Author Topic: Muskatoon problem  (Read 8503 times)

Al Lapp

  • Guest
Muskatoon problem
« on: November 19, 2010, 12:50:37 AM »
Was shooting today with a buddy that was using a Parker Hale Muskatoon. Several times when trying to fire it would hang up on the safety notch. He said that this is a common problem with them as they don't have a fly. Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy fix? Or even a complicated fix? Thanks    Al

Offline bob in the woods

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3586
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 02:44:01 AM »
???  I have a collection of fly taken from locks on the guns I've built without set triggers. If a single trigger is being used,I have found that the fly is not necessary.My friend has a muskatoon and it works fine.
I'd check for interference in the lock mortice. Or perhaps the bridle is tightened down too much?  Shouldn't be catching the 1/2 cock notch, so I would guess something is slowing it down as it cycles.

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 02:47:22 AM »
If the trigger pull is toughened up a bit (deepen the full cock notch), it will probably stop dropping into 1/2 cock.  Dropping into the 1/2 cock notch is usually a problem with the rifled .58's after someone tries to lighten the trigger pull too much.  Take it below about 3 to 4 pounds and a gentle squeeze drops it into 1/2 cock.  That's hard on the notch and the sear.

 The complicated fix could be to mill the tumbler and install a fly. Probably have to make that one as well, although a large enough fly might be available for on of the large flintlocks.

After woprking on the trigger pull in my Musketoon, the same thing happened.  I deepened the full cock notch, and the problem went away - even though the felt pull is almost identical.  It didn't take much.

Bob's suggestion should be checked out first - binding on the tumbler or hammer.

 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 02:51:05 AM by Daryl »

Offline T*O*F

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4465
    • Old Fox Trade Co.
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2010, 03:24:45 AM »
Quote
He said that this is a common problem with them as they don't have a fly. Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy fix?
There's a very easy fix.  It's called follow through.  Flies are for set triggers because the spring tension trips the sear under light pressure.  When shooting any gun with a single trigger, you don't touch it off and release regardless of the trigger pull.  You follow through and hold the trigger back until the shot is down range.  This is a hard habit to acquire if a guy is used to shooting guns with set triggers.  No modification is required for the gun.  Anyone who thinks otherwise can go pee up a rope.
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline ken

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 03:07:39 PM »
I have seen this on other guns . It sounds like you have drag on your main spring, check for where it may be rubbing wood in the lock mortice and slowing the lock down look high in the springs travel  Good Luck

Offline bob in the woods

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3586
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 04:18:13 PM »
TOF- Yes, "follow through" ie holding the trigger back will help..but shouldn't be necessary. You can make it work, but I wouldn't be happy knowing there was an inherent problem. Perhaps that's just me.
Youmust have had a trying day; you're last statement seems out of character  :o

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 06:42:22 PM »
Quote
He said that this is a common problem with them as they don't have a fly. Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy fix?
There's a very easy fix.  It's called follow through.  Flies are for set triggers because the spring tension trips the sear under light pressure.  When shooting any gun with a single trigger, you don't touch it off and release regardless of the trigger pull.  You follow through and hold the trigger back until the shot is down range.  This is a hard habit to acquire if a guy is used to shooting guns with set triggers.  No modification is required for the gun.  Anyone who thinks otherwise can go pee up a rope.


Didn't work that way on my Musketoon - instead of slapping the trigger as in shotgun shooting, I squeeze it until the shot breaks. After first trigger 'work', as soon as the sear let go out of the full cock notch, it stopped in the 1/2 cock notch. After increasing the depth of the notch slightly, the need for a slightly longer, heavier squeeze allows the sear to miss the 1/2 cock notch. Much depends on tumbler shape as too - not just whether it's a single or double trigger. Fat, well-rounded tumblers are worse for 'catching' the sear and these are usually the types in the various Muskets.

This has nothing to do with follow through until the shot is down range.  Reducing the trigger pull of a rifled musket or Misketoon to where it shoots like a match rifle is a mistake - the lock geometry does not allow this due to the lack of a fly - 1 1/2 pound trigger pull is too light, but 2 to 3 pounds seems to work OK.

Seems much of a person's dislike or inability to shoot a good crisp 3 pound trigger stems from shooting to much with set triggers.  When I first started shooting prone and 3-po. competition, triggers had to pick up a 3 pound weight.  When that was reduced to 2 pounds, 10 years later, they seemed almost like set triggers. 

Today, some set their hair triggers at mere ounces - I know I do.

Online P.W.Berkuta

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1715
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 07:10:30 PM »
A woman shooter friend of mine has a NW smoothbore that someone lightened up the trigger pull to the extent that it kept hanging up in the 1/2 notch - I ended up putting a fly in it - no more problems.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 09:55:39 PM »
Taylor has done the saem on more than one occasion. I can't afford him - most of the time. ;D

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2010, 08:19:02 PM »
I try to catch him in a generous moment. ;)

Offline bob in the woods

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3586
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 08:53:16 AM »
And, as I mentioned before; the mechanics of the trigger action are simple. The trigger lifts the sear out of the notch in the tumbler, and if you hold the trigger back, it is not possible for the sear to drop into the 1/2 cock notch IF there is enough travel  ie you pull it back enough. I can adjust my shooting technique to assure that the lock will function , just as TOF said. I prefer to modify the lock so that I don't have to.
Being nice is never wrong. Being technically correct is not always right.

