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Thread: Need advise on bending lock hammer

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy vrh's Avatar
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    Need advise on bending lock hammer

    Got to the point of installing lock and barrel. I found that the hammer is good from left ton right over the nipple. However the hammer doesn't clear the nipple. ( Other words it needs to be bent further towards muzzle to clear the nipple)
    Anyone have pointers that I can try and bend it forward w/o breaking ?
    Da Okie/ Now known as Vearl

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    I don't understand what you mean by "clear the nipple".

    Do you mean that the hammer nose in the fired position falls in front or to the rear of the nipple ?

    If so, it sounds like the hammer/hammer throw isn't correct for that lock/rifle, as I believe that (while they can be bent side-to-side) they cannot be made longer or shorter w/o some complicated measurements & cutting/welding.

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy vrh's Avatar
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    Sorry if I wasn't clear/ In the fired position the hammer falls short of the nipple.
    Da Okie/ Now known as Vearl

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like complicated (as per Pietro)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Moving the hammer nose is doable but you will need to heat the "S" with a oxyacetylene torch. Its tricky, I did one a few years ago and it's not for the faint of heart.
    Would a shorter nipple work?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrh View Post
    Sorry if I wasn't clear/ In the fired position the hammer falls short of the nipple.
    three things to look at before you apply the oxy torch (my instinct and a lot of time with CVA's is yelling at me something simple is wrong here)
    1) first do you have a rifle length nipple fitted ?
    2) alignment of the nipple drum to the hammer strike - nipple should be pointing directly at the hammer face when its down - can turn the nipple drum on a CVA slightly using a diesel injector spanner with the nipple screwed in place
    3) back side of the hammer is cut away so there is a ledge that engages top of the lock plate to stop forward travel (strike length) of the hammer - when the hammer is fully down is it engaged there ? maybe can take a sliver off to get engagement of the nipple ? ..........but still saying something simple is wrong!


    lock not fouled up inside somehow and stopping in the half cock notch ? CVA's are prone to that (bending the sear nose and jamming) .... new kit but it would only take some kid cocking and firing the lock a few times with the fly not engaging (no oil!) to kill it .....................if that the problem I posted a fix for CVA locks with this problem --can direct ya there.
    Last edited by indian joe; 06-14-2018 at 10:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Are you saying the hammer when resting is not all the way down on the nipple or are you saying it is hitting too high or low and is not going over the nipple completely? If it's the first one it may still strike good enough through inertia. Maybe a different size(length) nipple would work before you go torqueing things. Also is the gun at the point you can put it together to make sure that is where the final production would be located?
    Aim small, miss small!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have had to "adjust" a couple of hammers once on a TC kit and once on a parts kit for a long rifle I bought years ago. My mentor said to remove the hammer and make a tool that will grasp the striker end. Then mount the hammer in a vise and move the striker end a miniscule amount, mount it, see how it strikes and repeat if necessary. I used a holder I made that used a ground down end of a 1/4 inch short socket extension to fit into the vise to keep the hammer from moving and getting all scratched up. I was told the hammers are stamped steel and usually are not very brittle if care is taken.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    If I read this correctly, the striker part of the hammer needs to come forward. For me, I would try opening the "U" by pushing a metal rod slightly wider than the gap into the "U" and tapping down on it. Just a tiny bit at a time until it widened enough. I've bent one or two hammers over the years and they didn't break.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    I had the same problem on some IMA Brunswick muskets. I had to stretch the hammers about 1/8". It looked like somebody tried to do that on one of the hammers because it had a crack in it. I finally decided to make my own hammer. A piece of 1/4" plate for the arm and 1/2" round for the hammer head. I mounted the arm and then shimmed and adjusted the head then clamped it and welded it. It worked great! Not much to look at but entirely functional and befitting of a Indian/Nepalese musket.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I built two CVA side locks and a Lyman Great Plains. I remember reading to take a pencil tip torch (propane or mapp) and heat the bend of the hammer while using a box end wrench as a lever. Bend a little at a time till you get proper alignment. (Imagine using the wrench as a come along for an allen wrench) The hammer was left in the lock for this. None of the three I built needed it. The side to side alignment was taken care of by inletting the lock to the proper depth.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Grip the Hammer between copper vice jaws at the square hole end.It must be tight in the vice.Find or make a tube that fits over the Hammer nose,heat the hammer to red and pull it to shape.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Col4570 View Post
    Grip the Hammer between copper vice jaws at the square hole end.It must be tight in the vice.Find or make a tube that fits over the Hammer nose,heat the hammer to red and pull it to shape.
    I think you would need an oxy-acetylene torch, as vice jaws and copper sheet would absorb a bit much heat for non-oxygen propane etc. You might do better by holding a square piece of key steel which passes through the tumbler square hole. Also a tube passing over the nose of the hammer might alter the angle it makes with the top of the nipple, permitting blowby of gases. You should be prepared to do a little Dremel work on the hammer face to make it contact the full circumference of the nipple top.

