TC Hawken Set-trigger Problem

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by trapnbow, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Gentlemen,
    I have just purchased a TC Hawken Flintlock rifle and notice that the Set-trigger (rear trigger) is hard to set. Heavy pull weight. I read the manual and there is no mention of an adjustment for this set-trigger. I really require technical advice on why this is happening and possible solutions.

    This morning while cleaning the rifle I removed the Lock and then tried unsuccessfully to remove the Trigger Guard to then remove the Trigger assembly. The front of the Trigger guard is very tightly inletted to the stock. I decided to seek advice before continuing with the Trigger Guard removal.

    I would appreciate the benefit of anyone's experience with this problem.

    Thank you,
     
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  2. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    The trigger guard should just come right off after you take out the two wood screws, normally they are inlet rather loosely from the factory. You might try wiggling it gently to get the front to come loose.

    Will the rear of the guard come out of it's inlet?
     

  3. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Grizzley1,
    Thank you for your prompt reply. Yes, I was able to pull the rear of the Trigger Guard up out of the stock inlet. I wiggled and wiggled, mostly side to side, put a little oil along the sides but no luck with the front coming out. I feared that it was somehow attached to the trigger assembly. I'll get it off if that is what is necessary!
    Thanks,
     
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  4. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    The guard is not attached to the trigger assembly but there may be a bit of varnish "glueing" it down or it just might be a bit tight, lift gently on it from the rear while wiggling it, don't try to wedge anything in there to force it out.
    After you get the trigger assembly out of the stock you'll see a small piano wire spring holding pressure on the front trigger and a larger flat spring tensioning the rear trigger. There will be a screw at the rear of the flat spring holding it in place, you might be able to adjust the tension slightly by loosening this screw a little bit.

    Here is a picture pirated from the web showing the back side of the trigger assembly s-l1600[2].jpg

    Don't loosen the rear spring too much or it won't trip the lock when you try to fire the gun.

    In between the two triggers is a small screw that sets the let off, set the rear trigger and turn this screw in until the front trigger pops up, then turn the screw back out about a quarter to a half a turn, to get the let off where you want it. if it's for target bench shooting you want it fairly light, if it's for hunting you want it a bit heavier for safety.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  5. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Grizzley1,
    You are once again Amazing!! :) Now that I know what to do or try, I'll get to the Trigger assembly. I'll write again after I see What's Up. (Over the years you have often come to my rescue!)

    The rifle is otherwise in great shape. Shoots the 3" X ring at 50 yards with iron sights and my aging eyes. I'm happy, happy except for this problem. I think that something must be bent or broken because I had to really pull to set that trigger.

    More later,
    Thank you sooo much,
    Danny
     
  6. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    You're more than welcome!

    Once you get the trigger assembly out you might try figuring out what and where the tight spot is that makes the guard hard to get out of it's mortise. A little careful removal of the offending wood will make things a lot easier for the next time you need to take it apart. Just remember to take a small bite out at a time, it's easier to remove than it is to put it back. :)
     
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  7. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Active Member

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    I have been following this post and I was wondering if there is a screw holding the front of the trigger guard on the underside of the gun. Some of the earlier T/C Hawken rifles had the tang screw go all the way thru the stock and tread into the trigger guard in the front from the underside of the guard. Just a thought.
     
  8. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Grizzley1,
    Well I did it! I finally got the front of the Trigger Guard out and then the Trigger Assembly. The secret was, that you had to first remove the Front receiver screw as it passes through the front of the trigger assembly and terminates in the front lug of the Trigger Guard. Easy after that. I removed the Trigger assembly and saw what your photograph showed except that my main Trigger Spring is much thinner. I loosened the screw holding the thick flat spring and behold, the Set-Trigger was much easier to set. I played with, How tight should the screw be, and picked what I thought was a good position. I then set the main trigger release, as you described in your reply with the photograph, with the small screw between the triggers. All is well, problem is solved for a while.

    I wonder if i would have success by honing the end of the flat spring where it contacts the set-trigger? That would also relieve some spring tension. If I can buy another flat spring I'll try it.

    Thank you again for your expertise,
    Danny
     
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  9. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Fyrstyk,
    Please see my last post. You are so correct. I called it the Receiver but actually it is the Front Tang screw that must be removed to get the Trigger Guard to drop out. After that problem the rest was easy. However, I don't like that that Flat spring screw is not socked down. It is tight, just not to the bottom. However, with limited use, it may never move.

    Thank you,
    Danny
     
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  10. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Thompsons generally had a pair of wood screws holding the tang and a pair of wood screws holding the trigger guard. I've never seen one with a through bolt from the tang to the guard, don't mean they never did it, just that I've never seen one built that way. Perhaps a previous owner stripped the wood by over tightening one of those screws and used a through bolt to make it work?

    One way to lighten the spring on the rear trigger and have it socked down tight and remove the need to grind or stone the spring is to place a shim under the spring by the hold down bolt. This doesn't have to be metal shim stock, card stock or a match book cover will work and it's pretty easy to trim it to size. If one piece isn't thick enough use two.

    Believe it or not, I've seen Thompson use hot glue under the breech tang as a filler to make up for a too deep of an inlet.
     
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  11. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    Grizzley1,
    Well, no doubt about it I have a TC Hawken with the front tang screw going all the way through to the Trigger Guard. As I wiggled, it seemed that the front lug of the Trigger Guard was pivoting around the center of the boss. That lead me to look for another attachment.

    I tried a #6 flat washer, about 0.040", under the spring thinking as you that it would relieve some spring tension. It might have a little but not enough to sock down the screw. Next time I might try 2 flat washers, that just might do it. It was an interesting problem to solve. Always fun and enjoyable working on a good firearm. She's a beauty, and a Flintlock Hawken to boot!

    Thank you both for your assistance,
    Be well, be safe,
    Danny
     
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  12. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Glad you got it figured out and working. If all else fails a little dab of locktight on the spring retaining screw will keep it from backing out. Just out of curiosity, is your rifle a low serial numbered early rifle?
     
  13. trapnbow

    trapnbow Active Member

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    I did think of Locktight but only had Permanent. Shusss, please don't tell anyone 483574
     
  14. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Not an early or a late production rifle, so that kind of rules out the possibility that I hadn't ever seen a through bolt on a Thompson due do it being very old or a very late model and hadn't seen one because I hadn't ever taken a very early or very late rifle apart that might have been made that way. The through bolt must be something a previous owner did or had a gunsmith do. At least you know the tang is well anchored. :)

    Anyway, glad you got it sorted out and working better.
     
  15. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Active Member

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    I'm glad you got it worked out too! The thru bolt may be from a "Kit gun". If the barrel serial number is preceded by a "K", then it is a kit gun. As for the screw holding down the flat spring at the back of the trigger assembly, it is not supposed to be snugged down tight. If so it causes the problem you related. Putting a shim under the spring is a good solution if you want the screw tight. I think T/C did away with the thru bolt early on in production cause they were getting a lot of cracked stocks in the tang area. Guys shooting heavy loads with conical bullets were causing the cracked stocks.