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Thread: Touch hole/liner - Flintlock Build Question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Touch hole/liner - Flintlock Build Question

    Evening',

    I've been building a Kentucky Longrifle from a Track of the Wolf kit. I'm getting close to finishing the barrel/gas plug inletting, and my book left a step out - The touch hole. From what I understand, that step occurs after inletting the lock, however, I'm not 100% sure on where exactly to drill. Since drilling in the wrong place would be a nasty accident, I thought I'd ask if anyone has tips/instructions on drilling the vent hole. My assumption is that I would drill it so the bottom-most portion of the liner (vent/nipple) would be even with the curvature of the frizzen pan once installed. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Who keeps not his arms in times of peace, Will have no arms in times of war.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Smile

    The hole should be even with the top of the pan. The fire jumps up as well as out. Don't put the hole at the bottom of the pan.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Baron von Trollwhack's Avatar
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    The flash hole goes in what is called the "setting sun" position: that is, scribe a line across the barrel when the lock is fitted, the line from forward to aft at the level of the top edge of the pan. The flash hole in the barrel, or liner if fitted, is drilled with the hole's lower edge touching this line and centered fore and aft. Setting Sun.

    The liner should not protrude into the bore, is filed flush on the exterior, and normally a fine thread is used. The hole is usually 0.067" . Sometimes it is required to file a little slot across the face of the breechplug for the flash hole to accomodate a lock fitted a little too far back, and the liners are typically coned inside. Sometimes the flashholes are not drilled dead center of the liner to save unbreeching if fitting was a little off.

    BvT
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The reason for the placement, higher than the bottom of the pan, is to keep the vent hole frre from being buried in priming powder/charge - the flash/flame travels faster through the air than it does by burning the powder ( a fuse, in effect).

    When you get to shootin' - only prime with a partial pan (like 1/2 pan).

    I actually give my rocklock a slight shake, to settle the prime in the outer end of the pan - but you should try various methods to find out what your lock works best with.

    .

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you all for the feedback. I believe I understand the proper alignment now, thanks to your descriptions. Much appreciated.
    Who keeps not his arms in times of peace, Will have no arms in times of war.
    -Gaelic Proverb

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    A stainless steel bolt threaded 1/4x28 thread makes a good liner. Drill the hole as outlined above and then dril it out and tap it to 1/4 28. The liner itself I dress down flat to the barrel while I am making the gun and then polish the face of the liner to 400 grit and buff to a high shine. This makes it easy to wipe it off and keep it clean while shooting. I cone my liners from the inside to 1/2 the thickness of the liner and use a #52 drill for the initial hole. Shoot it and see if you might need to open it up a touch. I don't bother with FFFFg any more as I have found in a GOOD lock FFF is just as fast. Ideally I want my gun to fire before the frizzen is half open and a good lock will do this. I also polish the bottom of the frizzen and the pan to a high shine and I wipe the lock between shots as it's humid here and this keeps the fouling from collecting and drawing moisture. I also polish the coned breech plug and I have guns 10 years old that when cleaned the plug will still reflect enough light to see the bore.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Baron von Trollwhack's Avatar
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    Check out Larry Plecher's Black Powder Mag.com. Via fast photography and computerization he has documented a series of experiments of flintlock timing, including pan powder placement and use. Super reporting.

    I flipped the pan for a long time to put the prime outwards, but Larry has proven that INWARD is the sweet spot.

    I changed. Read !

    BvT
    Remember that now there are few or no consequences for political or criminal diddling, dawdling, dumassery, or outright deceit, waste, or theft, no matter the subject, the originator, the players, or the level or the name of the of the gooberment stooge(s) responsible.

    BvT

  8. #8
    I don't now or ever have used a stainless steel bolt for a touch hole liner. For the cost of a pre-made properly threaded liner for $1.95 I can't work that cheap to make one. I like ampco alloy over stainless too, it lasts longer. the line across the top of the pan is the correct spot a few thousands off i doubt you can tell. Just keep it out of the sewer positiion bottom of the pan although I've seen many a rifle built that way and shoot just fine. The touch hole is about the last thing I do on a rifle, just before browning no need to do it any earlier imho.
    "there is a limit to everything"
    Sigillum Militum Xpisti

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I used to make mine out of a stainless steel nipple. I would taper the sholder of the nipple shank with a file and spinning it in a drill press. I would counter bore the bottom of the nipple with a small centering bit to cone it. Drill and tap the barrel and use a counter sink to give you a small taper to match the bottom of the sholder of the nipple you just created. Use the flats on the nipple with a nipple wrench to turn the liner hard into the barrel. Cut off the excess of the nipple, and peen the edges of the liner to match the counter bore, and file flush. Thats it! The toolman.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Trollwhack View Post
    Check out Larry Plecher's Black Powder Mag.com. Via fast photography and computerization he has documented a series of experiments of flintlock timing, including pan powder placement and use. Super reporting.

    I flipped the pan for a long time to put the prime outwards, but Larry has proven that INWARD is the sweet spot.

    I changed. Read !

    BvT
    Thanks for the tip; I will definitely check that out.

    Also, thanks to those of you who posted the home-made nipple suggestions. My TOW kit came with a slotted one, though.
    Who keeps not his arms in times of peace, Will have no arms in times of war.
    -Gaelic Proverb

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check