Author Topic: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg  (Read 1641 times)

Offline Tim Hamblen

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John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« on: February 24, 2023, 10:47:29 PM »
Years ago I came into possession of a John Clark left hand flintlock when a friend passed and his wife gave me some gun parts he had. I used that lock on a deer rifle for my grandson.Now fast forward some years and I bought a flint chunk gun from another friend before his passing.He had acquired a Clark lock some years ago and it too is a lefty. He had a chunk gun built with it. Although left handed I can shoot the gun very well and believe it has a lot of potential. 30# gun with a 1&7/16 barrel. But that lock ? Clark lock parts are basically not out there but I was told recently that the L&R Durs Egg is a match. Some even said L&R copied the Clark lock when making their's . If so I wonder if internals will swap out , in case of a broken main spring or such.Does anyone have first hand knowledge on any of this ? It's be great to shoot the gun without worrying about spare parts. I would even consider buying a Durs Egg just to keep on hand if I had to swap the whole lock. Thanks for any help.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2023, 11:00:41 PM »
I made several locks using the Clark external parts but have no idea about interchangeability with the L&R Durs Egg and was not aware of a left hand version.Very fine quality castings and I am glad to see his name again.
Bob Roller

Offline Tim Hamblen

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2023, 11:16:44 PM »
Bob, my friend bought the lock years ago when Clark advertised in M/B, probably back in the 70s. He would always get the lock out and show it to me and tell me someday he would build a fine rifle with it. He would sit there and snap it for me. Honestly I wonder if it were not a kit, because by the time I got it after his death the sear and tumbler were worn off to the point it would not hold full cock and the frizzen would not spark..I don't know if they had been hardened properly. When I used it to build the grandson a deer gun I had to go thru it and shape and harden all the internals.It WAS the only left hand I ever saw , even in pictures. BUT, then go forward 20 years and I buy a chunk gun with a left hand Clark lock on it. My other buddy Max had bought it at the Conner gun show in pieces and the bridle was missing. Mutual friend Allen Hunter made a new bridle and built the chunk gun from it.He said all the parts were properly hardened on that one. I have not met anyone else who has seen even one left hand Clark and I have 2 . LOL.

Offline Tim Hamblen

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2023, 01:43:16 AM »
I pulled the lock from the gun and then went to L&Rs site and compared it to pictures of the Durs Egg and basically nothing appears to be interchangeable.Certainly not the mainspring. It would seem if the current lock was to go beyond repair that a complete lock switch out would be in order...............if they are close enough to each other.

Offline Jim Chambers

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2023, 04:04:36 AM »
To clear up one part of your question, many (including Clark himself) always said that L&R had copied his lock.  The truth of the matter is that both coplied the exact same original lock according to LC Rice.

Offline Tim Hamblen

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2023, 04:26:25 AM »
There was a lot of that Jim. If they did copy the Clark, it was entirely on the outside, the cosmetic part. Nothing I can see inside is the same.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2023, 04:36:52 AM »
I have a set of castings for a Clark lock , somewhere, but right handed.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Daryl

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2023, 07:59:58 AM »
Just turn them over, Rich? LOL
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2023, 05:44:53 PM »
The first gun I built, I got a barrel and lock from John Clark.

Smoothbore .58 it was, oct to round.
It was a good sparking lock, and John told me (as Jim says above), that L&R copied his lock.

Barrel I got from him had his name and address  etched along the top flat. I gather it was one he planned on using and never did.
The internals Looked the same, especially the bridle, but had no L& R Durs Egg to compare with at that time.





Offline alacran

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2023, 06:01:04 PM »
No fly.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline TWM

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2023, 11:37:04 PM »
I was a good friend of John Clark.  Picture from late 60's /early 70's of John on left.  Unfortunately you cannot see his face.  They were the good old days!  Sad to say I am the only one left of the group.



Offline Hudnut

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2023, 01:05:15 AM »
I remember admiring John's dies for his lock.  Machined aluminum with slides, etc.  At the time many others were using epoxy dies cast from original parts.

