Author Topic: Modern flintlock anomalies  (Read 2621 times)

Offline R.J.Bruce

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Modern flintlock anomalies
« on: May 22, 2019, 05:51:50 PM »
Multiple posts and threads of late seem to be addressing a recurring problem with the currently available flintlocks.

Locks from Jim Chambers seem to be better than most others, but if the comments from the builders here at ALR are to be believed, even Chambers locks have their problems.

Many builders talk of having to disassemble a lock, and partially-to-totally rework, reshape, and rebuild a lock in order to get it to function correctly. Not to look the way that they want it to, just to get it to work properly.

In 2011, one of Bob Roller's 4-screw, English percussion bar locks sold at Dixie Gun Works online for $375.00. Allowing for inflation, a reasonable value for that lock in 2019 would be AT LEAST $750.00, if not more.

Since a flintlock is more complex than a percussion lock, it stands to reason that one of Mr. Roller's flintlocks would sell on the open market for even more money, if one were available to purchase.

If a person such as myself, without the necessary skills to rework a flintlock, were to purchase a commercial flintlock that was designed with reasonably correct geometry; what would be the sum of money required to bring a commercial lock up to Mr. Roller's standards? Assuming, of course, that such an act is possible?

I am asking the builder's here to not let their personal prejudices as to how much THEY would be willing to spend influence their answers.

Instead, think about how much time that you need to spend, on average, to bring a commercial lock up to your standards so that you feel comfortable putting it on a custom rifle or fowler that you are going to sell to a customer?

Pretend for a moment that all you are selling is the flintlock. What is the TRUE, reworked value of such a lock?

And, if there is a difference, how much time you spend on a lock for yourself,  or a family member?

We all know that the four most important things about a custom muzzleloader are, in order of importance, the fit to the shooter, the trigger/triggers, the lock, and the barrel.

Fit is between the builder and the customer, and for the purposes of this discussion, is not important.

We all know that without a crisp, creep-free triggerpull, nothing else matters. On most custom guns, a good trigger is a given, although according to Mr. Roller, there is room for improvement with commercial triggers.

Modern barrel's are the least problematic of components, with good to excellent barrels virtually a given. Bad barrel's seem to be few and far between.

That leaves the flintlock, and as I noted in my opening statement, there seems to be room for a lot of improvements.

For myself, it is the flintlock, the trigger, the barrel. and finally the fit.

I do not know about others, but I am willing to spend upwards of a $1,000.00 for a flintlock that matches Bob Roller's standards.

Food for thought,
                               R.J.Bruce
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 05:54:52 PM by R.J.Bruce »

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 06:01:14 PM »
I've been waiting for these guys to get up and running. 

https://firelocksllc.com

I agree that paying for quality is money well spent.  Unfortunately, most do not see it that way. 

Online Daryl

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 06:22:26 PM »
Interesting comments.  I bought a lock from Track - their "Dickert" model. I installed it on my rifle, removing the horrid thing that was on it, a poorly cobbled
together bunch of parts. The new lock was tremendous, right out of the box. Still is, 13 years later and several thousand shots.
I think the statement "Multiple posts and threads of late seem to be addressing a recurring problem with the currently available flintlocks." is incorrect.
Any time someone buys a gun part, they might get a defective part. I don't see that as a recurring problem with currently available locks.
These two work fairly well. The first to fire, on my rifle, is the Dickert mentioned above. Hatchet Jack's is only a smidgeon slower.  We've both fired over 50 shots that day
and pretty sure HJ doesn't wipe his frizzen off either.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 06:31:04 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

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Offline sqrldog

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 06:38:47 PM »
I agree with Daryl. Most of the locks I have used from the commercial lock companies have worked exceptionally well. When on a  rare occasion that I have had a problem the matter was resolved quickly and the lock company did the adjustment with a smile and thanked me for using their products. Now there isn't anything made or manufactured that doesnt occasionally have a problem. From the space shuttle down to a hammer things break or come loose. I feel fortunate to have access to the many variations of locks currently available. Often as the old saying goes "you get what you pay for".

