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Login Name Post: Which flints?        (Topic#252178)
cowrustler 
32 Cal.
Posts: 45
11-29-10 09:43 AM - Post#920692    


I would like to get the thoughts of members here on which flints have worked best for them and contact information. I seem to have a collection of various sizes, some of which work well and some that last only a few shots- and I can't recall where I got the good ones. Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
11-29-10 09:48 AM - Post#920695    

    In response to cowrustler

Read this recent post.

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid...

 
cowrustler 
32 Cal.
Posts: 45
11-29-10 10:37 AM - Post#920705    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Paul, thank you. I knew there was a post here somewhere with the information but couldn't remember which one, Bill

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
11-29-10 02:03 PM - Post#920769    

    In response to cowrustler

I live within 4 hours of Friendship, so I buy my flints over at the Nationals, when I can hand pick out the flints I want, and avoid those with Humps. I have received a dozen flints from our Rich Pierce, but have not "shot them". I was given some of the cut Agate "flints", and they are terrible, for the reasons I stated in the earlier post.

D.C. Waldorf has a short "booklet", titled, " The Art of Flint Knapping". Chapter 4 is titled, " Elementary Flint Knapping, and discusses the "Hertzian cone"( approx. 100 degrees) involved in most if not all rocks made of silicon, or silicates.

He rightfully reminds us all of what a piece of glass looks like when struck with a BB. it has a smaller than BB diameter hole on the impact side, and a large, 100 degree cone through the glass from the entrance to the other side of the glass.

I suppose there is someone out there who has not seen a piece of glass shot with a BB, but I would like to think that group doesn't include many active shooters!

Knapping Takes advantage of this natural line of fracture, in flint, to form a gun flint. A tuned flintlock will take advantage of this line of fracture, to both cut steel, and then flake off a NEW edge on the flint for the next strike.

Agates, altho silicates,when cut, rather than knapped, are cut across these natural fracture lines within the stone, so that the cut edge works against making sparks, and knapping a new edge. A cut stone simply is an artificial "stone" that usually will not act like a natural stone acts when struck.

Once in awhile, I meet someone who had a cut agate flint that worked well for some time, and he got lots of sparks in his lock. But, even those rare shooters admit that they haven't had the same experience with other cut agate flints.

If the reader is one of the " Lucky " shooters who has had a good cut agate flint that sparked well, then you know what I mean. Of the half dozen I own, only one gave a few more sparks than the rest, and they are throwing only one or two sparks per strike. The Agate edges seem to just crumble, rather than flake.

 
ebiggs 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3893
ebiggs
11-29-10 03:46 PM - Post#920807    

    In response to cowrustler

The Tom Fuller or Rich Pierce flints are the way to go. Lacking knapping experience you can get a set of small diamond files from Harbor Freight for about $10 bucks and dress up a flint easily. Skip the lead wraps and use leather and if you really want to “make” good flints I can show you a little jig I made for my small tile saw.

 
40 Flint 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1464
40 Flint
11-29-10 05:33 PM - Post#920888    

    In response to ebiggs

Have always used Black English flints either from Trak or a vendor at a match (I really like picking my own.

My first flint (bought 6)from Rich Pierce is doing a bang up job and still going. The only time I have sharpened it was to show someone how it is done. Will buy more.
TC

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8001
hanshi
11-29-10 05:58 PM - Post#920903    

    In response to cowrustler

The Tom Fuller English and the Rich Pierce Missouri flints are the best I've used to date. I think the English flints "self knapp" better than the white flints but I get about the same service life with both.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
MSW 
Cannon
Posts: 6653
MSW
11-29-10 06:09 PM - Post#920913    

    In response to paulvallandigham

... what Paul said ...

cut agate flints are an anethema and apotheosis (to borrow from Faulkner) and if you have one, put it in a drawer to confound and confuse whoever settles your estate when you die. that's about all they're good for. i agree with Paul that if you get sparks from one, it's dumb luck and nothing more.

i am not one to go with something because 'that's the way they did it in the old days,' but i go with something 'cause it actually works. there were a bunch of hard shiney thingies back then, and we get the flint not because it looks cool, but because it makes the sparks that causes the flash that sets off the powder that shoots the ball that goes down the barrel that makes the good smoke from the rifle that Jack built.

(sorry, got on a roll and couldn't resist)

if you try some Rich Pierce flints, you'll be convinced that they're the cat's meow... if you want to "look kewl" then you can go with some French Amber, which do look pretty neat, but don't spark any better than black english flints and cost something like triple the price. the french amber don't spark as well in my locks, but your results may vary, and that's the point:

get a few of each (except the cut agate, take it on faith thata they're a waste of time and money) and see which one works best for you. same with the leather vs. lead arguement; try which seems to fill your needs the best. then use that and don't get too terribly wrapped arouond the axle about what the guys on the range might say. i don't tell other people what or how to shoot, and i expect the same courtesy. if you want my opinion, ask and you'll get it but otherwise, it's your gun to do with as you see fit.

best of luck with your tests, and after you get the best combination, make good smoke!

