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Login Name Post: keeping your flintlock dry        (Topic#274224)
Mr Hawken 
40 Cal.
Posts: 149
Mr Hawken
11-07-12 07:24 PM - Post#1210636    


so this is my first year hunting with my new flintlock and it snowed all day.heavy wet snow.i tried to keep my lock under my arm but stillhunting thru the bush and my lock still got wet.i lifted the frizzen and its nothing but wet powder good thing i didnt see that big buck.what do i use to keep it dry?

 
Jethro224 
Moderator
Posts: 7428
Jethro224
11-07-12 07:34 PM - Post#1210643    

    In response to Mr Hawken

Put a dab of wax or lube around the edge of your pan and the gap between the barrel and frizzen. A cow's knee to cover the lock will help too.



 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
11-07-12 07:34 PM - Post#1210644    

    In response to Mr Hawken

many people here use a "cows knee" which is basically a piece of water resistant leather that covers the lock.

-matt



 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17113
Stumpkiller
11-07-12 07:42 PM - Post#1210647    

    In response to Matt85



This is my cow's knee. A chamois car polishing leather soaked with melted beeswax.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Driftingrz 
32 Cal.
Posts: 40
11-07-12 08:10 PM - Post#1210658    

    In response to Stumpkiller

thanks for that picture stump.. im still new to this black powder thing. And had not considered options to keep the powder dry till I watched April Morning and the boy was told to wrap a rag around his flint due to the moisture in the night air..

that leather looks quite a bit better. and im sure works better

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
11-07-12 09:00 PM - Post#1210674    

    In response to Driftingrz

  • Driftingrz Said:
thanks for that picture stump.. im still new to this black powder thing. And had not considered options to keep the powder dry till I watched April Morning and the boy was told to wrap a rag around his flint due to the moisture in the night air..

that leather looks quite a bit better. and im sure works better




This actually works, this is top grain cow with Snow Seal.

I have 3 of them in different lengths.
It need not be tied on, there is no need to smear the lock with stuff that likely won't work and allows repriming and checking the priming without exposing the lock unless its REALLY raining hard. It also keeps snow out of the bore, off the sights and will slide silently off the rifle with very little effort since the Snow Seal stiffens the leather. If you make is long enough to tie a flap over the buttplate a sling can be sewn to it.
Works.
It also protects the whole gun. Its also useful when transported in a vehicle. A blanket liner gives more protection when being transported.
It works. Anything less is just a band-aid.
Stand it against a tree rain or snow. Lay it in the snow to field dress a deer. Gun stays dry.


Same rifle after I made a long case for it


It is also HC at least to the Rev-War period based on the Rev-War period Dickert that returned from England with its original leather cover, this one is beaded and fringed. This is shown in "Moravian Gun Making of the American Revolution".
The 1780s British Trade Rifles by Wilson etc, came with a wiper, mould and a "case". Canvas IIRC.
Dan

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17113
Stumpkiller
11-07-12 09:47 PM - Post#1210690    

    In response to Dan Phariss

  • Dan Phariss Said:


It works. Anything less is just a band-aid.




Dan



A band-aid indeed. But when a deer stands up and shakes itself off from under one of those "snow tents" under a hemlock or a bunny shoots out I can flip my band-aid off and get a shot with just a second lost and very little additional movement.

Sometimes I tie the cow's knee to my belt when hunting with either rifle or smoothbore so it slips off as I raise and cock to shoot with almost no time lost at all.

Not as good as a full sheath, but a lot faster and handier.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Little John Z 
40 Cal.
Posts: 292
Little John Z
11-07-12 10:40 PM - Post#1210707    

    In response to Mr Hawken

small ziplock bag works great for still hunting an dcan be removed fast for the hurry up still hunting shots, not very traditional but effective, even more so from the blind..

 
1601phill 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2815
11-07-12 11:18 PM - Post#1210717    

    In response to Jethro224

Yep I just had a hell of a time trying to convince the pistol boys and girls that this was SOP. since around 1700. All the other sugestions are good too just pick one or more to suit your needs , a courser prime powder helps as well.

 
ebiggs 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3893
ebiggs
11-08-12 07:52 AM - Post#1210751    

    In response to Mr Hawken

The gun being wet isn't the biggest problem. Keeping the powder dry is.
Wax or any other stuff applied to the lock is not just a bad idea it is a horrible idea. Believe me you don't want that mess.
Put a piece of tape over the bore. You don't even have to remove it before shooting. Keep a cow’s knee on the lock. I don't prime the gun until I am getting very close to shooting it.
Deer don't move that fast and neither should you. You have time.