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 07:20:43 PM »
I've never had a single problem with any of the Chambers locks.  Wait - I had one problem, once, with an older Chambers 'germanic' (the banana plate one) lock that had been somewhat heavily modified, and after calling Jim who immediately offered to fix it free of charge if I'd send it to him, I was able to make a small tweak and work out the issue here.  But other than that I've had no issues with them at all.  I especially think the English locks (all versions) are fantastic.  I just hate polishing locks.

I have had a number of issues with locks of other manufacture.  My biggest issue is with appearance; aside from Jim's English locks, I still do not find most of the available locks to really look like antique locks.  I really don't know why, as if your taking the time to make up molds, just make them look like a real antique lock!  Chris Hirsch has some good stuff, and very clean easily worked castings, taken directly from original locks.  He has a cock/jaw/screw and frizzen spring taken from a Shroyer lock that can easily be retrofitted to a siler, so if you put a siler kit together yourself and reshape the pan and plate somewhat, you can fairly easily get a semi-commercial lock that actually looks like an old American lock.

I've handled a bunch of Stan's Beck/Ditchburn locks over the years at shows and if the slightly smaller size will work for the given project, they look great and function very smartly.

If Chris Laubach gets locks into production, I would definitely be buying them regardless of what they cost.

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Online rich pierce

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 07:45:14 PM »
I figure lock tinkering as part of the job.  Most commercial locks work well enough and are probably better than locks Colonial to Federal period makers were buying and using in their builds.  Most locks can be improved.

Common things seen on commercial locks today that are not ideal, but do not render them non-functional:

The mainspring, when cock is at rest, often does not bear on the nose of the tumbler. Itís often back 1/8Ē toward the tumbler axle. This decreases available leverage and speed of the lock. Easily fixed by moving the mainspring peg hole ever so slightly, or bending the mainspring hook.

Mainsprings could be lower and wider. Many originals have this feature. Less barrel interference and more power.

When polishing parts I find frizzen springs that are almost glass hard. Canít use a good file on them.  They are going to break someday. 

Tumbler notches are not timed identically so the sear bar is at different positions on half and full cock. I know this is a silly expectation.

A few locks have badly timed frizzen opening due to the interaction of the frizzen toe with the frizzen spring.

Very rarely (anymore) one finds a frizzen that is not hard enough.

Some small locks seem to need a perfect length flint. Others are less finicky.

When possible I buy locks in hand. Out of 4 or 5, one will seem better to me.

Many oft-maligned locks have been terrific for me.  Some specific models are worth avoiding unless one really needs that look.

St. Louis, Missouri

Offline smart dog

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 09:56:26 PM »
Hi RJ,
You ask a good question but let me make sure we are on the same page and not comparing apples and oranges.  The British probably produced the finest flintlocks ever made on their better quality guns during the 1st quarter of the 19th century.  I have not experienced a modern commercial lock purporting to be of similar design and representing that time period that can compete with those original late flint era locks. I did the best I could with a Davis late flint English lock to bring it as close in performance to what I've experienced with those original locks.  It came out pretty well but involved reshaping the frizzen, bending and filing the pan bridle to eliminate a sloppy fit to the frizzen, fitting a lug under the front of the plate to hook on a screw head anchoring the front of the lock in the mortice, reworking the the main and frizzen springs, casehardening the plate, flintcock, frizzen, balancing the springs, cutting teeth in the flintcock jaw and top jaw, and polishing all bearing surfaces.  In all, I spent about 15 hours reworking the lock so at a minimum living wage of $30/hr, the cost is $450.  At that rate the completed lock would cost $450 + $180 = $630.

Now, earlier British, German, and colonial locks were not comparable to those British late flint locks and we should not expect our modern reproductions to be either.  The Chambers round-faced English lock that I demonstrated in another thread, a lock that represents the 1750s and earlier,  is easily the equivalent of any original lock of that design.  To create that performance I had to balance the springs, cut teeth in the jaws, caseharden the frizzen, plate, and flintcock, and polish all bearing surfaces amounting to maybe 5 solid hours of work.  Keep in mind I am not including the time parts spent casehardening or tempering because I could leave them in the oven and do other work.  At a shop rate of $30/hr that is $150 and with the cost of the lock the total is $150 + $195 = $345. 

dave
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 10:05:02 PM by smart dog »
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Offline G_T

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2019, 10:26:07 PM »
When all of you say you haven't been having problems with locks, do you mean over the last few years, the last few decades, or this year? This year I have seen a lot of $#@*, to be honest.

