Converting Pedersoli Kentucky from Cap to Flint?

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by Griz44Mag, Oct 15, 2019.

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  1. Oct 15, 2019 #1

    Griz44Mag

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    I have acquired a 45 caliber Kentucky cap gun and want to convert it to flint.
    From what I can tell and what I have been told, the barrels are all the same.
    They are all drilled and tapped 8 X1.25 to receive a cap bolster or a vent liner and the lock inlet will accommodate either style lock. If that is the case can I simply replace the associated parts and convert to flint?
    I'm sure one of you smithies here have done this. What say you?
     
  2. Oct 15, 2019 #2

    IdahoMatt

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  3. Oct 15, 2019 #3

    Griz44Mag

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    Thanks Matt,I suspected that to be the case but did not want to bite off 150.00 worth of lock that I couldn't use if it didn't.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2019 #4

    Realwarrior

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    I did a traditions. Removed the drum, drilled, tapped and installed Chambers Touch hole liner. Pretty straight forward.
     
  5. Dec 8, 2019 #5

    Spikebuck

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    Griz, just make sure that the current drum is pretty much centered up and down on the barrel flat.

    I thought that my conversion was going to be a snap, but when I pulled the barrel out (this was a Frontier) the current hole was so low it actually had a few threads exposed on the flat below it! First, I think that was an unsafe situation and second, it would put the touch hole way too low, in all probability, to the pan on a flint lock.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Dec 8, 2019 #6

    30coupe

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    The drum seems to be pretty well centered on the flat on my Pedersoli Kentucky. I had thoughts of converting it, but I've got more percussion caps than I'll probably ever use now, so I'll probably just leave well enough alone. If you do the conversion, let us know how it goes, Griz.

    One other thing. As I was considering the idea of being able to switch back and forth from cap to flint to cap, I've noticed that the Kentucky has a rather pronounced ridge of metal around the threads for the drum. I imagine one would want to file that flat when installing a vent, but doing so would cause the drum to turn too far to get the nipple in line with the hammer. I suppose a shim could be made, but it's just something to consider. If you intend to go flint and stay that way, it is a non-issue.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2019 #7

    Griz44Mag

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    Direct replacement, slightly different part number. Lists the Kentucky. Pennsylvania and Scout as an easy conversion.
    https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index...,373/product_name/LK1105+PEDERSOLI+FLINT+LOCK
     
  8. Dec 8, 2019 #8

    30coupe

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  9. Dec 9, 2019 #9

    Griz44Mag

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    I took the gun down this afternoon and the drum is drilled EXACTLY in the middle of the barrel flat.
    I picked up the rifle at an auction for a very good price, even with the cost of the lock I am still less than 50% the cost of a new one.
    It is an older one with the fancy patch box. The bore and stock are in excellent condition and the gun appears to have very few rounds down it. I took it to the range last week and it will shoot 1-1-1/2" groups with Pedersoli's recommended .445 and .010 patch and 55 gr of 3f. With some load development, this one will be a great shooter.
    I ordered the lock from Dixie tonight, should be here in a few days. I already have liners, so I guess we will find out in a few days how it all works out.
     
  10. Dec 9, 2019 #10

    poker

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    Hmmmm, not sure this would work as easily as DGW makes it sound. I have a 2013 pedersoli kentucky rifle with a caplock and thought Id just check if a flintlock from a 1993 pedersoli kentucky pistol would swap out easy. The locks switched no problem, but the touch hole was not even close to being in the correct position. Too far ahead of the pan and too low also. Perhaps it is just the 20 year difference, but I doubt it.
     
  11. Dec 9, 2019 #11

    Griz44Mag

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    The Kentucky pistol is not on the list of compatible firearms, just the Navy Moll pistol. The Kentucky pistol seems to have a different size hammer on it.
     
  12. Dec 13, 2019 #12

    Spikebuck

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    I think it is hit and miss. From comments over time on this forum, it works out pretty well for some people, and for others it's anything but an easy transition, if not impossible. In my case, on a Frontier, besides the aforementioned horrendous location of the drum hole, which I had fixed by having the barrel cut off and re-breeched, I got the L&R "drop in" and it didn't fit the mortise well at all. If it had been been a tad too large all the way around, that would have been OK, but as it was, I'd have had to built up the mortise in places by gluing in wood strips. Plus, the normal poor L&R quality prompted me to return that lock. I then got the Pedersoli drop-in replacement and, unlike any Pedersoli product I've purchased before, that lock was a disaster. I have no idea how it ever made it out of "quality" control. I told Dixie I'd just exchange it if they would be sure to open the box of the replacement they would send me to check and make sure it didn't have the same major flaws...they would not do it...so I just returned it for a refund and ordered a Builder's lock from Jim Chambers. I had to spend some time on the phone with him to validate critical internals measurements, which he gladly did since he knows what customer service really is, and it took more time to custom cut and fit the lock plate, but in the end, I had a quality lock and a perfect fit.

