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Thread: Musket Lock Tuning

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Musket Lock Tuning

    I recently purchased a Springfield 1816 Smoothbore with the HP percussion conversion and I need a come a long to cock it and a pry bar to snap the trigger. I believe it still has the original flintlock lock springs in it. Before I get out the files and dremel is anyone aware of any other documentation that I can get so I do this right? I have David France's article but I would like to have another source just to confirm some things before I screw up.
    "A ragged rebel flag flies high above it all
    Popping in the wind like an angry cannon ball

    The holes of history are cold and still,
    But they still smell the powder burnin' and they probably always will"

  2. #2
    Carolina Reb is offline
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    I picked up an 1827 dated Springfield H&P with the same problem. It took 2 hands to pull back the hammer and the trigger pull was about 40 pounds. Don't grind down that original mainspring if you can avoid it! The Dixie M1816 spring fit my lock with only minor work. With the long leg thinned a bit on a bench grinder the hammer pull is the same as most other muskets, but trigger pull was still about 20 pounds. To reduce that, solder a brass shim in the tumbler's full cock notch. The shim should be thick enough that the top surface of the sear lines up with the top surface of the tumbler at full cock. This brought my trigger pull down to exactly 4 pounds. I need to file the shim a little more to be sure it's safely above 4 pounds. 4 1/2 makes the IG's life a lot easier, which makes mine easier too.

    Two other things to not do. Do not file on the tumbler! you can get the trigger pull down this way, but there is a very good chance your lock will start catching on half cock. Do not mess with the sear spring. The sear spring doesn't have a whole lot of effect on trigger pull, unless it is extremely stiff (like some Merrill carbines), and M-1816 sear springs are hard to find if you screw up.

  3. #3
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    I will second what Carolina Reb has said about not modifying any of the original lock parts. I have also used the Dixie M-1816 replacement main spring with success. I will offer yet another method of modifying the trigger pull. Personally, I don't like putting any heat on original tumblers. So instead of that, I use "JB Weld" to attach a brass shim to the tumbler full cock notch. I will then file down the brass shim as needed. Here is another thing I have discovered regarding brass shim stock. If you cut the head off of a .30-06 case, anneal the remainder, and then slit it with a hack saw, you can easily flatten it out. This will give you a selection of brass thickness from about 0.030" at the base to about 0.004" at the neck. Just use tin snips to cut off whatever thickness you need and epoxy it in place in the tumbler notch! I have found this method to last for many years at a time. Like everything else that gets epoxied, make sure there is no oil, etc. on the surfaces.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Location
    Collinsville, MS
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    Region:
    Deep South - Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas

    spring?

    I looked on DGW site and they show three different types of springs, one for the Charleville and 1816 musket (TP6106)and another for the Brown Bess, Charleville and 1816/1821 models (TP0705), and another for the 1816/1821 musket (TS0904). I am leaning towards ordering for the last one as mine was made in 1832. Can either of you confirm if possible? Or is my logic flawed?? I am glad for the advice so far as I had reservations about modifying the originals.... I hate to go off picture comparisons from a website....
    Last edited by JBratu; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:22 PM.
    "A ragged rebel flag flies high above it all
    Popping in the wind like an angry cannon ball

    The holes of history are cold and still,
    But they still smell the powder burnin' and they probably always will"

  5. #5
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    It has been quite a few years since I ordered mine, but I think I would go with the 1816/1821 version.

  6. #6
    Carolina Reb is offline
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    Ordered mine last year and it was the 1816/21.

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