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Joined: Oct 2006
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LeFusil Offline OP
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For those that might be interested, here are a couple of pics of the Lancaster/Beesley mainspring-cocking limb. The broken spring pictured is from a body action "0" serial numbered Lancaster circa 1896. It is the original, factory spring. I believe this to be the change in design that was filed for in 1894, patent number 7242.

The other spring pictured is an unfinished-unfitted spring that would be found on an earlier patent (#425 of 1884) Lancaster gun. This spring was found in an old parts bin :-) too bad it couldn't be used on my job.

The replacement for the broken spring took approximately 11 hours to make, completely by hand from a small block of steel.

Broken spring...


Parts bin early type Lancaster mainspring...

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11 hours to make that spring, and I'm assuming those 11 hrs were spent by someone who knew what they are doing. Sounds expensive!


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LeFusil Offline OP
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I know, doesn't look like much does it? There's actually quite a bit of milling in that spring, complicated even further when you don't have a milling machine and have to use old school hand tools (hack saw, files, hand drills, etc). Let's just hope the new spring puts in another 110+ years.

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Deceptively simple shape but I can see the work involved in making that out of solid stock. Eleven hours to hand make it is fast work when you think about it.

Does the spring also act as a cocking lever? If so does it go into tension on closing the gun?

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LeFusil Offline OP
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Yes, the spring acts as both mainspring, cocking limb and also provides the power for the self opening feature. The spring is under tension when the gun is closed. It has a lot of jobs to do.


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