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Nitrah #618638 08/25/22 01:35 PM
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My understanding has always been that a spring doesn't know or care whether it is under tension or not. I've been wrong about lots of other things though...Geo

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Originally Posted by dblgnfix
As an engineer myself, I agree with your engineer friend. As a restorer of double guns and maker of springs, I can add this. I see many guns that have been sitting unused
and left cocked for decades. When I remove the parts, clean and then reassemble, the springs are just as good as when they were made over 100 years ago in most cases.
Also consider this, most people at the turn of the century didn't use their guns any where near as often as we do today, with clay shooting and all, I would wager most were all kept in the
cocked position, when put away.


Exactly. And if one is familiar with taking apart actions, you’ll understand that the springs are ALWAYS under some tension regardless if they’re compressed from being cocked, or at “rest” after being fired. This is why you need to compress springs when you remove them from the action. On boxlocks, the mainsprings are compressed even with the hammers/tumblers in the fired position. They need to be compressed to remove the hammers/tumblers, if there was zero tension, the hammers would just fall out when you remove the hammer wire!!! Same with the mainsprings on a hammergun/sidelock. These springs are never not under some sort of tension. Same goes for top lever springs, you compress them to put them in or take them out of their slot, and they are never not under tension.
I’m curious if most people who have ejector guns know that when they use snap caps to lower the tumblers that their ejector springs remained cocked and if they also release the tension on the ejector springs manually and then recock them before assembling the gun?

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Originally Posted by dblgnfix
As an engineer myself, I agree with your engineer friend. As a restorer of double guns and maker of springs, I can add this. I see many guns that have been sitting unused
and left cocked for decades. When I remove the parts, clean and then reassemble, the springs are just as good as when they were made over 100 years ago in most cases.

Also consider this, most people at the turn of the century didn't use their guns any where near as often as we do today, with clay shooting and all, I would wager most were all kept in the
cocked position, when put away.

An Engineer should not be making rash statements such as the sentences above that I highlighted in Bold Red Type.

First, I don't see how you could be certain that these guns have been "left cocked for decades". They could well have been cocked by your customers just prior to bringing them to you. More importantly, you could not accurately state that the springs in guns that are over 100 years old when you disassemble and clean them are "just as good as when they were made over 100 years ago." You would have to know how much force it took to compress them when they were made, and also know the exact measurement of their uncompressed size versus that same dimension today. Anything else is mere opinion, and engineers should be dealing with measurable absolutes... not opinions.

I am well aware that the springs installed in guns are normally under partial compression. I am also aware that springs tend to fail when they are under full compression. They are also more likely to take a set when left under full compression for extended periods. Gunsmiths and gunmakers make and sell replacement springs simply because they fail due to breakage or becoming too weak to reliably function. Like most things, they are more likely to fail when subjected to maximum stress, not from being kept in a relaxed or semi-compressed state. It doesn't matter if we are dealing with coil springs, V springs, leaf springs, torsion springs, or springs in a Grandfather's clock.

A couple other things are worth mentioning, I think. We have all seen those very high quality Best Guns that are often housed in prestigious Makers' cases, complete with accessories such as turn-screws, oil bottles, cleaning rods, and snap caps. Now why would these fine and respected gunmakers include SNAP CAPS if it was advisable to simply store their guns in a cocked state? In addition, we are all familiar with percussion and centerfire hammerguns, flintlock fowlers, flintlock rifles, revolvers, lever action and single shot exposed hammer rifles. Virtually nobody stores or leaves these firearms in a cocked state.

And virtually nobody is anal enough to worry that lowering those hammers and cocks is going to diminish the life of their mainsprings.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Originally Posted by dblgnfix
As an engineer myself, I agree with your engineer friend. As a restorer of double guns and maker of springs, I can add this. I see many guns that have been sitting unused
and left cocked for decades. When I remove the parts, clean and then reassemble, the springs are just as good as when they were made over 100 years ago in most cases.
Also consider this, most people at the turn of the century didn't use their guns any where near as often as we do today, with clay shooting and all, I would wager most were all kept in the
cocked position, when put away.

Sir;

Your comments about observing the conditions of V springs that were made in past centuries brought to mind the observations that I have made on old classic V springs especially side lock mainsprings by the lock makers decades ago and the one thing that I immediately look at on a mainspring to judge the merits of the original spring maker. And that is when the mainspring is in full cocked compression is there significant clearance between the legs of the mainspring so that the mainspring legs do not touch each or and more importantly not bind against each other--at any time, even over cocked to maximum. Then secondly when I have the mainspring in my hand look to see how well the polish of the legs of the spring was done on the inside of the legs--down into the "far reaches of the u-bend" of the spring that had to be polished before the spring was heated and formed into a V. The old spring makers also knew how to form the legs of the spring in the correct taper to ensure long life--creating " a spring energy battery". This tapering of the spring legs to prevent undue stress points along it's length to maximize energy and create long life of the spring and at the same time minimize size might just be called an "art", with just a little science and "engineering" added to the elixer. But of course since you are a spring maker I am just reviewing what you already know.

Kindest Regards;
Stephen Howell

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Do any of you guys remember the article in shooting sportsman about the making of leaf springs? I think it was the issue that was introducing Jeffery when they moved to Paso Robles.

The discussion was how much space should be allowed between the limbs when they are fully compressed, the radius requirement at the end of the slot, the surface finish, the tapering, and all the minutia of making a beautiful spring that lasts for centuries.

Am IThe only person that remembers that article?


Out there doing it best I can.
Nitrah #618827 08/30/22 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the reminder
https://shootingsportsman.com/springs/
"a spring under compression invariably will take a degree of bend or set"

Jack Rowe Part 1



Part 2



Part 3


Nitrah #618828 08/30/22 10:20 AM
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Not the one.

The article was about the aerospace tolerances used for the leaf springs that went into the Jeffrey double rifles when they were being made in Paso Robles.


Out there doing it best I can.
Nitrah #618838 08/30/22 03:56 PM
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If gunmakers don't want their springs set to rest, then why do they provide snap caps and why do Purdy mainsprings go to rest when one removes the barrels?

That being said, I have worked on thousands of V spring guns, most were left cocked and all but a very few functioned perfectly. Many an antique comes into my shop and aside from hammer guns, most are cocked and they work well. If a spring is made from proper steel, the limbs tapered and parallel, no nicks left anywhere and polished properly, then heat treated correctly, they will function for many decades. It must also be mentioned that flint and percussion period springs did not have the more consistent quality steel of the mid nineteenth century, but they performed well. One never knows if there might be an inclusion in the steel.

The cases where I see broken springs is commonly in Spanish guns. The springs are poorly shaped with horrible taper but despite that most of them work.

Nitrah #618879 09/01/22 09:37 AM
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Looking beyond the "springs". If the gun is left in the cocked state, the sears and sear pins are left under a heavy sustained load upon rather small bearing surfaces. If the parts are well made and fitted they do not seem to give an issue, yet the concern is still there.

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