Advice on Flintlock Firearms...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by FreeNihilist, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist New Member

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    Does any here have experience with flintlock rifles (or pistols) and have any advice on the pros and cons of flintlocks and would you consider them to be a viable long term gun more so than other guns, provided I would be casting bullets, making wadding and black powder on my own.

    I am looking to possibly purchase a flintlock rifle in the next 2 weeks or so. I currently try to live as basic as possible and make as many goods as possible ( which is most of my needs actually). My goal for buying a flintlock would be to become more self sufficient in yet another aspect. Making BP, wadding and casting lead is all familiar to me but I would be a total newbie to flintlocks. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Better have a source for flints, too. A broken flint will put you right out of business, unless you want to ignight the powder in the pan with a smoldering piece of rope! :eek:
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Along with your current learning objectives, learn to knap flint. A GOOD flint may get you 10 shots. As a subset to your learning objectives, creative profanity should be included. Extra points if you can swear with feeling in a language other than your native tongue.

    Seriously, what put the flintlock in the shade was reliability (term flash in the pan came from flinters, along with keep your powder dry) measurable delay between click and bang, and the aforementioned snapping of flint.

    If you can master that, AND have a source of sulfur and saltpetre, you can just about do from scratch. Hint- Willow charcoal does best, do not ask me why, and learn about "corned" powder vs meal powder. You will need very fine priming powder for the pan- glass or brass rod can be used to roll regular powder to crush down to ffffG grade for priming.
     
  4. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    I've got a couple of flintlocks and I shoot them very occasionally.... maybe I would do better with them if I had been shooting them all my life, but I find that pan-flash to be disturbing, ruining my aim.

    I'm afraid I'll never be much of a marksman with a flintlock rifle, so I settled on a smoothbore which can be loaded with shot. Might be something to consider. A large-caliber smoothbore is pretty versatile.
     
  5. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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  6. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    A good quality flint lock is just as fast as a cap lock with no snapping. A good quality cap lock is as fast as a center fire. English flints will get you 15+ shots before knapping.
     
  7. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

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    Free:

    To what end do you intend to use the flintlock? Recreational shooting? Hunting?

    I have several BP firearms one of which is a nice .54 cal flintlock rifle. It shoots very well, but it took me a good while to learn to shoot it properly. The main difference is the “follow-through”, i.e. maintaining a good sight picture after pulling the trigger so that the short but very real time delay between trigger pull and actual firing does not change your point of impact. When I first started shooting my flintlock, I was consistently shooting off center until I realized I was relaxing my muscles after I pulled the trigger and changing the point of aim before the rifle actually discharged, It took a bit of practice to get it right.

    The flintlock is a great rifle for 100 yard target shooting as long as you do not expect MOA groups. It is a very fun rifle to shoot.

    The flintlock (obviously) served well as a hunting tool over 200 years ago, so it could serve you well in that arena as well, although you will have to really learn how to hunt like they did back in the late 1700’s – early 1800’s.

    I won’t even ask about self defense, not the best choice, but once again flintlocks worked reasonably well back in their day.

    I get as many as 50-60 shots out of a flint, maybe having to adjust the flint on the jaws after about 15-20 shots. You do have to keep watch on the flints getting loose. I have not tried to knap a flint. They are pretty easy to buy on-line, and not that expensive. But if you intend to be totally self sufficient you should learn that skill.

    All in all, if you want to use a flintlock to meet your self-sufficiency goals you should go ahead and do it!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  8. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist New Member

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    I appreciate all the advice everyone has given me. Thank you.

    I intend to use it for hunting primarily. I have a very small amount of experience with knapping stone to make primitive stone knives, I suppose its time to hone that skillset much further just in case I might need it one day. Its better to have and not need rather then the other way around.

    I definitely dont intend it to be a self defense gun rather a gun I would be able to continue using over the long term if TSHTF without relying on others for supplies, to put food on the table. I also enjoy primitive technology and skills.

    Where Im at, whitetail deer would be the primary quarry. Theyre overly abundant and the easiest large game to encounter in the area. I use trapping for small game to medium and most every other critter 'round these parts. So I suppose it's primary function would be a deer rifle.
     
