View Full Version : Saw a flintlock at the range today
08-22-2006, 11:21 PM
...........While that's no big deal it was obvious the guy shooting it knew what he was doing. It was an Italian made 50 cal and the ignition was almost instantaneous. The pan flash was like a camera strobe (but orangish) and the muzzle report was so quick as to be simultaneous. Had a good sharp bark to to to, so it wasn't any slouch load.
Deputy Al was talking to the guy later so I wandered down and saw the target he'd just shot at 100 yards. He had 3 in maybe 1.5" as I recal, and one opening the 4 shot group to 3" I'd guess.
Not to shabby. He was using GOEX BP but I didn't ask the charge. Patched RB's natch :-)
08-23-2006, 05:58 AM
A well tuned flinter will fire as fast as a percussion. A bad one is, well, bad. Knowing where to put the touchhole when building and filling the pan properly will make guys take notice as to how fast they will fire.
The only mistake I made one time after hunting was to empty the rifle after dark when I got back to my car. I didn't close my eyes and couldn't see for a while.
One night when I finished tuning a lock, I carried it (Just the lock!) over to my neighbors and when he opened the door, I flashed it to show him the speed of the flint working. We were both blind. Good for some laughs!
08-24-2006, 12:26 AM
There is nothing like a good flintlock which sparks well and fires as close to instantainious as possible.
I shoot a forty cal and a .75, both flinters. Shot ducks and rabbits with the .75 shot loads.
BUT; oh boy when there is a delay in the ignition; you are reacting to the flash in the pan unless you have trained yourself to ignore it. FLINCH.
08-24-2006, 09:06 PM
Some time back, a high-speed photography project revealed that in a WELL-TUNED flintlock, the ball exited the muzzle before the cock stopped moving.
Seems like most of the ones I've used are much closer to the "flinchlock" side of the family. One more of my "someday" projects is some serious load work with a beautiful custom-made flintlock .50 which I had built for my wife as an anniversary present, back in the '80s I think. Made by "Robinson, Prince George" (British Columbia), the serial number is only 14x. Fantastic piece of feathered-crotch walnut; I paid him over $400 (1980s dollars) for the STOCK BLANK, before he started whittling.
I've chronographed the .490 ball at over 2000 fps...a .30-30, for all practical purposes, energy-wise.
Rocklocks are fun.
I have a .36 in the Ohio pattern and a .54 in Southern Mountain pattern. Both are almost instantanious ignition, but I can still flinch faster. :-D :-D -JDL
08-25-2006, 01:39 PM
Once the lock itself is tuned, the center of the touch hole should be level with the top of the pan. Then don't fill the pan full. the powder should be just below the hole so the initial flash will enter the hole instead of having to burn down to it. The lock has to be tuned so the first contact of the flint will send sparks into the pan, not after it has dragged down the frizzen. Simple stuff, really.
Another point is to keep the touch-hole clear so there won't be a fuse effect to slow the ignition. -JDL
08-27-2006, 05:24 AM
Very true! You have to watch how the gun is carried when hunting so the hole doesn't fill up or the powder isn't ramped up against it. Normally with a good touch hole insert, the fuse distance is very short so only a tiny delay occurs if a few particles of powder get in. Those with just a straight hole that gets plugged can get so bad that they might fire after you lower the gun.
The worst situation is a long, plugged touch hole, overfilled pan that covers it and ramped powder from turning the gun sideways to the left. Now throw in a dull flint or a bad lock that won't spark until the flint is all the way down the frizzen.
Can get a cup of coffee while waiting!
I once seen two fellas from Michigan that drove to PA with new, unfired flinters made in Italy. The frizzens were so soft there was no way to make a spark. I tried to help but it was useless. I could not believe that they bought the guns and never tried to shoot them at home. A very, very long drive for nothing!
08-28-2006, 10:35 AM
I have a Lyman G Plains flint lock 54 cal, I have always had good luck puting half pan, close frizzen and lay her on her side so powder falls AWAY from touch hole and then she fires good and fast for me. thats the way my father taught me.
When hunting in damp conditions I always keep a frizzen cover on and the lock under my arm, only had on missfire!
Those Italian ML's have gotten better of late though. If you have a soft frizzen from TC they will get you another one for free if you send the soft one back.
08-29-2006, 12:47 AM
...............Many moons ago the guy I grew up with used to shoot locally with a Black Powder club. One of the tricks the guys showed him when priming the pan was to lick their thumb, then wipe it across the pan. Add powder then tip to the right (anything that didn't stick fell out, then close the frizzen and shoot.
Deputy Al and I know a guy who has been rondyvooing and shoosting flinters about as long as I've been alive. A bit over a half century now. Also a former California State pistol champ, but that's another deal :-). One day I was shooting my Whitworth at the 200 meter gong, so he said he'd try it. His favorite rifle is a 40 cal that he said he's had to go to a larger ball on, as the rifling is getting pretty worn.
He made 4 attempts and didn't hit it, but he came darn close each time. The gong is 11" wide and 14" tall. The sights were naturally a simple fixed notch and a skinny blade up front. I thought that that was a darn fine performance, hit or no. He didn't take any sighters either, so he KNEW that rifle! Another time he was shooting a little 32 cal flint rifle as slim and delicate looking as could be. When he got done he showed me 2 targets of 3 rounds each he'd fired at 50 yards. Each one looked like a Micky Mouse head. Each ball cut the others' hole.
08-31-2006, 08:32 AM
I have not been to a rendevouse yet but want to very much, Ive been to a shoot in Indiana a couple of times, we have a bplackpowder shoot at our local club once a year, sidelocks shoot @ 100yds, scope or not. Inlines w/scope or without shoot @ 200yds, Its great fun....to bad its only once a year.
The other sad fact is there are alot more inlines showing up than side lock flints or percussions.
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