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PreserveFreedom 
40 Cal.
Posts: 206
PreserveFreedom
08-21-11 05:34 PM - Post#1034187    


All muzzleloading arms that I have either have a barrel held in place by screws, wedges, bands, or a combination of these. I have had my eye on a blunderbuss for a while...



...and I noticed that the barrel is held in place by pins. I read a bit on these pinned barrels, and it seems that driving the pins out to remove the barrel for cleaning runs the risk of damaging the stock. Is it best to just avoid pinned barrels or is it worth having to clean with the stock still attached if you really like the piece? If I were to buy one of these it would be an occasional shooter. I have just always wanted a blunderbuss and the brass barrel is soooo pretty.

 
Trench 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2989
Trench
08-21-11 05:37 PM - Post#1034188    

    In response to PreserveFreedom

Pinned barrels always seem to freak out a newbie to the hobby (including myself). It really isn't a hassle at all. You leave the barrel on the rifle and just plug the vent hole with a toothpick. Pour water down the barrel, let it sit, drain it, do it again, and then start wiping.



 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17380
Stumpkiller
08-21-11 10:38 PM - Post#1034313    

    In response to Trench

There is really no need to remove a barrel. I had a well-used Bess for 15 years and only removed the barrel once in that time. Seeing it didn't have any problems I never did again. I have never removed the barrel on my current flint rifle.

I remove the lock, lay the firearm vent down on a towel and keep the muzzle lower than the breech while running wet patches up the bore.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14019
Rifleman1776
08-22-11 09:25 AM - Post#1034417    

    In response to PreserveFreedom

It is only on very rare occasions would the barrel need to be removed. Traditionally, the pins go in from the right side. To remove, use a small driving pin from the left side only. Remember this information so that, twenty years from now, when you do remove the barrel you won't damage anything.
Some idiot once got his hands on my Brown Bess, which I built from a Navy Arms kit, and dissassembled it without my permission. I made the pins from brazing rod and taper ground them to go in from the right side (right side drill hole was larger than the left). He drove them out from theright side doing a lot of damage to the wood and bent the lugs. If he hadn't been a disabled vet, I think I would have disabled him.

 
tg 
Cannon
Posts: 10776
08-22-11 09:38 AM - Post#1034427    

    In response to PreserveFreedom

You have recieved good advice on not removong pinned barrels one can wrap a rag around the stock below the muzzle and around the wrist behind the lock to aid in catching any dribbles and wipe quickly and avoid any strong solutions tha will react with the finish, I ony remove my barrel every other year or so and them only if I have been in some bad weather, you can run a bead of spar varn/linseed oil or anything that does not react with stock wood or finish along the union of the barrel and stock and wipe off excess as an insurance against water penetration, I like to brush the stock and barel in a coat of warm beeswax when assembling putting it togher before it cools and wipng the excess.and on the rare occasion I do remove the barrel my barrels are not rustu underneath I have barreles that are brite with patins and not blued or browned and I have found no rust pitting when taken apart, at mosy a very thin red film that wipes off easily after a severe bout in heavy rain during the winter months when hunting for extended time periods. have fun and enjoy the journey.

 
longrifle346 
40 Cal.
Posts: 172
08-22-11 09:55 AM - Post#1034432    

    In response to PreserveFreedom

From one pinned barrel newbie to another...there are two reasons I've found so far to remove a pinned barrel. The first was when I received the rifle and wanted a complete visual inspection. The second was to refinish the stock, which I am in the process of doing. Given the concensus that majority of advice recommends removing from left side to right I heeded that and had absolutely no problems. All this being said, once the stock is refinished and reassembled I see no reason to ever unpin again.

 
flehto 
Cannon
Posts: 7729
08-22-11 01:52 PM - Post#1034545    

    In response to longrifle346

My first 4 builds all had keys {wedges} because my first MLer was a TC Hawken and I really liked the idea of plunking the bbl in a bucket of hot water and really clean the breech area. But....keys and escutcheons are expensive and time consuming to install, especially on LRs. Now, I only pin the bbl but still remove it and still plunk it in a bucket of hot water. Pushing out 4 pins and removing the tang and rear lock bolts isn't that difficult....use a properly sized pin drift and a screwdriver that matches the slot in the bolts and presto, the bbl is out w/ absolutely no damage....Fred

