Mike Brooks Custom Muzzleloaders
Page 9
There is enough stock on the trigger guard to reshape the finials. Take a look at Hamilton's book for examples of Carolina gun finials. I usually modify all of the ones I build, and I slim up the bow section a bit too... Anyway, I make all my bends in the vise after I anneal the brass.
You may want to make a paper pattern of the trigger guard and use it to figure out where you want your bends. The trigger bow was not big like the north west trade gun we're used to seeing.
The trigger guard bow is cupped also to give it strength. I might add that the underside of the trigger guard finials are concave so they will fit the curvature of the stock. I use my swage block to do this work, but you can wallow out a piece of hard wood to pound the trigger guard into to give it the concave shape that is needed.
The next step is to figure out where the tang bolt will go. I just eye ball this placement and try to position the trigger guard so the trigger is about in the middle of the bow. The bolt goes from the bottom to the top and threads into the barrel tang, just backwards of most tang bolts. The tang bolt also holds the trigger guard in place.
I drill a hole in the trigger guard where I want the bolt to go through, then mark this location on the stock and center punch it kinda deep. Then, center punch the top of the barrel tang where the bolt should come through. I use a drill centering device as you see in this picture. I drill with a clearance drill from the bottom first, then flip the stock over and drill with a tap sized drill from the top of the tang.
Then I tap the tang and this is how it look when done.
Next install a wood screw in the rear trigger guard finial. At this point I file the edges of the trigger guard finials almost paper thin, blending into the guard. Same with the trigger guard bow. I find it's easiest to do this point while it's attached to the stock as the guard isn't easy to hold onto otherwise.