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Author Topic: Mule Ear locks  (Read 1229 times)

Offline Jim in Wisconsin

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Mule Ear locks
« on: March 08, 2023, 09:11:22 PM »
Ever since I saw a picture of a rifle with a mule ear lock in Ned Robert's book I thought they were really nice looking and a great idea. I built a 36 cal. rifle with a L&R lock and cherry stock. Turned out ok, certainly not up to professional standards, but never fails to go boom and looks pretty nice. Are there any other manufacturers of these locks? They seem to be unloved or rare or something. Anyone else have a rifle with one?

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2023, 10:35:00 PM »
I've had a couple mule ear rifles over the years, they shot just fine, sold them both as folks at rondys seen them, wanted them and offered more $ than they were worth in my opinion, so I said bye bye, I've also had a couple under hammer rifles and 1 pistol, those are quite interesting to play with
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2023, 11:40:07 PM »
I keep looking at the 13/16" 45 cal barrel in my shop and thinking if it doesn't wind up a flinter, maybe a mule ear lock would work.  I can't get over my heebie-jeebies about using a drum-and-nipple set up in a barrel that thin.

Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2023, 08:33:24 AM »
I have a Lyman Great Plains flint lock rifle that I converted with a mule ear lock by Pioneer Arms (now out of business).  I love the fast ignition of a mule ear.  Been thinking of converting one of my other flint locks to a mule ear using the L&R lock, just not ready to do it yet due to the cap shortage.

Offline Winter Hawk

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2023, 02:34:05 PM »
I contacted The Gunworks and the gentleman I spoke with said that at present, L&R is the only one making mule ear locks.  He mentioned Dixie as having had some in times past, but the quality was poor.

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Offline Jim in Wisconsin

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2023, 05:48:01 PM »
The L&R lock is just fine, but it would be nice to have more variety to choose from. like a small version for a pistol.

Offline Ohio Joe

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2023, 08:07:14 PM »
I came across this;

https://pioneerarms.com/mule_ear_lock.html

Now I don't know if it's an L&R Lock or not?
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Offline Jim in Wisconsin

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2023, 09:02:25 PM »
I'm pretty sure he doesn't make them anymore. Too bad, I wish he did.

Offline Ohio Joe

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2023, 11:18:41 PM »
I wondered about that (if they were being made) as the pricing caught my eye and I thought (as compared to "Lock" pricing today) he was on the low side.

I do like the concept of the Mule Ear Lock as it would send that hot jet from the cap right into the main charge (and or) right through that anti-chamber tunnel into the base of the main charge with one less turn than a drum or snail requires,,, unless it's a slant breech setup.

Also, I think clean-up after shooting would be very easy with a little plastic or rubber tubing over the Nipple - as there would be one less turn to make during the "flushing" process while cleaning the bore & breech of the barrel...

Simply put; for a side lock / cap lock / that Mule Ear ain't a bad idea at all!!!  :bl th up

I wonder how far the Mule Ear Lock dates back to? Anyone know?
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Offline Fyrstyk

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2023, 09:21:22 AM »
I seem to remember that the Mule Ear lock was a conversion from flint to percussion in the late 1830's-1840's.  they weren't that popular.  I currently have a Jack Garner .50 caliber with a mule ear lock that is very fast, and a Lyman Great Plains .50 caliber flint lock with a Pioneer Arms Mule Ear percussion lock for sale on this forum.

Offline Ohio Joe

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2023, 03:06:37 PM »
I wonder (like with most things) if the Mule Ear Lock was not popular because it went away from the traditional way of cocking a lock (even as far back as the Match Lock) and so it never found a lot of support breaking from that "north to south" cocking routine / then to go to an "east to west" cocking routine, it just wasn't the way it should be done???

One never knows???  :shake
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Offline Jim in Wisconsin

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2023, 03:57:46 PM »
At least the mule ear type doesn't have a tendency to burn your wrist like an underhammer does. It also doesn't try to loosen the drum and nipple assembly like a side hammer does. It is a very sensible design, I think.

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2023, 07:07:06 PM »
A mule Ear lock pistol? sounds VERY interesting.
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Offline Jim in Wisconsin

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2023, 07:38:04 PM »
I built one with the cut off remainder of the 36 cal barrel from building the rifle. I used another LR lock which is sort of too big for a pistol. The twist of the barrel (1-48 I think) is probably too slow for 9 inches of barrel also. Carved out the stock from a blank, a lot of work, but I'm retired and have time. I wish I knew how to post pictures, but I'm computer dumb.

Offline Hanshi

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Re: Mule Ear locks
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2023, 04:03:17 PM »
I've owned an underhammer .45 for around 58 or 60 years.  While it is out to pasture now that rifle earned a good retirement.  It got fired A LOT and killed deer, bobcats and squirrels.  I became a fan of the underhammer, even thought it once started a fire in my lap, but I can overlook one burned, falling apart towel.  That gain twist barrel is supernaturally accurate...well, at least as accurate as anything I've ever owned.

Strange that I never warmed up to the mule lock since they both possess that "quick fire" ability.

 
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