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Old January 12, 2012, 08:07 AM   #1
BrittB
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Flint lock question

What are your experences with flint lock rifles and what do you think about them in general? Thinking about doing something a little different.
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Old January 12, 2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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Britt;
If ya love American history, classic arms, beautiful lines, accuracy, coolness, fun, and the Zen of everything being distilled into each shot, every time, try it...
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Old January 12, 2012, 08:45 AM   #3
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I have, and use a couple of them. Once you have taken the time to tuly master the procedures, they are as reliable as a percussion. What's more, once you learn what the gun likes, they are as fast as a percussion. Properly loaded, that alleged time delay between spark and boom does not exist.
Of course, a cheap piece of crap will always shoot like a cheap piece of crap.
Get a quality gun to start with, and if at all possible have it checked over by an experienced shooter. Frizzen hardness, contact angle, and location of the flash hole are the secrets to a good shooter.
When loading the pan, remember, less is more. Too much powder in the pan is the main cause of delayed ignition.
Hope this helps
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Old January 12, 2012, 09:19 AM   #4
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As an avid flintlockers for 40 years, I can tell you it is an avocation all it's own. Having and shooting traditional flintlocks also involves loving and enjoying aspects of early American history. It is not just another form of shooting. Traditional muzzle loading is frustrating and dirty. By nature, they are an antique form of firearm and often are less reliable than modern guns. I suggest you try to attend some events where there are flintlock shooters. Look at the guns and talk to the owners to help get an idea if this new form of insanity is for you.
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Old January 12, 2012, 09:27 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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I have a TC Renegade that I built years ago from a kit.

I've always enjoyed it, even though the stock didn't fit me very well.

But, it's tough to shoot since I live in urban area of DC metro.

One thing I found is that you should be willing to spend money on flints.

I've found the sawn flints to be crap, expensive and they simply dont' last very long. I was doing good to get 20 shots out of one.

My boss at the time, a flint hunter in Pennsylvania, convinced me to spend some money on some English Chert hand knapped flints. They were pricey, but I got a minimum of 40 to 50 shots out of each one, and one I got 100 or more shots from before I had to scrap it.

Another thing I learned from my old boss is that leather is nice for holding a flint in place, but if you want it to stay where you put it, you flatten a pure lead round ball and use that.

Finally for cleaning, I rigged up a piece of surgical tubing to the barrel of a Bic pen that I could thread into the touchhole (after removing the liner).

I rigged the other end onto a kitchen faucet nozzle (the kind used to hook up a dishwasher) and used that to clean the barrel. I'd turn on the water to its hottest and let it run for a few minutes. Then I'd run some soapy patches down the bore to remove any traces of oil that might hide corrosive fouling, and then I'd hook up to the facuet again until the outside of the barrel felt appreciably warm. That would help dry out any remaining moisture.

Then it was a couple of dry patches, a couple of patches with denatured alcohol to finish off any remaining moisture, and then Johnson's paste wax on the outside of the barrel and a bore preservative on the inside.
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Old January 12, 2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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"When loading the pan, remember, less is more. Too much powder in the pan is the main cause of delayed ignition."

I'd been shooting my flint for a number of years before my old boss and I shot together. He was a hardcore flinter.

One thing he saw me doing, and stopped me from doing, is not only putting too much powder in the pan, but also tipping the rifle so that the priming powder would either cover or get into the touch hole.

I had always thought that you needed that "powder train" effect to ignite the main charge.

Because of what I was doing, my lock times were quite slow.

Once he showed me the right amount of powder to use, and how to position in the in pan, my lock times got a LOT faster.
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Old January 12, 2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Flintlocks are SOOO much fun, They are surely the True Nature of black powder. Kind of fun to know that you can often find a rock on the ground if something happens to your flint during a day of shooting. Try that with a "capgun".