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 13209
Rifleman1776
11-08-12 08:16 AM - Post#1210759    

    In response to Mr Hawken

I just hold my hand over the lock area. Not always the most comfortable way to carry for hours but it works for me.

 
Pletch 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1264
11-08-12 08:39 AM - Post#1210772    

    In response to Rifleman1776

One thing to think about is water that lands on the barrel forward of the cow's knee. water can follow the barrel channel down under the cow's knee and soak between the frizzen and the barrel. Dan's cover may be his answer to water doing this. I think it best to check your prime frequently no matter which of these solutions you use.

Regards,
Pletch

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
11-08-12 09:50 AM - Post#1210788    

    In response to Stumpkiller

  • Stumpkiller Said:
  • Dan Phariss Said:


It works. Anything less is just a band-aid.




Dan



A band-aid indeed. But when a deer stands up and shakes itself off from under one of those "snow tents" under a hemlock or a bunny shoots out I can flip my band-aid off and get a shot with just a second lost and very little additional movement.

Sometimes I tie the cow's knee to my belt when hunting with either rifle or smoothbore so it slips off as I raise and cock to shoot with almost no time lost at all.

Not as good as a full sheath, but a lot faster and handier.



I have hunted with covers, dense wool and leather for decades. If you can tell me something about getting them off the gun I don't know I would be surprised. LOOSE woven wool snags. Snow Sealed leather and tight, hard wool slides off with surprising ease.
The key is the gun has to work. Getting the cows knee off a wet gun quickly does not do much.
A frizzen and flint with a film of water on them spark poorly if at all in many cases so greasing the pan is not of much account if the lock is actually wet.
I killed two deer in a creek bottom with wet snow on the trees last year keeping the lock under my armpit or covered with my hand as I slipped through the brush. I did not get the gun wet until I was working on the last deer. I had left the cover in the pickup.
The problem here is getting the gun wet. This is of little import today. Making noise in 1777 or 1830 in the wrong place then having a wet gun could result in someone else using the gun.
Further more I could have easily have found a Gbear when hunting south of town as I was. The closer I hunt to YNP the more likely I am to have one come to the gunshot. So its necessary to hunt like there are hostiles in the area, because there are.
So I don't play games in the woods. I was really POed I got the rifle wet. Stupid. First time ever. But when is just above freezing and the rifle is little warm from being fired its REAL easy to have happen with snow on the ground and in the trees.
So we have to ask, in the historical sense: "What would you do if your LIFE depended on it?" Because for the people who used rifle on the frontier this was exactly the situation.
How do you walk around over steep/rough terrain with the cover tied to your belt? You never change hands on the gun? This a constant thing in places like this if "switch backing" to go up. The gun has to be on the downhill side so when you slip its not under you.


Yeah I find elk and deer in areas like this.
I got within rifle shot of a WT buck the day I took this but between the terrain and trees I could not get a shot though we eyeballed each other for several minutes. Up the canyon (valley is too kind) the year before I walked within 20 yards of a cow elk in soft snow and had plently of time to slide the cover off and take a shot, but I had no cow tag.... She probably knew this. They seem to have a 6th sense concerning this sort of thing.
A great many people in the east hunt from stands and blinds. I do not. I either spot and stalk or I sneak through the countryside to find something and get a shot.

Dan

 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6463
11-08-12 10:15 AM - Post#1210791    

    In response to Pletch

  • Pletch Said:
One thing to think about is water that lands on the barrel forward of the cow's knee. water can follow the barrel channel down under the cow's knee and soak between the frizzen and the barrel.



My solution to this exact problem was to fill the entire barrel channel with wax (Beeswax toilet bowl gasket). This has eliminated the issue. I still use a cows-knee on rare occasions to keep the lock area dry.

 
kaintuck 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1811
kaintuck
11-08-12 10:31 AM - Post#1210796    

    In response to Black Hand

you guys hunt in that weather????


i think I would be inside looking out.....

 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6463
11-08-12 10:46 AM - Post#1210797    

    In response to kaintuck

  • kaintuck Said:
you guys hunt in that weather????


i think I would be inside looking out.....



I would too, but the deer are outside.


 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6463
11-08-12 01:48 PM - Post#1210839    

    In response to ebiggs

  • ebiggs Said:
Deer don't move that fast and neither should you.


