Flint lock's & Percussion caps

Please bear with me as I try to get the Muzzle Loader section running.

First off I want to make it clear I am new to Muzzle loaders, and I am learning as I go. I am starting this page/section in order to try to help other new Muzzle loaders solve some of the dificulties I am running into as a new shooter.

 This section will only deal with the "old school" Percussion cap or Flintlock rifles, and  Iron sights.

 I currently have a 54cal Lyman deer stalker Flintlock, and 3 50 cal Thompson center Hawken's .I has a 1/66 round ball barrel, 32" long, 1 is a 1/48 twist percussion, and 1 is a 1/48 50 cal flint.

 I also have a 50 cal "Churchill" percussion that is good for parts, and a 45cal Safari Arms that is also only good for parts. Both of these are made by Investarms Italy, and many parts will fit a lyman.lyman is also made by Investarms Italy.

 I have run into a few problems in my short muzzle loader life. I do hope that I can share them with you, and also share the resolutions I have used, as well as the sources for the information I used.

The first problem I encountered was a Flint lock that would not spark. I was able to buy this almost new gun, for a great bargain, because it just was unreliable when it came to making sparks.


 "No Spark" Flint Lock problem solved


 Frustration was getting the better of me, and I was not about to give up.

To start I am not a gunsmith, and I don't pretend to be.
The reason for start of this page was with a Lyman Deer Stalker flint lock I purchased, that had a lock that will not spark.
After many frustrating hours, and lots of help on the forum I decided to replace the lock, in hope of making sparks and smoke.
In my searches i discovered L&R made a replacement lock for the Lyman Deer Stalker. Great. A call, fax and email and the new lock is headed to Canada.
Most people think of a replacement as just that. Remove the old and install a new one.
Welll it is not quite they way things realy are.
The plate is the same shape as the lyman , however the working parts are not the same.
The directions from L&R show roughly where some wood needs to be removed for the new lock. Nothing to hard, and it is all inside , where it does not get seen. Armed with a chizel I carefully cut away the wood as needed to allow the lock to fit., and in half an hour the new lock is sitting in the stock, and the nightmare begins.

I install the retaining screw and cock the hammer, it clicks and will actualy spark. I am happy for now.
I notice the hammer is scraping the stock, so some more shavings hit the floor, to make it clear.
It seems the more I remove the more I need to. Also it seems as I snug the retaining screw the lock is tiping,and not drawing in tight and square.
I think it must be binding somewhere, and start the in and out cycle.
I can not find interference. I use some face paint to transfer any rub areas so I can fix them, but nothing.
Now i discover that if the lock is even barely snug it wants to refuse to cock.Is it warping or bending from such light torque on the screw?
It shouldn't be. I am using a small screwdriver with just my thumb and index finger.
So now there are many more install remove, test cuss sessions, and hours are passing by.
Those that know me know I don't quit, and asking for help on line is a big decision.
I call L&R and explain what is hapening. They are very good to talk to and can not offer any sugestions.
Not good I think.
L&R sugest that they send a new lock, and they will test it before it ships, to make sure it is fine.
WOW this is great! Peter is happy.
NEXT we have a postal strike, so thinngs get delayed, and finaly yesterday the box arrives. REAL HAPPY now!!> :applaud:

I quickly proceed to install the new lock, and guess what. IT WILL NOT COCK if the screww is any more than loose . :eek:

