Making a Mule Ear lock

Discussion in 'Sidelock/Traditional Muzzleloading' started by gunnermike, Aug 29, 2019.

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  1. Aug 29, 2019 #1

    gunnermike

    gunnermike

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    I'm a fairly new member to this forum, so I thought I would show a mule ear lock that I've been working on lately. I have incorporated several ideas from commercial locks that I like and tried to build something that I like more than previous locks.

    The locks that I took ideas from were Bob Tingle, the Pioneer Arms lock, the L&R mule ear, and a machinist who used to post quite a bit named John Taylor. I'll show the inside views of the locks so you'll know what I am referring to.

    Bob Tingle first:
    Tingle Lock 02.jpg

    The Pioneer Arms mule ear:
    05a.jpg

    The L&R mule ear:
    202.jpg

    John Taylor lock:
    John Taylor mule ear3.jpg

    So those are the locks I'm using as design guidelines to make my lock. My mule ear lock will have a coil mainspring and be most similar to the Pioneer Arms and the John Taylor locks.

    later, Mike
     
  2. Aug 29, 2019 #2

    gunnermike

    gunnermike

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    So here are some photos of the beginning of this build. The first is the material I used to make the lock, a piece of steel found along the roadside while doing construction:
    101_0001.JPG

    This was a piece of 1/2" steel shaped into an "S". The lock plate blank is at the bottom. Pay no attention to the date, darn camera default setting.

    Next is the lock plate interior roughed out and trimmed somewhat:
    101_0005.JPG

    Next is the beginning of the hammer, sear and an aluminum disk (5/8" diameter) used to fit the hammer slot in the lock plate.
    101_0011.JPG

    The hammer pin is 1/8" dia. and the sear pin is 3/32" dia.

    later, Mike
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  3. Aug 29, 2019 #3

    gunnermike

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    One of the things that I didn't like on a lot of mule ear locks was the ungainly hammer. The hammer on a regular percussion sidelock can make or break the look of the lock and the weapon. Anyway, it's just a peeve of mine, so on my lock I'm going to use a Jenks carbine style lock. The Jenks is a back action lock and has a plain but decent looking hammer - here's the Jenks:

    6.625 long lockplate 2.jpg

    Here's a photo of the hammer as of today, there's still some minor shaping to come:
    101_0023.JPG

    Here's a top photo:
    101_0013.JPG

    Mike
     
  4. Aug 29, 2019 #4

    gunnermike

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    Here's the interior of my lock:
    101_0016.JPG

    You can see that the lock has two sears. The main sear engages the 1/2 cock and full cock on the hammer. The secondary sear pushes against the main sear tail, so you can use a conventional style trigger. There is a small coil spring under the main sear. I'll take the lock apart and layout all the parts in another photo.

    Here's a shot of the lock at 1/2 cock:
    101_0020.JPG

    and another at full cock:
    101_0019.JPG

    later, Mike
     
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  5. Aug 29, 2019 #5

    gunnermike

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    So things left to do are trim the lock down, but first figure out the final shape of the plate. I have to finish shaping and polishing the hammer; trimming the 2 pins; filing the interior of the lock; polishing the interior parts and then hardening the hammer, and sears.

    Here's a final interior photo:
    101_0017.JPG

    that's all for now, Mike
     
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  6. Aug 29, 2019 #6

    45-70

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    I like that, mule ear are like direct ignition
     
  7. Aug 30, 2019 #7

    ShawnT

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    Very Nice work!:lewis:
     
  8. Sep 2, 2019 #8

    gunnermike

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    "I like that, mule ear are like direct ignition"

    Yup, nipple fires directly into the powder charge. Only slightly more advanced than the snapping matchlock.
     
  9. Sep 5, 2019 #9

    gunnermike

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    The mule ear lock is at about 90%. Here's the latest photos:
    101_0027.JPG
    Front view with a piece of aluminum for support. The lockplate is 3-15/16" long and about 0.90" tall.

    Back view:
    101_0029.JPG

    The major mistake is that the inside portion of the hammer is too high on the lockplate. The hammer should be about 1/4" lower because the sear contacts the side of the barrel. I need to bevel the upper edge of the sear along the bolster some more for clearance - live & learn.

    I was thinking of using this lock on a target pistol with the lock mounted on the left side facing to the rear. That way I can have the barrel overhang the grip to the rear like an inline pistol by Yazell or 10-Ring use to make or like this mule ear by the late David Brooks:
    David Brooks pix61 - .50 cal x 9.5 in. brl.jpg

    Anyway, just thinking out loud. Mike
     
  10. Sep 11, 2019 at 6:05 AM #10

    gunnermike

    gunnermike

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    So after looking at the lockplate long enough,I decided that the lockplate is too long. The sear is way too long and the 2 blocks that pivot the second sear need to be moved closer to the hammer. So I cut the 2 blocks off and made a tab that had the new blocks. I cut a slot in the plate and nailed the tab through and it looks like this now:
    101_0039.JPG
    The camera wasn't working so I don't have photos of how I install the tab through the plate, but this photo is similar from when I made a wheel lock:
    100_0637.JPG

    So after you get the tab through the plate, you peen the metal over like this:
    101_0041.JPG

    Then you mill off the excess tab, draw file and wet & dry sandpaper it comes out like this:
    101_0046.JPG
     
  11. Sep 11, 2019 at 6:11 AM #11

    gunnermike

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    So now the lockplate is 3-9/16" long, trimmed down from 3-15/16" and it looks like this:
    101_0053.JPG

    101_0052.JPG

    If you look at Reply #9 you can see the difference. Mike
     
  12. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:03 PM #12

    chubby ninja

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  13. Sep 11, 2019 at 9:03 PM #13

    gunnermike

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    Tanks!
    Tank_M4A3_green.jpg
     

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