The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 16, 2007, 02:30 PM   #1
ursavus.elemensis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2007
Location: southcentral/southeastern PA
Posts: 375
New to Flintlock, lots of questions

I am interested in getting a flintlock rifle, but need to learn more about them. I live in southeastern PA. I have always been interested in American Revolutionary war era history. The idea of getting a flintlock has always been bouncing around in the back of my mind. In January I was hiking in the woods near Milford, PA and came across two guys who were hunting with modern flintlocks. The rifles looked really cool, and it just all came together in my mind that I would like to get one. I really know very little about guns or rifles. I used to shoot .22's at a target range at a summer camp when I was a kid, and was never exactly Wyatt Erp when it came to hitting the cneter of the target. I've fired a .38 and a .357 revolver before, and a 9 MM at one point. I own a BB rifle, which I rarely fire because it is not all that accurate, exciting, etc. But I've decided that I need to get a flintlock and now I need to know how to get started in this hobby.

I know that during the Revolutionary times they used muskets, not rifles, but I am not expecting to be a real greatly accurate shot, so I'll take the extra help of a rifled barrel. I am left handed and i see that Lyman sells left handed flintlocks. Does anyone else sell left hander flintlocks? Is Lyman a good company for a starter flintlock? Do I want a longer rifle or a shorter rifle while I am getting used to the kick, etc? And, (I hope this does not sound like too dumb of a question) but when I get the rifle, does it come with instructions on how to load it, what else I'll need besides the rifle, etc? I understand the general idea of how a flintlock works, but what stuff do I need to actually load and fire the rifle?

Are there any books or Internet resources that guide one through "getting started with flintlocks"???

Lastly (for now) are there any clubs or groups in southeastern or southcentral PA that are into flintlocks and that I could join? Are there such a thing as flintlock shooting clubs or hunting clubs (I've never hunted for anything in my life, except if you count sorting through cases of beer in the walk-in cooler at the local distributor). I think I need to start out with target shooting before I try to bring home anything to eat like a deer or an elk. I have spent my lifetime hikin through parts of the woods where few people tread, so I do know my way around outdoors.

Thanks !!
All advice and info appreciated greatly.
ursavus.elemensis is offline  
Old February 16, 2007, 06:39 PM   #2
l.cutler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2005
Posts: 140
A Lyman rifle would be a great flintlock to start with. There are many books and web sites on the subject, a google search should bring up more than you can handle. You have the best idea in a club or group to learn from, I don't know of any in your area, but I am sure there are some. If possible buy a rifle from an experienced muzzleloader shop. Dixon's in Kempton PA is one of the best muzzleloader shops in the east and may not be far from you, it would be a good idea to check it out. Chuck Dixon is a wealth of information.
l.cutler is online now  
Old February 16, 2007, 08:08 PM   #3
TNMarine
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 4, 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1
Lyman is a very good brand but do not limit yourself. Look at Thompson Center Arms as well. I have had very good luck with one of their Hawken models. Check out the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association at http://www.nmlra.org They may have a list of local muzzleloading clubs. Also look at their link called "visit Friendship". It is a large farm in southern Indian where the hold by-annual national shoots and have a 2 week trade fair in the summer.
TNMarine is offline  
Old February 16, 2007, 10:24 PM   #4
armedandsafe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2005
Location: Moses Lake WA
Posts: 1,001
The rifle you buy should be predicated on your own gut feeling, balanced by what you can gather in quality reviews in places such as here.

The best book for a new shooter, in my opinion, is the Lyman Handbook of Black Powder. It has the basics for beginners, the procedures to gain confidence and skill and a lot of information on different guns and loads. After you ahve digested that a bit, you can move on to Sam Falada's Blackpowder Handbook.

Join in the sport and enjoy "shootin' dirty."

Pops
__________________
Armed and Safe: Not just a theory

If it time to bury them, it is time to dig them up.
Remember, "Behind every blade of grass."
armedandsafe is offline  
Old February 16, 2007, 10:31 PM   #5
ursavus.elemensis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2007
Location: southcentral/southeastern PA
Posts: 375
Thanks for the advice so far. I went to the NMLRA web site and found a few clubs in my area (or close enough). I will check them out. Also, Kempton is close enough to me that I can go up there and see what I can learn at Dixon's in Kempton PA.

