Tinkering with Traditions locks and touchholes

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Aug 1, 2007
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Sorry about the earlier blank post. I got some "help" from the cat, who occasionally flops on the keyboard for a tummy rub.

During these COVID times I put together two Traditions flintlock rifle kits, one I was gifted and one where I was assisting a kid in our rifle club. Both had serious misalignments of the pan with the touchhole, as well as as-cast parts interfering with smooth function.

On one the touch hole was well centered laterally, but right at the bottom of the pan. On the other the hole was not only very low, but so far forward as to be partially blocked by the edge of the pan. In both instances a Dremel and stone was used to very gingerly remove metal from the pan to better expose the touch hole. Gingerly because there isn't much spare metal in these locks. Tried to keep the floor of the pan level so priming would be less likely to slide downhill toward the hole.

The toe or lug that bears on the frizzen spring on each of these locks had a ridge left over from the casting process- right where it bears on the spring. Essentially a point contact instead of a surface. A little file work and emery polishing removed the ridge. Used diemakers blue to get the lugs to bear more or less evenly across their width.

The vent inserts are the type with a screwdriver slot across the outer face. I ran a countersink in at 90 degrees to where it almost kissed the touchhole, cutting away the inner parts of the slot to give better access for the flash. In use, fouling seems to build up a bit here, so occasional use of a stub of an old toothbrush is advised.

Both rifles now fire reliably and quickly so long as care is taken to keep the priming away from the touch hole.

These experiences make me thankful for the quality of parts from our custom suppliers.