Originally Posted by David R
Hiya Rick, I think you just solved a bit of a mystery for me. I have had this gun lock knocking around for years, and assumed it was Balkan in origin.....
Yes, your lock is identical to mine, and came from the same batch. The story as told by the late Turner Kirkland was these locks were made (in Belgium I think) sometime before 1950 for sale to South Africa. Well, the sale never went through. So in the early to mid 1960's Turner bought the entire lot for little more than scrap metal cost and posted them for sale in his catalog, mainly as a novelty item. I seem to recall the price was around $12.50USD then. I do remember them in the earlier catalogs. Why the maker chose to copy an early Portugese lock design is unknown. Possibly for the simplicity. So any of these locks you see all came from this same lot. Occassionaly, one will show up for sale on Ebay and the like. Notice there are no holes in the lock plate for mounting. And I've never seen a gun with these locks.
So they are not really a replica per say. Just made at a very late date.