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Old November 2, 2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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OK. need some help on the flinters..........

Tell me about 'em.

Have had a 45 repro flinter for a spell. Took all the BP out today to the range to play, and took it too. I will occasionally have a dud cap on the cap and balls, but what am I doing wrong on the flint pistol.

When I loaded it, then flipped the frizzen to charge it, there was powder already in there. It leaked out the flash hole. I am using GOEX FFFg in everything, I just like it. But, apparently, I should perhaps be using a little coarser powder for the ball in a flintlock gun, so it wouldn't run out the flash hole.

And aside from that, I couldn't get the stuff to light off. Am I gripping the flint the wrong way? Never really did see a lot of sparks thrown, even when dry firing it to just try it. Maybe need to rough up the frizzen cap to encourage more spark.

Any advice appreciated.


Okie out
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Old November 2, 2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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You want the frizzen smooth not rough. Yout touch hole should be 1/16
dia. Probably yours is too big. What kind of a pistol is it? I been shooting
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Old November 2, 2009, 08:16 PM   #3
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I would say that your flash hole is a little big and you want a smootth frizzen and a very sharp peice of flint. might have it to far back
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Old November 2, 2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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By looking at the flash hole, it appears it may be a tad large. Looks bigger than 1/16, but not much. It's just one of those pistols like Daniel Boone carried. I Url below is a pic of what I have. I don't think I have a Taylor, as I didn't give near that much for it a few years back, but I don't have a pic on file of it right now.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old November 2, 2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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I use FFg for the main charge and I grind FFFFg between two wooden blocks for the pan in my T/C Hawken.
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Old November 5, 2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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leaking powder charge

I would stick to the 3fg powder. It burns alot cleaner than 2f. For a temporary fix I would stick a pipe cleaner just a bit in the touch hole and clamp down the frizzen on it before loading. That will keep the load from blowing out the pan. Don't put the pipe cleaner too far in the touch hole or you'll never get it out.

I started doing the pipe cleaner thing on a crankey touch hole on a 75 cal Brown Bess thinking when I got home I would fix the touch hole. Darn thing shot so well I'm still doing it that way 20 years later.
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Old November 5, 2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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I wouldn't worry too much about powder leaking from the barrel and through the flash hole into the pan. I read somewhere where some frontiersman tolerated it as it helped them to load when running.

The lack of spark is of greater concern. The frizzen may not be hardened enough and may need some kasenite to put more carbon onto its surface. You might also want to adjust your flint. I've used the same flint for over 130 shots (and it's worn badly but still sparks). A famous gunsmith confessed to me that he is cheap and does the same thing.

Test your frizzen by getting a fresh flint. Before you put the flint on, wet a piece of leather and wrap it around the flint. Wrap rubber bands around it to compress the leather and allow it to dry. When dry, clamp the leather wrapped frizzen into the gun such that there's good contact with the frizzen when the cock falls. Try that new leather wrapped frizzen to see if there's sparks. If you don't get sparks, then your frizzen needs the kasenite treatment.
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Old November 6, 2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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And now, a different point of view.

First off, how about posting a photo of the gun?

As somebody said, if the vent hole is 1/16", you are fine. As for powder coming out the vent hole, no problem.

The spark, as Gary mentioned, is the real worry. Your gun should send a shower of sparks down when the flint hits the metal. What is happening is that the sharp (note that for a paragraph or so from here) edge of the flint is actually shaving metal from the face of the frizzen and that heats it to a point where it glows red hot. That is actually your sparks.

If you do not have sparks, chances are that you have a dull flint. Feel the edge of it. Does it feel like a sharp knife or a butter knife? Flint quality varies, as does the wear characteristics of flints. I won't get into knapping here, as I barely can do it (though I am told it is easy) but recommend a new flint if it is dull (save the old one as it can probably be knapped.