What about caliber? I've never fired a shotgun and I am wondering if I need to go with a .45 or .50 caliber flintlock to get used to the kick before going for something larger. Or, is a heavier gun more stable to fire? Or, I guess I should ask, is a .54 less heavy than a .50 since maybe the barrel is the same size (outer diameter) but the inside is larger inner diameter and hence a lighter gun...? I am lost here.
ursavus.elemensis is offline  
Old February 16, 2007, 10:48 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,924
Most of my guns are .50 cal. Smaller bullet, less lead and cheaper. Especially if you're not shooting game. The Lyman is a bit closer to the rifle of the Fur Trade Era than the TC counterpart. Still, it's not altogether accurate as I've read that the trade guns were heavier for rugged use. Lyman is a good starter gun and mine was a Lyman (but my very first was a Spanish percussion kit gun imported by Markwell).

You should attend the National Matches at Friendship, Indiana. Sure you have to enter the Ohio Basin country but it's much shorter for you than I. Check out the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association website for more info. BTW, join the NMLRA when you have a chance. I've an article coming out in April 2007 issue on building the iron mounted southern rifle with Hershel & John House.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old February 16, 2007, 10:50 PM   #7
armedandsafe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2005
Location: Moses Lake WA
Posts: 1,001
My 12yo granddaughter fires my .50s with no problem at all, using round ball (~180 some-odd grains.) She doesn't like the 350grain and up projectiles, yet, but is working up to them. This is from the bench or prone. Shooting offhand, I haven't found a load she can't shoot and enjoy.

I don't feel the recoil is a factor at all, compared to my other big-bore rifles (30-06 and 8MM Mauser.) Until I load up to above 300 grains of bullet weight and 100 grains of powder, I don't notice recoil at all. Then again, I make sure my guns FIT me and I use proper form in holding the gun to my shoulder.

Pops
__________________
Armed and Safe: Not just a theory

If it time to bury them, it is time to dig them up.
Remember, "Behind every blade of grass."
armedandsafe is offline  
Old February 17, 2007, 08:30 AM   #8
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,760
Recoil from a BP rifle

Recoil from a percussion rifle is significantly less than any modern high powered smokeless powder. And a flintlock is even less of a problem. In addition, one of the main advantages of shooting BP is that you can tailor your loads to your situation - less powder = less recoil. Although I doubt that you will ever feel the need to reduce your load to reduce the recoil.

Typically the issue for a new shooter is the noise and smoke; these weapons produce significant amounts of both and it can be distracting. My brother-in-law has a significant flinch that affects his shooting my BP stuff, but he's very good with my Winchester 70 in 30-06. He says it's the noise and smoke.

