Flintlock Sear Spring II Pendersoli Pennsylvania Rifle .45

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by grter, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. grter

    grter Member

    May 2, 2013
    This is quite a nice rifle with a very long barrel. I have never tried a set trigger rifle (double trigger) before. Aside from from the hammer retaining screw falling out of the box (how don't ask me) and needing to be screwed back in (careful I get the impression it's easy to over torque and ruin and or break the screw) initially everything seem alright until I tried dry firing (with flint installed and frizzen down) without setting the trigger.

    It was a horrendously hard nasty gritty pull that dug into my fingers. I didn't have to know much about set trigger guns to know this is not good. After a lot of google searching which produced for the most part nothing I came upon the closed TheHighRoad thread Flintlock Sear Spring. It was noted in the thread that sear springs in these are set up way too stiff. In a nut shell the author of the thread couldn't be more right.

    I did not mess with the set trigger adjustment because right out of the box it was just right as far as I was concerned but that heavy trigger pull when the trigger was not set was through the roof.

    Taking the lock out was pretty easy. With the lock removed I noticed the sear spring was very thick. The sear bar was difficult to press up, and had gouges where the trigger pressed on it when dry firing without setting the trigger. The lock otherwise looked very well made with great fit and finish but I was quickly getting the impression something wss going to have to be done about that sear spring.

    I removed the sear spring and using my fingers to apply pressure I cocked it to full cock without the sear spring installed. It cocked fine and the lock disengaged with normal pressure (that means without making a groove in my finger as it did when the sear spring was installed.) That tells me it's not bad sear to tumbler geometry.

    I then put it on half cock, once in half cock even though the sear spring was not installed I could not get the sear to disengage when pulling it up so that told me I do not need 10 tons of sear spring pressure to insure the sear does not slip out of the half cock notch.

    Aside from the problem, overall, despite differing opinions, my impression is this lock is one fine quality lock with quality parts precisely fitted except the sear spring was going to need some adjustment.

    I decided that thinning out the spring where is flexes is NOT the way to go.

    The spring was compressed too much at rest when installed. Using a diamond hone and small file I took off at SMALL AMOUNT at the point where the spring contacts the sear and ramped it WORKING SLOWLY. This is one of those type of jobs with very little wiggle room. Too much material left the trigger pull will remain stiff. Remove too much without accounting for the position in full and half cock you will wind up with slack (no sear spring tension) and possibly failure to securely engage the lock when cocked.

    A little goes a long way for this type of setup. No dremel tool used here. I am glad I stuck to simple slow filing or I (inexperienced with flint locks) would have most likely taken off too much material.

    After a moderate amount of trial and error by filing and reassembling a few times I was finally surprised when the trigger broke free with normal moderate pressure. NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS BEFORE.

    The sear spring can now sit at rest with only a slight amount of tension. Removing and installing the spring is also much easier and I imagine less stressed overall. It's also nice that the sear bar is no longer getting chewed up by the trigger when firing without setting.

    Having too stiff a trigger pull when unset makes for unpredictable unpleasant finger jarring firing affecting accuracy. This is very bad if one needs to get of an accurate shot quickly in an emergency. Having a bad finger jarring trigger pull when the trigger is not set will likely drive one use the rifle only with a hair trigger after being set even when not needed.

    I don't see how anyone can equate that with safety.

    So far so good. I really like this rifle.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    arcticap likes this.
  2. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    It's too bad that they didn't do a better job adjusting it at the factory.
    All's well that ends well.
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