Not sure if I would suggest a Smoothbore 62 or a rifle>> they are both a lot of fun, but it kind of seems that guys that are truly bitten by the bug will usually end up going smooth in the end. I love my smoothy and have killed deer with it and it wil really shoot a handful of 4B shot with athority.

I sure don't want to turn your thread into a "vent time contro" (and after watching the vids most will see that there is the fastest way and then all the other ways..should be not a contro)

There is so many theories and tips and "BS" on locktime that is is just silly... Most of the theories are wrong when we look at the real world.. Yes they are as reliable as a capgun...But they will NEVER be as fast. In fact, even the most highly tuned Flinter will not even out run the bow and arrow to a 5 yard target

Theory will tell us that the flinlock can actually outrun a cap because the charge can light before the hammer is all the way down. But in FACT the high speed camera shows us, that even with the most highly tuned locks from some of the country best gunsmiths, flint will not even light the pan charge until the frizzen is rebounding,(usually on the 2nd rebound) then the main charge has to light, then the pressure build and the vent will vent long before the ball leaves.

Fun...Yes, probly the most fun of the BP world

Take a look at some of these vids and enjoy...they sure opened a lot of eyes...they will make most of us blush since moist of us really had no clue and we managed to go tell the forum world how clueless we were.. some guys will even deny the proof after it was put right in front of them..lol

http://www.blackpowdermag.com/featur...xperiments.php

http://www.blackpowdermag.com/featur...lock-movie.php


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Last edited by freedom475; January 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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My experiences were all bad.
I never got a handle on it and wound up trading the gun for a percussion.
Found out later that the new owner spent more than the new price of the gun for a good lock that solved the problems.
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Old January 12, 2012, 10:44 AM   #9
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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If I could have but one gun, it would be a Flint. Been shooting them for
over 40 years. Shot a lot, still do Flint in National competiton. High speed
photos might show otherwise, but they seem to shoot as fast as a cap. Note
I use the word "seem" Here is my Flint pistol in action.
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Old January 12, 2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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I love that picture!!!
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Old January 12, 2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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Here is one of my rifle, but remember the video is slowed down so as you
can see the flash in the pan and at the muzzle. Real time is faster than this.



My lock really sparks well



My little Flint pistol spark


Last edited by kwhi43@kc.rr.com; January 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:13 PM   #12
Gehrhard
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Geez -- those sure are some sparks!

Flints are 5 or 6 times slower in locktime than a cap. So what. And no, they are not as reliable as caplocks. Again, so what.

It is in fact the burning hot gases of the pan that light the main charge in the barrel -- this is also why the touchole should be centered on the line running across the top flats of the pan (in case you ever have to drill your own)!
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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I'm thinking that I should go to a Mountain Man event and see what is going on. I should be able to get some idea of finer details and see if its what I have in mind. I may try to find a used one to learn on and see if its my cup of tea too. If anyone knows of any deals out there, don't be shy!
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Old January 12, 2012, 02:49 PM   #14
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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Proper hole loacation



Proper way to prime the pan

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Old January 12, 2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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I just recently picked up a book on black powder guns by Lyman that I need to read too, can't hurt!
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Old January 12, 2012, 04:29 PM   #16
Rifleman1776
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khwi, I know you are one of the more visible flintlockers on the forums. But, what you are showing is exactly the WRONG way to prime. A thin line across the bottom of the pan will give faster and more consistent results than piling it up like that.
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Old January 12, 2012, 04:31 PM   #17
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BrittB, the Lyman book is interesting. But do consider it only a supplement to knowledge you can acquire from experienced flint shooters. It is not gospel. However, being the only muzzle loading ballistics bp book (that I know of) it is taken, and quoted, as gospel by many. Consider it a first grade primer for your learning curve.
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Old January 12, 2012, 05:02 PM   #18
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I started with a Traditions 50 cal. Then I went to a Lyman Deerstalker 54 cal. Then I bought a Lyman Great Plains 54 cal. My observations.....learn your gun's quirks. Each one is a little different. You don't need to load up on powder. You'll reach a point of diminishing returns where you won't get any more umph....you'll just be making more smoke. I've killed a deer every year that I've gone out in Pennsylvania's flintlock deer season. The advantages are that the season is after Christmas so there's a better chance of snow for tracking. It's cold enough that the deer herd up for the winter and it's the last season in Pa so there are very few hunters to contend with. My money gun for putting meat on the table is the Deerstalker. And last but not least......anything other than a patched roundball is sacriledge IMO.


