Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Restoring The Thompson Center Arms .54 Caliber Cap Lock Rifle: Part 2

Go here for Part 1

Update: the "whatsinthisthing" wadding compartment turned out to be empty.  I had seriously hoped for something left behind in it by my Dad.  He was good at over-preparing and/or hiding supplies or things he might need in some emergency, but not this time.  I made a reddit thread on it here.

Here's the video of the opening of the brass-door "secret compartment" and/or, where you kept wadding and stuff normally on this type of muzzleloder:


Dossier (or whatever):
The ancient camo tape has continued to make my life hell.  I literally cannot get it off my hands with soap and will prolly have to try gas from my lawnmower jug.  I had a couple of moments of frustration  where I was like, "Dad!!!... Why?!?!"  My pants are now all gluey too from where I put it in my lap whilst working on it.

The glue has, in various places, turned into chalky cement and pure superglue-ectoplasm in other places.

The gun is now fully broke down, besides more tape on the great back stock, which is where most of it is (I said 'f*ck it' and just began working on the screws and parts).

At one point, I felt a zen come over me, as part after part freed.  It seemed I knew where to tap, where to look for another screw, etc. (e.g., I figured the little "set screw" under trigger need not be removed to remove trigger plate and mechanism ... indeed, it did not).

The Barrel:
The barrel had perplexed me.  I have no manual, no docs and no experience breaking-down a TCA .54 cap lock muzzleloader.  After removing the heavy barrel-pin, the barrel would not release with some effort.  I thought surely it was: A. held in with some hidden screw, B. some how pressed in (needing vice and press/pressure to release) and/or, epoxied some how.  Negative.  Believe it or not, Dad had apparently simply removed it, lapped the tape over the wood stock, then it back.  The horribad camo tape had nicely, over time, naturally epoxied the gd barrel to the stock.  Today, I tried a few more times and with more strength, and it suddenly lifted 45 degrees upwards.  A bit more movement toward 90 degrees and I could see the fat hook part that affixes it to the main housing, and it came right out!



^This wadding compartment has been sealed for over 20 years
The rear wadding compartment -- a brass, decorative door -- is still fully covered in camo tape.  I have hopes my Dad left a message for me in it.  He camoed this thing some 20+ years ago.  I'm sure the theory of reality will win: i.e., don't get your hopes up, but still.  It would be awesome (miss my Dad lots).

PS removing the ornate, brass, trigger guard revealed a bright-yellow heavy-plastic sliver with plainly-visible serial number.

Found the serial number! (call me paranoid, blacked it out)

I've gotten great feedback on the wot forums:

This is how the barrel "hooks" to the main housing

In this pic and the next you can see the rust plainly, sorta like shag carpet....

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