Author Topic: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed  (Read 1804 times)

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Offline Lefty38-55

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Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« on: October 13, 2019, 08:14:10 am »
My 1st build ...

I bought a used Sitting Fox Muzzleloaders kit (for $350) from someone who bought it & decided they couldn’t put it together. Working with Ray from SF, I modified the components to a longer (>44”) barrel & a suitable walnut blank w/ no inlet for the lock, since I made mine left-handed; all traded for the RH’d L&R lock from the kit.

For all of my research & all measurements, in early French pouce (inch) & pied (foot) units, I used Russel Bouchard’s book, The Tulle Fusil de Chasse in New France, 1691-1741. I also have Kevin G’s book on the St. Etienne trade fusils, but I stayed with the post-1727 Tulle contract requirements, where I even made up a ruler of the early French measurements.

To get a left-handed lock, slightly banana shaped & 6“ long, my only option was a LH Caywood trade lock, but that is a round face or ‘domed’ lockplate, so I hand-filed it flat then reset the cock to the tumbler; also faceted the pan & added the Tulle ‘A. TVLLE’ mark & the French fleur de lis.

I am still finishing off the ramrod, but I think the rest came out pretty good for my 1st attempt. There are mistakes or ‘lessons learned’, if you look close ... like the teardrop after the lock panel does not align to the tail of the lock. The comb also looks ‘flat‘ in the picture, but there is drop to the stock, it just doesn’t show up too well. Someday I may get another buttplate & inlet it even lower, but believe me, I know more of the errors than any of you will. As well, some of the arms depicted in Bouchard’s book had fairly mild-rounded to flat combs, as these early year models are not the extreme ‘cow’s foot’ or pied de vache style.

She weighs in at 7-1/2 pounds in 62-caliber & it would be lighter if it wore a premium brand barrel with a thinner profile & barrel thickness at the muzzle. The earliest recorded LH French flinter dates to 1730-something... but this being my build and as a lefty, well ... how could I resist, non?

Overall I think I made it pretty trim & svelte, as Alex Efremenko opined (paraphrasing) ”Remove as much wood as you dare, then put it aside. Do that 3 more times & when you think you’ve finally ruined it ... you’re done.”

This NOV I will be taking it up to Anticosti Island in Quebec, where once again ... a Tulle Fusil de Chasse will take to the woods in New France to hunt whitetail deer!

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 08:33:44 am »
Masterful job on the build, one of the best I have seen.

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2019, 09:02:17 am »
Thats Beautiful! its like a piece of art!
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 01:00:56 pm »
Nice job!  Good luck on the hunt!!
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!

Online gifford

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 03:02:14 pm »
Very well done, kudos for a fine looking Fusil de Chase.

Offline mullet

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 05:16:45 am »
Very nice! That's a pretty piece of walnut.
Lakeland, Florida
 If you have to pull the trigger, is it really archery?

Offline Parnell

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 08:39:57 am »
That is beautiful.  Ray's winter residence is just up the road from me.  The trade gun I did last year was from him.
That is very exciting regarding your hunt on Anticosti Island.  Please, take pictures and post.  That is a trip on my life's list for someday.  Seems like a heck of an adventure.  Good luck with it.

Offline Lefty38-55

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 11:54:12 am »
Thank you for the kind comments gentlemen! I decided to post it here as I see Erik posting on a few other MZL sites I frequent. But the truth is, I am an archer too! Unlike you guys, I have not yet attempted a selfbow, lol!

I believe I executed the build very well, however I have since learned that since I started the build ... that some of the information from Bouchard’s book on the French Tulles has changed. It is now even believed that one of the FdC’s in the Parks Canada collection is actually a ‘restock’ and that one owned by Simon Gilbert might be .... uhhh, a well done fake or forgery (I am NOT implying that he did it, whatsoever.)

If I were to do it again, the teardrops after the lock panel would be more ‘arrow’ or fleur de lis shaped, plus the tip of the arrow would need to follow the lock tail down the ballister rail. And there would be a sharper, more defined ballister rail, with a full round rail carried halfway down the buttstock.

For the walnut, it really wasn’t a fancy piece at all. I used the trick by Mike Brooks, where I stained the stock and put on 1 thin wiping varnish coat, then spray-painted the stock with flat black paint. And then I rubbed it off with a gray (fine or ultra-fine) scotchbrite pad, not to leave it ‘aged’ like some people do, but to leave it in the pores.

This allows any figure or grain inherent in the stock to be ‘highlighted’ and to me - gives it some character. Note I used no sandpaper on this build, as everything was done with hand tools and furniture scrapers.

Offline Lefty38-55

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Re: Tulle Fusil de Chasse, albeit Left-Handed
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 08:00:30 am »
Anticosti Island recap

Let's just say that the hunt we experienced was a LONG RANGE endeavor, where even hunters using modern rifles with scopes declined to attempt or failed to connect on shots up to and exceeding 300-yards! For our group of 5 hunters we got 3 does and 5 bucks, the 2 largest being a 5 and 9-point bucks. We also heard that someone on the island that week took a 178-pound 8-pt buck, which indeed is a LARGE deer for Anticosti.

The woods is incredibly THICK and is all but impossible to step off a trail or game trail and still hunt the woods, which is my favorite way of hunting. ‘Black growth’ woods I call it, all thick/tangled evergreens - no hardwoods, no open areas. The roads and trails were cut so they would dog-leg, each section being anywhere from 50 to 60-yards long to 100 or more. So the hunting style was still hunting or walking the trails, then 'stealthaly' (sp?) stalking to the next corner and peering through or under the brush to see if a deer was standing in the open trail feeding or walking. Or sitting on the main roads in established wooden blinds, waiting for a deer to appear, where we logged distances of 266 & 341-yards for big deer seen.

My bro is a superior game shot and he bagged one at 140-yards, an offhand shot at that. But for the hunt we experienced it clearly was no place for a black powder musket, albeit a smoothbore one at that ...

But, I can say that I have hunted Anticosti Island and sure gave it my all with my homemade flintlock smoothbore fowler. Me? I'll take the hardwoods of NH, VT or ME (all more local to me) any day of the week!