Author Topic: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock Finished for Now  (Read 4093 times)

Online smart dog

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Edward Marshall Rifle Lock Finished for Now
« on: January 18, 2021, 05:56:49 AM »
Hi,
I am building an Edward Marshall rifle for a friend and client.  It will be as close a copy as I can make without the original on my bench.  I have virtually all the published resources and as much online data as I can find.  I also have my notes after viewing the original gun at the Mercer Museum.  Anyway, the first challenge is the lock.  No commercially made locks will do as produced.  Chamber's early Germanic lock and Chris Laubach's Germanic lock are too large and have much more arc to the bottom edge of the lock plate than the original.  They also do not have pan bridles.  They are too large and it makes a difference.  One feature of the Edward Marshall rifle is that the lock is small relative to the size of the stock.  It reminds me more of late flint English rifles when lock sizes were reduced than other American long rifles. 

Davis's Jaeger and Chamber's early Germanic are commonly used in Edward Marshall kits but they are too large and curved.  I looked at a bunch of locks including Silers and Dale Johnsons but none worked.  I finally settled on Zorne's Albrecht lock sold by MBS.  It was closest to the dimensions of the original but had issues like no pan bridle.  I figured that I could fix that so I ordered one.  I wasn't disappointed because I had very low expectations and those were born out.  The lock plate was close and could be modified with welding and I could weld on a pan bridle.  What angered me the most was the stupid way the lock bolster was ground for no apparent reason.





The rear lock bolt on the Marshall rifle is threaded into a blind hole in the bolster, but that part of the bolster is ground away on the Zorne lock.  Anyway, I knew I was in for a complete lock reworking and really just wanted a plate, frizzen, frizzen spring, and flint cock with which I could work.  The first task was to add a pan bridle.  I cut a piece of mild steel to fit and welded it in place.  I then shaped it, drilled the pivot screw hole and installed the frizzen  I had to fill the hole in the frizzen, which I did by threading the hole, inserting a screw, counter sinking both sides, peening the screw in place and then welding over the peened ends.  Works like a charm. I had to make a pivot screw that was inserted from the inside.  After installing the frizzen, I shaped the bridle as close to the Marshall rifle as I could.  It came out really well.















Next I had to fill the lock bolster with weld where the rear lock bolt will be threaded.  Then I added weld to the tail of the plate to widen it and shape it like the original lock.  Finally, I reshaped the nose of the plate and filed steps in the edges.  After cleaning everything up, I will cut the border on the lock plate and flint cock, and eventually engrave the lock as the original.  I think it will come out nicely.








In doing this work, I do not have any milling machines, metal lathes, TIG welders.  I just have ambition, knowledge, simple tools, and skill.   

dave


« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 01:53:14 AM by smart dog »
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Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 06:26:45 AM »
I would have guessed TIG.  So if not that then what is your method of welding.

Nice work,
Jeff
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Offline Clint

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 06:50:35 AM »
The big chunk, missing from the bolster is probably to compensate for bad tumbler notches on the prototype lock. If the notches are filed too far back, the flint cock needs to be drawn way back to get full engagement which puts the mainspring too high. I suspect that as the lock was developed for production, the notches were repositioned but the bolster was left cut high. The drag of that high bolster is that the lock screw wants to be back and low, right where the cutout is.
Dave, the bridle and the toe of the lock plate look great. I am a real fuss budget where it comes to flint cock design and I would be tempted to raise the chin, under the lower jaw just a bit. OR... just make a new flintcock.
Clint

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 07:13:13 AM »
Great work Dave.  The last issue of Muzzleloader magazine had an article on the rifle with some good photos .  BTW,  forgive me asking, but,  could you not have started off with the Chambers Gunmakers lock ? 