Last edited by shoptroll; January 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 05:29 PM   #19
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I killed the first deer on my current property with a Lyman GPR .50 flinter. I still take it out on sunny days during muzzleloader season, and shoot it for fun now and again.

They're much more about style than performance. Expect to pay big money for a "great" accurate flintlock.
Check out "Track of the Wolf" online to see just how broad the flintlock world can be.
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Old January 12, 2012, 06:14 PM   #20
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Rifleman 1776

I know of what I speak. The way you sugest is excatly the wrong way!!

Tell you what, when it warms up a bit, I will go to the range and shoot several shots with the pan primed like you say to do, then I will shoot several
with my way and record on video and post it right here. Hows that?

Last edited by kwhi43@kc.rr.com; January 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 06:21 PM   #21
Gehrhard
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khwi, I totally agree with rifleman. The hole is in exactly the perfect spot it should be, and personally I'd have a little more 4f in there, but did u accidentally tip or knock the gun and attach the wrong picture or did you intentionally bank what little powder there is to cover the touchole!?

Howdayalike Shoptroll's gun? I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with one of the name brand mass-produced Hawkin (Mountain) rifles...

Last edited by Gehrhard; January 12, 2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 06:30 PM   #22
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kwhi's videos don't lie. Neither do his and his wife and daughters targets. If he says that's the way to do it then that's the way to do it.
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Old January 12, 2012, 06:41 PM   #23
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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It should be excatly the way I show it. This method has been well proven using high speed cameras. Check out "Blackpowdermag" Work done by Larry
Pletcher. I and the wife shoot the flint pistol in National competiton and we
need the very fastest possible ingition. If there were a faster way, don't you
think I would be using it? We have has quite a few people who see us shoot
comment on how fast our Flint fires.They say they can't tell it from a cap.

Side note: Wife won the Flint Pistol Agg Championship at Friendship and she
is not a Flint shooter. This was on open competiton against the men. For her
to shoot good it has to be fast.

Here is the link for the test http://www.blackpowdermag.com/featur...-vent-test.php

Last edited by kwhi43@kc.rr.com; January 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old January 12, 2012, 07:34 PM   #24
prm
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I've always liked a flintlock. You do get what you pay for in a lock. Buy cheap and you probably won't be satisfied. Maybe, quality is a better choice of terms. Same with your flints ~ I've had the best results with the dark English flints.

I had one of Ernie Tidwell's (Tennessee Valley Arms) early Tennessee Rifles that was accurate enough to head shoot squirrels. Let a friend buy it from me a couple of years ago.

Today, I am shooting a Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine. I really like the smooth bore. It fits the bill in multiple areas for me. As a shotgun, I can use it for small game, and I still have the capability of a patched round ball for larger game and target shooting.
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Old January 12, 2012, 08:24 PM   #25
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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Yep, I always said if I could have only one gun, it would be a Flint. I will
revise that and say a Flintlock Smoothbore. The lock on my pistol is a
Becky from RE Davis. I think they cost 145.00 Barrel is a Rayl which is 65.00
Grips Herrit National another 75.00 Rear sight Bomar 130.00. It sure adds up.
Probaby another 100.00 in trigger & frame and stuff.That's over 500.00 just
in parts. So I tell the wife the 600.00 I gave for it 10 years ago was a steal.
I think now Rob, who built it chargers about 800. Yep, buy quality parts.
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