View Full Version : Tests show that with flintlocks...

4V50 Gary
June 17, 2002, 08:05 PM
Tests conducted at Colonial Williamsburg showed that when the flint strikes the frizzen, the frizzen doesn't merely fall back and release a shower of sparks. The frizzen actually bounces forward and recoils back several times, sometimes even striking the flint. The sparks are (as we know) small particles of metal that are scraped downward towards the priming charge. They are so small that some sparks actually bounce back out of the pan without igniting the powder. They concluded that larger grain powder actually ignites better than finer 4F powder (news to me).

This film which featured several locks (both period and modern flintlocks) was filmed quite a few years ago and was shown to interested students during the NMLRA Gunbuilders' Workshop at Bowling Green, KY.

If they ever get their hands on another slow motion camera, they want to test the location of the touchhole and see what works better for ignition.

June 18, 2002, 08:41 AM
I have a digital version of a high speed camera shot of a flintlock.

Cannot attach an MPEG and it is not on the web, if you want it send me an e-mail to: [email protected]


Jimmy Mac
July 2, 2002, 06:00 PM
I and most all the guys I shoot with have discovered that there is no need for FFFF in the pan. FFF does just as good or better.

Even FF seems to do just fine in some rifles

Alex Johnson
July 5, 2002, 09:23 AM
A lot of competition shooters simply take the frizzen spring out during matches. The purpose of the spring is to keep the pan closed, but it does so at a slight cost in lock time. The English were fond of putting rollers either on the foot of the frizzen or on the frizzen spring, while this made sense, it has been proven lately that it does little to enhance performance, rather it tends to slow it down to a degree. A few years ago (maybe more recently) there was an article in Muzzleblasts where they were testing the effects of touch hole sizes. Light sensors were placed both at the pan and at the muzzle to record time intervals between the flash of the powder in the pan and the flash at the muzzle. There were some interesting results and very useful ones if you build your own guns.