Author Topic: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against  (Read 1193 times)

Offline Bsharp

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Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« on: March 09, 2023, 06:24:27 PM »



I found this view of a Baker rifle, was this common on other round barrels, or just the Baker?

Was this also done to swamped barrels, keeping the lock parallel to the bore?
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2023, 06:33:25 PM »
That's essentially the 'standard' for a full round barrel as you'll need a small flat to ensure proper mating the lock bolster.  Many round barrels were done with a flat on the opposing side for visual balance but many were not.

On an octagonal barrel you already have a flat and whether the lock is parallel to the bore or not is of no matter.  Many piece that have been converted to percussion, however, evidence a lot more wear and erosion around the breech and constant wear and re-fittings often creates an illusion of octagonal barrels being filed down on the lock side.  This was not deliberate, it's simply the result of years of corrosive percussion cap residue.
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Offline Bsharp

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2023, 07:51:42 PM »
Eric, how about a tapered or flared [swamped] octagon barrels.

Do they flatten them [lock area] to be parallel to the bore?
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2023, 07:58:21 PM »
Eric, how about a tapered or flared [swamped] octagon barrels.

Do they flatten them [lock area] to be parallel to the bore?

No, not that I've ever seen, certainly not on flint-era American work.  In fact, the flare at the breech is often considered a desirable characteristic because it basically 'kicks out' the tail of the lock when inlet, allowing for tapered lock panels which are wider at the rear (and thus allow for a wider wrist if necessary to the style).

Later European pieces - primarily british - cut relief into the breech to bring the lock panels back *in* at the rear, but this is largely a function of neccessity for doubles which would otherwise be over-wde at the lock tails.

There are folks here who know a whole lot more about European work than I but I have never seen a flared octagonal breech (i.e. on a swamped barrel) taken down to fit a lock on any pre early 1800s piece whether American or European.
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Offline Bsharp

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2023, 08:07:24 PM »
Eric, Thank You!

One of them things that I was just wondering, especially on larger bores.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2023, 08:20:38 PM by Bsharp »
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Offline Mattox Forge

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2023, 04:21:15 PM »
Hi,
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I just wanted to add a thought.

On all of the original guns I have, none of the round barrel profiles are actually round at the breech. The Baker is no exception. The flats are forged in and the barrel is really an octagon to round, with nearly all of the octagon forged away, leaving just the flats at the breech, and sometimes a flat on the top. Rarely a flat on the bottom. The images are of an Ordnance Baker I have that some Germans converted to percussion in the 1830's. The conversion entailed adding a breech section with an integral bolster, but the barrel proflie was kept the same to match the original stock inletting and false breech. You can clearly see the extra materal where the flats are. The fact that the TRS barrels are actually round messes up the architecture of the gun, since you can't get 1 1/8 flats out of a 1 1/8 circle, the barrel winds up being too narrow.
Mike
Original Baker breech

TRS barrel

Original stock and false breech




Offline smart dog

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2023, 05:08:02 PM »
Hi,
Here is the breech profile of a round barrel from an 18th century English fowler.



As Mike wrote, the round barrel is actually somewhat octagon at the breech with flat sides on both sides.  On Brown Bess muskets the round breech is flattened on both the lock plate and side plate sides.  That may be an artifact of the forging process but it also allows the sides of the stock to remain parallel at the breech without  the wood on the barrel wall becoming thinner toward the breech. 



dave
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Offline Mattox Forge

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2023, 09:52:11 PM »
...That may be an artifact of the forging process but it also allows the sides of the stock to remain parallel at the breech without  the wood on the barrel wall becoming thinner toward the breech. 

That is a much better way of saying it. It is necessary for the gun architecture that the sides have a flat, and because they forged the barrels rather than machining them on a lathe, it was fairly straightforward to do.
Thanks for the clarification.

These are photos of a 1740's vintage English rifle's barrel. The barrel is a swamped round barrel, but the breech has three flats that fade away. Again, something not easily done of today's machinery, but run of the mill for the 18th and 19th century barrel forger and grinder.





Mike

Offline smart dog

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Re: Flat filed on barrel for lock to fit against
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2023, 11:03:59 PM »
Mike,
The other advantage is holding the "round" barrel in a vise to install the breech pin.

dave
"The main accomplishment of modern economics is to make astrology look good."