Lock malfunctioning.

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Gooddaytoya!

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It has a set trigger and a firing trigger. When I cock the hammer, it won't hold. I can feel it slip past the set trigger position and it stops at some kind of "half cocked" position. When this happens, if I pull hard on the firing trigger the hammer snaps down. I've actually shot it that way a few times but I don't like to shoot with a malfunctioning lock. More about the lock: don't know the manufacturer or the model number, and I don't know how to upload pictures onto this forum. Another thing that's happening is it when I pull back on the hammer, at about halfway it starts to drag like something is binding. I degreased the lock and scrubbed at it with a toothbrush and brake cleaning solvent trying to get any unseen bits of crud out of the way, but it didn't help. I have to admit that I think if I take this lock apart I'll never get it back together again. Oddly, the lock works better if I loosen the lock player's main screw so the entire lock can wiggle around a bit. I've shaved down the lock's mortise in case something is rubbing against the wood of the stock. It's not rubbing against the drum or the breech. Two questions: what is the proper lube for all those little moving parts parts in the lock, and two, any ideas at all about what might be going wrong? By looking I can't see that anything is bent or twisted. The main spring is still good and strong and I can't see any metal shavings or other signs of undo wear. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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It has a set trigger and a firing trigger. When I cock the hammer, it won't hold. I can feel it slip past the set trigger position and it stops at some kind of "half cocked" position. When this happens, if I pull hard on the firing trigger the hammer snaps down. I've actually shot it that way a few times but I don't like to shoot with a malfunctioning lock. More about the lock: don't know the manufacturer or the model number, and I don't know how to upload pictures onto this forum. Another thing that's happening is it when I pull back on the hammer, at about halfway it starts to drag like something is binding. I degreased the lock and scrubbed at it with a toothbrush and brake cleaning solvent trying to get any unseen bits of crud out of the way, but it didn't help. I have to admit that I think if I take this lock apart I'll never get it back together again. Oddly, the lock works better if I loosen the lock player's main screw so the entire lock can wiggle around a bit. I've shaved down the lock's mortise in case something is rubbing against the wood of the stock. It's not rubbing against the drum or the breech. Two questions: what is the proper lube for all those little moving parts parts in the lock, and two, any ideas at all about what might be going wrong? By looking I can't see that anything is bent or twisted. The main spring is still good and strong and I can't see any metal shavings or other signs of undo wear. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
That is, lock "plate".
 

Walkingeagle

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I would look back at the mortice as I suspect something is binding. Coat the backside of the lock (internal to the mortice) with lipstick and place the lock back in. Work the cock a few times then pull the lock and look for the lipstick transfer marks. Do not remove any wood that is securing the outside of the lock in the mortice regarding seating depth. Also check if the sear arm is making contact with the trigger. This should not happen until trigger is pulled.
Regarding oil. Use simple gun oil but wipe excess back off.
Walk
 

Versanaut

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I'm not sure it has anything to do with the triggers, though it may. My story...

I had a lock that was acting up similarly. It 'felt' like it was going past a 'set trigger' detent and when I released the hammer would be in a difficult 'half cock' mode. I did the same thing, took it apart and didn't see anything obvious. After a few more times out it was letting go from half cock without trigger input. At the end of the day it was the sear spring. The spring stay or notch that held it in place was bungled up and the spring was not putting consistent force on the sear throughout the hammer draw. So that 'set trigger' detent feel was actually the sear dragging over the half cock position, and then when I release the hammer, it was actually settling into the half cock notch in the bridle because the spring was not pushing the sear into the full cock notch. Sometimes it would hang up on the edge and fire with considerable force, other times it was on the other side and just let go on it's own without the trigger pull.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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I never learned all the rifle parts terms. Please tell me what a sear is, and what the bridal is. I see a rotating cylinder inside the lock, which has detents (I assume), like lines going across it, that pass by as I pull back the hammer while I hold the lock in my hands. If the main spring is supposed to engage those detents and the ends of the main spring are bunged up, that could explain it. Also if those lines I see on the drum are actually detents that need to engage the mainspring, and they're worn out, I might be able to deepen them. As for the bridle, I have no idea. I'm actually good at taking things apart and putting them back together, good enough to take the cylinder off a chainsaw and replace the piston ring and cylinder and get it all put back together right. I suspect I'll have to unenthusiastically do something like that with this lock. I seriously doubt I could find a duplicate lock that would fit this stock. But maybe I could carefully cobb one in. I'm not into perfection, I'm into function.
 

