18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY, HISTORICAL TREKKING, AND LONG TERM SURVIVAL.
From the wear on the top escutcheon, it appears that whatever was there had four "vanes."
I had put that down to a design, but you could be right Gorges!Keith.
Feather for touch hole
Keith, thank you for posting this question for me. I just received the following information from a contemporary gun maker:"You are correct in that the hole was intended to hold a feather. The feather was used to stick into the touch-hole of the barrel in rainy weather to prevent water from fouling the charge. It was typically just a friction fit in the hole on the lower side of the buttstock. Since the feature is tapered, it tightened as it was pushed in. I hope this helps.I've seen this a lot on original rifles. I've even owned a few with this feature. Keep in mind that this is not a full length feather like you would get from a hawk, goose, etc. The plume is usually just a few inches long a just lays over if it brushes against something."I also found a photo that depicts the use here:http://contemporarymakers.blogspot.com/2008/03/jack-duprey-soddy-daisy-gun.htmlRegards,Scott
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