'smithing a poorly made lock...... - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 12-30-2019, 16:37   #1
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'smithing a poorly made lock......

more a case of poor materials and mfg. processes than design.

I was warned against buying a historic repro musket made in India due to their total lack of talent in the field of heat treating, but they cost half of an American made repro and will fire every shot once the vent (touch hole) is drilled by the buyer.

THE ISSUE: my Tecumseh Trade Gun has accuracy issues due to a 24# trigger pull, and when I used my trusty "mainspring vise" to get the lock apart I found a host of issues relating to mass manufacture in poor conditions by unskilled workers with sub-par materials........

The problems are .....

Photo 1. sear face has FANGS (not squared), metal pushback, and is in no way hardened.....thank goodness I have my old can of Kasenit for after it's squared, trued, and polished !

Photo 2. frizzen spring has a triangle file strike mark in the load bearing bend that will eventually crack and break the spring, must be ground out w/o ruining heat treatment and entire edge polished to avoid future cracks and breaks.

Other photos.......obscenely thick / heavy mainspring and sear spring......luckily the mainspring is held in place with a post & tongue system. both springs totally fixable IF KEPT COOL DURING BELT SANDING & POLISHING.......( which is accomplished by working bare handed)
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'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_030059.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_011834_hdr.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_011858.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_011931.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_012338.jpg  
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Old 12-30-2019, 16:41   #2
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more pics of the teardown process.....

Edit, not photo'd but sear spring plate edge (with small tongue) is crescent shaped instead of flat as it should be.

will upload more pics of the repaired parts as i'm rebuilding the lock.
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'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_030037.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_024549.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_024538.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_011931.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_012314.jpg  
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:07   #3
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the sear face is squared, trued, polished, and case hardened.
all the contact points in the lock are mirror polished.

the springs are narrowed ( NOT thinned ) which made the "file bite" (from the mfgr or retailer to make it break later) on the frizzen spring disappear.

all I lack now is polishing the narrowed edges on the frizzen and mainsprings, and as much as I DON'T want to, lightly thinning & polishing the curve of the sear spring.

may take a few days to get to this.

will make photos as I re-assemble it.
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Old 01-05-2020, 23:30   #4
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took +/- an hour to reassemble and WOW it turned out better than I had hoped for !

still has the 1/8" "takeup" that almost all sidelocks have, but now the break point is a smooth, solid 8# due to gently thinning the curve of the sear spring before polishing.

below are pics of the improved lock parts, and a before and after pic of the narrowed, polished mainspring and frizzen spring.

taking it from a ragged, gritty 24# to a smooth, safe 8# was more than I EVER expected to be able to do with it !
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'smithing a poorly made lock......-20200105_011759.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20191230_011931.jpg   'smithing a poorly made lock......-20200105_233605.jpg  
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Old 02-08-2020, 22:14   #5
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Took it to the range today and am THRILLED with the results..........the greatly reduced trigger pull weight makes my roundball hit on target.....and my new pellet load formulations have tightened up my shot patterns AND they're on target now !!
Today was a great day to be out shooting the musket!
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