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Author Topic: Buyers BEWARE!!  (Read 312 times)

Online rollingb

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Buyers BEWARE!!
« on: January 21, 2023, 12:04:59 PM »
An old friend in Wyoming, called and asked if I could fix the percussion smoothbore he got from Jackie Brown 2 or 3 years ago. The smoothbore has been sitting in his closet "in the white" all this time. He said there was a big gap between the drum and the cut-out in the percussion lock.
I said sure, send it to me and I'll see what I can do.

Well I received the smoothie, tore it down, and started to unscrew the drum from the barrel, and this is what I found.  :scared:

Now Jackie must have been drunk, (or, he didn't care) when he drilled and tapped the breech for the drum.



I called the owner and told him the "proper fix" would be,.... to start over with a new barrel, he didn't like the sound of that.
So I told him another option would be,.... I could "plug the hole", take off the soldered lugs and front sight, rotate the barrel and re-solder them so the "plug" would be hidden in the barrel channel. He wasn't particularly fond of that idea either.

So we decided on a third option,.... which will be to solder some brass shim stock in the lock's cut-out, and I'll file it to conform to the angle of the screwed-up drum. The brass shim stock will support the drum properly, and fill the gap between the drum and lock.
He liked that idea, and asked if I'd go ahead and completely finish the smoothie for him,  :).... so now I've got a "winter project".  :laffing :bl th up

Since I'm out of brass shim stock, I've got it on order and the wait goes on.

I'm posting this as an example of what you might get when dealing with Jackie Brown,.... and he should know better, 'cause he's been building guns since the 1980's. :(

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Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2023, 12:39:43 PM »
I thing your option #2 was the best solution for a fix.  If it were my gun I would send it back and ask for a new barrel or my money back.

Online Ohio Joe

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2023, 02:06:07 PM »
Wow!!!  :o
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Online Winter Hawk

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2023, 03:41:09 PM »
Another idea: de-breech the barrel, cut it ahead of the drum hole, reinstall the breech plug and drill another hole for the drum.  This will also mean cutting new dovetails for the under lugs but gives you a good, solid fix.  It would be way cheaper than a new barrel....

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Online Bigsmoke

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2023, 03:41:59 PM »
Some times these small manufacturers can be a surly bunch.

I recollect back about 1981, I got a beautiful SMR from my wife (she's a keeper, for sure).  A friend of mine was so impressed with the rifle that he bought a Doc Haddaway flintlock from me and sent it back to the maker and ordered a rifle the same as mine, only using the lock he sent.  When he got the new rifle, it included a plastic bag with the mainspring in it.  The bad news was the spring was in two parts, and overall, the gun looked like a 6th grade shop project from a special needs school.  The inletting was ragged, the browning was splotchy and of course, the lock was not functional.  It seemed like everything that could have been done wrong - was.

When my friend sent a letter to the maker, he got a reply.  It went kind of like this:  F%#* you, you got what you got.  I will not do business with you again and I don't want to hear from you, ever!!!!!  Signed, Jack Garner.

I don't know what ever happened to that rifle.  Seems like it would have taken a lot of filler to make the fit and finish look even halfway right.  Sadly, that was the last Haddaway lock I ever got.  I don't know if he ever got that fixed or not.

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Online rollingb

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2023, 07:01:53 PM »
If it were my gun I would send it back and ask for a new barrel or my money back.
I doubt if Mitch would have even gotten a reply back from Jackie, after waiting 2-3 years before making a complaint. :(
Had Mitch tore this gun down for "finishing" when he first got it, he may have had some leverage on Jackie. (but who knows)

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Online Ohio Joe

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2023, 08:43:30 PM »
Is there a way to install a new drum / than heat the hammer and bend it so the cup will strike the Nipple squarely? (If I'm seeing / understanding this right?)
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Online LongWalker

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2023, 10:09:54 PM »
The proposed repair is unsafe.  The drum should be square to the barrel, so when it is screwed in the drum face makes contact with the side of the barrel all the way around.  Going in at an angle, when the hammer hits it will force it against the point where it makes contact with the barrel.  This will act as a fulcrum, and eventually the drum will fracture.  With any luck someone will notice a crack before it gets blown off. 

Years ago we had a drum blown off at a shoot.  It fractured at the corner of the threads, then blew off when the gun was fired.  The shooter was seated at a bench, I was seated on the ground to his right shooting cross-sticks.  The drum went over my head and through a 2x6 supporting the roof over the firing line.  We never did find it.  The threaded portion of the drum remained in the barrel. 

If you've got a drill press, you should be able to plug the threaded hole, and drill & tap for a drum with larger threads.  (The plug will just make it easier to drill the hole on center, you'll drill it all out.)   I hate drums, but I'll spring for a new one if you'll do the work to fix it. 

