Author Topic: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles  (Read 968 times)

Offline RockLock92

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Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:39:00 PM »
Hello,
I've got a buddy that is starting to accumulate parts for a build and we hit a small potential snag. He's a southpaw and he's trying to assemble the parts without breaking the bank so I tracked him down a lock that I found for sale on Facebook. It's an old, but unused, Dixie Gun Works Ashmore Warrented lock. I know the quality isn't super, but as I said earlier he doesn't exactly have a lot of cash to throw at this and the lock cost him $60. I think between my father and myself that we can get it running ok. The problem is that it's very tiny compared to just about every other lock I've seen. It's a hair over 4.5 inches and I don't think I've ever seen a picture of a rifle with a lock quite that small. He's planning on making a rifle that looks something like an Emmitsburg/Armstrong rifle. Is this lock too small for a build like this? It's more or less a fantasy build but neither of us want something that will slap anyone in the face that looks at it.

Thanks,
Brad

Ps. This is my first post and I apologize if I've posted in the wrong location.
Pps. I've looked online and in both Volumes of the Shumway books and Thoughts by Kindig in an attempt to find evidence of a rifle with a lock this size with no luck.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 11:42:23 PM by RockLock92 »

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 11:49:03 PM »
Many of the late flint rifles had small locks. Look at the Tennessee rifles and other from the mountains. There is even a description about a rifle in the revolution with a pistol lock on it. So yes the lock will work for a rifle but it will look better if the barrel used is also on the slim side.

Offline RockLock92

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 11:53:33 PM »
He was thinking a 7/8 barrel, would a 13/16 be better?

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 11:59:00 PM »
Why not wait till funds are available for a better lock??   


If the gun is going to be used, that is the route I'd go...but I can't stand a problematic lock...no sense in spending the money for the rest of the parts and skimping on the lock..

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:06:37 AM »
7/8" barrel will be fine. You just wouldn't want to stick it on an inch or bigger if you want it to have a slender look. The Dixie locks can be made to shoot but it does take work.

Offline RockLock92

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 12:09:58 AM »
He works part time while going to college so most of his income is going to bills and he's got a few years left of school. As far as use goes we're talking maybe once or twice a month at the range at least until he's done with school.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 12:25:30 AM »
 But it still needs to go off when expected, NOTHING, is more aggravating than a lock that will not set off the charge. (see "06s" post) For one thing it will cause poor follow-through, never knowing if it will go off or not. May as-well charge the pan and set it off with a Cigarette, at least you know it will go off.
 May sound harsh but this is suppose to be fun. 

  Tim C. 

Online EC121

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 12:38:06 AM »
I learned to shoot flinters using a LH Dixie Ashmore lock in 1978 and shot many matches with it.  It isn't a bad lock for a starter.  The frizzens were surface hardened and will eventually wear through.  You will need to keep a spare frizzen in your shooting box. I still have the rifle and may still have some parts for the lock.  A frizzen for sure.  Let me know and I will look in my junk drawer.   It didn't ruin my shooting or make me start flinching.  I learned to flinch using my high dollar custom rifles.  ;D   
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:46:45 AM by EC121 »

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 12:48:24 AM »
For an Emmitsberg/Lehigh style rifle, a Germanic lock like the ones Jim Chambers sells, ie:  Siler, Classic American, etc.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline Frank

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 01:56:28 AM »
I would buy a Chambers Large Siler Left Hand Flintlock. Chambers makes some of the best locks available today.

http://www.flintlocks.com/locks1.htm


Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 02:14:35 AM »
 Two things matter on a longrifle. The lock an the barrel. Skimp on those an you won't be happy. Ask me how I know. Oldtravler

Offline Bigmon

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 03:48:45 AM »
I spent most of my life agonizing over the cost of things, and always trying to cut corners.
But when it comes to a flintlock, no way.
It is the most important component barr none.
Never go cheap on the flintlock.
Maybe on a percussion lock, but not a flintlock.
You will always regret it.
Just save up a little longer, it's worth the wait.
Just my opinion.

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 04:02:04 AM »
I've heard it said that the loudest sound in the world is a "click" when you wanted a "bang".  Bad news when hunting things that fight back. 

Even for a fun gun, nothing will PO you more than a lock that doesn't go ka-BANG!  Well, that, and a semi-auto that jams.  Grrrrrrrrr. 

If you inlet the gun for a weak lock, you'll not have the opportunity to replace it later......most likely. 

As was said above.....put the money in the barrel and lock.  You can deal with the rest. 

Save more money, or simply wait is my advice. 

Best wishes,   Marc

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 04:20:35 AM »
Probably most everyone on here can relate to the cost of things and not always having the funds...I know I spend countless days in the woods and still haven't found a money tree.


Like was said, most of us have tried to cut costs one place or another on whatever. What happens?  I always end up unhappy and end up buying the higher quality piece...and get stuck with the other cheaper item. In this case...could spend countless hours building the gun and buying all the other parts and could be disappointed by the entire rifle just because of the lock.   


I don't have any experience with that lock.  It may be awesome.  But, I'd be hesitant...


