Flintlock Pocket Pistol

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by JONTY F, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    I have recently been given a flintlock boxlock slab-sided pocket pistol, by Johnson of London, dating to about 1805, which is in nice condition but not working. I am 73 years old, and not a gun collector, but have taken on a restoration project to keep my mind active and my fingers nimble.

    When the mechanism is stripped down it is pretty obvious that the hammer spring is missing but, despite hours of research, I cannot find a schematic for the workings of this pistol....so I do not know what the spring looks like, or where it locates within.

    I would appreciate any help offered on where to find a schematic, and am prepared to pay for both it and postage costs.

    My thanks in advance.

    JONTY F

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  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Jonty G'day, those BL locks had a spring sorta like the pic below

    the hole maybe have been a round section or just a square end with a hole in it

    not hard to make by any means if you get the idea on how it was fitted

    if you reverse your pic the spring sit's as drawn

    cheers and good luck ( sorry for the scratch pic but you'll get the idea)


    next pic is the insides of how that period locks go together to show you what may go where (or whats missing)

    jack

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  3. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    Hello to Jack 404,

    Thanks for the contribution, and the drawing.....all the way from Oz to England via the USA. I'm beginning to get the idea of how the spring would fit, and will mock one up in brass strip just to see if I can get the size and shape right. In the meantime, if I could get a detailed schematic of a full boxlock pistol mechanism I feel that, as someone new in the arena, I might have more chance of eventual success.

    Thanks again.

    Jonty F.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    A neat little screw barrel pistol. I doubt you can find a spring, but a gunsmith should be able to make one, especially if you can work up a model from brass.

    Around 20 years ago, I saw a nice pair of those in an antique shop in Oxford, with the cocks broken off. That was pretty common before the double neck cocks came into use around 1800, but I asked the owner about it. It seems the Chief Constable had sent his troops to every antique and gun store in the county with orders to disable all unregistered pistols, old or new, that they could find. No law required that for antiques, but apparently in England the CC makes his own laws. The owner told me not to mention that he told me about it, as the police had threatened his wife and child if he complained or told anyone.

    That was my first experience with British poliice methods, and I understand things have gotten a lot worse.

    Jim
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Jonty , if you can get it to Liverpool , there is a Royal Marine armourer who is very good with restoring flinters, The Cap and Lock Gun store in Liverpool

    he has a phone listing but you'll have to look there ( BT blocks directory look ups from outside the UK )

    i've not dealt with him for 4-5 years but he knew his stuff and was rather good price wise too ( compared )

    i currently use http://www.peterdyson.co.uk/ as i have a deal with them ( i made repro arms here and they are a agent) but mates in the UK say they are not cheap to deal with , i dunno, so be careful money wise, they can and will make the spring to suit, but what they'd charge i dont know .. if George from cap and lock do it it may be way cheaper , but he was a small one man show back when..

    good luck and cheers
  6. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    Hi, again, Jack.

    Thanks for both those leads. I'm not far from Liverpool, so that's the favourite. I'll save the Peter Dyson idea until all else fails.

    Hope you're having a great day.

    Jonty.
  7. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    Hi Jim K,

    Thanks for the interest, and the contribution. Much appreciated!

    I'm no great lover of the British Boys In Blue as they're sometimes over-zealous with drivers, but I must admit that I've never come across the sort of attitude or trouble from them as you report. I think your antique gun dealer was spinning you a yarn, for some reason best known to himself, as the Chief Constable of any County does not have independent powers or local laws at his disposal. Nor does he have the power to undertake the shop-to-shop action you describe. Gun law is very strict over here, much stricter than in the US, but it is common knowledge that antique firearms have always been exempt from confiscation and mechanical disarmament and I think the Oxford business you talk about would have caused a public outcry across the nation, if it had happened. As for families being threatened.... it makes a colourful tale, but is absolute garbage in my 73 years of experience. No wonder the dealer did not want you to tell anyone. He would have been a laughing-stock!

    To put your mind at rest, I can honestly say that if you, or any of your friends or countrymen, ever come over here to visit, you and they will find nothing but courtesy and help from British Policemen. And, incidentally, I have no relatives or friends in the Police, or in jobs related to the Police Force.

    It saddens me when visitors to the UK are told untruths, or given the wrong impression of life over here. I've had nothing but friendship, good manners, and good old fashioned courtesy each time I've visited the US, and I do not hesitate to tell anyone I meet what a great country you live in. I would always hope that visitors to the UK would feel the same about us and our country.

    Kind Regards,

    Jonty
  8. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    Hi Jonty
    I have a friend in the UK (I used to live there) who does excellent restoration work on old guns. He is in Hampshire on the south coast.

    It should be a simple job, if you know how to make and temper springs - If you want advice on having a go let me know and I will tell you a few tricks.

    Cheers

    Enfield - in NZ
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  9. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

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  10. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    Hi Enfield and Gabob,

    My thanks to both of you for taking the interest to respond so helpfully.

    Enfield, I would be most obliged if you could/would give me some form of contact info' for your friend in Hampshire. I think I may well have to seek professional help as the fitting of spare parts is within my ability, but I do not think I could make a spring, and fit it, without a detailed schematic of the workings of this piece. I could experiment for ever, and still not succeed.

    Gabob, I have noted the dixiegunworks site, and will investigate further tomorrow.

    One thing's for sure....... It's really easy to get hooked on firearms, even if they are non-working antiques.

    Cheers.

    Jonty.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I have deleted the posting I put up here and apologize for hi-jacking the thread. What I posted was true, but it didn't belong here.

    Jim
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  12. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    No luck I am afraid, I have just phoned him and he has had to stop doing private work however he said go to Dysons, the chap there expert at making springs and should charge no more than about 80 pounds

    Best of luck
  13. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    80 quid! heck thats like $200 AUD or $170 USD

    crikey.. different place and costs i suppose

    but yes i cannot fault the quality of the work and why i have been dealing with them

    i'd charge maybe $60-80 AUD here 20 quid or so or about $50 US

    it could be fiddly getting the tension right , too much and you could break stuff ( flints too) but thats just a reheat to the right setting and the right quench and cool

    good luck with it all Jonty

    and yes i find myself looking to make my own period style pieces

    its addictive .. in many ways

    i've met folks who like to restore like you're doing now , others like to just shoot them or repro's

    or folks like me who likes to make them from scratch

    guns is a great hobby and and great way to meet like minded folks

    cheers
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  14. JONTY F

    JONTY F New Member

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    My thanks to Jim K and Jack 404 for their most recent replies.

    Appreciated!

    Jonty
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I agree that £80 might seem a bit high, but remember the gunsmith not only has to actually make the spring, but unless he has one to copy he has to first figure out what to make. And that is the hard part.

    Jim
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