Author Topic: Pins on original longrifles?  (Read 1236 times)

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Pins on original longrifles?
« on: June 11, 2021, 08:46:02 AM »
I know most of us use 1/16" music wire for barrel and furniture pins.  Are these pins period correct or was such wire generally available then?

Offline JLayne

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 01:56:48 PM »
Iím certainly no expert. But I visited the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia last year and many of the originals on display seemed to my eye to have pins that were larger in diameter than 1/16Ē. Iím not sure what that diameter was though, or even if it was always uniform.

Jay

Online Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2021, 03:11:02 PM »
I've not seen any that looked nearly as consistent as what many people use nowadays and as noted above, most are a bit larger (certainly for barrels) and most look slightly tapered.  The surfaces that aren't over-rusted tend to have more of a 'hammered' or possibly filed-down appearance.
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Offline WKevinD

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2021, 03:35:30 PM »
I have found alot of pins in originals that were hammered squareish approximately 3/32" - 1/16"
The larger round pins seem to be replacements.
 Kevin
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2021, 05:10:17 PM »
Iíve never seen hardened pins in originals. They donít seem much more than mild wire. Not speaking against music wire. Itís possibly superior. On the other hand it has no give and one could envision circumstances where a rigid pin in a tight lug hole, under recoil, could start a split.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Dwshotwell

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 05:46:42 PM »
Pure uninformed speculation on my part, but is it possible/probable the original pins were small, and later replacements were larger because the wood chipped out around the originals in the course of removing and reinstalling the barrels over time?
David Shotwell

Offline bama

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 05:56:41 PM »
I am pretty sure that there were no standard sizes but most of the originals that I have had the opportunity to look at were probably close to 1/8" in diameter. I would say that many of the pins we see today in originals are replacements, not all but most. The originals were probably iron pins that had been forged into wire shape but they may have had wire that size, I really don't know. I doubt that they used hardened wire, I have seen several with wood pins, these may have been replacements also.

I prefer the 1/16" pins but have learned to not object to a bigger pin because of what I have seen on originals. In contrast early barrel wedges are pretty much made from 1/16" thick material with hammer forged heads.
Jim Parker

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Online Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 08:55:57 PM »
Hardened wire is to my mind a detriment.  Barrel loops are not hardened.  A hard pin may cause wear to a loop and it's much more of a pain in the @$$ to replace a worn or damaged loop if necessary than it is to replace a worn pin.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2021, 12:12:00 AM »
Hardened wire is to my mind a detriment.  Barrel loops are not hardened.  A hard pin may cause wear to a loop and it's much more of a pain in the @$$ to replace a worn or damaged loop if necessary than it is to replace a worn pin.

An excellent reason for finishing nails. If finishing nails were good enough for Don Getz, they are good enough for me.

Online Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2021, 12:31:13 AM »
That's that I use too as "blanks" and then take them down to where I want them, either 4d or 6d depending on barrel pins/guard/trigger pins or rammer pipe pins (I like the pipe pins smaller).
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Offline flehto

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2021, 01:06:41 AM »
The pins in a LR certainly aren't things of beauty...so the smaller the better of whatever mat'l they're made of and still do the intended job......Fred

Offline elkhorne

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 06:04:51 AM »
I remember in a WKU class t Hershelís, he recommended 4d finishing nails instead of 1/16Ē music wire.
elkhorne

Offline flehto

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2021, 03:04:16 PM »
I use  1/16 dia music wire for every pin in my builds....mainly because of the uniform dias and actually less fiddling around. The bbl lugs all have a slot to accept the pin in case of stock shrinkage/expansion. The trigger pivot pin is also music wire and have found it works well.

Although I try to use mat'ls and items that somewhat  duplicate those used in the originals, sometimes this isn't possible and pins are the least of my concerns.

Most LRs being produced today are from  some form of a "kit" or parts set and most  are produced by modern technology  and include items  that aren't very original  looking.

So in the total  scheme of things, "unoriginal"  pins are  minor items compared to other items that  sometimes don't even look like original parts and are produced by modern methods. This isn't a criticism of what builders use to make a LR or some other style of MLer....afterall, expediency is ever present in modern times......Fred

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2021, 07:36:18 PM »
I thought everybody used finish nails... shows how much attention I pay to pins.
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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2021, 12:29:28 AM »
I can still visualize the pins used in the rifle that Wallace Gusler made in the Colonial Williamsburg video. They seemed larger than what I was using [ finishing nails]  but did not seem out of place on that rifle.  I imagine they were made of iron, since the steel components used were minimal.