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
08-22-11 07:15 PM - Post#1034713    

    In response to flehto

  • flehto Said:

Pushing out 4 pins and removing the tang and rear lock bolts isn't that difficult....use a properly sized pin drift and a screwdriver that matches the slot in the bolts and presto, the bbl is out w/ absolutely no damage....Fred




Amen...I remove them on all my long guns frequently. And as you said, the correct size straight shank punch is all that's needed.
(being careful is assumed of course)
And builders have posted they they might remove and reinstall the pins 30-40 times during a build.

Interestingly, there are also obviously different schools of thought about the pins direction too...when I first started I was told pins come out and go back in from the left side...have done that repeatedly...and successfully...on all of them without a problem.

I've only had one problem removing my barrels...forgot to cinch the tang bolt down tight enough on my .54cal smoothbore after a cleaning one time and it worked loose while shooting a range session one day.

In spite of the barrel being pinned in 4 places, and the tang bolt not loose enough to show above the tang, my normal 2.5" group at 50yds opened up to 6"...drove me crazy...til I discovered it was a couple turns loose LOL

Lesson learned and glad I learned it before leveling the sights on a good buck one day...all part of this great hobby
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
shortbow 
45 Cal.
Posts: 715
shortbow
08-24-11 01:34 AM - Post#1035391    

    In response to Roundball

Just a fyi to the op and whoever else might find it of interest, I recently got in the fixture sold by TOW which allows one to do the "pump and flush" of a pinned flinter w/o removing the barrel. I works extremely well and is quick and easy to use.

While I've removed my barrel several times I'm not too fussy on doing it because it is time consuming and every time the tang screw goes in and out it slowly wears away a little bit of wood and a chance exists of marring the slot. And while I've mostly had good luck not breaking out any chips or anything like that around the pins, I don't care to push my luck.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
08-24-11 01:56 AM - Post#1035394    

    In response to shortbow

Whn running a metal screw into wood, always first begin the process using just your fingertips, so you can feel when the threads on the screw marry well with the grooves in the wood. Only once you have that screw started, and half way or more seated do you turn to using a screwdriver to finish turning the screw into the wood hole.

ALWAYS mark the head of the screw with a "witness mark", and a corresponding mark on the stock, or washer or side plate. put a finger on the outside o the lockplate where the hole for the lock bolt(s) come into and through the lock plate. Then only screw them down until you can feel the nose of the screw or bolt touching your fingertip. The end of a bolt should NEVER stand up proud of the face of the lockplate! onxw you touch the tip of a finger with the nose of the bolt, turn the gun over and finish turning the bolt or screw to your witness mark.

Tightening a wood screw in a wood stock TOO MUCH will break the wood using the leverage of the threads on the screw. After a few such mistakes, you will be pulling sawdust out of the screw hole, and will have to drill it out, glue in a dowel to fill the hole, and then redrill the hole for your screw again.

Using your fingers to begin to thread a screw into wood will let you feel the threads begin properly so they don't "Cross-thread" the wood grooves and ridges in the hole. if you cross thread, your metal threads on the screw will cut the wood in the ridge between the grooves, and create all that sawdust I mentioned earlier.

 
shortbow 
45 Cal.
Posts: 715
shortbow
08-25-11 01:30 AM - Post#1035790    

    In response to paulvallandigham

No argument with any of that from me Paul, except in my case with the tang screw it is indexed so I never go under or over that. But I also feel that even using your method, over time a screw is liable to develop some slop in the wood so I try to remove wood screws in a gun as seldom as is necessary, that's one of the reasons I choose not to remove the barrel every time I clean.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
08-26-11 02:39 PM - Post#1036390    

    In response to shortbow

I have a wood screw in the tang of a rifle in a maple stock that I have removed and replaced dozens of times- if not hundreds. I always follow the same procedure outlined. Perhaps I have developed a "touch" of feeling for when those threads enter their counterparts in the wood. I know that by starting the screw by feel, and then turning it down with my fingers, I have avoided damaging the wood many times where it would have otherwise occurred if I had instead turned those screws down with a screwdriver.