IMHO, if the holes are drilled with an in-adjustment light vertical mill such as a Bridgeport J-head (what I have), using appropriate jigging and a halfway competent machinist, where hole size and location is finalized by end mills and reamers rather than a worn drill bit (that is, put the hole where it belongs and of the correct final dimensions, and round!), then that single change would help a great deal. CNC isn't even needed.

I'm presuming this is not what is being done, given what I've seen this year. Like I said in another thread, I looked at every lock that was for sale at one of the larger shows earlier this year and found one that passed a quick crude inspection. So I bought it (Chambers Germanic). Had I machined any of the others, I'd have been re-machining. I'm being blunt. In the past I thought the locks I saw were much better on average. Could be my memory though. And, I had a lot less experience machining back then, thirty years ago.

I've also this year purchased various locks from members here. These were ones that had been around for a bit and weren't being used. I'd say they were all at least as good as the one I purchased inspected this year. That is, the quality of the work seems to have gone downhill quite a bit rather recently. Just my opinion of course; it shouldn't influence your opinion!

Alternative to jigging etc is hand fitting, and in some cases drilling and reaming mating parts together, but of course you lose interchangeability of parts. I'm fine either way to be honest. If I have to rework a lock, that interchangeability is lost anyway as I'm doing the hand fitting!

Some parts should be tempered differently depending on the location on the part. The frizzen is an example. The portion around the pivot hole and the foot should not be as hard as the face of the frizzen. I had a frizzen where the face was getting badly gouged from just a few strikes. I sent it back to be rehardened. It came back looking like caseinite was used and the face was harder but not IMHO quite hard enough. The foot however was dead soft. The roller was embedding itself into the metal it was that soft. I fighre the person hardened the part while holding it in a set of pliers... That DOES NOT WORK. I ended up replacing that frizzen.

So it would be nice if parts are properly hardened and tempered. Bonus points if the lock plate is case hardened!

IMHO there is no real excuse for implementations which are off by design! The geometry between the angle of the frizzen face, and the cock pivot hole and cock length, and the frizzen pivot location, should be correct. These are hard for the casual builder to fix.

I spent some weeks of after work hours fixing a lock. It is one of the ones that is considered some of the best available at this time. After the work was done, I quite like that lock! Before, not so much. Had I not been mechanically inclined and equipped, the person who got it would have been SOL. Heck, there was enough lateral motion in the tumbler that the fly could potentially come out and jam the lock! If I were doing all the hand fitting and replacing for a client and charging my time, the lock might have had a 4 digit price tag (assuming I paid for the original lock). But I'm not the fastest around by any means!

I fixed up another one for a friend, different manufacturer, and ended up with about 8 hours in that one.

I'm approaching the opinion if it isn't going to be done right or at least in workmanlike fashion, don't bother. I'd rather have the castings at that point. It is less work than fixing everything.

So, how much would I pay for a period correct properly made lock, of properly chosen alloys, as if I just purchased it from England as an import? I think they are definitely too cheap now. It is very understandable why quality is what it is at this price point. The prices are close to Made In China prices and the quality is headed solidly in that direction.

I'd pay the current assembled lock prices for a full set of correct castings or forgings in properly chosen metal(s), and screws, with some historic documentation for exactly where the holes were on the original and any artistic decorations to be applied. Actually I might pay some more than that.

I'd pay double that for proper assembly and hardening. I'd consider quite a bit more than that for a really GOOD lock!

If the lock isn't good, the rifle isn't good. Mediocre wood can make a very good rifle. A mediocre lock cannot.

Gerald

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 10:56:36 PM »
When I first got on this forum I got a lot of requests to "tune"and rework other makers locks
and I rejected all of them saying I have enough to do to keep my own working right.
My work is not exceptional but does reflect what I think of myself AND the purchaser.
So far no major problems reported and a lot of these locks went to Europe in the late
1970's and are still in use in competition.I have now pretty much abandoned lock work
and IF I decide to make any more it will be posted on THIS forum and none other.
I am content to make a few triggers to stay active and that's it.
Thank you R.J.Bruce for the endorsement of my past efforts at lock making.The 4 screw
lock advertied by Dixie was one of 4 I made at the request of the late and missed Hunter
Kirkland. I suppose the other 3 sold or I hope they did.

