EIC Pattern Brown Bess on the Way and a Question

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

FlinterNick

45 Cal.
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
702
Reaction score
220
I will never forget the first time I mounted sling swivels on my Old Brown Bess Carbine back in the mid 70's. I didn't know what I was doing, had no one to mentor me and even though I had a copy of one of Bailey's first works, it did not explain about needing a heavy barrel lug for the front sling swivel. I had to get the barrel off to measure the diameter so I could spot where to drill the hole for the sling swivel screw.

The curvature on the barrel pins was rather extreme and even though I had a nice selection of short starter pin punches, I just could not get enough "purchase" on the pins to move them. Took some time thinking, but at last I came up with using a tiny dental burr to grind into one side of the pins and have a flat enough area the starter punches would work to get them moving. Driving them the rest of the way out was easy. I filed the ends of the pins flat/perpendicular to the length so I would never have to do the dental burr thing again and just rounded the edges slightly so if I ever had to take the barrel out again, I wouldn't have to worry about sharp edges gouging the holes in the wood larger. I centered the shorter pins in their holes and filled in the small holes left on both sides of the stock with beeswax. Many years later, I saw an original that was done the same way - as far as traces of wax left in the holes to fill them up.

Gus
Innovation comes in all shapes and forms; I take a Dremmel stone circular and drilled a slighter larger diameter pin hole in the face of the circular stone bitt. Lock dremmel in a vice run on medium speed, slowly press the pin into the hole in the stone to gain a rounded edge.

For actually drilling pin holes, I measure with a 90 degree ruler, mark locations on stock, then measure and mark the tape. I start/probe with a very small diameter Drill bitt, if my hit is off the mark I adjust, but its usually not too far off the initial probe then I clear with regular bit and tap the lug. I don’t drill straight through though, I mark both sides and drill on both sides to meet in the center. I use a handrill too, not a drill press. I have a pretty hand jig that works very well for side lock bolts and tang bolts too but not so well for pins.

The Sling swivel I’ve done a few times most important is the measurement from the thimble on the short land. I’ve seen a lot of reinactor guns where the swivel is too far away from the rod pipes and ends up obstructing the loading rod channel.

Wax is pretty essential on a Brown Bess, it maintains the pin mortises and is also great for the barrel channel, creates friction for a tighter fit too.

One innovation thing I do is deviate from on the originals is the nose cap, I secure mine with a small brass screw that threads into a semi circular underlug brazed beneath the end of the muzzle and counter sunk into the nose cap wood.
 

FlinterNick

45 Cal.
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
702
Reaction score
220
I will never forget the first time I mounted sling swivels on my Old Brown Bess Carbine back in the mid 70's. I didn't know what I was doing, had no one to mentor me and even though I had a copy of one of Bailey's first works, it did not explain about needing a heavy barrel lug for the front sling swivel. I had to get the barrel off to measure the diameter so I could spot where to drill the hole for the sling swivel screw.

The curvature on the barrel pins was rather extreme and even though I had a nice selection of short starter pin punches, I just could not get enough "purchase" on the pins to move them. Took some time thinking, but at last I came up with using a tiny dental burr to grind into one side of the pins and have a flat enough area the starter punches would work to get them moving. Driving them the rest of the way out was easy. I filed the ends of the pins flat/perpendicular to the length so I would never have to do the dental burr thing again and just rounded the edges slightly so if I ever had to take the barrel out again, I wouldn't have to worry about sharp edges gouging the holes in the wood larger. I centered the shorter pins in their holes and filled in the small holes left on both sides of the stock with beeswax. Many years later, I saw an original that was done the same way - as far as traces of wax left in the holes to fill them up.

Gus
Lugging a round barrel is a pain in the rear. I use a clamp with the solder molded onto the lug prior to brazing, but one small slip of gravity and the lug will be off center. I Had always asked by Octagon barrels were so popular, well they're much easier to dovetail a lug to or braze, front sights too.

One of the hardest things I've ever done was dovetail a front sight to a round barrel, since then I've moved on to the easier solder sights like the turtle shaped ones.
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,634
Reaction score
968
I have forgotten how many taller front sights I've low temp silver soldered to UnCivil War period barrels over the years and the process of trying to keep them in line is basically the same as soldering a lug to the barrel.

At first, I was taught to "tin" or solder a thin layer of solder on the bottom of the sight and hold them in place with a long set of pliers while soldering them to the barrel, because as the solder melts, the front sight can/will move. When I asked other folks how to do it, they showed me a tool that looked like a "Y" and the straight end was bent 90 degrees. This tool was made out of 1/4" round stock and the end of the bent part kept pressure on the sight by gravity. Though that tool works good for welding and some kinds of soldering, it didn't work out well for me.