Online rollingb

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2023, 10:57:24 PM »
The proposed repair is unsafe.  The drum should be square to the barrel, so when it is screwed in the drum face makes contact with the side of the barrel all the way around.  Going in at an angle, when the hammer hits it will force it against the point where it makes contact with the barrel.  This will act as a fulcrum, and eventually the drum will fracture.  With any luck someone will notice a crack before it gets blown off.  With a brass shim soldered to the cut-out on the lock and filed to fit the drum for support, what do you think the chance is for the fracture you mentioned?

Years ago we had a drum blown off at a shoot.  It fractured at the corner of the threads, then blew off when the gun was fired.  The shooter was seated at a bench, I was seated on the ground to his right shooting cross-sticks.  The drum went over my head and through a 2x6 supporting the roof over the firing line.  We never did find it.  The threaded portion of the drum remained in the barrel. 

If you've got a drill press, you should be able to plug the threaded hole, and drill & tap for a drum with larger threads.  (The plug will just make it easier to drill the hole on center, you'll drill it all out.)   I hate drums, but I'll spring for a new one if you'll do the work to fix it.
Do you have a link to where I can find a 1/2" drum with an over-sized threaded portion?
TIA
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Online BEAVERMAN

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2023, 01:15:21 AM »
Rondo, give the gunworks in Oregon a call, they have a large inventory of uncommon stuff, you may get lucky there!
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Online rollingb

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2023, 02:24:31 AM »
Will do, thanks Jim.  :hairy  :yessir:
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Online LongWalker

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2023, 11:02:45 AM »
You'll need to figure out what thread size you have now.  I've got thread gauges and calipers and stuff, but what I usually do for things like that is take the drum to NAPA or O'Reilly's and use the display plate to figure out thread size.  While you are there, pick up a coupe of bolts threaded that size to use to plug the old hole.  ("Bolts" because if you're like me, if you buy one you'll mis-place it before you use it.)

Once you know thread size, go up at least one size in threads--with that angle, 2 sizes would be preferable.  Log Cabin Shop has one here that you might look at: https://www.logcabinshop.com/catalog.php?path=&product_id=25308

Log Cabin, Track, or NAPA/O'Reillys will have or can get the tap and pilot drill.  Don't forget tapping fluid.

Remove the old drum.  Remove the breechplug.  Plug the hole, dress the plug flush with the outside of the barrel.  Assemble the gun and use the lock to locate your center for the new hole, and centerpunch it.  Remove the barrel, clamp the barrel to your drill press table and make sure everything is square, drill your hole.  Thread it, screw in your drum and make it flush inside (cut it off close, then file any protrusion into the bore).  Then remove the drum, replace the breechplug, and thread in the drum--you may have interference with the breechplug, so might have to do some work there to fit it.


Online rollingb

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2023, 01:08:34 PM »
You'll need to figure out what thread size you have now.  I've got thread gauges and calipers and stuff, but what I usually do for things like that is take the drum to NAPA or O'Reilly's and use the display plate to figure out thread size.  While you are there, pick up a coupe of bolts threaded that size to use to plug the old hole.  ("Bolts" because if you're like me, if you buy one you'll mis-place it before you use it.)

Once you know thread size, go up at least one size in threads--with that angle, 2 sizes would be preferable.  Log Cabin Shop has one here that you might look at: https://www.logcabinshop.com/catalog.php?path=&product_id=25308

Log Cabin, Track, or NAPA/O'Reillys will have or can get the tap and pilot drill.  Don't forget tapping fluid.

Remove the old drum.  Remove the breechplug.  Plug the hole, dress the plug flush with the outside of the barrel.  Assemble the gun and use the lock to locate your center for the new hole, and centerpunch it.  Remove the barrel, clamp the barrel to your drill press table and make sure everything is square, drill your hole.  Thread it, screw in your drum and make it flush inside (cut it off close, then file any protrusion into the bore).  Then remove the drum, replace the breechplug, and thread in the drum--you may have interference with the breechplug, so might have to do some work there to fit it.
I'm set up to do all that.  :hairy  :)
Thanks for the link to The Log Cabin Shop.  :shake  :bow
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Offline hawkthrower

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2023, 01:20:17 AM »
I've not had the need for a while  - but if you can't find something that works let me know  - I have the use of a friends lathe, so if you send me the measurements and I  can chuck up some bar stock and make the part....
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Online rollingb

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Re: Buyers BEWARE!!
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2023, 09:29:20 AM »
Thanks for your offer Hawkthrower.  :shake

The drum that Jackie used is a 5/16"-24 and I have a 7/16"-20 coming from the Log Cabin Shop, so I should be good.  :applaud

The only thing I don't like about the drum coming from the LCS is their drum comes pre-drilled for a nipple, but I can work with that.  :)

Thanks again!  :bl th up  :shake
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