Lock Timing at the 2017 Spring Shoot
I like Ric Lambert's lock and where the sparks land.

Lock Timing at the 2017 Spring Shoot

Our lock timing and photography project is finished. My son, Kevin, arrived from Denver on Thursday night. We began Friday morning working the bugs out of our equipment. Our goal was to time the shooters’ locks and take photos showing the spark production and where the sparks landed. Along with the photo, the owner got a paper copy of the lock times we recorded. The software allowed timing to the nearest 10 thousandths of a second.

Some unknown problems arose, but one at a time we seemed to solve them. Sometimes we could suggest cures for lock problems that we uncovered. An example was a lock with a badly worn frizzen and a strangely located retaining screw hole. Another lock was improved with a flint bevel change.

Susie Szynalski looking over the lock mount. Among those looking on are Dave Schnitker, Colton Fleetwood, Steve Chapman

Each different sized lock meant adjusting the plunger location.  This meant time spent between locks. Because of this it was a pleasure to have a few identical locks in a row.

Our most difficult challenge was to alter the fixture to time a left-handed lock. The lock owner and I worked together. The advantage of the lock owner’s help was important. We could carefully eliminate any clearance issues caused by mounting the lock on the “wrong” side of the fixture.

I’m replacing a photo cell. Behind me is the slow motion video we ran during the shoot.

One surprising addition was the chance to do a side-by-side test of Swiss Null B and a possible new Swiss product. I’ll be curious to hear what Swiss decides to do.

Kevin was a great help during this process. He managed the photography so I could concentrate on the lock stuff. He recorded stats on his computer until he had to catch his plane in Indy. Without him, the process changed to paper. At that point two other friends stepped up. Steve Chapman and Dave Kanger did the stat recording when I was by myself.

Steve Chapman helped to answer the many questions.

Kevin used Light Room to adjust the photos we handed out before he left. Those I took after he left I sent to Kevin this morning. When he works his magic on them I’ll email them to the owners.

This lock liked a bevel change.

All in all, I felt good about the project. We pretty much did what we hoped. I turned in the donations to Carrie in the office. I don’t know about the September Shoot. I need to get with the NMLRA folks and find if they want this repeated in the fall.

More than anyone else, I’d like to thank my son, Kevin, for his photographic help.  You don’t see him in any pictures because he was busy doing his photo thing.  His second set of eyes on the project helped with details, large and small.  I also valued his advice in helping with explanations of the processes we used.

Kevin on a trip to Alaska with us.

Larry Pletcher, editor

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