This part cramps the ejector mainsprings when the action is closed, so that the ejector segments, by pushing upon the ejector tumblers and standing breech, do not have to do that job. This makes the gun easier to close, which is of no small consequence when one considers that the act of closing a Beesley cramps both mainsprings AND both ejector mainsprings simultaneously. It also prevents the ejector segments from wearing against the face of the standing breech.
The failed lever,
The blank, machined from O1, the original was made from EN9 which is a British specification and equivalent to AISI 1055. The added chromium and vanadium in O1 can only increase the lifespan of this highly stressed part. From this point onward, it's all hand work.
The lever, filed up for thickness, with the spring bearing pads rough shaped and the pivot hole piloted,
Checking the fit,
Making sure that the fit of the forward projection is correct in the frame slot. You'll notice that the barrel stop plate has been removed to gain access to the slot. The stop plate also serves as the fulcrum for the cocking lever. You might notice that the barrel lifters are lying flat. This is because the lockplates and pushrods are removed.
Here is the finished lever, heat-treated and polished. The spring is integral to the lever. You might think that being an internal part, it doesn't need to be finished to such a level. You would be incorrect.
The essence of a best-quality gun is that they should look, and be, as good on the inside as the outside.
The lever during installation,
Here was another small issue, not from a practical standpoint but rather an aesthetic one. The lockplate screw slots have moved past the horizontal when properly tightened. This has zero impact upon the gun's function but just plain makes me nuts. The gun's owner agreed, so I made new screws for each lockplate.
The screws were machined from 1020 and will be case-hardened and polished when finished. The thread is 3BA (that's British Association).
Here is something that a good many "gunsmiths" in the country of my birth simply fail to comprehend, a properly fitted screwdriver.
After the slots are correctly indexed, the heads are engraved and then the screws can be hardened and polished. I use a push graver and a 20x microscope.
The finished screws,
Here's a shot of the assembled gun. The engraving is Watson Bros' "house style" which wonderfully complements the sleek lines of the round body action. Louca's guns are all the more impressive for being completely made by hand. Watson Bros. is one of a literal handful (if not the only) of London firms still making guns the "old-fashioned" way, with no aid of CNC, EDM or castings (ugh!).