Artificer

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I never learned all the rifle parts terms. Please tell me what a sear is, and what the bridal is. I see a rotating cylinder inside the lock, which has detents (I assume), like lines going across it, that pass by as I pull back the hammer while I hold the lock in my hands. If the main spring is supposed to engage those detents and the ends of the main spring are bunged up, that could explain it. Also if those lines I see on the drum are actually detents that need to engage the mainspring, and they're worn out, I might be able to deepen them. As for the bridle, I have no idea. I'm actually good at taking things apart and putting them back together, good enough to take the cylinder off a chainsaw and replace the piston ring and cylinder and get it all put back together right. I suspect I'll have to unenthusiastically do something like that with this lock. I seriously doubt I could find a duplicate lock that would fit this stock. But maybe I could carefully cobb one in. I'm not into perfection, I'm into function.
Hope this helps:

1632359304373.png


Gus
 

fishmusic

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Does the lock work the same out of the gun as in the gun? If it works OK out of the gun then you have to look at several things that might cause interference.

Check to see that the trigger bar is not interfering with going to half and full cock. Walkingeagle mentioned red lipstick which is good because you can see where the trigger bar hits the sear.

Check to see that no internal lock parts are interfering with the mortise. Red lipstick again so you can see where stuff hits.

The fact that you can loosen the lock plate screw points to some kind of binding in the lock mortise. Try screwing it in snug and then backing off a quarter turn to see if that cures the problem.

I am no lock expert and what I give is the best that I have from the experiences I have had with a finicky lock.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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Sorry to have to ask, but what is a trigger bar? I think walkingeagle's suggestion to use lipstick to locate where parts rub together is an excellent idea. I was going to try to find carbon paper to do the same thing, but it may not even exist anymore, and since the wood in the mortise is very dark carbon paper wouldn't show up very well. But pink lipstick sure will! I do appreciate your suggestions guys.
 

EC121

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The sear is the L shaped thing that sticks out of the lockplate and engages the half-cock and full cock notches. One end is called the sear nose(engages the notches) and the other the sear bar(the trigger bar hits it.). The small V shaped spring pushes it into the notches on the tumbler. Internally a percussion and flintlock are the same.
 

Artificer

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Great pic!! except I have a percussion lock. That flintlock looks very similar. One problem though, I still don't see what a sear actually is or what it looks like.
They vary in shape, but here's a side top view and a side view of one.

1632396707815.png


Gus
 

Grenadier1758

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Internally, inside the lock mortise, a percussion lock and a flint lock have the same parts.

The trigger bar or lever is that part of the trigger that strikes the sear to release the nose of the sear from the full cock notch.
 

Artificer

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It has a set trigger and a firing trigger. When I cock the hammer, it won't hold. I can feel it slip past the set trigger position and it stops at some kind of "half cocked" position. When this happens, if I pull hard on the firing trigger the hammer snaps down. I've actually shot it that way a few times but I don't like to shoot with a malfunctioning lock. More about the lock: don't know the manufacturer or the model number, and I don't know how to upload pictures onto this forum. Another thing that's happening is it when I pull back on the hammer, at about halfway it starts to drag like something is binding. I degreased the lock and scrubbed at it with a toothbrush and brake cleaning solvent trying to get any unseen bits of crud out of the way, but it didn't help. I have to admit that I think if I take this lock apart I'll never get it back together again. Oddly, the lock works better if I loosen the lock player's main screw so the entire lock can wiggle around a bit. I've shaved down the lock's mortise in case something is rubbing against the wood of the stock. It's not rubbing against the drum or the breech. Two questions: what is the proper lube for all those little moving parts parts in the lock, and two, any ideas at all about what might be going wrong? By looking I can't see that anything is bent or twisted. The main spring is still good and strong and I can't see any metal shavings or other signs of undo wear. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
You know what gun you have, but we don't, as you don't mention it.

OK, more recently you let us know it is a percussion lock. That's a good start, but what gun is it?

To even identify what the cause of the problem is, one has to do things in an orderly fashion. I do it in this order:

1. Take the lock out of the gun and see if it is in working order. If not, then you are going to have to disassemble it to identify what is wrong and what you must fix. Here are a couple of links that will help on disassembly.

The Siler Lock assembly, at Muzzleloader Builder's Supply (muzzleloaderbuilderssupply.com)

This link shows a brass drift that has been filed to fit the square of the tumbler, so you can use it to remove the tumbler from the hammer.
Tips & Tools with Fred Stutzenberger – Part 12 : Black Powder 411

BTW, one of many things that could cause the problem with your gun is that the fly, that is supposed to go in the tumbler, was lost by someone and they put the lock back together without it. Here is a picture of a tumbler WITH a fly in it and the blue arrow is pointing to the fly. (This is a left hand lock, so the tumbler will probably look backwards compared to the one in your gun.)
1632404918013.png





2. Now, if the lock works correctly outside the gun, then you know either the lock parts and particularly the sear tail/lever could be binding on the stock or other problems. Coat the tail of the sear with lipstick, reinstall it and cycle it a few times. Look inside the lock mortise of the stock and see if it rubs lipstick onto the wood. If so, you have to clear/cut away a little wood where it rubs until it no longer rubs.

