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Thread: Flintlock priming powder question

  1. #1

    Flintlock priming powder question

    I am reading as much as I can on flintlocks. I do not own one yet.
    From what I am reading you want at least 4f or finer in your pan. If you
    have green meal would that work? Green meal is what comes straight out your
    ball mill when making bp. It does light off fast with a match. If I had a flintlock I
    would know the answer. anyone tried green meal as flash pan powder?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have no experience with "green meal", but I shot flintlocks for a lot of years. I used to use what they referred to as "dust" (might be the same thing as green meal). It was powder that was found at the bottom of big canisters of powder that was too small to be classified. It worked very well in the flash pan. Just a note of advice: the worst thing you can do with BP is put too much powder in the flash pan. It's a common mistake for beginners, they think it will make the ignition more reliable. It's what causes long delays before burning to the main charge. You actually need very little powder in the pan to get a quick and reliable burn in the main charge.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Priming powder (4f) works, but 3f works just as well. Since I charge my rifles with 3f, I also prime with it. I have both, and use the 4f at the range, mainly just to use it up (some day). There is no difference in ignition. The 3f is what I use hunting.

  4. #4
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I use Goex 3F in the barrel and the pan. I thought about getting some 4F but then realized that I'd never use it up!
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I had a good friend, who is passed on, who used goex 7f, or meal d.
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    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne smith View Post
    i use goex 3f in the barrel and the pan.

    +1

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    Myself and the guys I shoot with are competition shooters with flintlocks. We are all in agreement that 4FFFF is faster than 3FFF. Our scores go to hell priming with anything else. I can definitely tell the difference.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    I use 4F, because that’s what all the serious competitors I know use. It should be the fastest.

    The problem I can see using this Green Meal, is that it will probably not be as consistent as a commercially manufactured powder. Otherwise, why not try it and see how it works for you.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    FFFF in the pan about half full. Put a small feather(quill end) in the flash hole when you load. This creates a small void in the main charge and speeds up ignition.

  10. #10
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    some of my flinters work with 3f in the pan but most only work with 4f in the pan. a simple way to compare powders is to mill a v grove into a 3 foot board twice, in other words you will have two equal depth, width, and length groves. fill one with known 4f and the other with your meal powder, ignite them at the same time, if they both make it to the end at the same time they are comparable.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rancher1913 View Post
    some of my flinters work with 3f in the pan but most only work with 4f in the pan. a simple way to compare powders is to mill a v grove into a 3 foot board twice, in other words you will have two equal depth, width, and length groves. fill one with known 4f and the other with your meal powder, ignite them at the same time, if they both make it to the end at the same time they are comparable.
    I can do this. I just don't have 4f available to me. i have a router. I need to ask around if any one is ordering so I can share in the fees.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by passgas55 View Post
    I can do this. I just don't have 4f available to me. i have a router. I need to ask around if any one is ordering so I can share in the fees.
    You started off talking about homemade powder?
    If that is the case - forget the meal idea - you will end up with a surplus of FFFFg as a result of the crushing and screening process.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Although I have not used Green meal as a Pan powder. I don't see why such powder wouldn't work as a pan Priming powder. Its burn speed is quicker than any homemade Corn powder. "That I know from past experience with G/m"
    If I didn't have access to 4-FFFFg I would cut up 2-FFg grains smaller or try using G/meal for a Pan charging in a pinch "No doubt about that."
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverMax View Post
    Although I have not used Green meal as a Pan powder. I don't see why such powder wouldn't work as a pan Priming powder. Its burn speed is quicker than any homemade Corn powder. "That I know from past experience with G/m"
    If I didn't have access to 4-FFFFg I would cut up 2-FFg grains smaller or try using G/meal for a Pan charging in a pinch "No doubt about that."
    My point was if he is making powder he is gonna end up with an oversupply of FFFFg (and will also have a useable quantity of screening dust = meal) ------ need to be careful using meal I reckon - that stuff will flash burn like lightning and takes very little of it to carry flame across.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    He will have an abundance of "meal" and 4F from his powder making process. Why buy 4F? A mortar and pestle and you can have a couple years supply in a few minutes from 1,2, or 3F. Personally, I always use 4F simply because several years back I acquired 2 pounds of the stuff at an estate sale. Prior to that, I ground a lot of 2 or 3 F into 4F or finer.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I thought about grinding as well - but I know myself. With a little OCD I would have no way to know when to stop and have meal before I knew it!
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've been using 4F for over 40 years with excellent results!

  18. #18
    I do not size my powder because I try to make bigger grains when corning to shoot in a cannon. It all goes in the cannon what ever I make.
    I always have gm on hand. Like I said I don't own a flintlock yet but hope so in a month.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    K. I. S. S. , I see that some one else was in SAM'S service?? KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID ! thanks for your service.

  20. #20
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    one powder horn loaded with swiss 3f for both tube and pan.

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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