Offline Don Stith

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 03:08:00 PM »
 My recommendation is a little different than some of the others
 The Emmitsburg school locks tend to be on the small side and more English than Germanic.  While the lock is a critical part of a rifle, your young man can learn a lot  in fine tuning the lock you have
before putting a lot of effort into the rifle build.  If you/he cannot develop it into a good functional lock, you have not wasted the wood. The barrel and other parts can be salvaged as long as the lock has not been fit to it.
 Once you have the lock working smoothly and showering sparks, you can guide him into the build.
What he learns will be more valuable than buying his way into the game

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 03:23:08 PM »
My recommendation is a little different than some of the others
 The Emmitsburg school locks tend to be on the small side and more English than Germanic.  While the lock is a critical part of a rifle, your young man can learn a lot  in fine tuning the lock you have
before putting a lot of effort into the rifle build.  If you/he cannot develop it into a good functional lock, you have not wasted the wood. The barrel and other parts can be salvaged as long as the lock has not been fit to it.
 Once you have the lock working smoothly and showering sparks, you can guide him into the build.
What he learns will be more valuable than buying his way into the game

The geometry of that lock looks weird to me.It appears the cock is too far back from the frizzen and
it would need a very long flint to even strike low on the face of it. As Don says,see if it CAN be made into
a useful lock and if it can't try and find one that does work.

Bob Roller

Offline Bigmon

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 04:27:35 PM »
I wish you the very best in your build.  I been there.
And am involved in helping a cousin right now that is short on funds.  He wanted a great pc of wood, but never really considered the lock type too much.  Was gonna try and use a cast off TC lock he knew someone had.
I think I have him straightened out.  It is his first build anyway.
I told him use cheaper wood but get good barrel and especially the lock.
He will probably make enough mistakes during the build that he can always later get another pc of better wood and use all the parts again.

As for a cheap lock, and I dont know if that is a cheap or a great lock??
After sitting all day freezing in the hunt, or having yer pals drive all day for ya and here finally comes a deer, ya sure dont want a click, or even a hangfire.
I mean, I never regret waiting till I could afford the more expensive lock.  I cannt remember the last time I even had a hang fire?
Just dont happen much.
Lastly consider.  What ever ya pay for a lock. It is really only the differance in the price that you are thinking of, cause you were gonna but the cheaper one anyway, right??  So if a Chambers is $180 and the other say, $100 yer only really talking about $80.00

Just entered my mind??  Does Larry Zorn have left handed locks?? Man he makes a good sparker and they are a little less than the Chambers?  Just an idea.
Best of luck

Offline little joe

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 04:59:43 PM »
Years ago I used several Dixie  flintlocks and they all , suprisingly,  all worked well.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 05:14:24 PM »
Dixies little Ashmore is a lock that really benefits from having the frizzen halfsoled. As Bob mentioned the geometry is a little off, and requires a long flint for reliable ignition. So by adding about a sixteenth of an inch halfsole, you really improve the sparking ability, and the geometry. The internals aren't bad for a production import lock, and being small they can be quite fast. Parts can be a problem, since I don't think Dixie imports this lock any more.

    Hungry Horse

Online EC121

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2017, 09:00:56 PM »
Years ago I had an Ashmore frizzen that I half-soled with some kind of radioactive material that someone sold.  It worked and would shoot sparks all over the place, but out of curiosity I took it to work, and it pegged my Geiger counter.  Since I worked with nuclear scanners, I sent it to the home office for disposal and went back to the regular frizzen.  Now I am growing a third eye.  ;D

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 09:27:48 PM »
I got a Dixie rifle in a trade that some body had put some of that " spent uranium" on the frizzen. It shot white sparks everywhere, but the ignition was quite slow compared to a good steel frizzen, with the proper temper. I still have that frizzen kicking around in a box somewhere. I always though I would heat it up, and pop the epoxied on uranium off, and half sole it with steel. But, I never had to because I did such a good job the first time around.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Joe Stein

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2017, 05:14:53 AM »
I know this is not what you want to hear, but I would sell that Dixie lock and get one of Stan Hollenbaugh's locks.  They are beautifully made, and he even has the lock your friend needs, a copy of a John Armstrong. http://www.stanhollenbaughgunsmith.com/page3.html
 A bit pricey, but why not go with the proper lock to start?  I believe that your friend will enjoy his rifle more if it is dependable. 

Offline RockLock92

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2017, 08:59:20 AM »
Alright well based on the feedback my Father and I are going to play with it some and see if we can get it running reliably (He's got some experience with other budget locks). If we can't get it running ok then my buddy will end up getting a different lock. We will definitely make sure and mess with it before trying to instal it in a stock. Worst case (or best case) he'll have to save up longer and purchase something of better quality. In all likelyhood he will most likely have to purchase a new one as upon further inspection it appears that the lock's tumbler seems to be digging into the inside of the plate. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

Thanks,
Brad

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2017, 02:53:54 PM »
Alright well based on the feedback my Father and I are going to play with it some and see if we can get it running reliably (He's got some experience with other budget locks). If we can't get it running ok then my buddy will end up getting a different lock. We will definitely make sure and mess with it before trying to instal it in a stock. Worst case (or best case) he'll have to save up longer and purchase something of better quality. In all likelyhood he will most likely have to purchase a new one as upon further inspection it appears that the lock's tumbler seems to be digging into the inside of the plate. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

Thanks,
Brad

I just looked at Mr.Hollebaugh's page and the $225 is a bargain. The words "budget locks"is a contradiction as applied to a flintlock.
On caplocks,old American rifles prove these locks can be junk even in good condition and as long as they don't go off with no help
from the shooter they will work.Not so with a flint lock.Save your time and money and get a quality lock.

Bob Roller

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Lock sizes on flintlock rifles
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2017, 03:43:04 PM »
I wouldn't go through all the work of stocking a gun and use a "budget lock". Get a good lock and use a plain piece of wood and don't put on a buttplate, side plate, muzzle cap or entry pipe. Make your trigger guard out of a piece of strap. You'll save enough on all of those "extra" parts to buy a good lock.
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