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Thread: Will Broken Bridle Tab/Pin Affect Lock Function?

  1. #1
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    Will Broken Bridle Tab/Pin Affect Lock Function?

    I was disassembling an original 1861 Springfield lock this afternoon. Upon disassembly, I noticed that the tab/pin on the bridle was broken off and stuck in the lock plate. Question: Will this broken tab/pin affect the function of the assembled lock?
    Thank you in advance,
    - milsurpshooter

  2. #2
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    Infrequently used, no. If shot regularly the missing pin allows a bit more parts movement than the parts will tolerate.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Hill View Post
    Infrequently used, no. If shot regularly the missing pin allows a bit more parts movement than the parts will tolerate.
    What he isn't saying is Yes,It will break! The slop WILL eventually break your bridle and go on from there.
    N-SSA Member since 1974

  4. #4
    Charlie Hahn is offline
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    It is not difficult to fix. Use the lock plate for a drill fixture, select the correct drill. Using a drill press drill then cut the shank off the drill and use it for a pin, Locktite in place.

    CH

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    Thank you for the replies. Looks like a replacement or repair is in order.
    - milsurpshooter

  6. #6
    hawkeye2 is offline
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    Repair as Charlie says and you can use a roll pin instead of the drill shank too. I know from experience it will shear off the bridle/sear screw probably flush with the plate making it a pain to get out.

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    So could this broken bridle tab/pin cause the hammer to be slightly loose (laterally and in it's axis or rotation)? With the lock assembled and removed from the stock, there doesn't appear to be any movement of the internals when I cock the hammer. Or would the "slop" in the hammer be a separate issue like a worn bridle shank? Seems like trying to solve one problem leads to another.
    Thanks again,
    - milsurpshooter

  8. #8
    Charlie Hahn is offline
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    Measure the tumbler diameter and the hole in the lock plate. I think you will find that the difference is about .012 inch. The use of metric sizes from some of the producers and the use of parts of US dimensions is usually the issue. If this is the case, the lock plate will require some machine work followed by a bushing made to bridge the difference. The repair requires some machine tools to complete.

    CH

  9. #9
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    This is all very interesting, but I think there is another question to be addressed first. Is this an arm you are going to be shooting, or do you want it repaired/replaced just because it is damaged? If you aren't going to be shooting it it is OK to leave it as is. Another thing you should know is that the only way the bridle locating pin can break is if the lock is snapped either without having a nipple in the barrel, or the nipple is too short, or snapped while out of the musket. The original locks are timed so that when the hammer is at rest on the correct length nipple the tumbler stops just short of bottoming on the bridle. When the hammer/tumbler is allowed to overtravel is when the pin will be broken. This overtravel will quite often fracture or break the upper bridle mounting screw too.

  10. #10
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    The 1861 Springfield was a recent acquisition. My intent was to have a shootable example. Although it is complete, I would consider it only in good condition. All components appear to have been with the gun for a long time. The nipple looks original, not dinged up, and is still frozen in the bolster. The lockplate markings are worn and the only legable stamps are "1861" and "Springfield". I think it has an early 1855-style rear sight. The barrel proofs are visible but faint and only minimal pitting near the bolster. The bore shows strong rifling but is rough especially near the breech (bore scoped). I believe the bridle pin had been broken for some time because the damaged portion is dark with patina.
    So, with the faint markings and rough bore, I personally wouldn't consider it highly collectable. Without relining the barrel, I wouldn't consider it a shooter either. But it is complete with a solid stock, and no significant rust/pitting other than the bore.
    With a new bridle and a reline, it would be a nice original looking shooter.

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