Include a note with your NAME, PHONE #, EMAIL and ADDRESS!  (if this information is not in the box  your project will sit idle until you call me.)  Please include a note with your repair instructions OR if we have been corresponding by email, please print out the conversation and write the above requested information on the email and send with your project.

Repairing a flintlock or other type of black powder firearm is a specialized area of the gunsmith trade and it can be difficult to find the parts and even more difficult to find someone with experience in this area of gun repair.  I work on black powder muskets, rifles and pistols almost exclusively so your at the right website if a black powder gunsmith is what you need.  I work on Matchlocks, Miquelets, Wheelocks, Snaphaunce, Flintlocks, Percussions, Boxlocks, Revolvers, Blunderbuss, Smoothies, and Rifles.  Whether you need a simple frizzen hardening or a restoration please feel free to contact me.

Click here on  SPECIAL PROJECTS to see the kind of work I do.  Sometimes a picture can explain what I do better than words can.


If sending by USPS mail to:

Earl Kathan

PO Box 59

Acworth, NH 03601

If sending by UPS or Fed-Ex:

Earl Kathan

154 Black North Rd.

Acworth, NH 03601

DO NOT write gunsmith or gun shop or gun anything on the package!

The post office requires that there be nothing on the box that might indicate a weapon of any kind is inside. 

A pre-1899 musket or pistol is FEDERALLY exempt as a firearm and can be shipped directly without going through an FFL.  The state of NJ does require a handgun permit for flintlock pistols.Please be aware of your state or local laws.

If you are shipping a pre-1899 handgun / revolver and it takes a rim fire or center fire cartridge that is still readily available, it is not mailable through the U.S. Postal Service and MUST be sent by private carrier such as FedEx or UPS.

1.  Call or email me to discuss your gunsmith repair needs.

For MOST lock repairs and frizzen hardening I will only need your lock with the frizzen attached to be sent, making the cost of repair much more affordable.
Your frizzen must be attached to the lock for me to work the lock and test the hardening!  Some issues will require the whole gun  so please contact  us to determine what needs to be sent.  Email is best.  Phone is okay if necessary due to Earl's illness.

2.  Package your item with care and be sure to have good padding around muskets or pistols and at the ends of the box to absorb any shock from being dropped.  The item inside the box should not slop back and form at all. Please insure your package in case of loss or damage.  You must be able to prove the amount you have claimed.  A small flat rate box free from the US Post Office works great for sending locks and other small items.

Keep your side plate screws at home if just sending your lock!!!

3.   Include a copy of any email conversations we have had about the repairs or a brief letter describing the work to be performed with your NAME, PHONE #, EMAIL, RETURN ADDRESS.

4.   We will contact you for payment and return shipping with the information you provide.  Currently forms of payment accepted are Visa, Master and Discover Cards, Postal money orders, and personal checks.  We accept PayPal payments but only for gunsmith services and accessories such as bayonets, guns socks, tools, etc.  Paypal payments can be sent to ekkathan@myfairpoint.net


Please send lock with frizzen attached.

Frizzen hardening is the number one repair I do here in the shop.  I have developed a few techniques to drive case hardening compounds into some of the most stubborn frizzens.    Temperature and timing is crucial to getting a good deep hardening.  Quenching of the part and tempering back the nose is also extremely important and must be done properly.

A sure sign of a poorly hardened or worn through frizzen is the failure to spark, a rough frizzen face that has been gouged and chewed like a beaver on a tree, and the popping and breaking of your flint every time it catches one of those gouges in the frizzen.  Hardening your frizzen can save you $$$ in broken flint.

Flintlocks that hang up at 1/2 cock or won't stay at the 1/2  or full cock positions are another common repair and generally take very little time to fix.

The third most common thing I see are broken springs.  If you still have the broken spring please send it with the lock to be duplicated.


Sometimes flintlock parts to repair an original pistol are difficult to find at a a gun building supply store and often the only solution is to find someone who can make or modify parts to fit.

With a little research on your part I can duplicate parts as close as possible to that of an original and then apply a faux finish to closely match the original petina of the metal.  The part to the far let was completely hand made in the shop as well as the top jaw and top jaw screw to the near left


An example of a nicely browned barrel on an East India Pattern "Brown Bess"

This browning looks fantastic on a French Fusil which makes a great Turkey gun as well as Trade musket for reenacting


Amazing what you can find under rust!





Click to see

SHOP RATE = $50.00 per hour

TURN AROUND TIME - Due to my current battle with cancer, I am not accepting any new work.  I will re post here and on the home page when I am able to get back in the shop to work.  Thanks for understanding.


Barrels - Rate of $50.00 / hour
     Vent Liners
     Barrel lugs

Blueing & Browning

     Barrels (long) - $125.00   (long guns)

     Barrels (Med) - $100.00   (carbines)

     Barrels (Short) - $75.00   (pistols)

     Locks (All) - $100.00   (Musket)

     Buttplates - $30.00

     Triggerguards - $25.00

     Thimbles - $5.00 ea.

     Sideplates - $20.00

     Triggers - $10.00


     Hardened - $30.00

     Shoed / Soled - hourly rate

     Forged & Fitted - hourly rate

General safety Check

     Musket - $50.00

     Pistol - $50.00

     Test Firing - $75.00 (Double service load)

Lock Work - hourly rate

     Polish & harden lock internals

     Lighten Mainspring or frizzen spring

     Re-temper mainspring or frizzen spring

     Won't stay at the half cock position

     Won't stay at the full cock position

     Falls and stops at half cock position when fired

     Hair trigger

     Adjustment to set triggers

Miscellaneous - hourly rate



     Faux Finishing


     Stamping (letters, numbers, proofs, etc.)


     Custom Parts


     Mainsprings - $50 to $75.00 depending on difficulty

     Sear Springs - $30 to $45.00 depending on difficulty

     Frizzen Springs - $75.00 to $100.00 depending on difficulty

Our shop was recently featured on Vermont Public Television's new pilot series called
Out & About
Click HERE to enjoy

Watch Episode #4

Customized Lock Work
Custom Hand Forged Trigger Guard