Bob Roller

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2019, 01:18:52 AM »
Quote
I do not know about others, but I am willing to spend upwards of a $1,000.00 for a flintlock that matches Bob Roller's standards.
How about an actual Roller flint lock?  I have one that I will sell you for that price.  It is unused, as made by Bob, so I assume it meets his standards.
Dave Kanger

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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2019, 02:11:53 AM »
I've been waiting for these guys to get up and running. 

https://firelocksllc.com

I agree that paying for quality is money well spent.  Unfortunately, most do not see it that way.

It's better now that it once was as far as people who are willing to spend money for
a lock either flint or cap lock.I held the line a $150 on cap locks for years but I have
had negative reactions like "$150 for a LOCK?"My answer is,the lock is FREE but the
time and labor to make it is NOT and I do not pay anyone to buy this odd form of
craftsmanship.The idea that the lock MUST be the cheapest part of the gun was
and still is to a certain extent still in play.That group of people frequently live in a
semi distressed life style and have to watch every dollar and dime and always have.
I have read articles saying that most Americans can't handle an emergency of $400.We had a minor one yesterday morning when we got in the car,the battery
filed a protest and died. $154 later a new one was in place and the car is once again
working.It's all about the money and how it's managed.
Getting back to gun locks and triggers,quality control seems in many cases to take
a back seat to expediency of get the job done and out the door quickly.Speed is
fine but accuracy is final to me.I can think of no better way to get a bad reputation
than that idea and it has happened more than once.
Bob Roller

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2019, 02:55:13 AM »
I have a set of triggers from Mr. Roller, and they are indeed beautiful work. I do not have a Roller flintlock sadly. 

In modern locks, my opinion (for what it is worth) is that the lock is as good as the person who assembles it. 

A dedicated lockmaker will correct casting flaws, reject badly cast parts, and will hand fit the parts to make a superior functioning lock.   

I am thinking of someone like Chris Evrard.  He assembles locks for Jim Chambers if I understand correctly.  When he did the bridleless conversion round faced English locks, I ordered one.  It is an exceptional piece of lock makers art.  Chris allowed that he did spend more time on this series than a general lock he assembles.  I do not know what he could have done better, other than hand polishing the outside, and that does nothing for function.  I wish I'd bought two! 

I do not have a lock from the Emigs at Cabin Creek, but I understand that they can make an exceptional lock as well.  I might order one from them to see.   :-) 

There are no doubt many veterans here who can fit, tune and polish a lock, but who do not offer that as a service unless it's going in their gun.

What I am getting at is that there is a knowledge curve in lock building/assembling/fitting.  If you find the right person with that knowledge, then it is a matter of hours.  The maker needs to be compensated.  I do not think that "cheap" and "lock" will ever be something I am interesting in combining.  Why would someone spend $3,000 or $4,000 on a rifle and buy a cheap, unreliable lock to go in it? 

I consider the barrel to be heart of a rifle, and the lock must be the brain.  I am willing to pay to have a fast, reliable working, long lived lock in my gun.   The only thing as irritating as an unreliable lock is a malfunctioning modern semi-auto (my apologies for mentioning non HC firearms). 

A man often gets what he pays for.  Doubly so for locks in my opinion.  Just my 2 cents worth. 

God Bless and best wishes,   Marc

Offline J.E. Moore

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2019, 03:46:38 AM »
That was one thing I commented on to my friends when I received my first lock from Jim Chambers was this is one of the very few time that I get something that I DON'T see any need for polishing or some modification. That routine is something that has been common for me with about anything that I get, I always try to make things smoother or more efficient but the lock I got from him I seen nothing that could be improved. I'm more than happy with it.

Offline Scotty

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2019, 04:18:35 AM »
Bob,
 I may have one of your locks. Did you mark or stamp them in any way?

Offline Smokey Plainsman

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2019, 04:23:43 AM »
Getting a Chambers Late Ketland installed on my custom rifle being built for me as we speak. Iím praying it works well without something wrong with it...

