Flintlocks

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beagle6 posted this 11 April 2018

A good quality lock with a sharp flint, properly loaded, is as fast as a percussion lock for all practical purposes. If  you are getting " klatch, pfft, boom" something is definately wrong. One thing could be too much powder in the pan. It only takes a very small amount and that should be placed well away from the vent. A really good source of information is "Muzzle Blasts Online,Vol.4, No.4; The Flintlock Revisited.

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onondaga posted this 11 April 2018

T.C. and Traditions make flintlock primer pan charge tools. I have the Traditions model for my Traditions flintlock and it fills my primer pan 2/3 full. This gives lightening fast ignition as fast as my Lyman GP percussion rifle. You can prove to yourself by doubling the charge and slowing down your ignition that more powder is worse in a flintlock prime pan. It is not a matter of skewed common sense that more is better, the right amount works better.

Gary

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beagle6 posted this 11 April 2018

T.C. and Traditions make flintlock primer pan charge tools. I have the Traditions model for my Traditions flintlock and it fills my primer pan 2/3 full. This gives lightening fast ignition as fast as my Lyman GP percussion rifle. You can prove to yourself by doubling the charge and slowing down your ignition that more powder is worse in a flintlock prime pan. It is not a matter of skewed common sense that more is better, the right amount works better.

Gary

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beagle6 posted this 11 April 2018

You are absolutely right and I don't even use that much; maybe 1/4 of the pan and placed on the outside, away from the vent.

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RicinYakima posted this 12 April 2018

The first UTube video I ever watch was about 2005 when I was building my flinter. It clearly shows in ultra slow photography that the grains of FFFF powder burn 360 degrees from surface of the grain. You only need enough to get the flame front to go into the touch hole, as everything else is wasted. Powder over the bottom of the touch hole retards the flame from going inside.

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Seven Pines posted this 14 May 2019

I’ve used a tiny taper pin reamer to make my bent holes and that also seems to help. Almost like the nozzle on a rocket engine I imagine. I can’t remember the size of taper pin reamer it’s at dads shop but it is very very small and might be one of the ones made in the tool room where grandpa used to work.

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Seven Pines posted this 14 May 2019

Vent not bent. Silly auto correct

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harleyrock posted this 19 May 2019

The inside of the vent in the flintlock that I built has wide taper (like a countersink) and I assume this is common. So the powder charge is very close to that vent opening.  The hot gasses don't have to go deep down a hole to get to the powder.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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Seven Pines posted this 22 May 2019

I have also used a counter sink to make vent holes in the stainless liners. My dad uses one now inside and outside ends. But I agree totally with beagle6 about lock quality and sharp flints. Onondaga: Amount of priming in the pan is critical to consistently igniting the main charge.

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Seven Pines posted this 4 weeks ago

So at a public range the other day, a friendly gentlemen watched me shoot my .50 flint round Ball bench gun and made a random comment: “you should use a .25acp case as a priming measure.” And walked away and drove off before I could ask him any other questions. Have never seen him there before. It’s close to the house and as far as I can tell I’m the only muzzleloader shooter who uses it. Any one out there ever here of doing this?

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Ross Smith posted this 4 weeks ago

I use a priming horn with a wood peg. Gets powder all over the place. Then you shake off the extra and go for it. Worked in the 1700's, works now.

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delmarskid posted this 4 weeks ago

A fellow cautioned me concerning priming powder. He told me to make sure it doesn't collect behind the lock plate. It can turn to a bomb.

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Bill2728 posted this 4 weeks ago

I gave up on priming tools and prime from my horn. A finger over the hole in the horn to control the flow. With a good lock, rock and a properly placed vent, flintlocks are simple.

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Dale53 posted this 4 weeks ago

I live about 45 minutes from the National Muzzleloading Matches at Friendship, IN. It has been my good fortune to know and shoot alongside some of the finest muzzle loading shooters and builders in the country. The above suggestions (of "less is more" regarding amount of flintlock priming powder amount) is on point. The flash of burning powder in the air is near instantaneous. The burning of a "powder train" is not. 

A good flintlock rifle is VERY useful, both "On the Range and in the Field"!

FWIW

Dale53

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beagle6 posted this 4 weeks ago

Soldiers during the flintlock period charged their priming pans with the same powder used in their main charge, usually tearing open their paper cartridges and pouring some of the powder into the pans before pouring the rest into the barrel. In the heat of battle I doubt this was a neat process. The musket balls were all very much undersized. The British used 71 caliber balls for their 75 caliber Brown Bess Muskets and the French and Americans used 65 caliber balls for their 69 caliber muskets. I have read 2 first hand accounts where they just put the balls in the muzzles and slammed the butts on the ground hoping to seat the balls ( no ramrod used). Then as now, firepower was important. How many volleys could you get in before the enemy reached you with their bayonets?

Beagle6

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Michael S posted this 4 weeks ago

   Back in the day I would use my flash hole pic to push a divite into the charge making a tunnel, then I would prime my frizen pan and tilt the fff into the tunnel before closing my frizen pan.  It resulted in a slow ignition in my Lyman 54 and 50 plains gun and also in my TC 50 plains rifle. I was at a Rendezvous shooting and a gentleman told me that I needed the powder in the frizen pan to not be touching my flash hole and burst to life and the flame ketching the flash hole and it would then ignite my charge. 

  The timing on all 3 guns speed up considerably and increased my scores.  I went from usually placing around 40th to 3rd place that year. It was at beginning of rifle match that he told me. To 1st place the following year.  Sadly he did not know the answer to throwing the hawk using off hand. But he did make me a custom flint and steel set that day so I could do fire starts one handed with out cutting my lip. He also made me a custom bow with a mouth tab attached to the string so I don't have to tie a shoe lace to the bow string. It increased my scores as well. But the biggest help was the frizen pan adjustment,  I still use it to the day and I think my guns fire as fast as regular guns. No hang up or delays.

GOD, United States of America, US Marine Corps, Family, Self

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Seven Pines posted this 4 weeks ago

I’ve been priming from a small horn for over 35 years and never had an issue. I have used paper cartridges in my Brown Bess for reenacting and hunting and primed after tearing the tail off with my teeth before pouring the main charge. Measuring priming seems silly to me but thought it interesting that old timer would mention it. I will also stick with my priming horn for my flint and wheel locks.

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RicinYakima posted this 4 weeks ago

About twenty years ago I did quite a bit of research about this "priming horn" issue. It appears that it began in the early 1700's in Central Europe for they early Jaeger rifles. The English fowler hunters seems to have picked it up about the mid-1700's when they went to very course black to increase power. The English military began  for the Barker Rifle about 1800. In North America it was a "Golden Age" thing from about 1790 on for eastern rifles. Using a different priming powder was never used on the frontier of the old NW territories or on the western plains.

Several historians have suggested that the percussion cap was so universal and quickly  because the working hunters were priming with the main "coarse" powder, and the percussion caps was more reliable. Until the conversion to percussion caps, all US muskets were primed with main charge powder, while only rifles were primed with finer grained powder.

FWIW, Ric

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Ross Smith posted this 3 weeks ago

fffg makes pretty decent priming powder

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