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Author Topic: Some Lock Maintenance  (Read 143 times)

Offline scooby

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Some Lock Maintenance
« on: May 14, 2020, 10:48:34 PM »
I have always been impressed by the ingenuity of the flintlock design. What an outstanding piece of firearms technology. it reined for over 200 years as the common source of ignition for both long guns and pistols. The design only plays second fiddle to the wheel lock as far as complexity is considered. Many thousands were imported from England and Germany into the American Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. The flintlock ignition system remained in place long after the percussion lock was invented.

In the following picture is a torn down reproduction lock put out by Chambers. It is an example that would have been present around 1760. This lock fits a custom made copy of a rifle that was originally built by Jacob Dickert, a prominent gunsmith out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, this lock was in need of some cleaning, so I tore it down in order to do so. I then had the foresight to snap a pic to show it to forum members that might be interested in seeing a view of the internals. Chambers makes an outstanding lock that has all of the correct geometry to make them very reliable. They also make nearly every version to match any given school of rifle gunne. When it comes to flintlock guns, they are only as good as the lock that makes them go off. 

DSCN5026 by Steve OBrien, on Flickr

Offline Len

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 11:55:32 PM »
Nice instructive picture! Did those spring clamps come with the gun?
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 03:44:29 AM »
Hi scooby, most of the new cap and flintlock firearms I have bought recently come with trigger pulls over eight pounds. I have found that by narrowing the sear spring to half its width brings the trigger pull to ~ four pounds. I notice that your sear spring is original. Do you ever narrow the sear spring of your locks? Do you use lead or leather to hold your flints? I started by using lead, but moved to leather that seems to let my flints last longer between knapping compared to lead.

Hi Len, mainspring clamps are extra tools like screwdrivers, etc.. The clamps are a must to allow removal of both the lock mainspring and frizzen spring. Lots of lock mainsprings have been destroyed by the use of vicegrips. The clamps are a must if one works on their locks. Some lower cost firearm locks use a coil spring for the mainspring where a different compression clamp is required. This is the mainspring clamp I use:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/115/1/TOOL-VISE-DX

Regards,
Richard
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Offline scooby

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 08:17:39 AM »
I have never had to narrow the sear springs on the locks I have. Some of the locks are paired up with set triggers, so it would not matter.  On my rifles with single stage triggers, I get them where I want by working over the sear and tumbler. As for securing the flints in the cock jaws, I use leather.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 09:09:46 AM »
I have a Chambers flintlock on my JP Beck rifle. Now that you have yours taken down, it is a good time to break all the sharp edges on moving parts. I also take a tiny bit off the main spring's inner working arm so it doesn't ride on the lock plate, and polish the inside of the lock plate. These little modifications improve the function of an already fine lock. Oh, and I like your period turn screws!

Offline Dave Shooter

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 03:48:04 AM »
Like the turn screws as well.  Did you make those or acquire?

Got a couple L&R locks that work very well.  Nice folks to deal with on the phone too.
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Offline scooby

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 05:47:00 AM »
I aquired both turn screws. The one on the lower right is an old original. The upper one is a newly made version. It came in a set of three.

L&R does indeed make a very good lock and has a good reputation among the flinter shooters and builders that I know.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 08:21:05 AM »
Most of my other flintlocks are Siler's, but would have to check.

Offline scooby

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 03:57:35 PM »
I've got a small Siler on my .40 pistol and a large Siler on my Beck. They are good locks. IIRC, Chambers bought out Siler and still produces the lock to original specifications. Then he added a few enhancements and sells a second version and dubbed it the "Deluxe Siler."

I also have one Davis lock and one Caywood. The rest are Chambers.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: Some Lock Maintenance
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 05:24:51 PM »
The friend who built my Beck rifle wasn't satisfied with the left hand Siler I furnished him. He asked if he could get the Deluxe Siler from Chambers; so that is what the rifle is wearing. I believe you are right about ownership progression. I think Chambers may have tweaked the lock geometry on the deLuxe version, but don't quote me on that.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 05:34:21 PM by mazo kid »