I'm sure that if you take the time to seek out those clubs in your area that someone will be more than willing to allow you to take a few shots with their guns to experience shooting BP first hand. Buy a few cups of coffee before you buy a gun...
mykeal is offline  
Old February 17, 2007, 02:24 PM   #9
Ohio Rusty
Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Location: Southeast Ohio
Posts: 94
What are you going to do with your flintlock gun ??? Is it just for targets? If so, you could do fine with smaller calibers that use less powder, less lead and don't recoil. Are you going to hunt with it? If so .... you need to check the regulations in your state to see what the minimum requirements are. What style of gun do you like ??? Do you like the golden age or kentucky longrifle types guns, or are you more of a fan of modern mass-produced type guns? If you are going to hunt with it, but you want it for both deer and squirrel sized game, should you consider a flintlock smoothbore like a pennsylvania fowler or Tulle type gun that will shoot both round ball and shot ?? Are you going to get interested in re-enacting ??? If so, you might want to research the guns used in your area to save you a lot of headaches and money to get a gun that historically matches your re-enacting persona ..... Saying you want a flintlock is similiar to saying you want a car ..... there are so many different kinds, types, calibers and styles you might want to narrow down your choices first before you lay down your money. Check out Jim Chambers guns, TVM, Early Rustic Arms and other custom makers along with looking at the mass produced guns. Granted, a custom gun is twice to three times the cost of a Kmart special, but a custom will more than likely last a whole lifetime with little trouble, and will give you extremely good accuracy and service and it's made to fit you, not the one-size-fits-all masses type. A custom gun you can pass down to your kids !! What lock style do you want ??? Do you want a water proof pan? ..... see what I mean ...the choices are endless. Do you research and homework, and you'll find the flintlock you are looking for and that you will be happy with.
Ohio Rusty
Ohio Rusty is offline  
Old December 30, 2010, 12:13 AM   #10
ursavus.elemensis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2007
Location: southcentral/southeastern PA
Posts: 375
I started this thread some years ago, and never got a chance to get a flintlock rifle. Now I am considering it again. Will go up to Dixon's tomorrow to take a look around and see what they've got. I want a PA longrifle, but I do not want to spend a lot right now for a custom rifle. I want to get a Lyman and get used to using it, then maybe someday get a really nice one that is more appropriate to this area. I am interested in target shooting. I have been reading a lot about this, and I am a little afraid I'll get frustrated with the babysitting the flint and the whole process of cleaning between shots, etc. I mostly shoot 9 mm Sig pistols and S&W J-frame .38's, and lever rifles in .30-30, .38, .357, and .44 (although I think I'll sell my Winchester 94AE Trapper .44 Magnum and my collection of .44 Special ammo to pay for getting my flintlock rifle and supplies to get started). I am used to shooting 75 rounds and then going home and cleaning the guns and/or rifles, so the flintlock is a bit of a cultural change for me in several ways. I'm also a little concerned about the sights on the flintlock rifles. I think I can use the modern fiberoptic sites that come standard now on the Lyman Deerstalkers, but the regular iron sights are a no-go for me. I could sort of see putting a scope on the flintlock rifle (I'd never do that with a custom flintlock, but maybe with a factory-made Lyman). I have a scope mount and scout scope on my 7.7 mm Arisaka that my grandfather brought back from WW2 in the Pacific. I wasted a lot of ammo through it before finally deciding that it matters less to me how silly it looks with a scope mounted than it matters that I can't enjoy shooting it if it is sitting in the safe all the time because I can't use the iron sights. Anyway, I think I can use the fiberoptic sights on the Deerstalker.
__________________
"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a
Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
-The Declaration of Independence
ursavus.elemensis is offline  
Old December 30, 2010, 11:05 PM   #11
Wyosmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 1,241
Flinters are my passion.
Contact me if you like to talk about them.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old December 30, 2010, 11:41 PM   #12
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,095
Also are you interested in historical accuracy or simply shooting? And they did use rifles in the Revolution, though they were a rather specialized weapon, the rank and file and line infantry carried muskets.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old December 30, 2010, 11:45 PM   #13
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
If you're interested in a flintlock that comes standard with many modern features, check out the new Traditions PA Pellet rifle. It's super reliable with a removable breech plug, Williams adjustable Tru-Glo metal sights, single or double trigger models, wood or soft touch stocks, a 26 inch barrel and a newly designed specially hardened frizzen.
It's light weight enough to add a scope yet still be managable to handle.

Here's 2 Bass Pro reviews:

http://www.basspro.com/Traditions™-P...89230/-1248666

http://www.traditionsfirearms.com/pr...roducts_id=108

Starting as low as $280 with synthetic stock at the Sportman's Guide. Also available in a redi-pak, these prices can't be found anywhere else. Plus there's additional Buyer's Club discounts and coupon codes just for signing up for the Sportsman's Guide emails.
Detailed photos of the breech and optional stocks that The Guide has available:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=264877

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=264876

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=264878

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=582535

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c....aspx?a=582536

Last edited by arcticap; December 31, 2010 at 01:00 AM.
arcticap is offline  
Old December 31, 2010, 12:21 AM   #14
Wyosmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 1,241
These are pretty typical of the styling of rifles used in the Revolution. And as SIGSHR said, rifles were not “common” at all in warfare then.

Fancier rifles became more common after the war's end.










Wyosmith is offline  
Old December 31, 2010, 08:55 AM   #15
ursavus.elemensis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2007
Location: southcentral/southeastern PA
Posts: 375
Thanks Arcticap and Wyosmith!
I appreciate you taking the time to get that info together. I did look it over, and they are nice rifles. I went up to Dixon's yesterday afternoon and I got a Lyman Great Plains, left handed, .50 caliber flintlock. I asked them to replace the front blade site with a red fiber optic front site. I am going to go to the range today to shoot. Thanks again for pointing out those other rifles. I am sure this is not the last flintlock I will get, and so I will consider those in the future.

I need to get my .44 Special ammo collection up for sale this weekend (1,500 rounds, probably start the auction at about 55 cents per round) to pay for the flintlock and all the stuff for shooting.
__________________
"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a
Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
-The Declaration of Independence
ursavus.elemensis is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10243 seconds with 9 queries