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#615144 05/25/22 07:44 PM
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Sidelock

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Through the years, the locks on a sidelock will need some level of maintenance. No doubt a bit of cleaning of one with hand-detachable locks should be relatively easy...but what about a gun without such easy access? I bought a Purdey recently that doesn't have hand-detachable access. As I understand it, a Purdey would need access on both sides due to the location of their pins. Anyway, Purdey does not generally recommend that end-users clean their locks.... That being the case, is there a more reasonable option than sending the gun across the pond? And for that matter, how often should such a cleaning effort be made? Would it based on usage, time, or both?

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Kings and landed gentry did them every year.

Plenty of gunsmiths here can do that work. Kirk Merrington, James Flynn, Dewey Vicknair, there are lots of them. I doubt side lock guns need maintenance more than about every 5-10 years with modern lube and reasonable care from the owner. A wipe down after use and keeping an eye on where the screw slots are goes a long way.

Good luck.

Best,
Ted

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Thanks, Ted. I will definitely look into the guys you mentioned and see which one can handle this for me. Much of what is needed is likely not overly difficult, in fact, I had a gentleman at Purdey earlier today say, "I can talk you through, but it isn’t too challenging." That said, I would very much prefer to send the gun to someone to check it all out and get it at its best and good to go, particularly due to the fact that I have no idea when it was last serviced.

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As I understand it the only difference between hand detachable sidelocks and those that are not is the need for a properly sized turn screw for those that are not. Hand detachable really means "screwdriver-less", in American terms. If you can acquire a properly fitted turn screw for your lock pins you can remove the locks and service them yourself.

And, I agree with Ted about the service interval. Barring submersion, or some other extreme conditions in usage, yearly is unnecessary.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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If you can remove & lubricate H & H style hand detachable locks you can remove & lubricate Purdey style locks assuming you have the ability to properly use (& fit to the slots) a screwdriver.

A very good book on the subject which covers servicing Purdey locks & more is Amateur Gunsmithing by Desmond Mills & Mike Barnes. ISBN 0 85115 455 7 & published by Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF.

Re. Annual servicing, If you don't get your guns rain soaked every outing as I've heard is the case in England you can probably back off a bit on the lock removal intervals & save wear & tear on the screw slots.

One reason I really prefer the H & H style hand detachable locks is the lack of screws for someone to bugger up.

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Are you just wanting to remove the locks for inspection or to dry them off if they get some moisture in them? If that’s the case, like others have stated, that’s a fairly simple and straightforward thing to do if your very careful. There’s alot of nice sidelocks out there sporting evidence of poor assembly after the locks have been removed. Those dings, splinters, etc just aft of the lock plates is evidence enough that most folks should avoid taking them off just to have a peek.

Servicing or lubing the locks correctly will require a bit more than merely removing them. To correctly clean, lube, etc, the locks should be completely disassembled. In order to tear the locks down you’ll need the correct tools and there are plenty of things to bugger up. If you think about it, what’s the point of having perfectly clean and well lubed locks if the rest of the action is a filthy mess? Better to send it off to a competent gunsmith and have it stripped & cleaned every few years….more often if your hunting in harsh conditions. I don’t get caught in a lot of rainstorms when I’m out hunting, but every season I find myself hunting in more than a few days of sporadic drizzle, snow (mild to heavy) etc. and don’t forget what a rapid temperature change does to steel…..going from cold to warm will create condensation. Yep…..even on the inside your beloved gun.
If you spend the coin or plan on spending the coin for a gun of the highest quality, the maintenance plan should absolutely be figured into the expense.

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On balance, rather the action and such being a filthy mess from rain and harsh hunting conditions, this gun to date appears to be one that more than likely has, for the most part, been resting peacefully in its case, which no doubt can still create the need for some attention after enough time has passed. I don't know what time frame under those conditions would warrant a full cleaning, but the fact remains, I'm just speculating on previous usage and have a lot of unknowns about its earlier years. That's probably a good enough reason to get it in the hands of someone that knows his way around the the other side of the sidelocks better than I do.... smile
The gentleman at Purdey said "We prefer to handle internal maintenance in house, which is why you will not find modern references to removing/cleaning the locks." Will hopefully soon have a good "in house" option that's nearer by.

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The recommendations of James Flynn and Kirk Merrington are spot on. I have know James for Over 30 years and Kirk almost as long.

Both are excellent choices.


John Boyd
Quality Arms


John Boyd
Quality Arms Inc
Houston, TX
713-818-2971
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I highly recommend Mr. Merrington.

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1cdog, I had a good chat with him today; seemed like a really nice guy and appears to really know his stuff. He's backlogged a good bit while also recovering from a recent surgery, but no doubt he can handle it all if I have the needed patience......

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