Offline Tim Hamblen

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2023, 03:35:29 PM »
Both of mine nave flys.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2023, 03:48:47 PM »
I made my own internal parts on the few I made using the Clark external parts.The style I used was about the same as the I made for the Chet Shoults Ketland and another Ketland of unknown origin. made a bridle with 2 screws at the top and a linked mainspring.Many antique locks used a bridle with a lot of "curlyques" that added nothing to rigidity and added labor to an already labor intensive job of lock making.
What became of the tooling used to make these parts.I hope they are not in a land fill or a city dump.
Bob Roller

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2023, 06:27:01 PM »
I was told by one of the owners of the Hawken Shop, that they had bought the molds from Clark. It may be a long shot, but you might contact them.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2023, 05:54:11 PM »
If the Hawken Shop has these moulds maybe they could have some made.I know they have a kit for a Sam Hawken kit but back in the early 70's when i made locks for them there were no flintlocks ordered by them.I did make a Ketland flintlock that was good looking and fast if the vent was right.I used one on a 58 caliber rifle I cobbled together  and it seemed as fast as any caplock I ever fired.It was used on a good number of "Flint Hawken" styled rifles.
Bob Roller

Offline rich pierce

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2023, 06:08:12 PM »
If the Hawken Shop has these moulds maybe they could have some made.I know they have a kit for a Sam Hawken kit but back in the early 70's when i made locks for them there were no flintlocks ordered by them.I did make a Ketland flintlock that was good looking and fast if the vent was right.I used one on a 58 caliber rifle I cobbled together  and it seemed as fast as any caplock I ever fired.It was used on a good number of "Flint Hawken" styled rifles.
Bob Roller
I canít figure out what hole in the market this would fill. Itís almost identical to the L&R Durs Egg.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2023, 10:07:10 PM »
No hole at all.Just one more choice. I think the Clark locks had his name in fine script cast into the plate.It looked good and I made no effort to remove it when I used those parts.
Bob Roller

Offline samsteele

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2023, 02:54:29 AM »
Sorry to be a tad tardy in my reply. I'm out on parole, now ha-ha.

I first met John in 1976, and saw his handiwork (including a (Wattell?) Clark cased original flinter. What a beauty.

I managed to find the money, and plunked down a deposit for a .54 calibre left hand flint bench rest gun. Two and a half years later, and it was (and still is) mine. The barrel and false muzzle made by the late Ken Bresien of Warsaw, New York. The tiger stripe maple is truly, a beauty to behold. I had a 36 inch brass four power tube scope (made in Japan by Tasco) put on top.

At one point, I needed John to replace the frizzen spring, as the pin from the spring into the lock plate had broken off. He replaced it for free, and for $125, I had/have another identical left hand lock for my gun....still in unfired condition.

John signed the top of the barrel "JOHN E. CLARK TOTTENHAM", in silver wash, while both locks are marked "J. CLARK TORONTO". The barrel and both locks are serial numbered "116".

I could tell you about the time that I was shooting with John beside me, and I had neglected to remove the false muzzle before firing. I found the false muzzle about 30 yards down range, and did John give me proper $#*!. No damage to the false muzzle or barrel, thankfully.

I treasure my slug gun, and have never had a problem with it. I'm 69, now, so here's hoping that I can hang onto "Kath" (named after my high school sweetheart) for another 30 years or so.

Cheers,

Bill
now in Nova Slowtia

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: John Clark Left hand locks, compared to L&R Durs Egg
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2023, 05:50:10 PM »
Ken Bresien,a name from the past.I met him and was in his shop in 1987.There was an International Shoot in Kitchener,Ontario Canada and Roger Weir and I stopped to see ken and he said he'd make me a 38 caliber bullet barrel with false muzzle for a 200 meter offhand rifle if I would make him a German style Schuetezen lock and trigger.The trade was made and the barrel was delivered but never used.A muzzle loading 38-55-330 was the intent but never realized.
The International Match in Kitchener was a good one and I delivered flint and percussion locks to Helmut Mohr for his gunmaking in Germany..Our host was Ted Girodat ,Canadian team captain and his wife,Donna,both now deceased.Roger Weir is now  said to have dementia and divides his time between Western New York and some place in Florida.Don Brown was there with an Alex Henry repro and got several orders from the German team.It just dawned on me that 36 years have staggered by since then.
Bob Roller