L.C. Smith

L.C. Smith springs

One of the skills a gunsmith needs to have is to know how to make replacement parts for firearms. Very often, the repair is on a firearm that does not have replacement parts available. The requirement for this course is to make a mainspring and a bolt spring for an L. C. Smith shotgun. The springs are made from blank spring stock and cut to size.

Spring material cut to size

The next step is to shape the springs.

Shaping the mainspring

Mainspring and bolt spring filing complete

Once the desired shape for the springs is achieved, the springs are heated and bent to the correct shape. Notice the curves in the legs of the springs.

Springs after heat shaping

The springs are then cleaned and tempered in our oven. This can also be done by using any heat source, but care has to be taken not to heat the spring too much as it will become brittle and be prone to breaking.

Springs cleaned and ready for the oven

After coming out of the oven (and cooled down) the springs can be tested. This is merely done by compressing them in a vice. If the do not break and return to their original shape, all is fine. Mine passed the test, even though one of the legs on the mainspring broke. After discussing it with the instructor, we felt that it was most likely due to a small stress fracture in the spring material.

After testing with broken main spring on the right

After testing with broken main spring on the right