Back to the chizel, and paint paste, still no go and no interference I can find. Ok try black not white, and still no issues show up.
I am a bit upset by now. Remember this is called a replacement lock. :evil:
Frustrated is hardly adequate to describe my mood.
I write captchee a PM seeking direction, and start the in out push pull twist, rock all over to no avail.
I know I am not a gunsmith but this is a replacement that only has 1 install it.
Out with the trigger again, and I start looking inside from the bottom. The install screw is loose, the lock cocks, Half cock is loud and crisp. , same with full cock. So I stick a screwdriver up inside and trip the sear rod, and lock fires, and lotsof sparks shower .
Still no reply from Cap, so I keep at it. I will not be outsmarted by a screw.
I start to snug up the lock, and test the cocking. It cocks, but only sometimed, and the noise is soft when it does.
I take a straight edge and the plate is not bending. The lock stis firmly in the inlet, and it does not work. Now I see a gap between the lock and the barrel.I can slide a Machinist ruler into it. and this is not good. I envision priming powder getting in the crack and eventualy blowing up the stock, or the pan flash setting the stock on fire insied.
Upset, you bet I am. But what is going on exactly?
Now with the gap there it would onlymake sense the lock is built for a 1" barrel and I have a 15/16. That would explain the gap but why is it not cocking?
If I deepen the inlet edge that suports the lock it should fix it, but then the lock will be far below the stock's outside surface and look ugly.I don't want to re finish a nice looking stock either.

Hours are passing by, and I keep installing, comparing to the Lyman Lock that functions perfect if you don't want sparks.
The frizzen does not look like it will be able to switch to the Lyman lock, so that is out .
The screw holes in the trigger are now getting loose, and still no solution.
L&R have a great reputation but I am starting to wonder about it.
Back to the directions, in out push pull wobble add face paint look for paint on wood. Clean lock, put face paint on wood, install lock it will not cock, remove lock look for paint on it, none there .
Now this should have been a half hour change out. With a finger tight screw I have great sparks, but a gun I can not use.

I cock the lock, and then tighten the screw, just snug, not stupid tight.
I check for warping, all is good so I try to trip the sear rod to fire the cock. It will not fire. :eek:
This is new. Then I see it :dance: :dance: :dance:
The sear rod is hung up on the wood. It fits freely thru the hole made for it but it is to long.When I put the lock in place the rod just contacts the wood, but as I tighten the screw holding in the lock it binds the rod.
Now you can not see this with the trigger installed. Out with the lock again, and I compare the rod's length to the Lyman. Guess what The L&R rod is .040 longer.
Now I think I have the solution. I cut the rod to the same length as the Lyman and install everything again. and it works. :dance: :dance:
I am pleased with the L&R lock, and I am pleased with the service I received , to a point.
I spent countless hours on a "REPLACEMENT LOCK" that would not fit. The problem should have been known to L&R but obviously they do not know about this.
I have written L&R and explained what was causing all the grief. I also asked that they either cut the rod at their shop when it is sold for this aplication, or that they update the instructions telling us to look for this.
It is a simple problen and a simple fix, but it is also hidden and you can not seee it unless you remove the trigger and look for it.

I hope that if any of you have trouble with a situation like I have just gone thru this will help.
Look where you don't think the problem is. Compare all the parts, not just the obvious. And compare the rod length first .

I came very close to ruining a stock by chasing the wrong thing..
I will buy from L&R again.They treated me very good, and they make a very good lock but it comes with poor directions.

Here is the culprit. As you can see there is a signifigant diference in the length. The rod from the right hand lock is toutching the plate on the left hand lock from Lyman. The short rod is the Lyman lock.


There is another thing I messed up on. I DID NOT CONTACT LYMAN before deciding I needed a new lock.
Well after the fact I did write Lyman, and explained that I was not the original owner, and I realized I had no legitimate claim for warranty. I went on to describe the problems I found with the Lyman lock , and how I determined the frizzen was at fault. I also politely told them I was disapointed in the quality of the Frizzen, and that I do own many other Lyman products, and the reason I chose this Flint lock was I thought that the Lyman reputation was a good one, and the original owner that I purchased the gun from just could not get sparks because he was doing something wrong, in some manner.
Well the post man delivered a new Frizzen today compliments of Lyman. I installed it on the lyman lock and it is making sparks, and lots of them.
Thank you Lyman Customer Service, for going out of the warranty obligation and extending warranty to a second owner , to stand behind your products.
I can say that contacting Lyman should have been the first thing I did when I could not get any sparks. It would have saved a lot of grief.
Thanks Lyman.


Pete Ward

"Welcome to my outdoor world