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Old December 9, 2017, 10:04 AM   #1
kraigwy
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Flintlock priming powder?

I've always dabbled (not seriously) in Muzzle Loaders but they have be cap and ball or inlines.

I just bought a flintlock to play with and dont know a whole lot (anything) about them.

I know 4f is recommended for priming but impossible to find here.

What else can be used? What substitute, if an would work?
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Old December 9, 2017, 10:12 AM   #2
243winxb
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I use Goex 3F to prime and load a TC Hawken 45 cal.

If the 3F is not fine enough, very carefully flatten some between 2 spoons. But not safe or recommended to do .

I think factories make it while its still wet?
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:13 AM   #3
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I use 3f in the pan. Never messed with 4f and haven't had any problems. Only real bp in the pan though. No subs.
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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I bought a neat little porcelain mortar and pestle at a kitchen shop down in Ft. Collins a number of years ago, and when I need some priming powder for the flinter, I just grind up some 2fg and use that. Some folks just prime with 2f from the horn and claim it works as well. I've just always used a separate priming horn and 2fg grindings. Works very well for me.
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:32 AM   #5
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Always use 3F to prime here.
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:48 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Didn't you just prime with a little out of the paper musket cartridge when you were in the Army?
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:04 PM   #7
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3-F

Quote:
I bought a neat little porcelain mortar and pestle at a kitchen shop down in Ft. Collins
I have often thought about doing this but have too many birthdays behind me, to do so. I do get good results from using 3F and did manage to trade for some 4-F at a G.S. Might add that I don't shoot rock-crushers very often. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:44 PM   #8
mehavey
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As others have already said:

- Real BP only (major frustration item)

- 3Fg if that's all that's available will work fine (as opposed to "best" )

- Don't overfill pan. Just enough to reach bottom of/(not cover up) vent hole

- Real Flint.... not the sawn agate supplied with some commercial guns (major frustration item)
See https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ...x/180/1/FLINTS

- Learn Simple knapping (major frustration item)
See https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...3&postcount=10

This all sounds very complex. One range session, though, and it's second nature/no problemmo
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:53 PM   #9
4V50 Gary
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You can use larger grain. Remember in the 18th Century soldiers primed their pans from their cartridges. It wasn't until the late 18th Century that some soldiers began carrying priming flasks.

Colonial Williambsurg did some high speed photography of a flintlock lock in action. It showed more sparks flying out of the pan when finer grain was used as priming compound. The larger grain had fewer sparks bounce back up. They believe it was because the larger grain would trap the spark better than finer grain.
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Old December 9, 2017, 01:01 PM   #10
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I use Goex 3F for the main charge and the priming in both my own guns, a 62 cal and a 50 cal. I can't tell any difference in the quickness of ignition from 3F to 4F, so I just prime with my regular powder. Never had a problem.
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Old December 9, 2017, 05:58 PM   #11
kraigwy
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Thanks a lot guys. All I have is 2f and laying it right toward the flash hole it works.

Its different,
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Old December 9, 2017, 06:23 PM   #12
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I have no problem finding 4F so thats what i've been using. Very fast ignition times. I tried 3F and it works as well but I did notice a very slight delay in ignition vs 4F. There is ways to crush 3F down to 4F although i too am a beginner with flintlocks and do not know the exact method. VERY helpful guys over at the muzzleloader forum , they probably can help :

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/index.php?
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Last edited by Road_Clam; December 9, 2017 at 06:30 PM.
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Old December 9, 2017, 07:30 PM   #13
mehavey
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Take a Tablespoon of your 2Fg, put it on a flat 1x8 (or your wife's bread board ),
then roll over it a few times with (your wife's ) wooden rolling pin

Presto.... great priming powder.
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Old December 9, 2017, 10:03 PM   #14
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I know "4F to prime" but 3F has worked fine in my flintlock. Goex. No lag to pop !
.02 David.
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Old December 10, 2017, 02:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
I bought a neat little porcelain mortar and pestle at a kitchen shop down in Ft. Collins a number of years ago, and when I need some priming powder for the flinter, I just grind up some 2fg and use that. Some folks just prime with 2f from the horn and claim it works as well. I've just always used a separate priming horn and 2fg grindings. Works very well for me.
I have been doing this since the early 70s. Never wanted to keep two different cans of powder for just one gun.
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Old December 10, 2017, 04:34 AM   #16
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While it may be hard to really notice...the finer granulations should give you a more consistent ignition and slightly quicker one as well...as the powder burns faster. Try not to put too much powder in your pan, and don't block the touch hole with it as it will only slow things up. Proper ignition is from a quick flash of powder igniting and not from it just burning it's way into the flash hole.
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Old December 10, 2017, 12:22 PM   #17
kraigwy
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Old stony, wish I'd read you post yesterday. I did notice a difference in ignition time, I think it was because I tried to put the priming powder into the flash hole.

