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Old July 14, 2009, 03:55 PM   #1
metalmechanic
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Flint Lock

Does anyone use/re enact with flintlocks? Info on Bess, Charlie, and Ferguson would be helpful.
Thanks
Larry
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Old July 14, 2009, 04:09 PM   #2
killer
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http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/index.php?

look here for the info you need.
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Old July 14, 2009, 04:26 PM   #3
darkgael
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Flint guns

+1 about that site.
I have four flint guns. One is a pistol. Then there is a Lyman GPR with two barrels - .50 rifle and a .54 smoothbore. The other two are smoothbores: a .20 ga. Fowler with a 40" barrel and a 14 ga. blunderbuss with a 14" barrel.
Great shooters all.

Pete
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Old July 14, 2009, 08:11 PM   #4
killer
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where did you get the 54 smooth bore for your gpr?
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Old July 14, 2009, 08:46 PM   #5
darkgael
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Flint

Green Mt. Barrels
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Old July 14, 2009, 11:34 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
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The Brown Bess and Charleville muskets were both smoothbore arms. Both had many variations and if you were to go to the Royal Armoury in Leeds (England) or Eccole Militaire in Paris (at least when I last visited), you will see many, many pristine examples of both weapons. Besides bore diameter (the French Charleville was slightly smaller), the basic difference in construction was the British practice of usings pins to attach the barrel to the stock as opposed to the French method of using barrel bands. Anthony Darling's little booklet, Red Coat and Brown Bess is an excellent introduction to the Brown Bess. There's a sequel for the Charleville that is also available from the same publisher, Museum Restoration Services in Canada.

Now, the Ferguson was an entirely different gun. Unlike the two muskets discussed above, the Ferguson was a rifled arm. It was unique among rifles in that it was a breechloader. The breechplug was attached to the trigger guard and one full rotation of the trigger guard exposed the breech for loading. You could overload it and rotate the trigger guard up, and then sweep the excess powder into the pan. Only 100 Fergusons were made for enlisted men. Ferguson had an officer's model (it featured chequering around the wrist) for himself. I'm not sure how many were made for the British East India Company, but there were some. Lance Klein wrote an article ("This most barbarous weapon" or something like that) several years ago that appeared in Muzzle Blasts magazine and it may still be available online. Klein said that after Ferguson was injured at Brandywine (actually Chadd's Ford), his unit was disbanded. He did not attribute it to any conspiracy against Ferguson or his gun, but rather that the men, who were drawn from various units, were desperately needed to flush out the thinned ranks. DeWitt Bailey claims (British Military Flintlock Rifles) that some men took their guns with them and points out a painting (Battle of Paoli) as proof. BTW, if you want a Ferguson, be prepared to shuck out $6k for a custom gunmaker to assemble one for you.
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Old July 15, 2009, 11:11 AM   #7
Noz
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I bought a flintlock once, a Pedersoli .38 squirrel rifle. I thought my life would be complete.
I now know why they always show mountain men in paintings with 2 horses. It takes the second horse to carry everything needed to keep a flint lock running. There is a good reason why percussion caps were invented.
Shooting a flinter is way beyond my capabilities.
I was truly pleased when a young man came along and wanted it more than I.
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Old July 15, 2009, 09:55 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
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The advantage of the flintlock had over the caplock on the frontier is that you never ran out of flint. You looked for broken arrow heads and after a little knapping, you've got your flint. With a caplock, you've got to start heading back once your caps get low. That's why Davy Crockett took a flintlock with him to the Alamo.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:31 AM   #9
arcticap
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I'd like to think that a percussion gun could be fired with the help of a smoldering match or a short section of fuse. Just remove the nipple, put in some priming powder and light it off.
What prevents a percussion gun from being fired like a manually operated matchlock or gonne with a fuse or match?
So no one really needed to head home if they ran out of caps. They just needed to set it off the "old fashion way".
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Old July 16, 2009, 07:19 AM   #10
mykeal
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Quote:
a percussion gun could be fired with the help of a smoldering match or a short section of fuse. Just remove the nipple, put in some priming powder and light it off.
I've actually seen that done. The blow back through the vent was incredible; the shooter's hand was burned (2nd degree, lots of powder residue or byproducts in the wound) and he missed the paper at 25 yards. Also swore he'd never do that again. Without the nipple installed the vent hole is huge.

But, it worked. I suppose, if the bad guys were at the door...
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Old July 16, 2009, 03:53 PM   #11
darkgael
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flints and horses

Quote:
It takes the second horse to carry everything needed to keep a flint lock running. There is a good reason why percussion caps were invented.
I don't get it. It doesn't take any more to run a flint gun. The RBs, patches and powder are the same (shoot 3f, prime with 3f), measures are the same; I have a bag of flints, each one good for - what? how many shots? 15? 25? 30?. If I had a cap gun, I'd need caps - caps that I have to rely on someone else for.
So what have I missed? Not another horse.
Pete
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Old July 16, 2009, 07:03 PM   #12
robhof
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robhof

I have both and although the cappers are faster(lock time), the flints are fun, but a lot more unreliable. I fired 40+ good shots at the range and decided to take my flinter Hawkins hunting; a deer was nice enough to pose relatively close and Almost allowed me to recharge the frizzen, when it fizzed and didn't bang. It shot fine when I discharged it that evening to go home and clean it. I haven't had a cap failure yet.
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Old July 17, 2009, 07:00 PM   #13
greenacres
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A properly tuned flintlock is just as fast and just as reliable as a percussion lock. It was a steep learning curve and it took a lot of trial and error, but once I got the lock working perfect; shooting a flintlock is so much more fun.
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