slow. It's got some cobwebs inside the outer spring and a good deal of gunk. Probably just needs some love. Although I imagine it's very possible that the outer spring is a bit worn out. The barrel is really heavy duty. Upon looking more closely at it again, there's no doubt in my mind it was made for military usage. My little 2 monme barrel back in the states does not feel even remotely as sturdy as this barrel. Not to mention the one back home had a really elegant swamping whereas this one is just a giant iron death tube.
Now to start saving for the next one....
By the way, any advice on cleaning the brass? The patina is gorgeous on the lock and pan cover, but there is some green corrosion that needs addressing.
The different colo(u)ring of brass patina is difficult to replace once gone. Even though there are agents which people apply, the results are uniform and generally recognizable. Next time you make a payment, please take some shots in the right light to illustrate what you are describing.
When cleaning a gun after firing, and while the barrel is removed, turn the stock/lock upside down, and lower the serpentine head into a brim-full pan of hot water. You may add a dash of dishwashing liquid. Use a relatively non-abrasive brush to gently work off the green/white burnt powder deposits around the serpentine and lock. Try not to splash hot water onto the woodwork. Possibly your gun was never cleaned in this way by the original owner(s).
Next time I make a payment, I should have it all to myself. Looks like I was able to secure a small loan afterall!
So I:m looking at getting some Old English Lemon Oil because I've had great experiences with it in the US and I was gonna grab some WD-40 for treating some rust on the pan as per Dave's advice earlier this year. If you object to either of these, please let me know! If you know better options available here in Japan that are easy to obtain off of say Rakuten or something that would be great.
The barrel was super super tight in the stock a week ago when we disassembled. THe store owner had to repeatedly slap it pretty hard to get it out. I think it's really dry inside there and needs some love.
The brass parts all look fairly decent, but where the serpentine rests against the pan cover for instance there is a thick(ish) coating of tarnish in a horseshoe shape. I'll be gentle removing it with some brushes.
As you can see in one photo, the mekugi are barely at all visible in the mekugi-ana for the lock. and they are kind of oddly sized... in person they looked like they were too small for the holes. Is that normal?
I also looked at the mekugi-ana for the barrel and couldn't see any light coming through... Thought that to be a bit odd.
J-Wax is simply an example of what is out there if you search around. The contents are Amani abura and hachimitsu. See if you can locate some Amani linseed/flax oil in a hardware/tool store. I think it means Ama which has been 'ni', i.e. boiled. You will be making new mekugi; what is in the holes sounds like the typical stop-gap measure. When you get the gun you can figure out how to unblock the rusted(?) hole. Start with a toothpick... The mark on the top of the pan is typical, formed by people pulling the trigger with no cord in the serpentine. At least it probably proves the panlid is original, and a bit of cleaning in the way you describe sounds good. No need to try and remove it completely as it is basically a forgivable scar. A hard-to-remove barrel is typical. This should grow easier as you clean the barrel and stock walls and repeat the removal and refit process.
Ah I see, just recommending the good old fashioned boiled linseed treatment? I can score that pretty easy then! Specifically boiled and not raw I take it? And this isn't too much of a deviation to the purists?
Yeah the mekugi holes for the barrel seem plugged up with rust most likely then. The ones for the lock though are the ones that looks odd. Like they don't fill up the holes almost. However, ones I have seen in photos online seem to be in the same boat so I think I'm just overreacting to something I don't quite yet understand.
The corrosion on the pan cover is like the serpentine has been resting against it for a hundred years with black powder residue that was never cleaned off, so there's like a horse shoe of crusty green and white tarnish on top. I'll send a picture once I have it. Easy to clean off I think, but just want to be careful not to go overboard. However, I'll check for any marks from people dry firing, that's a point I hadn't even considered.