Edited by MSW on 11-29-10 06:12 PM. Reason for edit: bad typing

 
1sgt 
40 Cal.
Posts: 142
1sgt
11-29-10 10:07 PM - Post#921035    

    In response to cowrustler

I shot 60 rounds Sunday with 1 Rich Pierce flint. No knaping. No misfires. The flint was about shot out but it never stopped sparking. I like em.

 
petsoman 
32 Cal.
Posts: 25
11-30-10 08:47 AM - Post#921160    

    In response to cowrustler

I have been shooting for five months.. I started with 3/4 x 7/8 black english knapped from TOW and have had no problems in my large Siler lock. I have learned to resharpening them at the range without removing from the cock and just keep on shooting...good luck.

 
cowrustler 
32 Cal.
Posts: 45
11-30-10 08:48 AM - Post#921162    

    In response to 1sgt

Thanks for all your help. I have e-mailed Rich and will try and get some from TOW as well. Both sound like a big improvement over what I've been using.

 
jbtusa 
45 Cal.
Posts: 596
jbtusa
11-30-10 09:10 AM - Post#921171    

    In response to cowrustler

Rich Pierce's white Missouri chert... all the way... the only way!

 
Goldhunter 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1593
Goldhunter
11-30-10 09:30 AM - Post#921182    

    In response to cowrustler

Try both. I have one rifle that loves the Fuller flints and doesn't like the Pierce flints but the other likes both. You never know unitl you try them. Either way, both are good.

 
Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4058
11-30-10 02:41 PM - Post#921288    

    In response to Goldhunter

Gold Hunter is right on. Try different flints till you find ones that work for your lock.

 
Mike Brines 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5845
Mike Brines
11-30-10 03:12 PM - Post#921298    

    In response to Rich Pierce

Rich you're sure smart for such a young feller.

 
Lt Frank 
32 Cal.
Posts: 29
12-01-10 02:12 AM - Post#921559    

    In response to cowrustler

Rustler.....Here is a guy I met at the CLA show this year and he was giving away samples of his flints. They are of very good quality and quite reasonable. His name is Dave Galloway and here is his email. Dave Galloway" <lickingvalleygunflints@gmail.com> Give him a try.

 
alabamaboy 
40 Cal.
Posts: 208
12-03-10 04:39 PM - Post#922788    

    In response to MSW

Well you know after your statement about french flints I need to say that's not true about the price I just bought 12 from TOTW and they were .99 each and they had the others for 1.65 each so let's not get overly excited

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
12-04-10 03:09 PM - Post#923305    

    In response to alabamaboy

At $.99 each, that would be a HUGE price drop over what you paid for French, "Amber" flints, 6 months ago. Congratulations on getting a good deal.

 
Ian 
32 Cal.
Posts: 20
12-05-10 01:57 PM - Post#923802    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Interesting I have been buying English flints for yrs from Muzzleloading gunworks Emporium in Oregon cheaper than I can get them out of England I think the last ones were about $1.25 and their service is excellent.cheers Ian.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
12-05-10 03:50 PM - Post#923854    

    In response to Ian

The last price I saw on French Amber flints, they cost almost $3.00 a piece.

I ordered a thousand English flints 20 years ago from Tom Fuller, directly, and still have about 40 of them left. Most were sold to other club members. I think I kept 100 at the time for my own use. That seemed like a lot at the time.

Because of the direct sale, and the volume, the flints cost me $.10 each. Fuller stopped selling flints directly to dealers after that, and began using "Distributors", who then sell them to retailers, and make the lion's share of the profit.

Prices for Rich Pierce's flints make them a better buy. He's using Missouri Chert, but the flints spark very well, and give a long life.

 
mathews 
32 Cal.
Posts: 43
12-12-10 05:42 AM - Post#927232    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Prices for Rich Pierce's flints make them a better buy. He's using Missouri Chert, but the flints spark very well, and give a long life.

Yes and if you don't like them just send them back to him. I just got mine and They spark very good.

 
Naphtali 
40 Cal.
Posts: 318
12-12-10 12:41 PM - Post#927378    

    In response to paulvallandigham

Among the sharpest, hardest, natural materials is obsidian. While I am aware this material has been (may still be??) used for scalpel blades by surgeons, I have no idea whether it has been used as scraping material on flintlock. Since flint/chert/amber/etc. are relatively brittle, I'm interested whether obsidian has been tried - successfully or not.

 
alabamaboy 
40 Cal.
Posts: 208
12-12-10 01:05 PM - Post#927390    

    In response to Naphtali

That stuff is not hard it is volcanic glass it knapps great but I don't think it will throw a spark . But go ahead and try it

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
12-12-10 01:06 PM - Post#927392    

    In response to Naphtali

Yes, its been tried. Its too brittle, like glass, to do well as a gunflint, IMHO. I have a chunk I have tried to use to make sparks on my steel for starting fires, and the edges crush and crumble much too much, and the very few sparks made are unpredictable, and insufficient to get a fire going on charred cloth.

Obsidian does make incredibly fine edges for knives, and has been used for scalpels, since the time of the Incas. They have seen limited use in surgery this past century, but mostly tried in countries other than the USA, because of the difficulties getting regulatory authority to use the equipment.

 
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