Offline Dave B

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2021, 08:15:49 AM »
Having collected several original barrels from the post Revolutionary War. Into the 1800 time frame. I got these results Smooth Bore Colonial. Fat breach 69 caliber Barrel has 3/32 whole in the under lug, a French fouling Barrel that's a 9/64 hole through the under lug, several other Barrels have 3/32 or slightly larger not quite an eighth of an inch in under lugs.
Dave Blaisdell

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2021, 05:04:17 AM »
Recently replaced a couple of pins that were missing in an original rifle. #6 finish nails fit the loops perfectly.
Mark

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2021, 05:14:16 AM »
I used 1/16 welding rod today and very happy with the results. Thank you Mike Brooks for the idea.
Dan

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Offline mgbruch

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2021, 09:04:05 PM »
I use  4d finishing nails (#51 wire drill bit) for barrel pins.  Ramrod pipes don't generally come under a lot of stress.
for those I use plain 1/16" construction wire. I straighten it in the bech vise, and I put a loop on one end while I'm building the gun.  I also double pin all of my ramrod pipes.


Offline JTR

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2021, 10:32:55 PM »
When I was doing some restoration on old ones, if a pin was missing I generally used an old square nail and filed it to size.
Dave mentioned hole size on early rifle barrels, and the one I have is similar, breech is 1.200", muzzle about 1", bored out to smooth at .67 cal. The holes in the barrel lugs are between .100" and .120".

I'm sure if the old guys would have had finishing nails, piano wire or welding rod they would have used it!
John Robbins

Offline Kansas Volunteer

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2021, 06:56:27 PM »
I've used box nails as pins. I chuck them in a drill to use as a lathe. Then, using needle files turn the heads down to a point where they are small but still have a shoulder. The corners at the top of the nail head are rounded off. I cut the nails to a length that leaves a tit projecting out side the stock when the pins are driven in to a point the heads are tight against to wood. The tits gets rounded of with a cupped grinding stone in a dremel. The tits project only far enough to be felt above the wood. A light tap on the tit will raise the head enough to get a knife blade or  small screwdriver under and pull the pin out should you want. This may not be a historically correct way of doing things but it makes installing a removing pins quite easy.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2021, 03:16:06 AM »
Pins come in and out many times during a build.  Once I cut them, they are finished...no heads...just gently rounded.  I always cut mine short of the surface of the stock so that they do not got all the way from side to side.  I use the hole on the short side as a guide for a pin punch that is slightly smaller than the hole.  that way, the wood around the hole never gets busted up.  My pins all go in from the same side as the lock nails...that way I never forget which way to punch them out.  And I remove my barrel pins each time I shoot/clean my rifle.  So I have to be very careful not to damage the wood.  But it is easy to apply and remove my pins.  I generally use 1 1/2" finishing nails that measure @ .070" dia. and a 1/16" punch to push them out.  Sometimes, I put them into the lathe and make a tiny divot in the ends, using a 1/8" centre drill, so that if I'm in the field and need to remove a pin, I can use my vent prick.
Rod pipes, I use 1/16" welding rod.  I think music wire is over kill for these simple fasteners.  But each to his own.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2021, 07:39:01 PM »
Virtually all pins I've seen in modern day guns are stainless steel which, of course, didn't exist back then.  I have a small supply of the same type pin stock that I cut to length when I need replacements or for other items.  They are all cut shorter so they do not protrude and I work the tips for "in & out" safety.  All go in one side and out the other so there's no mistakes. 
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Pins on original longrifles?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2021, 10:35:26 PM »
I've used box nails as pins. I chuck them in a drill to use as a lathe. Then, using needle files turn the heads down to a point where they are small but still have a shoulder. The corners at the top of the nail head are rounded off. I cut the nails to a length that leaves a tit projecting out side the stock when the pins are driven in to a point the heads are tight against to wood. The tits gets rounded of with a cupped grinding stone in a dremel. The tits project only far enough to be felt above the wood. A light tap on the tit will raise the head enough to get a knife blade or  small screwdriver under and pull the pin out should you want. This may not be a historically correct way of doing things but it makes installing a removing pins quite easy.

Hey KV, thanks for you input.  You may be putting some extra work into those pins.  Taylor's reply under yours is the approach I like.  We keep em long during the build for easiest in/out, then cut them just a bit short such that a punch is guided by the hole, ideally keeping damage around the hole from ever happening.  With them short, a bit of wax fills the hole and they're quite unobtrusive.  It would bug me to have anything poking out of the stock at all, but of course you are free to do as you choose.  Welcome to the forum.

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