Al Lapp

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 08:04:53 PM »
Thanks for all the input. I will show the results to my buddy, I know he said that he had lightend the trigger. So that could be his problem.    Al

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 08:36:29 PM »
"Pulling through" ie: steady, smooth movement rear of the trigger, is not the same as "squeezing until the shot breaks".  They are two different trigger movements.  Both have applications with single triggers and are different from one another.  The pulling through is more a military pull, whereas the target shooting is prone to squeezing, adding minute amounts of trigger pressure until the shot breaks.  On a military lock, due to the lack of a fly, the result of too-light a trigger pull can result in the sear dropping into the 1/2 cock notch.

If this happens and you continue to shoot by adding minute pressure increases until the shot breaks, the sear will drop into the notch virtually every time.

 It happened every attempted shot with my Musketoon until I increased the 'weight' required to 'trip the sear. Then, due to the extra weight demanding a stronger squeeze or pull, I was automatically 'pulling through' which is a normal reaction to the mechanics involved.

As far as adjusting and altering trigger pulls, I've been doing it on modern guns, match rifles and muzzleloaders since 1972 - I do have some experience doing this and I am fully aware of the mechanics involved.

 

Offline Dphariss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8642
  • Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 09:42:00 PM »
Was shooting today with a buddy that was using a Parker Hale Muskatoon. Several times when trying to fire it would hang up on the safety notch. He said that this is a common problem with them as they don't have a fly. Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy fix? Or even a complicated fix? Thanks    Al

The sear spring likely needs to be lightened and the sear set up so that the lock will stay cocked without the sear spring. It should in any case or the lock is really not safe.
This DOES NOT mean a heavy pull. But it requires fitting by a gunsmith who knows how.
It requires that the sear break sharply as the pressure builds. This will pop there sear out of the notch and cause it to over travel enough to clear the 1/2 cock.
Most falling into 1/2 cock is the result of
1. creapy rather than a breaking trigger.
OR and this is key:
2. A tumbler that has had the full cock notch shallowed to improve the trigger pull thus making the 1/2 cock higher than it should be in relation to the full cock. By putting in a spring temper pin in the tumbler to limit sear engagement or shiming with a flat piece of steel shallowing the full cock is not needed and this will often prevent catching the 1/2 cock.
If the full cock has been excessively shallowed the tumbler will need to be replaced or welded to add metal, reshaped and hardened.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 11:53:10 PM »
Sorry I missed this thread earlier as these locks are right up my alley.

Do you have an original Parker Hale (made in England lock) or is it one of the later ones where they used italian parts in the lock? 

How did he "lighten the trigger pull?"  Did he cut down the full cock notch on the tumbler?  If so, that's one of the worst ways to do it and causes you to have to do ALL kinds of work to the other parts.  A MUCH better way to do it is to soft solder (with a NO lead soft solder) a brass shim on the curved portion of the full cock notch.  The shim needed is usually about .015" but can be as much as .020" if the notch is real deep.  Sometimes that causes the trigger pull to go light and then you just file the brass until you get enough trigger pull weight.

The first thing I'm wondering is if the nose of the sear has already been damaged by hitting the halfcock.  I've seen the sear nose broke of dinged up so bad from even one time hitting the halfcock that you have to replace the sear.  I've also seen the halfcock broke from this happening at least one time, so I'd suggest you check them first.

Something I figured out years ago on all "musket" or large military locks is to take the springs off and put just the tumbler, bridle and sear on the lock with the screws holding them in place.  I carefully set the sear into the notch and then very softly  push up on the sear tail until the sear JUST comes free of the full cock notch.  Now, hold the sear there and very softly rotate the tumbler.  The outside end of the half cock usually or often will hit the sear nose.  I file the end of the half cock notch until it just clears the tip of the sear nose.  What that does is give you a little added insurance that as long as the shooter holds the trigger with at least the same amount of pressure as it took for the sear to release from the full cock notch, it can’t hit the half cock notch as the tumbler rotates on around.  I have also seen it necessary to deepen or adjust half cock notches so the sear nose “flows” into the notch easily. 

I have worked these locks for people who came from all sorts of shooting backgrounds and those who “grew up” in shooting high school or college .22 rifle competition are the worst for not holding the trigger enough as the hammer falls. 

You should also check to see if the tail of the sear is contacting the wood inside the stock and keeping the sear from being pulled far enough away from the tumbler so it doesn’t go into halfcock.  That is a common problem on repro muskets. 

You should also check to see if the top of the trigger plate is pushing the tail of the sear up far enough so the nose clears the tumbler.  Not real common, but I’ve seen it.   