Offline R.J.Bruce

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2019, 04:25:17 AM »
When I purchased my first muzzleloader in 1971 at the age of 17 for $300.00 from Golden Age Arms Company it had a 13/16" straight octagon .45 caliber Douglas barrel. Since I had chosen a Lancaster style rifle, it came with a Siler flintlock that was actuated by a single trigger.

I do not recall there being much, if any, choice in the components that the rifle came with, other than caliber. I do remember being thrilled that the brass patchbox was fully engraved, something I was not expecting for the price of the rifle. I suppose the builder felt sorry for a kid that had spent 8 months, or so, sending money on a lay-a-way every week from his minimum wage after school job.

The only thing I was sure of was that it had to be a flintlock, because that was what all the heroes in the books, as well as the actors on television were using.

I knew diddly squat about muzzleloading, other than it appealed to my sense of history, and my general interests in firearms.

I had zero issues with that lock. It was reliable, and sparked every time I pulled the trigger, even considering the expensive, German, sawn agate flints that I was using.

It never occurred to me that the components would not function flawlessly. I guess I was just a naive teenager, taking things for granted.

I am not trying to knock any manufacturers locks, I just found the comments here lately to be interesting.

R.J.Bruce
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2019, 03:25:07 PM »
Quote
Multiple posts and threads of late seem to be addressing a recurring problem with the currently available flintlocks.

Locks from Jim Chambers seem to be better than most others, but if the comments from the builders here at ALR are to be believed, even Chambers locks have their problems.

Many builders talk of having to disassemble a lock, and partially-to-totally rework, reshape, and rebuild a lock in order to get it to function correctly. Not to look the way that they want it to, just to get it to work properly.
I haven't read any of the reoccurring lock problem threads. I have had 0 problems with Chamber's locks. I use them as they come from him, no tweaking or adjustments required. There are several locks from RE Davis I use with no problems. Larry Zornes has two models i use and they are problem free.
 There are a couple lock companies I try to avoid as I don't like the quality or the design of their products, some of their locks don't work at all.
 I believe this "problem" is greatly exagerated..
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2019, 03:31:31 PM »
Bob,
 I may have one of your locks. Did you mark or stamp them in any way?

Scotty,
My locks have my last name in a semi circle and until 1989 had
the last two numbers of the year made in the semi circular name.
After 1989 I started using USA instead of the year.
Post a picture of the lock you have if possible.

Bob Roller

Offline Jim Chambers

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2019, 03:35:19 PM »
One thing that would help us lock makers would be for all you guys to get together and agree on exactly what constitutes a well made lock.  Unfortunately, that is just wishful thinking because different gunmakers want different things in a lock.  For example, some guys complain about our springs being too strong.  They want a lock that can be cocked with just the flick of a little finger.  The next guy that calls wants springs like he's seen on some early European locks where it almost takes two hands to bring them to full cock.  How can I satisfy both customers without custom making each lock?  And, how can I make a living custom making each lock to each customer's specifications at the price we now charge?
I have a collection of original locks both import quality pieces, hand forged American pieces, and the high quality English locks, and I agree that some of those English locks are made with all the precision of a fine watch.  Can I make locks like that?  Yes.  Can I make a living making locks like that? NO.  Believe me, there's no market for locks in the thousand dollar range.  A lot of guys at Friendship almost have a cardio event now when I tell them a flintlock is going to cost $195.  After all, for most people, this is just a hobby, and a muzzleloader should not cost anywhere near as much as a modern rifle.  We actually hear this from guys new to industry on a regular basis.

Offline J.E. Moore

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2019, 04:24:13 PM »
It would be my opinion that most of the folks that make the comment about muzzleloaders shouldn't cost as much or more than modern firearms have a limited knowledge of the process that it takes to make one of these fine rifles that y all produce.
 Just a few days ago I worked over let's say a "Fowler" for a friend of mines daughter. It had troubles BUT it wasn't from design flaw at all or anything broken, it was because of the elimination of a job, the finish person. I explained to my friend that yeah the reason you paid the price you did for it is why it was this way, I explained that most parts from where ever they come from look in a similar shape at one point in time it's how well things are finished and fit together that determine where you can trust it to go boom ever time. That's the point I was making about the lock I got from Jim. It's nothing but a good deal, it's done right .
 Plastic, potmetal and painted steel that's assembled and sent out straight from the parts bin DOESN'T equal quality wood, blued steel that hand fit.