I'll give your idea a try this afternoon.
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Old December 10, 2017, 05:04 PM   #18
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I bought my porcelain M&P years ago .It was made by COORS. I didn't know at that time they made anything except beer . Also design and make their own cans !
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Old December 10, 2017, 06:14 PM   #19
mehavey
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Tsk tsk....

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Old December 11, 2017, 10:11 AM   #20
reinert
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On priming the pan

A long time ago I was shown by a master flintlock shooter how he primed his pan whilst shooting next to him at a competition. His rifle fired as fast and as consistently as anything on the line, flint or percussion. And he hit everything he shot at. He showed me how he primed to get this consistent ignition:

On his right-handed rifle, and after loading the charge and patched r.b., he laid the rifle in the crook of his arm, pointing downrange.

He filled the pan half full, tilted the rifle with the pan upward just enough so when he tapped lightly on the bottom of the pan, the touch-hole got covered with priming powder (looked like 4fg as I remember).

Then, he took his vent pick and ran it through the priming powder, well into the main charge in the barrel. He did this until he was satisfied the main charge was lined with priming powder. This method also left a slight tunnel through the main charge to aid ignition.

He then closed the frizzen on the pan, tilted the rifle so the pan was slightly downward and gave the rifle a few gentle raps to move the priming away from the touchhole. This gave a little "air" space between the priming and the touchhole to let the sparks do their work quickly, and without having to burn through any extra powder before the rifle fired.

He did all this very quickly, and consistently. And he was a most excellent shot, as I mentioned before. Whenever I hunt with a flintlock, I always use this method to prime. I also check my priming fairly regularly throughout a day's hunt.

What I've found that works very well for a vent pick, is a 56mm bass E (6th) acoustic guitar string with the bronze winding stripped off about an inch and a half, and then leaving about an inch and a half of the winding left on for a grip. These work very well to push priming powder through the main charge via the touchhole.

This is all for nothing more than a FWIW info post. It certainly works for me, and you may want to try it for yourself. If your lock has a good sharp flint in its jaws adjusted correctly, and your frizzen has a good hard face on it, that's a very good start in your new experience with a flintlock. Klatches are going to happen for you from time to time, but that's just part of your journey learning the care and feeding of a flintlock rifle (or smoothie).

Have fun with your new gun.
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Old December 11, 2017, 10:41 AM   #21
kraigwy
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For INFO, just because I'm not responding to each and every post, doesnt mean I'm not reading them.

Keep them coming. Being new to Flintlocks I'm learning and trying most every suggestion.

The exception being the "smashing of powder" bit. I dont know much about flintlocks but I do know powder make up.

I was on the bomb squad for my department for many years. Part of my job was post blast investigations, which included policing up fingers and other assorted body parts of people who try making their own repellents or modifying existing repellents.

I'm a firm believer that the chemist know a lot more then I do and I'll stick to their suggestions.

Keep the post coming, I'm learning.
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Old December 11, 2017, 12:22 PM   #22
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I have a Traditions Pennslyvania .50 cal and it uses a "patent breech" design which unfortunately can be problematic as far as consistent ignitions. My rifle prefers 3F powder, and after I load the powder charge I thump my palm at the breech area to help get some powder down into the small passageway that connects to the vent hole. I then prime with 4F and just enough to still see the vent hole, and if the stars are aligned correctly and I did my job she will go kaboom...
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:13 PM   #23
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I have read that 4Fg powder granules, unlike the other grades, are not coated with graphite and therefore absorb moisture more readily. This might be more of a problem if you carried the gun afield for an extended period in humid/damp weather.

I always use 3Fg for main and priming charges, works fine, and you only need one powder horn.
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:30 PM   #24
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every flintlock has its own ways. One of mine likes a heavier 4f pan charge while the other prefers a lot less. Play around and learn what amount it likes. I use 4fg for hunting and target shooting.
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:40 PM   #25
mehavey
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KraigWy, you might be interest in this:
http://www.unitednuclear.com/bp.htm

Note that crushing using non-sparking materials is the standard way of reducing grain size.

Still... a Tbs is about all one needs for a significant number of priming rounds at only 4-5 grains at a time.
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