You should also check to see if the tail of the sear goes below the lockplate as it rotates.  I’ve had to heat and bend sears so the tails don’t do that.   

Finally, please, Please, PLEASE do not set the hammer on half cock and then pound or slam on the hammer “to see if the half cock notch will fail.”  I can’t tell you how common that stupid nonsense is amoung reenactors, skirmishers and yes, even some International Shooters.  The Ordnance Manuals of the 1850’s and 60’s DELIBERATELY mentioned you should not do that as it will cause damage to the lock parts and those parts were better than the average repro lock parts we have today.  At the World Shoot in Wedgnock, UK, I caught one foreign “arms inspector” who was deliberately doing that to screw up guns of competitors from other countries.  I waited until I got him alone and told him I had better never catch him doing that again and I would watch him.  I also warned competitors away from his table.  The “normal, approved” way to check a half cock on a musket lock is to put the hammer on half cock, hold the musket and rotate it muzzle down and then hold the weight of the musket with your trigger finger and WITHOUT pulling the trigger.  If the half cock holds the weight of the musket, then it is serviceable. 

The original English made Parker Hale locks are a joy to work on compared to the Italian repro locks and if that is what is in the musketoon,  it won’t be nearly so difficult to get a nice trigger pull on it.
 


Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2010, 03:15:52 AM »

It requires that the sear break sharply as the pressure builds. This will pop there sear out of the notch and cause it to over travel enough to clear the 1/2 cock.
 Dan

Dan,

I don't mean to argue and perhaps I don't completely understand what you are trying to get across. 

Military Musket locks of the late 18th through the first 3/4's of the 19th century had a full cock notch that was not perpendicular to the axis of the tumbler but was angled back a good ways.  That gives the increasing trigger pull pressure until the sear slips off the full cock notch. 

This helped ensure the sear would stay in the full cock notch when cocked and made the trigger pull heavier.  They didn’t want very light triggers on military muskets as the andenaline flowing during combat gives you more strength and could cause one to pull the trigger too soon.

Do you mean that by pulling the trigger that got heavier as the sear went down the full cock notch - caused the person to pull the trigger even harder after the sear cleared the full cock and that caused plenty of room for the sear not to hit the half cock notch?       

Gus

Al Lapp

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2010, 08:33:29 AM »
Gus;
  The muskatoon in question is British made. Hopefully I will see my friend sometime this week and can show him the replies as I am printing them out. Thanks again.    Al

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2010, 09:13:57 AM »
Al,

You are most welcome.  I would especially suggest he pull the lock apart and ensure the tip of the sear nose and the half cock notch have not already been damaged.  Many times,  someone can miss the wear unless they take it apart.

Gus

P.S.  If they have been damaged so much they can't be repaired and since it is a British made lock, then you must use original Enfield lock parts and they will work perfectly.  Parker Hale borrowed a set of the original inspection gages from the Tower of London and copied them exactly.  Then they built their repro's to those specs.  Real Parker Hale tumblers and sears have long ago been all used up, but you can still get original parts. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:18:49 AM by Artificer »

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2010, 07:27:18 PM »
Al,

Just curious.  Did you all get your buddy's gun fixed?

Gus

Offline varsity07840

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 210
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2010, 07:41:18 PM »
I agree with the shim method. I've used it on original 1816 and 1842 Springfield locks. It's a method used by N-SSA shooters. It helps to anneal the brass, which you can buy in narrow strips and different thicknesses from hobby stores. Also, if you're not adept at soldering, Locktite Black Max works very well. The only sourse that I have for it is Brownell's. I've never been able to find it in a hardware store.

Duane
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 07:42:07 PM by varsity07840 »

Daryl

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2010, 04:30:46 AM »
Now that you mentioned it, Duane -  I think I might have glued my own - thought I'd soldered it, but might have used P.C. 7 - it's a water proof, oil proof epoxy in a paste form.   It's the epoxy  advertised in hardware stores with various 'stuff'  stuck to a bottle with a grey - steel filled epoxy.

Al Lapp

  • Guest
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2010, 09:00:07 PM »
Gus;
  Last time I talked to my friend he said that he had it working again. I had printed out the post's and gave them to him. I don't know what type of repair that he did. As soon as the weather gets a little better here I will probably be seeing him as he is one of my faithfull volunteers that will be helping me build the shooting building at our new range. He has been away as he drew a elk tag in the archery only area.   MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO ALL      Al

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 12:04:48 AM »
Gus;
  Last time I talked to my friend he said that he had it working again. I had printed out the post's and gave them to him. I don't know what type of repair that he did. As soon as the weather gets a little better here I will probably be seeing him as he is one of my faithfull volunteers that will be helping me build the shooting building at our new range. He has been away as he drew a elk tag in the archery only area.   MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR TO ALL      Al

Glad to hear he got it working.  If there are other problems, please let us know. 
Gus

Offline whitebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Muskatoon problem
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 01:19:26 AM »
Al,  You might also help your friend by suggesting that he join the ALR Forum.  He sounds like a good candidate.
In the beginning God...
Georgia - God's vacation spot