I am also as gentle replacing barrel pins in the wood stock for the same reasons. I have had shooting friends ask my why I treat my pins and screws so gently, and don't just hammer them in?

I am not worried about the metal pins and screws: I am being gentle to the wood. Its dead. It can't grow again. Any wood I remove, no matter How small, is gone forever. The cumulative effect causes those screws and pins to get loose, and fall out when you least need that to happen.

It also helps to maintain the wood in those holes in our stock by putting wax, or soap, on the threads, periodically, so that you "wax" the wood surface of the threads, and holes, making the contact between metal and wood smoother. The wax also protects the wood from invasion by moisture, and giving a place for wood eating bacteria to live.

 
shortbow 
45 Cal.
Posts: 715
shortbow
08-27-11 07:02 PM - Post#1036948    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Good tip Paul, I used to wax screws and such years ago but had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding us.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
08-27-11 07:21 PM - Post#1036958    

    In response to shortbow

  • shortbow Said:

"...every time the tang screw goes in and out it slowly wears away a little bit of wood..."




Just as an aside...instead of having a wood screw for the tang, a lot of MLs have a tang bolt that goes all the way down through and threads into the trigger guard.
Makes a much stronger hold on the tang, and bolting the tang to the trigger guard strengthens that whole area, reducing the odds of a crack/split developing through that region.

Might be something to look into as a possible modification to yours...
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
tg 
Cannon
Posts: 10776
08-27-11 09:22 PM - Post#1037027    

    In response to Roundball

Definately a good way to go if possible.You will have to drill the trigger plate to accept the bolt or possibly supply a plate and inlet it, but that is not rocket science, more like basic quantum physics

If this type of screw gets loose amd wallows around you can fill the hole with epoxy/sawdust and redrill a pilot hole and start over

Edited by tg on 08-27-11 09:25 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14019
Rifleman1776
08-28-11 08:19 AM - Post#1037150    

    In response to Roundball

  • Quote:
Interestingly, there are also obviously different schools of thought about the pins direction too...when I first started I was told pins come out and go back in from the left side...have done that repeatedly...and successfully...on all of them without a problem.





I have done some checking around. Yer right and I must change my long time, and stubborn , philosophy about pin/key direction.
Yeppers, can be either side.
I guess the only firm, indisputable rule is: be careful and look first.

 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
08-28-11 09:17 AM - Post#1037166    

    In response to Rifleman1776

  • Rifleman1776 Said:

I have done some checking around. Yer right and I must change my long time, and stubborn , philosophy about pin/key direction.
Yeppers, can be either side.
I guess the only firm, indisputable rule is: be careful and look first.



As long as you're using 'straight' pins and not something tapered, and as long as the sharp edge around the circumference of a pin has been rounded / beveled so it can't catch wood, they should be able to go in either way.
BUT...I don't press my luck even on that...I pull them out of the same side every time, stick them in order to a piece of duct tape, and slide them back in exactly as I pulled them.

I've also tweaked the length of a few of mine so they stop a couple eyelashes short of flush on the off side so they can't even catch any surface wood to splinter off in the first place...and I have their lengths so each end is recessed into their pinholes a bit, so the recess guides the straight punch right in.
Roundball's ML Formula:
"Whompability...Across The Fields and In The Woods"


 
shortbow 
45 Cal.
Posts: 715
shortbow
08-28-11 01:10 PM - Post#1037245    

    In response to Roundball

Thanks guys for the idea of the thru bolt. I will investigate that and definitely keep it in mind with my next gun.

Also, and interestingly, for at least thirty years i've always installed, pins, wedges, sights etc. from the right side. I don't exactly know where i got the idea but i always thought that was the "right" way. Live and learn.

 
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