You must have a different kind of deer where you live. Around here, you may have a second or 2 to make the shot before they are gone...

 
baxter 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1785
baxter
11-08-12 05:05 PM - Post#1210884    

    In response to Black Hand

Many years ago when I hunted with centerfire arms in ID and WA when snow/mixed snow-rain was falling, the deer would sit until disturbed by close movement and then slip slowly away rather than galloping away. They'd chosen a good bedding area and seemed not to want to move further from it than necessary so slow-stalking often got them to just stand to 'see' what was going on. I grew to hate 'stand hunting' in MI and MN so I quit hunting deer - I want to make my own luck, not wait for a deer to 'happen by'.

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17113
Stumpkiller
11-08-12 07:51 PM - Post#1210941    

    In response to baxter

Dan,

My territory is not quite that steep (parts are) and when I need two feet and a hand I wrap the straps around the rifle on either side of the lock instead of my belt.





No elk, but the whitetail are savy and hunted hard hereabouts. Always jumpy during deer season and typically I'm standing under a hemlock when it's raining or snowing.

Though I do have a few places on my own land I indulge in a "stand".



Never yet held a muzzleloader in a treestand or inside a sheltered blind. Stumps and seats - certainly. First light and last light I have found to be productive when you allow the deer to move to you. The rest of the time I go look for them.

Look lots, move little, and keep the muzzle below the lock.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Jethro224 
Moderator
Posts: 7428
Jethro224
11-08-12 10:26 PM - Post#1210978    

    In response to ebiggs

  • ebiggs Said:

Wax or any other stuff applied to the lock is not just a bad idea it is a horrible idea. Believe me you don't want that mess.




Horrible idea? How so? It's been done for hundreds of years. And it works.
That mess? Just how much did you smear on your lock?

I have an old percussion cap tin of grease type patch lube in my shooting bag. It is in a small deerskin bag along with a roll of greased ticking. If it starts to rain fairly hard while I'm out hunting I have it handy even if I didn't bring along a cows knee, gun case, umbrella, etc. and I will use it to waterproof my rifle. Like they have done for hundreds of years.
I still try to keep the lock area under my arm or the edge of my jacket for added protection while it is raining. Using this method I've hunted during some pretty wet thunderstorms and a couple of blizzards and have not had a wet prime yet.

Just a small dab will do. A thin layer between the edge of the pan and the edge of the frizzen and a little bit between the barrel and frizzen seals out moisture and wipes right off. You don't gob it on the lock like frosting on a cupcake.



 
ebiggs 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3893
ebiggs
11-09-12 07:11 AM - Post#1211009    

    In response to Jethro224

  • Quote:
Just a small dab will do.



To each his own. Nevertheless it is a mess and is messy. Black powder doesn't need any help in being dirty.

I stopped priming until I am nearly ready to shoot. (not nearly as messy) If the deer are so spooky you only get 2 seconds for a shot, you are the one spooking them.
I have hunted mostly Colorado and Kansas and a little in Missouri and I can tell you those deer are not all that spooky.

Mr. Pharsis said,
  • Quote:
I either spot and stalk or I sneak through the countryside to find something and get a shot.



Me too!
But in Kansas and Missouri they tend to use tree stands a whole lot more. This gives you even more time before a shot. Plenty of time to prime!
So there is no snow or rain to get it wet! No mess either.


 
tecum-tha 
45 Cal.
Posts: 804
tecum-tha
11-09-12 09:11 PM - Post#1211252    

    In response to ebiggs

Bow string wax works great as Jethro described. Use it in absolutely lousy cold TN rain. Gun goes off every time. Easily wiped off. The barrel fouling is messier...

 
TinStar 
45 Cal.
Posts: 673
11-10-12 09:28 AM - Post#1211389    

    In response to tecum-tha

I have not hunted with my flintlock yet. This is the first year as I just built it this past summer. I will likely use the grease around the frizzen/barrel/lock area like others. If it's a mess after I shoot; who cares? If I need to reload ; so what? Hopefully one clean shot is that's needed and what we all strive for. So if it's a mess I can always clean it up. I don't think it's a big deal. IMHO of course.

TinStar
Soli Deo Gloria!

 
TinStar 
45 Cal.
Posts: 673
11-10-12 09:30 AM - Post#1211391    

    In response to TinStar

Stmpkiller,

NY is a far more beautiful state than most folks realize. God; it's gorgeous!! (Upstate that is!)

And that flinter across your knees is gorgeous too!!

TinStar
Soli Deo Gloria!

Edited by TinStar on 11-10-12 09:32 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
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