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2021, 07:39:08 AM »
Really nice, Dave.  I, too, was wondering about the "Gunmaker's Lock".  But you are overcoming the hurdles, one by one.  Not bad, considering that dogs have no thumbs.
Wish I could weld with the precision that you exhibit.  May have to get out my new Micro Torch and practice a bit.
Craig Wilcox
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Online smart dog

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2021, 08:03:35 AM »
Hi Guys,
Thanks for looking and commenting.  Clint, the mainspring hook does not come close to the cut out area.  Maybe on some prototype but if Chambers and all other lock makers see no need, why does Zorne?  The "gun makers" lock is too small.  The bolster is too thin to build the wrist thickness I need and the pan and frizzen are too small.  Also, I would have to still weld metal on and reshape the bridle and reverse the frizzen spring screw.  Clint, the flint cock seems to be a close match to the original as it is although a few details need to be filed.  I am using Houston Harrison's drawings for reference.

dave
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Online smart dog

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 08:09:51 AM »
I would have guessed TIG.  So if not that then what is your method of welding.

Nice work,
Jeff

Hi Jeff,
I just have an acetylene welder.  I file a bevel on the edges that touch the pan, tack the bridle in place with the torch to hold it, and then fill the bevel all around with a fillet of weld.  Then I file away the excess.

dave
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Offline alacran

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2021, 03:10:33 PM »
Very good work Dave. The recent Muzzleloader featuring two articles on Marshal's rifle has generated a lot of attention.to it.
It made me revisit my thoughts that the lock on the rifle is not original to it.
The Lock is too short for the mortise by a bunch in the front. Also it is too big in the tail. Most would attribute it to wood shrinkage. But if you look at all the other mortises the same type of shrinkage is not apparent. It is not evident in the tang or the trigger guard.
I have always believed that the lock was replaced some time in its early life.
Your determination in replication of the lock is admirable.
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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 03:59:52 PM »
Hi Alacran and thanks,
I have the same question about the original lock but am relying on the opinions of John Bivins, Bob Lienemann, George Shumway and others who were satisfied it was original to the gun.  Seems like a lot of wood shrinkage but without the gun in hand I cannot really tell.  I have to still build up the lock plate behind the pan and then clean everything up so I can cut the border on the plate and flint cock.  I also need to clean up and polish all the internals, work over the springs, file the finial on the frizzen spring, tune the lock, and then engrave the face.  It will be a bit of work but I have fun doing this kind of stuff.

dave
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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2021, 04:35:51 PM »
At a certain stage you're better off to just make a lock rather than try to re-work sub-par parts.  A good option is to use good commercially available internals and make the rest.  You ought to buy a small milling machine, lathe and metal cutting bandsaw.  Bought right this won't set you back too much.  With these tools you'll be able to make whatever you want.  Another good option is to use a service for water jet cutting.  Design your parts in a cheap cad program and have them cut out with a touch of stock for final clean-up.  This will give you the profiles which is a good starting point.

Jim

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 05:15:31 PM »
Jim Kibler is right.Sub par on some muzzle loader components is a step up for some of them.
I couldn't do anything without my lathes,milling machine and bandsaws.Your welding skills are
amazing.We had a friend here,Carl Blatt that has welded the engagement part or point of a SAA
Colt trigger.He passed away recently.When I was in High School I tried to learn welding but the
teacher was only interested in swearing at us with an Irish accent.Same for the machine shop
minus the profanity because he was seldom there.The automobile mechanics class was OK but I was
ahead of that one because of the work I had been doing on the Duesenberg cars for a while.
  One thing I have noticed with the muzzle loading gun hobby today is that there seems to be a
more affluent group now than there was in the 1960's and 70's.The late 70's and early 80's were
for me the worst of all and I got connected to the German market that didn't let $3 stop anything
and the car hobbyists here in the USA kept me busy with one of a kind parts for whatever was being
restored.I still thank Bill Large for most of my shop skills and Wes Kindig who bought my parts when
they were sub par by today's standards.
I did not intend to write such a letter this morning but nobody has to read it either.
Bob Roller


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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 07:33:56 PM »
Hi Jim and Bob,
Thanks for your comments and I get it.  I am thinking of getting a small milling and drilling machine as well as a lathe to turn tumblers, pistol barrels, and screws.  However, I don't have those machines at the moment and I am not waiting until I do. This is a "one-off" project and I may never make this lock again.  I am pretty confident it will come out well and be a fine lock when I am done, although I always risk failure.  However, that makes my life interesting.

dave 
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Offline Tim Ault

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2021, 07:48:00 PM »
Another good option is to use a service for water jet cutting.  Design your parts in a cheap cad program and have them cut out with a touch of stock for final clean-up.  This will give you the profiles which is a good starting point.

