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Reducing flint destruction on traditions flint locks

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Some time back there was a post "Smashing Flints".
This post and the input of several members proved to be most informative and educational.
The main idea put forth was the lightening of the lock's main and frizzen springs was indeed an effective solution to the smashing of flints.
For me what was missing was a specific amount of material to remove from the mainspring and frizzen springs or final cocking and opening forces.
As this will be different for each lock i decided to try to quantify the spring lightening process using the lock of a traditions ky rifle and a traditions deerhunter. These rifles use essentially the same lock.
First the main springs. The leafs of these measured 0.090" thick. using a 1" wide belt sander i slowly removed material of the lower leaf from the bend that divides the upper and lower leafs to the knuckle at the other end thats starts the hook that engages the tumbler and polishing away any scratches left by the sanding process. At the same time i lightened the frizzen spring by gently squeezing it repeatedly and then reassembling the lock and testing it. This is trickey....squeeze less and repeatedly.
For my traditions locks the following values worked well for me.
i removed 0.020" from the mainspring lower leaf as described above ending up at a thickness of 0.070".
This is about 22% material removal. I only have a fish scale to measure the resulting cocking force and the result was 4.7 lbs. on one lock and about 4 lbs on the second
Since i did not remove material from the frizzen spring I sort of backed into the solution by squeezing the spring until the flint was no longer being shattered but still sparked well. i installed my flints bevel down. i hooked the fish scale around the frizzen at that point where the flint strikes it. This read between 2.5 and 2.7 lbs on the first and anout 2.3lbs on the other to get the frizzen to snap open. There are probably more combinations of main to frizzen spring weights that work so go slow and check often.
For me this worked well for my traditions rifles.
they fire consistantly and no longer shatter flints. If these values seem way too light to you i would suggest that you remove less material from the main sping and adjust the frizzen spring to suit. In any case it appears the the springs on these traditions locks are a bit stout.
if you do this , again, work slowly...your milage may vary.
i hope this helps those with traditions guns, but i believe the process is valid for all guns. i was surprise at the comparably light spring weights that still produced good sparks.
 

Daryl Crawford

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Good write up. My Investarm .50 can be tough on flints if they aren't English black flint. I've thought about sanding the toe of the frizzen.
I appreciate your detailed explanation.
 
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Some time back there was a post "Smashing Flints".
This post and the input of several members proved to be most informative and educational.
The main idea put forth was the lightening of the lock's main and frizzen springs was indeed an effective solution to the smashing of flints.
For me what was missing was a specific amount of material to remove from the mainspring and frizzen springs or final cocking and opening forces.
As this will be different for each lock i decided to try to quantify the spring lightening process using the lock of a traditions ky rifle and a traditions deerhunter. These rifles use essentially the same lock.
First the main springs. The leafs of these measured 0.090" thick. using a 1" wide belt sander i slowly removed material of the lower leaf from the bend that divides the upper and lower leafs to the knuckle at the other end thats starts the hook that engages the tumbler and polishing away any scratches left by the sanding process. At the same time i lightened the frizzen spring by gently squeezing it repeatedly and then reassembling the lock and testing it. This is trickey....squeeze less and repeatedly.
For my traditions locks the following values worked well for me.
i removed 0.020" from the mainspring lower leaf as described above ending up at a thickness of 0.070".
This is about 22% material removal. I only have a fish scale to measure the resulting cocking force and the result was 4.7 lbs. on one lock and about 4 lbs on the second
Since i did not remove material from the frizzen spring I sort of backed into the solution by squeezing the spring until the flint was no longer being shattered but still sparked well. i installed my flints bevel down. i hooked the fish scale around the frizzen at that point where the flint strikes it. This read between 2.5 and 2.7 lbs on the first and anout 2.3lbs on the other to get the frizzen to snap open. There are probably more combinations of main to frizzen spring weights that work so go slow and check often.
For me this worked well for my traditions rifles.
they fire consistantly and no longer shatter flints. If these values seem way too light to you i would suggest that you remove less material from the main sping and adjust the frizzen spring to suit. In any case it appears the the springs on these traditions locks are a bit stout.
if you do this , again, work slowly...your milage may vary.
i hope this helps those with traditions guns, but i believe the process is valid for all guns. i was surprise at the comparably light spring weights that still produced good sparks.
How to videos on youtube
 

kyron4

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Good to know. I thought I had read the frizzen spring should be 1/3 the weight of the main spring. Not sure if that's correct.
 
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Good to know. I thought I had read the frizzen spring should be 1/3 the weight of the main spring. Not sure if that's correct.
i have read that as well. i am sure there is more than one way to do this.
thats another reason to go slowly and check often.
my aim was to attempt to quantify the amount of material to remove. the next go round i will attempt to thin the frizzen. i did try grinding the frizzen toe but was unable to keep the toe from having an un even wear pattern on the frizzen spring. Others may have better skills than i.
 

smo

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I would think the frizzen spring would only need to be strong enough too hold the frizzen shut…keeping the prime in place.🥴

The gun will fire even if the frizzen spring is missing or broken.
You just have too keep the lock in an upright position..👍

Not an ideal situation, but it can be made too work.
 
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I would think the frizzen spring would only need to be strong enough too hold the frizzen shut…keeping the prime in place.🥴

The gun will fire even if the frizzen spring is missing or broken.
You just have too keep the lock in an upright position..👍

Not an ideal situation, but it can be made too work.
a gentleman in the smashing flints thread told of a gun that was rediculously light to cock and i believe the frizzen was also light and worked very well so i think this is a true statement though i think i would prefer at least a reasonable amount of frizzen spring.
 

smo

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Yes you need enough tension too keep the pan closed..
I know a Guy that broke his lock main spring in a shooting match…
Luckily for him it happened on his last shot, so with no replacement spring at hand…
He loaded his gun , primed the pan and rolled the tension less cock back into the full cock position took aim and had his shooting partner drive the cock forward with his knaping hammer firing the gun…. And hitting his mark.👍
 
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during a build i found the main spring to wide to allow contact of the bolster and the barrel. terrified i was going to destroy the integrity of the main spring i sweat buckets reducing it. when done it is one of the sweetest locks i have and consistently i get 75-100 shots from a flint.
it showed me that where there is a will there is a way, and sometimes for me, it works out well!
 

The Appalachian

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Quoting from an old thread here, member Rich Pierce posted, "Just remember the bowmaker's rule: reduce width by half and you've reduced pull by half. Reduce thickness by half and now it has 1/4th the original pull. So any thinning must be very judicious."

When grinding a main spring to reduce weight/force, I find it best to grind the width instead of the thickness.
 
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Quoting from an old thread here, member Rich Pierce posted, "Just remember the bowmaker's rule: reduce width by half and you've reduced pull by half. Reduce thickness by half and now it has 1/4th the original pull. So any thinning must be very judicious."

When grinding a main spring to reduce weight/force, I find it best to grind the width instead of the thickness.
 

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