Offline Dan Fruth

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2019, 04:25:02 PM »
If you have ever made a lock from scratch...Not a kit...You will appreciate the BARGIN that a $195 lock represents. Realizing that mass production of a complex component is always a challenge, given the one variable that lock makers have little control of...and that is the foundry work. Deformed wax castings and foundry issues make the assemblers job more difficult than it already is. All in all, I still believe the lock itself represents the best value in this hobby, and to spend additional time to improve the quality is a small price to pay....Just my 2 cents....And if you look at the Christians Spring inventories, you will see the locks represent, in todays dollars, a significant investment.....a gun costing 7 pounds with a 1 pound lock...approximately 1/7 or 1/6 of the total price of the gun, and in todays money a $2000 gun would have a lock costing roughly $285
We are non-resistance friend, but ye are standing where I intend to shoot!

Offline Jim Chambers

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2019, 04:39:10 PM »
My apologies for the above rant, it's been a bad week here in the shop.
Bottom line is this, we make the best lock we can make for what we charge.   Are they perfect, no.  When I make a custom rifle (and I do still make a few...I've finished three already this year.) I typically spend several hours to a few days fine tuning and polishing the locks I put on a gun because, like has been said before, the lock is really the heart of the gun.  If the locks we send are suitable for your needs then use them as is or modify to suit.  If there is a defect in parts or workmanship we'll be glad to correct whatever issue.
Keep in mind, we do still sell Siler locks in kit form for you to assemble to yourself.  We don't get many takers on these anymore, but they are available.

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2019, 04:40:44 PM »
Good morning Jim C,

In reply to your first post above;

All very valid and good points.
I feel for you!...Trying to satisfy everyone, on all the different pages!  Take comfort in the fact that this is impossible.

As for prices of good locks, they have always been Expensive, as you know.
Your locks are a real bargain price Jim, and even if you made some up to British best standards, the $1,000 or $2,000 would be a Real bargain still.
If  we consider the best makers of the early 19th Century, and the prices they charged, (I believe the Mantons  charged in the 20-30 Pounds at that time, going by memory)  And this was when an average annual wage was about 10 Pounds.

So!  Your locks to compare price-wise, would have to cost the average Joe two years wages, ....and a thousand or two is still Very Far short of this!

I do not know the average annual wage in the US, but hope this gives some perspective to this question.

All the very best, Jim,

Richard in Canada.

Offline Long John

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2019, 04:45:34 PM »
Jim,

I, for one, prefer to use a Chambers lock whenever possible.  I think they are the best commercially available lock.  The only time I have had a "problem" with one is when I screwed-up a tumbler and Barbie wouldn't accept payment for a replacement but sent me one for free!

That being said I modify every one if your locks I use, strictly to satisfy my objective for the appearance I want on the gun.  I prefer French styling.  I take your Golden Age lock and reshape the plate, cock and frizzen to be more "French".  The vertical groove behind the cock is a problem for me but I realize that most of the locks sold are going to a kit builder who wants a drop-in lock.  The styling is designed to satisfy the majority of the builders and I am not in the majority.  But you lock gives me plenty of steel to work with!  I love it!  I reshape the plate and cock and I have a French gun.  I am a customer for life!  Now if you all could only make a left-hand small Siler then building a doublegun would be so much better!

Best Regards,

JMC
John Cholin

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Re: Modern flintlock anomalies
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2019, 06:40:21 PM »
Hi,
If anyone has doubts about Chambers locks, go look at the photos I posted in "Flintlock Experiment" and let me remind you that Jim Chambers responded and almost always responds and listens to topics like this.  Other makers, not so much. Chambers locks are good locks and they represent a range of historical styles spanning about 70 years of rapid flintlock development.  Chambers early Germanic flintlock works fine but will never be as fast as his late Ketland lock because the older design wasn't as efficient as the latter.  However, by making adjustments as I do to every lock I buy, I can make them all better.  That does not imply they all had problems before and were not good locks.  I simply apply the final custom work that Jim cannot do for a price most would accept.  Many locks by other makers require a lot more work just to bring them up to a standard comparable to Chambers locks right out of the box. 

dave     
"Flick Lives!"