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67galaxie, Dan S. W., eeb, Geo. Newbern, greener4me, Joe Wood, Parabola, Run With The Fox, Stanton Hillis
Total Likes: 24
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#619331 09/14/2022 11:28 AM
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
I've been wondering about something, having recently bought a nice gun cleaning accessory kit that contains a set of three unground screwdrivers (turnscrews in Brit speak). If turnscrew is the proper British name for what we call a screwdriver, why is what we call a screw called a pin in British gun speak? Why wouldn't the Brits call the tool a turn pin? Why do you gents use a turnscrew to turn a pin?

Maybe there's some English doublegun history that would help explain that apparent contradiction ?
Liked Replies
#619364 Sep 15th a 03:07 PM
by KY Jon
KY Jon
Out of respect for the "gunsmiths" who built my doubles, I no longer turn a screw if possible. There is a shop an hour away, who is excellent for just about any job I need. I will repair a mass production gun, when needed, but not one which was hand made for the most part, or in its entirety. I hate buggered screws and just do not want to create any myself. I also have stopped feeling the need to renew case colors. If I can fade away, my guns should be allowed to do so as well. I do still enjoy stock work and refinishing stocks but can see that too will cease to be a major thing soon. I guess I have gone from altering as needed, to restoring as wanted, to now conserving for the next generation to enjoy as near to condition as I find guns.
5 members like this
#619332 Sep 14th a 11:47 AM
by canvasback
Lol. You are applying logic to the English lainguage, Stan. It doesn’t work that way. laugh
4 members like this
#619333 Sep 14th a 12:46 PM
by LeFusil
The term turnscrew probably originated from the woodworking trade like cabinet or furniture making and just stuck.
In the gun trade….a screw goes into wood while a pin goes into metal. A “wire” isn’t threaded and takes the place of a pin and usually holds the Sears and hammers/tumblers into the action.
2 members like this
#619335 Sep 14th a 01:01 PM
by GLS
England and America. Two countries separated by a common language. Gil
2 members like this
#619336 Sep 14th a 01:22 PM
by James Flynn
James Flynn
Just to confuse issues further, in the 1830's, Thomas Boss helped Purdey's finish off their guns. His main work was "screwing them together," that is, making screws then fitting the various parts together. This from Dallas' book on Boss.
2 members like this
#619365 Sep 15th a 03:23 PM
by Der Ami
Der Ami
I too have noted many with tapered slots (in German guns). In observing the screws/pins being fitted in the first place I noticed the following. Most had a sacrificial slot that was filed away in "clocking" them. If the final slot was filed, it was usually tapered, but if sawed with a jewelers saw had straight sided slots. I also noted that most screwdrivers/turnscrews were self-made, mostly from worn out Pilar files and also most were twisted like a corkscrew, to guard against breaking.
2 members like this
#619344 Sep 14th a 07:21 PM
by Gunning Bird
Gunning Bird
It's probably like our version of a "hose pipe", Stan.
1 member likes this
#619349 Sep 14th a 11:04 PM
by mc
Stan I asked Len bull and Jack Rowe the same question,the answer was it's lost to history
1 member likes this
#619352 Sep 14th a 11:38 PM
by Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe
Don't forget the lock nails that secure the lock plate to the stock......
1 member likes this
#619363 Sep 15th a 10:17 AM
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
Thanks, Dustin, and others. I didn't mean to mislead ..... I have many on my workbench as well, and have long understood the necessity of perfectly fitting them to the screw being removed/replaced. I was being a bit facetious about these fancy nancy turnscrews that came with this set. Not quite what I am used to.

While we're at it, is it true that all better English guns have screws with tapered slots? I'm not being facetious about this. My only English gun is a Hollis and I've never needed to disassemble it, except for removing the barrels.
1 member likes this
#619362 Sep 15th a 08:56 AM
by Shotgunlover
Most apprentices joining gun makers were in their early to mid teens. Hence it was useful to have terminology easily understood by them and precise enough to avoid confusion in the workshop. This might explain why most gunmaking terms are short words of anglosaxon origin and not long latiny ones. Almost every one understood terms like pin, screw, wire, dog, axle and having just one term for each thing helped avoid confusion.
1 member likes this

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