Can't Remove Breech Plug!

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fishmusic

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Here is today's stupid question ..... Are you going in the right direction? Have you tried to rap the barrel with a brass hammer or ball peen ( with a flat piece of steel protecting barrel ) above the breech plug while you try to unthread it? It is easier with 2 people it momentarily swells the threaded area helping to release the 2 parts as you try to unthread .Rapping around the plug 360 degrees might help .Ive done ii to set damaged threads in large nuts and bolts. Just don't go crazy on an unprotected barrel
Not a stupid question and I am surprised no one has asked it yet. I did ensure that I was going in the correct direction. Thanks for the suggestion, I will add that to my list.
 

fishmusic

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Why do you need to? But then, I'm no gun builder. The couple I've assembled came with new barrels.
Ohio Hawkeye,

Please read the previous posts to see the reasons for removing the breech plug on a new build. I have been following instructions from two books, "The Gunsmith of Grenville County", " Recreating the American Long Rifle", and from videos posted by Bill Raby (now on Rumble). All say that the removal and verification of the breech plug fit is recommended. The videos are excellent because Mr. Raby shows the pitfalls that you might encounter. He has encountered many of them and shows the recovery steps.
 
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The real answer is to get a longer piece of pipe on the wrench handle, and use it -- the plug will come out. Even if you have to put a 6 foot piece of pipe on it - do it.
 

FlinterNick

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All you need are two pieces of aluminum shim on each side of the vise, then a crescent wrench. The aluminum will keep the barrel from marring and hold it in place nice and tight.

The only time things get tricky is with round barrels, you need a barrel clamp for round barrels.
 

OhioHawkeye

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Ohio Hawkeye,

Please read the previous posts to see the reasons for removing the breech plug on a new build. I have been following instructions from two books, "The Gunsmith of Grenville County", " Recreating the American Long Rifle", and from videos posted by Bill Raby (now on Rumble). All say that the removal and verification of the breech plug fit is recommended. The videos are excellent because Mr. Raby shows the pitfalls that you might encounter. He has encountered many of them and shows the recovery steps.
I was asking the OP why he needed to remove it. I'm not interested in the others
 

fishmusic

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I was asking the OP why he needed to remove it. I'm not interested in the others
I will restate my reasons for removing the breech plug:

1. To ease the layout and inletting of the barrel.
2. To ensure that the breech plug has been installed correctly by the manufacturer.
3. To polish the breech face to reduce fouling there.
4. To measure where to locate the touch hole liner.
 

fishmusic

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Well, Ladies and Gents,

I finally got the tools needed to remove the breech plug and, Voila! it came off like a champ. Now the problem is that I see three dings where the plug would mate to the barrel and seal it. Whoa, says I what's up with that? So, doing due diligence, I painted inletting black on the plug and tightened it back up and removed it to see if the dings were actually sealing. To my surprise and chagrin there was no inletting black transferred to the barrel! I have sent a contact letter to the manufacturer to see what can be done to correct this.

In the mean time, have I done this incorrectly? Should I have painted the barrel surface with the inletting black? I haven't tried that yet. Maybe the stuff I painted on the plug wiped off when I was tightening the plug? Here is a picture after I tried the inletting black.
 

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Phil Coffins

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See the four lines in the barrel where the tap stopped? That’s where I would put the transfer color. Just the lightest bit will be more accurate. Have the breech plug clean and dry when you screw it in. You are doing the right thing to insure a quality job. If the plug doesn’t touch dress the end of the barrel to allow the plug to turn in more. Be sure the threads of the plug aren’t bottoming out.
And consider holding the barrel blocks more inline with the vice jaws so they don’t tip.
 

fishmusic

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See the four lines in the barrel where the tap stopped? That’s where I would put the transfer color. Just the lightest bit will be more accurate. Have the breech plug clean and dry when you screw it in. You are doing the right thing to insure a quality job. If the plug doesn’t touch dress the end of the barrel to allow the plug to turn in more. Be sure the threads of the plug aren’t bottoming out.
And consider holding the barrel blocks more inline with the vice jaws so they don’t tip.
Phil,

I will try putting the black where you indicated. However, I tightened the plug as far as it will go, i.e. to the witness line that the manufacturer stamped. I was hoping not to have to dress the barrel but I will have to give it a try. I will lubricate the threads of the breech so I don't seize the threads.
 

zimmerstutzen

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I was always taught to inlet the barrel (not talking about trimming a few slivers and corners with a kit, but an actual build) without the breech plug installed by those that taught me, plus that is what is written in just about every respected book on gun building I have. As an example, here is the ‘Order of Procedure’ recommended by Shumway in Recreating the American Longrifle: Step 5, Inlet barrel without breech-plug in it……. Step 8, shape and inlet the barrel tang.
View attachment 143740
Obviously written when barrels came without breech plugs installed. When i started, barrel were often not even threaded for breech plugs. I had to drill and tap my first builds
 

Vaino

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My Starrett toolmaker's vise w/ 1/8" thick copper jaw shims holds the bbl tightly and copper shims are used on the plug's bolster and a very large wrench is used along w/ 2' of pipe. The tightest fitting plug is no match for this setup.

The question arises.....does the plug have to be removed ? My answer is yes.....Why? My bbls are inletted w/o the plug attached and this is the easy, logical way to inlet a bbl......Fred
 

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