Touch Hole too high... help!

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by Eterry, May 29, 2019.

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  1. May 30, 2019 #21

    MSW

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    Captjoel and Zonie beat me to it. Their advice is spot on, IMHO, and you should give it serious consideration. On another note, it appears that the barrel is too deep- that is, the overall architecture of the rifle is a bit wonky. Having said that, once fixed, i'm pretty sure the gun will give you a lifetime of faithful service.

    Good luck with your project, and Make Good Smoke :)
     
  2. May 30, 2019 #22

    Zonie

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    I didn't notice how close the vent hole is to the end of the barrel but you guys might be right.

    Most modern made breech plugs I've seen have at least 1/2" of thread on them and this one looks like the vent is only about 7/16" from the end of the barrel.

    If he's lucky, the owner might be able to use a good flashlight and see down the barrel to see if there is some sort of notch or groove in the breech plugs face?

    Depending on the breech plug face and vent hole relationship, enlarging the vent hole to a tap drill size for a threaded vent liner could increase the size of a existing notch so that the main powder charge would have a better chance of ending up right up against the liner.

    Those who followed my link to the Queen Anne pistol should notice that the factory ran the original 1/16" vent in, scoring the breech plug face. That was the only communication between the vent and the bore and it wasn't enough to insure reliability of any kind.

    By installing the #10-32 thread vent liner in that pistol, the tap drill being run in about to the center of the bore created a large, open groove at the bottom of the barrel. This plus the shortened length of the vent hole in the liner greatly improved the pistols reliability.
     
  3. May 30, 2019 #23

    Eterry

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    Thank you all for the input. As I said, it WILL fire, slowly, if you fill the pan full. To me, a novice, it seems the sparks cant reach to hole using a small charge...but I'm not an authority.

    My biggest fear is he drilled not only too high but at an angle and the hole is sloped upward...when i get it in my shop a drill bit will conform/deny this.

    I think before i go further I'll pull the plug and confirm he didn't drill into it. I voiced my concerns to him when the hole was being drilled, but to no avail. Based on what little comparison I have done w/ a cleaning rod I know the hole is close to the plug.

    I have used a touchhole prick most times, I don't recall it hitting anything, but I'm not sure and will confirm that.

    I have a friend who has a machine shop, if it needs repair I'll take it to him. He also shoots black powder and is well schooled in their construction.

    I thought about building up the pan to raise the level of the powder...any thoughts on that ?
     
  4. May 30, 2019 #24

    bptactical

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    I wouldn't build up the pan, too much hassle for questionable results.
    Just offset the hole accordingly in a mill and drill/tap for a liner.
     
  5. May 31, 2019 #25

    Sidney Smith

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    Why did you have someone else drill the touch hole? I'm just curious.
     
  6. May 31, 2019 #26

    Eterry

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    Here's a dose of Irony for you...I was afraid I'd screw it up...
     
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  7. May 31, 2019 #27

    Eterry

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    Here's an update...I used a range rod and determined the hole is roughly 0.20" in front of the breach plug.
    I guess the next step is to pull the barrel and take it to my machinist friend.
     
  8. May 31, 2019 #28

    nhmoose

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    What is the size of the hole?
     
  9. May 31, 2019 #29

    old ugly

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    .2'' , 2/10th of an inch I would think, should be of room for a touch hole liner.
     
  10. May 31, 2019 #30

    Kansas Kid

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    Good news, an easy fix.
     
  11. May 31, 2019 #31

    Travler

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    Along the line of the jb weld idea. I might try raising the bottom of the pan. Maybe soft solder a shim in there and look for a performance change. If so you could replace it with a silver solderd shim. If it didnt work go for the replacement touch hole. Be warned though. Get a good gunsmith if you have it done. I had a similar issue and was new to the area and got a crappy guy. He put a liner in but did not change the location.
     
  12. May 31, 2019 #32

    SDSmlf

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    Not in disagreement with your thoughts, but OP has to pick a path and go with it, one step at a time. If it fails, then go down next worm hole.

    In my humble option would start with touch hole diameter. Not so sure a 1/4-28 liner at current location isn't a bad place to start. Cone on backside of liner can only help. Next I would remove and relieve breech plug if that were determined to be in the way. If no improvement or satisfaction would then look at having a machinist/toolmaker move location and install a ‘White Lightning’ liner. Have to admit, my opinion is bunched in with many others, and just like a-holes, some, mine included, may stink more than others. Good luck.
     
  13. May 31, 2019 #33

    Ames

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    I wouldn't go pulling breech plugs just to see what's what down there. A $12 bore scope (FleaBay) hooked up to your computer will show you every inch of the bore and the face of the plug, and the touch hole as it enters. It wont block any of the end view like a drop in light will. And it costs far less than the proper tools for backing out breech plugs.
     
  14. May 31, 2019 #34

    dave_person

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    Hi Ernest,
    If you are confident in your measurements, 0.2" should be plenty of room. That narrows it down to the vent location. To install a vent liner properly, your friend should pull the plug anyway, so you will be able to get a better view. It is OK for the threads of the vent line hole to intersect the breech plug so don't worry if they do. In your case a the smallest White Lightning liner which uses 1/4-32 threads should do the job if you machinist guy is careful. Hopefully, he is not the same one who drilled the hole.

    dave
     
  15. May 31, 2019 #35

    Eterry

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    No, I'm not using the same guy who drilled the hole.
     
  16. May 31, 2019 #36

    Kansas Kid

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    I think you could squeeze a 5/16 liner in either a white lightning or tresso. Would have to leave the white lightning fairly proud and file down to keep within the flat if it is around.33 wide. But once in a mill and 90 degree countersunk full width it could be milled nice and level. If you need measurements of those two liners let me know I have them on hand.
     
  17. May 31, 2019 #37

    Eterry

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    The measurement of those would be great.
    Thanks.
     
  18. May 31, 2019 #38

    Sidney Smith

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    I was going to say the same thing even if the new vent liner intersects with the threads on the plug chances are the touch hole itself will be slightly in front of the face of the breech plug which is where you want it to be anyway
     
  19. May 31, 2019 #39

    Huntschool

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    Back on track..... The OP said in his original post that there is no touch hole liner in the barrel. If it were me I would purchase a made liner and as has been suggested above take the barrel to a machine shop with an end mill and provide them with good lay out drawings as to center placement of the touch hole itself and thread info on the liner.

    Pay the bucks and let a professional do the job (clean up the mistake) since this situation has almost gone beyond what the OP may be capable of doing.

    I repaired a well made gun for a friend several years ago which had the same problem. I cant believe the builder let it out of the shop that way but he did. I looked it over and thought about drilling and filling the hole with threaded stock and then re drilling but after talking to a machinist friend I decided to have him do the job as described above. This included fitting the length of the liner to the thickness of the barrel wall etc. Cost the owner $50.00 bucks (which was a deal as far as I was concerned based on set up time etc.) but one would never know there had been a problem and the gun fires every time with light pan load.

    EDIT: I guess I missed the second page.... please excise my blindness.... LOL...

    JMHO
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  20. May 31, 2019 #40

    Sidney Smith

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    I can relate to that sentiment. However if properly clamped onto the table of a drill press and the hole location is Center punched and you take your time it's really not that difficult to drill for a touch hole a drill in a barrel. Measure thrice drill once.
     

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