The next thing I did was over engineer a fancy double spring loaded fixture, sort of based on Brownells Ramp Soldering Jig shown below, but I never got around to making one.
https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/welding/ramp-soldering-jig-prod838.aspx

Finally someone showed me something like the set up in the following photo, which is sort of a combination of the front part of the Y shaped tool and a spring clamp. The arm is filed so it is a fairly close fit to the width of the sight or lug. I could do that from the front end of the barrel and sight from the rear sight to the front sight before I soldered the sight. This worked very well most times.
https://photobucket.com/gallery/user/Packdog1/media/cGF0aDpHZW5lcmFsL1BJQ1QwMDA1LmpwZw==/?ref=

While I was trying to find an image of the Y tool, I found the following video. I did/do the same thing he did by wrapping emory cloth (sandpaper for metal) around the barrel with the grit side facing outward and rubbing the bottom of the sight on that to get a close fit between the bottom of the sight and the barrel. Then I "tinned" a thin layer of solder on the bottom of the sight. Now, he just holds the lug on with a spring clamp and no "arm" to align the lug.

Bottom line you need to mark the position on the barrel for the lug, tin the bottom of the lug with some solder and use some kind pressure to hold the lug in place when the solder melts and then cools.

Gus
 

Dave Markowitz

32 Cal.
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
59
Reaction score
16
Location
PA
So after some tinkering with the lock, I've determined that the reason it won't go to full cock is that the sear spring is not able to push the sear arm down so that the nose rotates into the full cock notch. Either the V of the sear spring is not wide enough or the tip of it isn't long enough, or the arm is bent.

I wondering if anyone's tried replacing the sear spring on one of these with one meant for a Pedersoli or Track's Willits lock.

I also removed the barrel from the stock and the pitting underneath the wood doesn't look too bad. The barrel is now soaking in Evaporust in a PVC tube.

Worst of the pitting:

pitting.jpg

Underside of the breech end of the barrel, with Nepalese marking:
breech.jpg
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,634
Reaction score
968
Dave,

I haven't worked on one of these yet, but what here are some things I suggest you measure:

1. The diameter of the Sear Spring Screw and hole in the Spring for it.
2. The height of the screw under the screw head. If you get one that's too tall, no sweat as you can grind/file it down, but you don't want one that is too short there.
3. The distance from the center of the Screw hole in the Spring to the front and rear of the "foot" or "tab" of the Spring that fits into the small slot/groove in the lock plate.
4. The distance from the center of the hole to the bend of the spring.

There is a possibility that a Sear Spring from even a large repro or original Military Percussion Musket or Rifle Musket would work as a replacement when having the above measurements to check. Without having your spring or these dimensions, I think a Sear Spring from a repro or original M1842 would be something to check - depending a lot on the place the "foot" or "tab" that does into the groove in the lockplate is located.

Gus
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,634
Reaction score
968
P.S. Back in the mid late 1980's, I bought quite a few original M1842 mainsprings and I think some sear springs, though I would have to dig them out to check. I bought the mainsprings because they were the same basic size and shape as Brown Bess Mainsprings and I thought to use them for that purpose. This is why I think a M1842 Musket Sear Spring MIGHT work, if the measurements are close enough to your spring.

Gus
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,634
Reaction score
968

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,634
Reaction score
968
Dave,

One thing more I didn't think about when I wrote the replies above early this morning.

If you would like to post or PM me the measurements I mentioned earlier, I can dig out my original and repro musket lock parts and see if there is a spring that will fit. I'm pretty sure I have at least a repro Italian M1842 Sear Spring, if not also an original. If those don't work, I can also check other large Sear Springs I have.

Oh, a rough but probably good enough way to measure the distance from the center of the hole in the Sear Spring to the small foot or tab is to first measure the diameter of the Sear Screw, then put it in the hole in the Spring. If the screw is a fairly close fit in the hole, then you can take calipers and measure from the outside of the screw to the foot/tab. Subtract half the diameter of the Screw and you have the rough measurement.

Gus
 

rickystl

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
2,362
Reaction score
134
Hi Dave M.
That turned out to be a nice one. Congratulations.

As far as the sear spring, this might be an easier route: Here is an original EIC parts lock. The sear spring/screw look to be good. If you PM me I can send you the parts - or the complete lock and return what you don't need. No charge.

Rick001 (Medium).JPG 002 (Medium).JPG 003 (Medium).JPG
 

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top