3. Since the gun has set triggers, the set triggers could have been inletted too close to the lock and thereby not giving the Sear enough room to operated correctly.

Gus
 
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Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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Gooddaytoya, if you can get a Muzzle Loaders Building Supply catalog, or one from Track of the Wolf, look in section about locks. They have full-scale prints of each different lock. Cut out a silhouette of your lock - you can lay a piece of paper over the lock mortise (with the lock removed!), and run a pencil around the lock mortise, and that will give you a layout form - cut it on the penciled line, then lay it over the different locks, and see if they have one to match yours. Or reasonably close.
From the jumping out of half-cock, it acts as though part of the nose of the sear may have broken way.. The bridal, by the way, is the piece of steel that holds the inboard end of the cock axle, and likewise with the sear.
On lubrication: A general guideline is to oil any part that rotates, and grease any part that slides.
Now, you know, or have observed, the tumbler and it's shaft that holds the cock. Oil that, and the other end, which is stuck through the bridal. While you are at it, oil the biggest part of the sear, where the screw goes through the bridal, then through the sear, and screws into the lock plate. Also, on the outside of the lock, oil the screw that the frizzen turns on.
Take a bit of a good, lightweight grease, and smear it on the portion of the frizzen that touches the frizzen spring. Like the old Brylcream ads, a little dab will do ya.
Now go back to the inside of the lock, and grease the portion of the tumbler that the mainspring rides on, and the sear spring. If you look at what the springs are doing, you can see that the nose of the main spring slides on a portion of the tumbler, and also the sear spring rides against the sear.
Don't forget to clean the top of the cock, where the flint lives.
You are going to do OK. You already know to ask, on this forum, the questions that you will have going forward. This is a GREAT place to learn all the good stuff.
 

Paul Welliver

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Hi guys. I use Tool and Die makers layout dye for checking rubbing etc. It is alots cleaner than lipstick
 

45man

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You know what gun you have, but we don't, as you don't mention it.

OK, more recently you let us know it is a percussion lock. That's a good start, but what gun is it?

To even identify what the cause of the problem is, one has to do things in an orderly fashion. I do it in this order:

1. Take the lock out of the gun and see if it is in working order. If not, then you are going to have to disassemble it to identify what is wrong and what you must fix. Here are a couple of links that will help on disassembly.

The Siler Lock assembly, at Muzzleloader Builder's Supply (muzzleloaderbuilderssupply.com)

This link shows a brass drift that has been filed to fit the square of the tumbler, so you can use it to remove the tumbler from the hammer.
Tips & Tools with Fred Stutzenberger – Part 12 : Black Powder 411

BTW, one of many things that could cause the problem with your gun is that the fly, that is supposed to go in the tumbler, was lost by someone and they put the lock back together without it. Here is a picture of a tumbler WITH a fly in it and the blue arrow is pointing to the fly. (This is a left hand lock, so the tumbler will probably look backwards compared to the one in your gun.)
View attachment 95387




2. Now, if the lock works correctly outside the gun, then you know either the lock parts and particularly the sear tail/lever could be binding on the stock or other problems. Coat the tail of the sear with lipstick, reinstall it and cycle it a few times. Look inside the lock mortise of the stock and see if it rubs lipstick onto the wood. If so, you have to clear/cut away a little wood where it rubs until it no longer rubs.

3. Since the gun has set triggers, the set triggers could have been inletted too close to the lock and thereby not giving the Sear enough room to operated correctly.

Gus
Good observation. With the hammer down and the trigger unset, there should be a little play in both triggers to the trigger bar, then the same on half and full cock.
Make sure the trigger sets fully too.
 

ZUG

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With your limited knowledge of the workings of the lock I STRONGLY suggest you find a competent muzzle loading gunsmith and take the rifle to him to get it fixed. We can give you suggestions till we are blue in the face but if you don't know how a lock operates then all our directions will mean nothing to you. You will only make a mess out of the rifle and have to take it to the gunsmith anyway which will cost you three times as much before you messed with the rifle :oops: :ThankYou:
 

ord sgt

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Life is a learning process. Never stop learning. Study pictures of a lock. Look at your lock while studying the pictures. Study the function of the lock while it is in your hands. Watch the interaction of the internal parts. Become familiar with it. The lock is not complicated.
 

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