  9. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    Years ago in a magazine they had a prayer that had the title of "And the lord said let there be flint" the bad thing with a flinter is once you try it you are sunk, they are a very beautiful form of a firearm that our early settlers depended on for many things.
    I have both cap and flint but i shoot my flinters more than anything, my favorites are my smooth bore 62 caliber fowlers. the lock time can be speeded up by the amount of priming powder you use, learn to use the correct amount it doesnt take alot to set it off infact the more you use the slower it will be. you will learn to love a flinter as you will spend time time with her to learn what she likes, they become a part of you.
    yes keep a supply of flints on hand and yes Hawg is right the english flints are fantastic, keep them sharp and they will throw a spark like nothing else, but you will also need to have good lock that has a properly hardened frizzen also.
    rifles are fun but take a scout troop and let them use a smoothbore that is loaded with a single ball, or a buck and ball load, using anything for wadding as was done in the 1700's when they ran low on leather or material type patching and it brings a smile on thier face that you will never forget.
    sorry for getting carried away but once you fall in love with a rock gun you dont talk about anything else. sorry Hawg i got carried away.
     
  10. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    A well built flinter is a fast dependable firearm. The flinter and the perc. cap when measured for speed are almost too close to tell. As for flint life a good lock and proper grooming of the rock will get over 100 lights. You can buy the Black English flints from TOW and others. Rich Pearce sells Long Hunter flints a chert rock that is cheap and works great. Do not knap and waste your flints. Use a diamond file to keep an edge on your rocks. By using a file to keep the flint sharp you are not breaking and shortening your rocks. A good flash hole or vent is most important. A flinter that has a good lock and vent works fine in the rain. They are easier to clear than a perc nipple when wet. The shooter needs only to open the frizzen wipe the pan reprime and fire. The flinter was used by many after the advent of the cap. It was much easier to learn how to use a perc. cap. Just like today gun owners had different levels of gun knowledge.

    RC
     
  11. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    great tip on the diamond file, i will try that on some in my save bag.:D
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Primitive wadding? Hornets nest/ wasp nest. Remove hornets before use.
     
  13. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    mud dobber nests, hate to say it but ive used grass also, doesnt work real good.
     
  14. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Over powder wads are not needed in modern B/P rifles. Most of us shoot a very tight load. If you want a lose loads that fouls the bore you will need an over powder wad. The gas cutting will set the patch on fire. It may not be orginal but a wad of Saran sandwich wrap is hard to beat. The wrap will not burn or stick to the bore. You are not going to get stings while gathering sandwich wrap. I prefer a patch made from Walmart Cotton Duct .018 and a some what wet patch using Hoppe's BP+. I can shoot many relays without cleaning my Rice .54.

    DK
     
  15. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    We are talking about wadding used in a smoothbore ?
     
  16. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    Over powder wads are over powder wads. Why would you need a different O/P for a smooth bore than a rifle or handgun?? They can an do serve the same purpose.

    DK
     
  17. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    we are talking about traditional methods used when and if needed in a different time period of your local wally world or grocery store down aisle 5 when you find the plastic wrap products. i suggest you read your history on these arms and your questions will be answered. just to get you started you will find that not all people used material type products for wadding they used what they had at that time. when will i learn to keep my mouth shut and just read this stuff.
     
  18. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    I shoot State and Nat'l shoots. In 07 I was on the road for 6 Mos. I shoot only Flint Class as I have for more than 40 years. Have you stood beside me at any of the Natls. I doubt it. I think its OK to suggest an answer for some other wise hard to get items like wasp nest. As far as this crap of being orginal give me a break.. You are most likely shooting a steel button rifled barrel over an investment cast lock plate. You do not have a hand hammered soft iron barrel. You are shooting coated mass produced Q control powder. And if you shoot less than 50 lbs of powder a year you are not a real Compt. shooter.
     
  19. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke New Member

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    i bow to youer expertise durango i dint mean any disrespect to your vast knowledge about historical tid bits. 40 years is a long time and you are right about that rifled bbl but it s was on a 16 not like my smoothbore 1750's flintlocks, and if it isnt spelled goex i dont use it, so i dont need to see any reason to discuss someething with an expert so i will set back and listen. just a curious question but who were your sponsors when you were on the road for six months or are you one of those rich people?
     
  20. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    No problem. Please chime in. Don't let my rough lingo drive you out into the desert. I pay my own freight. I worked many years now I am picking all the low hanging fruit that I can. Most of my rifles are built by Steve Zhinn a well known western rifle smith. I shoot a .54 Rice barreled Southern Rifle in hunting class. I shoot a .40 NC style in small bore. My Big Bore rifle is a .58 Yeager. For clay birds and paper smooth gun .62 TVM. For trail primitive I shoot an old Brown Bess made in Japan. My Cross Stick rifle is a heavy Getz barreled early Virginia also TVM. I also shoot flint pistol. It takes a load of equiptment and supplies when you shoot as many as 4 matches a month. We often start in Texas in Sept. I shoot in NM,Az, etc. We end up in Southern California in March. I head back to Wyoming in May in time for the Wyoming State Match the end of May. This year I am waiting for the wether to get better.

    DK