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                                                                        Alpha

The rush into falling block muzzleloading rifles has prompted me to design a new action that is simple, strong and relatively easy to manufacture while maintaining that certain functional elegance that White rifles exhibit. I call it a 'locking block'.

I spent about two years at this endeavor, with the results below. This is version seven of the effort, every one of them substantially different. Every one of them progressively less complex.

I thought I really had something new, then went to a gunshow, picked up a German target rifle made in the 1880's and it was damn near the same thing. I guess there really isn't anything new under the sun. The only real difference was that it didn't have an external hammer and this one does. This one will be different because of that external hammer and the steels it will be made from. The old German target action was common steel, this one will be heat treated 4140, which means it will be twice as stout.

The falling block actions are popular because they are supposed to be so easy to clean. Of course, they aren't. It turns out that despite their many features, black powder residues are just as hard, or harder, to get out of their nooks and crannys as any other rifle. After using, abusing and experimenting with them all, I think the easiest gun to clean is the old fashioned sidelock with powder drum and nipple. Everything is on the outside where you can get to it easily.

I propose a better solution to the problem of breech contamination, why not use a primer that doesn't leak at all. I am advocating my new 336 primer, in reality a 32 S&W Short case with small rifle primer, in the back end of the Alpha. This case is short enough to be handy and just long enough to contain all the black powder blow back, and the higher the pressures, WITHIN REASONABLE LIMITS, the better it works. Use it, and there is no cleaning to do at all at the back end.

This is all conjecture , of course. The Alpha needs to get into production, with all all the attendant problems associated with that endeavor. It isn't easy to do and it surely isn't cheap. There is a considerable amount of risk in engineering and producing a brand new rifle, especially with a brand new priming system. Just ensuring that a supply of empty primed 336 cases are available locally is a tremendous problem. Doesn't look like its going to happen. IT DIDN'T. Too bad. 

Good Hunting

DOC