    Anyway, I wish Griz the best of luck and hope it's as easy as it supposedly should be.
     
  13. Dec 13, 2019 #13

    SDSmlf

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    I have a Pedersoli Scout in 32 caliber. Have both locks, but only shoot it with the flintlock. Would think going from flint to percussion would be more challenging, as you would likely have to drill and tap for the nipple after installing your bolster. Believe TOW has a kit for doing it.
     
  14. Dec 14, 2019 #14

    Grenadier1758

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    It is fairly straight forward to go from percussion to flint. The main task is to do as little as possible in changing the barrel. The challenge is to find a touch hole liner to fit the threads of the drum. In the two cases that I converted, I had exact replacement locks.

    For the pistol, I had a functional CVA flint lock to install on my pistol. I also had a replacement flint barrel. I added the sights, the barrel under lugs drilled the pins through the existing holes in the stock. That conversion was trivial.

    I bought a lovely little 36 caliber rifle that was built to be a cap lock that was converted from flint. The Lock was a L & R Manton lock. I bought a new L & R Manton flint lock and it is a perfect fit. The Drum was easy to remove. No existing touch hole liner had the same threads as the drum. Ultimately I ended up at a boat store to get the stainless steel bolt with the correct threads. I drilled the cavity, sawed a slot in the face of my liner and drilled the 1/16" diameter touch hole. I didn't use my lathe, but the lathe would have been easier. I wanted the slot so I could have the choice of cap lock or flint lock.

    So the conversion can be done, but it may not be a simple remove and replace. Since we are talking about Pedersoli parts, it won't be cheap. Probably easier to get another rifle.
     
  15. Dec 14, 2019 #15

    30coupe

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    In this case, the lock is relatively cheap: $150 plus the liner, which I think is under $10. It is tempting, but I'm going to wait for the report from Griz before I decide to do it.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2019 #16

    Griz44Mag

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    OK, the deed is done!
    The new lock arrived today and of course I waited all of five minutes before jumping into the middle of the changeout.
    First - removed the percussion lock. No big chore here, do that every time I clean it.
    Second, remove the nipple, also a routine task.
    Then found the appropriate size wrench (an 11 mm) and removed the drum. Tight sucker it was, but it gave up under enough pressure.
    Cleaned up the hole and flushed out the breech really well. Made sure the threads were in good condition, the checked to make sure the threads were the same as the new liner. YUP - good to go there.
    Test fit the new lock, turned out to be really close but I had to do a bit of trimming (a few hundredths in a couple of places) and got it to fit perfectly. Checked the trigger function - good to go there too!
    Taped up the threads on the new liner with teflon and installed it. Again a perfect fit. It seated up to the barrel flush and stopped. I gave it a light set and called it good.
    The the new lock was fit into the mortise and guess what? The screws fit perfectly - location and length.
    The touch hole seems to be exactly where it needs to be as well. Center of pan, at the horizon and covered by the frizzen when closed.
    Then it was time to make some sparks. That was a problem, I did not have any flints that small, even the flints for the Frontier were WAY to big.
    So I took one of the Frontier flints and my knapping hammer and reduced it so it would fit (kinda) It's still way too thick so I will get some smaller flints ordered.
    However, even with an oversized hunk of flint in it, it made good sparks.
    Pictures are attached. At some point in the future I am going to strip the finish and purty it up. I think I got some valuable experience with this.
    AND I had a lot of fun doing it.
    Pictures - of course!
    20191214_173803.jpg 20191214_173817.jpg 20191214_173917.jpg 20191214_174110.jpg 20191214_174413_HDR.jpg 20191214_175130_HDR.jpg
     

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  17. Dec 15, 2019 #17

    Griz44Mag

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  18. Dec 15, 2019 #18

    SDSmlf

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    Similar to the results I had with the Pedersoli Scout I posted about a few posts back. Only difference, didn’t have to touch the lock mortise wood.
     
  19. Dec 15, 2019 #19

    30coupe

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    Dang, that looks good, Griz!

    One of the interesting things I found with my Kentucky was that it does NOT have a patent breech like my Frontier. I would think that would make for more reliable ignition with the flintlock. I'll be interested to see what you find when you shoot it. Nice to hear it is an easy swap at least. Thanks for all the pictures!
     
  20. Dec 16, 2019 #20

    bud in pa

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    I have a Pedersoli Kentucky, it has a 35 inch barrel. After welding up and re-cutting the tumbler half cock notch and re- hardening it several times I tried to buy a replacement lock. I was told that mine was too old and no locks or parts were available . I bought it about 25 years ago and according to the owner it was old then. I recently found a lock from an old Ultra-HI pistol that I am installing, I remember having difficulty finding flints that fit the original lock.
     

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