Jim
 
You are correct , I operate one at my job . They are indeed very precise and something the thickness of a lock plate would take under a minute to cut out . 

Offline Clowdis

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2021, 03:26:41 AM »
I did not intend to write such a letter this morning but nobody has to read it either.
Bob Roller

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Offline Monty59

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2021, 12:51:08 PM »
Hello, smart dog I have saved all the photos from the rifle made by Jud Breannan at the time. Very many and very detailed if you like I can send them to you.

Monty

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2021, 03:23:32 PM »
Hi Monty,
Thank you!  That is a kind offer.  I have looked at Jud's photos of his version of the rifle on his blog but he did a photo shoot of the original and posted it for a while several years ago and I cannot find that series of photos. I do have all the photos published by Bob Lienemann in his books and the recent Muzzleloader article.  If you have photos of Jud's rifle or the original, I'd love to see them.  I'll PM you my e-mail address.

Thanks,

dave   
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Offline Monty59

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2021, 03:35:48 PM »
Hello Dave, I can send all the pic from Jud he made from the original to you in a few emails because there are 50 pictures ! So send me your email address.

Monty
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 05:07:38 PM by Monty59 »

Offline bp

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2021, 03:39:36 PM »
Quite a few years ago there was an article in Muzzle Loader or Muzzle Blasts magazine, if I remember correctly,  where the Marshall rifle was dismantled and documented. Can't remember who did the work but the issue had a color pic of the rifle on the cover.  I might still have it and can look for it if interested.

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2021, 04:41:28 PM »
John Bivins did the Marshall rifle examination and Muzzleblasts article.

Jim

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2021, 05:47:52 PM »
The lock is original to that gun imho.

I don't think it's a small lock, the gun simply has a bigger breech than the standard "Marshall" barrel profiles.  At the time the first commercial profiles were done up by either Paris or Don Getz, they were limiting their maximum breech sizes to 1 1/8" and everyone else since has copied that profile to maintain continuity for pre-inlet stuff.

It's a VERY stout rifle and it clearly saw a lot of use but was well-maintained during it's working life.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 05:51:16 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline David Rase

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2021, 06:01:35 PM »
Here is the link to all the photos of the original from Jud's trip to Philadelphia.  You will have to scroll down about halfway to see them.
David
https://judsonbrennan.blogspot.com/search?q=edward&updated-max=2017-05-07T21:09:00-08:00&max-results=20&start=4&by-date=false

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2021, 06:09:09 PM »
That Zornes lock that everyone seems to be disparaging is one helluva good lock. I have used it several times and it's a helluva sparker and FAST.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2021, 06:09:54 PM »
I'm not disparaging it.  I love asparagus.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2021, 09:21:48 PM »
I'm not disparaging it.  I love asparagus.
It isn't asparagus season here.....
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Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Online smart dog

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Re: Edward Marshall Rifle Lock
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2021, 10:08:44 PM »
Hi,
Thanks Dave Rase for that link.  That really helps.  Eric, I am glad all of the experts who examined the rifle believe the lock is original to it. I trust their assessments and am using the lock as my model.  It is smaller than the locks typically sold with EM kits.  The Davis Jaeger lock is 6" long and the Chamber early Germanic is 5.8", whereas the EM lock in about 5.3" long.  IMO that shorter length really changes the character of the lock and wrist areas.  As I wrote previously, the relative dimensions of the lock size, wrist, and lock panels on the EM rifle remind me more of a late flint English rifle than most early PA rifles. The thick bolster on the Zorne lock helps compensate for the smaller breech dimension of the barrel (1.125" vs 1.23").  I added weld to the plate behind the pan and am cutting the borders of the lock plate and flint cock.  Its really starting to look right.  It won't be exact but I think it will be a pretty good facsimile that preserves the dimensions and character of the original gun, which is my objective.

dave   
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