    I think you could do it cold. With most hammers there is likely to be no ill effects, but there is a slim chance that some may be hard or (especially in old ones) case-hardened. I'd try scratching an unseen area with a needle point, and if it won't scratch, anneal it by gentle heat until the colours appear and disappear again.

    If the hammer is sufficiently S-shaped I'd apply tension under its chin rather than angular force to the end of its nose. A round metal rod as a lever, or a conical one such as a taper pin or the butt end of a No1 Morse taper drill used as a wedge, might do it. But you can get Kevlar cord up to about 2000lb. breaking strain and just over ⅛in. diameter. I'd strain it with loops around two immovable objects, and then tighten it further by twisting with a stick, like a tourniquet. That would surely bend any similar sized hook you wanted to stay unbent.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Idz View Post
    I had the same problem on some IMA Brunswick muskets. I had to stretch the hammers about 1/8". It looked like somebody tried to do that on one of the hammers because it had a crack in it. I finally decided to make my own hammer. A piece of 1/4" plate for the arm and 1/2" round for the hammer head. I mounted the arm and then shimmed and adjusted the head then clamped it and welded it. It worked great! Not much to look at but entirely functional and befitting of a Indian/Nepalese musket.
    That can be done. I've made a double action revolver hammer without one to copy. and it works. But you would be better off buying a replacement hammer from one of these:

    www.trackofthewolf.com

    https://www.blackleyandson.com/

    The last has the peculiarity that as you click on each category of hammer casting, the next category comes into view.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    check this out before you take to it with the torch!

    three things to look at before you apply the oxy torch (my instinct and a lot of time with CVA's is yelling at me something simple is wrong here)
    1) first do you have a rifle length nipple fitted ?
    2) alignment of the nipple drum to the hammer strike - nipple should be pointing directly at the hammer face when its down - can turn the nipple drum on a CVA slightly using a diesel injector spanner with the nipple screwed in place
    3) back side of the hammer is cut away so there is a ledge that engages top of the lock plate to stop forward travel (strike length) of the hammer - when the hammer is fully down is it engaged there ? maybe can take a sliver off to get engagement of the nipple ? ..........but still saying something simple is wrong!

    Ps check the lock is not fouled up inside somehow and stopping in the half cock notch ? CVA's are prone to that (bending the sear nose and jamming) ....its a new kit but it would only take some kid cocking and firing the lock a few times with the fly not engaging (no oil!) to kill it .....................if thats the problem I posted a fix for CVA locks with this problem --can direct ya there.

  16. #16
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    i had that misalignment of hammer and nipple with a .32 crockett kit 3 years ago. propane torched the hammer red hot and bent it with a vise grips 'til it hit the nipple square. worked just fine.

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Does your rifle have a patent breech or a drum and nipple? If a drum and nipple, it may just need to be adjusted for alignment with the hammer cup.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    it also depends if that misalignment is vertical or horizontal. if vertical, moving the drum/bolster up or down to square up with the hammer's cup would be the easiest to fix, but typically, it ain't that easy and then out comes the torch .........
    NRA PATRIOT LIFE ~ NRA RSO ~ Black Powder Gang ~ Traditional Muzzleloading Association ~ Buffalo Rifles ~ Trad Gang
    The .45-70 is the only government I trust.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i had that misalignment of hammer and nipple with a .32 crockett kit 3 years ago. propane torched the hammer red hot and bent it with a vise grips 'til it hit the nipple square. worked just fine.

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    That's the right way to do it.

    Also notice the notch on the front of the cock. If you guns don't have that, get out a file or Dremel and do it. It directs fragments away from the eyes, and helps split the fired cap for easier removal.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  20. #20
    I use to build custom muzzle loaders for several years and used reproduction parts from venders that made the appropriate castings for the particular rifle. And have been faced with this problem. It is easily solved by Col4570's advice. Heat is your friend here by concentrating it on the arch of the hammer. Depending on what tools you have available, you can use a mapp gas torch that is easily found in any hdw store. These actually contain acetylene gas. A propane torch won't do it.

    I would be very reluctant to try cold bending.
    Last edited by R. Dupraz; 06-16-2018 at 04:00 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check