Hammer off center on caplock CVA ... suggestions?

Discussion in 'Sidelock/Traditional Muzzleloading' started by 10ring1, Apr 23, 2019.

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  1. Apr 23, 2019 #1

    10ring1

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    Hi everyone, I picked up a CVA for a good price that appears to be in good condition. I have a bit of work to do on it yet but one thing I am not certain of is the hammer is not striking the nipple square. Not sure if it's bent or not but not really certain what to do to get it square. I am not a gunsmith and I have some basic to moderate tool. I do alot of my own smokeless gun work so not afraid to get to it. Here are some pics... Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks .

     
  2. Apr 23, 2019 #2

    bubba.50

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    I’m pretty sure CVA drums don’t come with wrench flats so I’m guessin’ the drum has been replaced. Hope they didn’t mess up that funky CVA breechplug set-up.

    Anyhow, to your problem. Looks like the top of the hammer needs to come out to the right just a smidge. No more than that you could possibly get by with a thin shim like a piece of flat toothpick in the top edge of the lock inlet to angle the hammer out a bit. Don’t look to me like it’s enough to need to fool with heatin’ & bendin’.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2019 #3

    CatamountRob

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    Maybe shim the top of lock until it’s aligned, then make sure the triggers work properly? Once I knew it worked, I’d probably use a bit of bedding compound to make it permanent.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2019 #4

    10ring1

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    Some good suggestions . Thanks . Was considering heating it a bit and bending it a pinch but like the ideas of the shim.. that would be the safest route I think first. May try that first . Thanks again
     
  5. Apr 24, 2019 #5

    shguns

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    Just me, but I would heat it up and bend it out a bit hoping to come close to having the middle of the hammer cup fall on the nipple square. Looks like maybe one sixteenth of an inch.
     
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  6. Apr 25, 2019 #6

    Idaholewis

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    If it were me i would remove the hammer, Heat and Bend it, Play around with it until you get it hitting Square. This is an easy fix :lewis: I’ve done several TC’s
     
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  7. Apr 25, 2019 #7

    10ring1

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    Was thinking about trying this too. I just don't want to break it. Or overheat it. It wouldn't take much as it's only off about a 1/16". Do you use a torch? Where do u bend it? At the arch, base, etc?
     
  8. Apr 25, 2019 #8

    alternate

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    Heating and bending that hammer will ruin the finish and you'll never get it to look right. The trigger assembly is inletted into the stock separately from the lock so shimming the lock will screw up the trigger. My first choice would be to purchase an OEM drum. It's probably .050" shorter. My second choice would be to find someone with a metal lathe and take .050" off the drum you got with the rifle. You might want to ask the seller how the misalignment came to be in the first place.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2019 #9

    10ring1

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    Bought this muzzleloader used for $100 on a used rack at a local gun shop as is. It's only about 70% shape. But the price was right. This is all that really needs and maybe a new set of sights. Didn't want to put a lot of money into it -- just something to shoot
     
  10. Apr 25, 2019 #10

    GM54-120

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    That sure looks like a early CVA Mountain rifle. I can see "Made I" on the barrel. Later models did not have that. You got a smoking deal for $100. Need pics of the ramrod ferrules and patch box to see how early.

    3 screw patch box is early...2 screw is later.
    Hex ferrules are early...Round ferrules are later.

    Deer Creek still lists a few parts for them too but most look like late model to me.
    http://www.deercreekproducts.net/store/c4/CVA_Mountain_Rifle_Parts.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  11. Apr 25, 2019 #11

    Idaholewis

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    As i stated above, i have heated and bent several TC Hammers, they have a Really nice Case Color finish to them, Out of the Several I have heated and bent Only 1 of them is noticeable finish wise, The way i seen it, it was NOT usable the way it was, and now it is :lewis: i will take usability over a Tarnished spot in a Hammer any Ole Day! I have the exact same CVA Mountain Rifle as you (Thanks to GM54s help finding it :lewis:) i just looked at the Hammer on mine, MAN is it thin, REALLY Thin!! I don’t know what kind of metal these things are made of? But i would almost be inclined to try and bend it the Tiny amount you need without Heat, as thin as these Hammers are they should be really EASY to bend, BUT you could also end up Breaking it. Do at your own Risk

    I stay with my original Post, if i were in your shoes i would Heat and Bend it, Especially Knowing what i do about heating and bending the TC Hammers and the Little, to no effect it has on the Finish. BUT, If Finish color is more important to you, it’s not worth the Risk of discoloring it.

