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Antique Gun Locks

Since the 1970s I have been slowly accumulating a collection of original locks for study purposes. Here are some examples you might find interesting.

This German Jaeger lock is one that was brought to American at the end of WWII. It is related to a rifle being reproduced by The Rifle Shoppe, Inc. but this lock may be a bit earlier.

Restrained but effective decoration on the interior of the lock. (top)

This Durrs Egg lock has quite a story to tell. It was loaned to a man who wanted to copy it. Somehow he lost the original iron plate but had a brass casting of the original so all the parts were mounted back on the repro plate. The lock was loaned again to another man in Canada who was interested in copying it and after he made the patterns it was shipped back to the owner. Unfortunately it was lost in the mail. The owner was paid the insured amount. Later it was sold in an auction of unclaimed goods by the US Postal Service. Later it turned up for sale at the Baltimore Gun Show.

Note the traces of casehardening colors on the bridle.  (top)

This lock is actually a left handed shotgun lock but for study purposes I have flipped the image. It dates from the very end of the flintlock period and has never been snapped with a flint in place!

The three screw bridle is another step in the evolution of the side lock. By the early 20th century some English shotgun locks had five.  (top)

This lock with its sliding safety is a bit of a puzzle. I suspect it is Belgian but I would be glad to hear other evidence.

 The flat spring inside the sear spring provides tension for the sliding safety.         (top)

This lock is included as an example of the typical trade quality lock imported to the colonies prior to the Revolution. It is a bit different from most because the pan is not integral to the plate as most English locks of the period were.

Note that the shading lines in the engraving were cut with a convex liner that could cut at least six lines in one pass of the graver.

Much of the pan has been cut away for some reason.  (top)

Flat faced English trade quality lock signed Blair. (ca. 1775-1785)

An unusual feature of this lock is the engraving on the plate around the cock. It is done when the cock is at rest (down).

Engraving flows well with bold cuts that vary in width to add a third dimension.

No exterior or interior bridle puts this lock in the lower end of quality and price but it is still nicely engraved.

Another unusual feature is the travel stop screw in the tumbler. There is no bridle for it to stop on!

This Virginia Manufactory military rifle lock is included because it is dated 1817 but retains an earlier profile.

Signed Joseph Gulcher, this lock is has been included to illustrate the type of decoration used in the third quarter of the 19th century. (top)