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Rankin Leg Irons

Type: Leg Irons

Rankin legirons were used during the Civil War period. To open Rankins: screw key in clockwise several (about 2) turns. This pushes in the spingloaded tube surrounding the threaded keybolt. The tube only moves in a short distance, so stop screwing the key in once you feel light resistance to rotation. Once the tube is pushed inwards, the threaded bolt will move freely: pull it outwards by pulling they key lightly outwards. This moves a wedge back enough that the cuffs will open with some slight resistace. Release the outward pull on the key, and firmly pull open cuffs by hand. To close Rankins: screw in key a few turns as above, move threaded keybolt out by pulling lightly outwards on the key, close cuffs to about 1 inch of being closed, hit the bow with palm of hand, so it snaps closed, push threaded keybolt inwards by pressing key lightly inwards to move the wedge into the locked position, and then screw the key out. Same procedure for both legirons and cuffs. Rankins can be damaged by incorrect operation. Also, on poor examples, the internal spring can become weak, which will allow the cuffs to be pulled open by hand, even when locked.

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