Next, unlike Gary, I like lead wrap of the flint. To to this, take any old round lead ball and start flattening it with a hammer. Don't worry about the round pizza-pie shape it takes, you can trim that with a pair of scissors. When sufficiently flat that you can easily bend it. put it around the flint and put it in the lock. After five or so hits, retighten the lock, and you should be golden for a while.

Now, as you are putting the flint in, but not tightening the lock yet, lower the lock so the flint touches the frizzen. Make certain that the edge of the flint is as square to the frizzen as you can get. Also, your flint should be striking the frizzen about 1/3 of the length down from the top. If not, you need a shorter flint if it is striking high, and if it is striking lower, there is a fix for that, that is remarkably cheap. Get a tree twig and put it behind the flint. This will push the flint out to meet the frizzen where it should.

Use only black powder, too. Synthetics have a higher flash temperature than flints can reliably give. Black powder, only.

Let's see how you go from there.

The Doc is out now.
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Old November 6, 2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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Plus 1 for the lead wrap around the flint instead of the leather .
I seldom knap my flints because the lead wrap takes the bounce out of the strike on the frizzen .....You get a more solid strike and the flint will knap its self each time the hammer falls .
So on the norm if my flint doesn`t throw sparks on the first fall , it will on the second with out any knapping .
Of course there is always flint quaility ...try a few different type ...but be sure and try some black English flints ....all my rock locks seem to work better with them .
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Old November 6, 2009, 04:55 PM   #10
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what type of rock are you using?
the stuff that's nice and square and has an edge on either end of it, or the stuff that looks like a rock?
it's only metal, we can out think it.....
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Old November 7, 2009, 11:22 PM   #11
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Thanks all guys,

Been away from desk all week doin' the farmin' thing. No PC out there in the sticks, heh. Just no time.

Anyway, I think it may be a flint/frizzen issue. I will try to get some pics up tomorrow. It is my first foray into flints, just a simple repro pistol from the Daniel Boone era I think. Nonetheless, I learned something already. I always assumed it was the flint that was shedding causing the spark. I learned it was actually shaving the metal. There seems to be quite a bit more learning curve on the flint guns than the C&B.

I love my 1851 in 36 cal, and have an 1860 in 44 coming soon. Each time I go to the range, I get more lookers than the smokeless shooters, dunno if that is a good thing. ha. The might think I have lost it. When actually I am just conserving my good ammo for when we might need it.
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Old November 8, 2009, 03:08 PM   #12
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Learning curve

That learning curve is really an easy one to learn.

Another thing that you don't want to do is tamp down the powder. What you do is drop the powder down the barrel with the barrel held about 70 degrees off of 90 degrees.

The reason for this is that you are trying, with a flintlock, to coax fire INTO the powder.

With a caplock, you are forcing fire into the powder.

Stop ramming on the ball when you hit the powder. You don't want to compact the powder and remove the airspace that the fire needs to flow through.

Next, when putting powder into the pan, there is no need to cover the vent hole, or to overfill the pan. Some people after putting the powder in and closing the frizzen, bump the gun to the lock side to get the powder in the pan away from the vent hole. Others don't. Try it and see if it works for you.

Also, get yourself a vent prick. The idea on this is to not only keep the vent hole clean of residue, but to use it to poke a hole into the powder in the barrel. This is to give that fire a channel to run into when firing.

Welcome to the world of flinters.

The Doc is out now.
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Old November 8, 2009, 08:27 PM   #13
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da pic

Put it on white background to show better. Close ups made flint edge blurry. From all comments, I need to look into lapping and possibly getting some new flints, and perhaps hardening frizzen or replacing it too. Decisions decisions. That one fuzzy pic makes the flint look like it's completely blunt. It's not, but it could also use some dressing up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flintlock.jpg (219.4 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg flintpistol 001.jpg (192.5 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg flintpistol 004.jpg (197.1 KB, 24 views)

Last edited by okiefarmer; November 8, 2009 at 09:53 PM.
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