    A regular Propane torch is not hot enough, you need Acetylene. Clamp it at the Screw/Tumbler end Good n tight in a Vise, Heat it in the Middle and bend. As ultra thin as these Hammers are it won’t take much.
     
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  12. Apr 26, 2019 #12

    bubba.50

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    Y’all makin’ a mountain out of a molehill. Look at the pix, that hammer only needs to move about a millionth of an inch. I wouldn’t break out the torch for that and I damn sure wouldn’t be bringin’ out the machine tools. A thin shim or bead of beddin’ compound in the lock inlet or maybe a hammer shim like TC used to sell & you’ll be in ‘bidness’.
     
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  13. Apr 26, 2019 #13

    Idaholewis

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    I agree bubba, it sure doesn’t need much, A Torch and a tiny/Quick tweak, She’d be up n Running :D
     
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  14. Apr 27, 2019 #14

    alternate

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    You guys are underestimating how far that hammer has to come over. Right now there's zero clearance and the cap isn't even on the nipple yet. I would estimate that needs to move at least .050" .
     
  15. Apr 27, 2019 #15

    Boomer

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    If I am not mistaken, either TC or CVA (maybe both), back in the day, told you in their kit instructions to heat and bend the hammer if it didn’t line up with the nipple. Here are photos of a TC hammer that I bent to clear a tang mounted Lyman 57 sight. Held it in a vice, heated to red with a propane torch and bent it where I wanted it.
    upload_2019-4-27_12-2-58.jpeg
    upload_2019-4-27_12-3-30.jpeg
     
  16. Apr 27, 2019 #16

    bubba.50

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    Good grief! If I had that gun in hand it would be workin’ in 30 minutes or less without resortin’ to torches or machine tools.
     
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  17. Apr 28, 2019 #17

    Boomer

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    Ok, toothpicks it is, they come a 1000 or so in a typical package. If it works and you lose it there are plenty more.

    No machine tools. Maybe a couple of wacks with a piece of firewood while hammer is on the lock mounted on gun. No point removing hammer from lock and holding in a vice (aka, a machine tool). Even quicker than toothpicks. Have only seen two broken hammers. Both were attempt to cold form hammer to line up with nipple. A TC and a CVA. TC replaced under warranty. So was CVA. But that was the early 80s. And if the hammer breaks, no big deal. They are available for $20, plus shipping. Maybe $30 to your door. Apologize for being old school and wanting to proceed cautiously. Pounded into me during toolmaker apprenticeship. Need to become more of a risk taking type.
     
  18. Apr 28, 2019 #18

    bubba.50

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    Mountains outta molehills. And for the record I’ve never whacked a hammer with a hammer, stick of wood or anything else. Never tried to cold bend one either. If y’all would look at the damn pictures you could see how easy a fix this would be without gettin’ all fancy & high-tech.
     
  19. Apr 28, 2019 #19

    Boomer

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    Agreed with your toothpick solution, but apparently insulting to you in some way. So what is your recommended low-tech less than 30 minute fix to move hammer .050 to .060”?
     
  20. Apr 28, 2019 #20

    NatureNick

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    Idaho Lewis is right, bending the hammer a bit won't hurt it if you heat it up right. Acetylene would be great, but I wouldn't be afraid to try it with a MAP gas torch. How are your filing skills? If it was my rifle, I'd go at the drum with a flat file until it lines the nipple up with the center of the hammer. I'd order a new drum first, see how it fits, and if it's too long I'd probably do my filing on the replacement drum instead of the one that came on your rifle. Maybe split the difference - shim the hammer a little via brass washer shim between lockplate & hammer, file down the drum a bit at a time until hammer & nipple meet in the middle, heat & bend hammer just a bit, or some combination of the foregoing suggestions maybe. Since replacement hammers & drums are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, maybe this is a chance for you to experiment a bit and add some new notes to your 'smithing journal.

    Anyway, $13.24 & free shipping for a new drum here:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/CVA-or-Tra...499848&hash=item3fbd1ea9db:g:rmkAAOxykmZTNy5G
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

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