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Login Name Post: wierd iginition problem        (Topic#305520)
54 Cal.
Posts: 1774
12-21-17 08:42 AM - Post#1658057    

    In response to 54ball

Forget the old forum reader's tale of tipping the prime away from the flash hole. If I have flashes in the pan, picking the vent usually helps. But tipping the 4F prime into the flash hole insures ignition every time. I also tip 3F or 2F against the flash hole if I am using that.

58 Cal.
Posts: 2388
12-21-17 09:49 AM - Post#1658075    

    In response to Herb

As I read the posts and looked at the pictures, 54Ball is right handed and tilting the rifle to the left will bank the primer toward the touch hole. Its best to have the prime all along the bottom of the pan and banked toward the touch hole. That way any sparks will find powder.

It does sound as if there is a lock geometry issue if the flint is dull by the fourth shot. Time for the match stick under the rear edge of the flint to make it more of a scrape rather than a bash.

62 Cal.
Posts: 2645
12-21-17 11:13 AM - Post#1658091    

    In response to Grenadier1758

Thanks Herb and Grenadier.
Yes this is a right handed rifle although I shoot it off the left side.
Just a quick tilt to the left for the prime to kiss the touch hole then I turn it back right and make sure the prime is distributed throughout the pan.
This works and it allowed me to actually concentrate on accuracy.
When it starts sparking weak, that's when I'll have delayed ignition and and even some delayed pan flashes.
The lock is a Davis Common....basically a goosenecked 1803.
Locks of this period tend to be bashers. The Pedersoli 1805 Pistol locks come to mind. It's not really Pedersoli or even Davis's fault as that's a inherent design feature.

My goal is make this rifle....load, prime and go with the drilled vent. Past experiance shows that flintlocks especially drilled vent guns start off finicky but eventually become more forgiving. Hopefully this will be the case.
Also as you learn one, you chip away at problems. I'm fairly confident with the vent issue as I think I learned the secret handshake.
Now I think I'll look into the frizzen issue. I'm just not happy with a dull yellow single spark....or no sparkle at all on a pretty new flint.
New flint, it sparks well when you test but you don't' know if the 3rd shot will spark. Sometimes it will go say 10 shots maybe more....sometimes 5 maybe less before knapping. After knapping....not many shots left before I have to change flints.

I am just chipping away at it. Right now it's not Battle ready.

For the newer guys if you read's all tied together like tuning a old car. It's not just the's carberetor, fuel pump, spark plugs and so on. You just got to go through the punch list.

Black Jaque 
40 Cal.
Posts: 440
Black Jaque
12-21-17 11:39 AM - Post#1658098    

    In response to 54ball

You stated that the 1st shot on a clean gun works well. As I was envisioning the differences in loading blank vs ball I could imagine the ball could force fouling into the hole.

With a blank, the path of least resistance for expanding gas will be out the muzzle, so relatively little fouling should accumulate in the touchhole. But under a ball some gas will shoot out the hole first. Then you "plunge" the bore with a bal which forces more fouling into the vent.

Try noting whether the first shot from a clean bore goes off without picking. That would indicate it has something to do with fouling build-up from previous shots.

I can't see why a piece of actual powder clogging the vent would cause a pan-flash. Slow ignition, maybe, but not consistantly flashing. The kernel of powder would certainly ignite.

50 Cal.
Posts: 1139
12-21-17 02:31 PM - Post#1658130    

    In response to 54ball

The pick popping out under the air pressure of seating your ball reminds me of something I left out. I believe I mention I don't use a typical forged steel/iron pick for leaving in the touch hole during loading, I made one out of coat hanger wire specifically for the purpose. What I've failed to mention in the past is that, when I made it, once I had the length/taper correct so it is just barely off the opposite barrel wall when inserted, I stoned a barely perceptible flat along it and cut into this flat with a fine knife edge file. Just enough air can escape from here that I don't get the pick poppkng out, or that air pressure lock one sometimes gets when seating a truly tight projectile.

62 Cal.
Posts: 2645
12-27-17 01:30 PM - Post#1659308    

    In response to Brokennock

Thanks to all who have responded.

Let start by saying....

I feel very stupid.

Everything has come together. The rifle fires beautify and is very accurate. It needs picking when it needs picking and most of the time you'll know it. Simply banking the prime to the hole and then settling it back down in the pan did the trick.
I did enlarge the vent to 5/64.

Frizzen issue....

With the same flint that performed so poorly at the end of the last session, it did well after simply cleaning it. I do believe the Geometry and the location of the flint after flash and the jet from the vent dirties or fouls the striking face of the flint. My other rifles do not seem to foul the flint to this extent.

Any way a simple wipe of the flint solves this as long as it has an edge......Basic Stuff.

Sometimes as we learn these things, we look for problems that are not there.

Prime management....
Vent management....
Keeping a good and most importantly clean flint...

I have learned this one. The key to reliability was so simple. Again basic stuff.

With that said.....
Have I really learned the rifle or has the rifle improved a little?
It was somewhat finicky when I started it on blanks but became.....reliable.
On live ball it was very finicky but I learned it and it came around.

Every drilled vent rifle I have owned seemed to require an in depth period of learning and use. I do believe while learning a new rifle, it improves.

So before any work is done, I do think a new drilled vent gun needs to be shot many many times for the shooter to learn it and for the rifle to improve.

50 Cal.
Posts: 1139
12-27-17 04:47 PM - Post#1659331    

    In response to 54ball

I'm glad you got it worked out. So much in everything we do comes down to fundamental basics. It's nice when we can be a little lax, with a forgiving flintlock, bow, or some other skill/equipment relationship, but when things aren't working right,,,,, it's back to basics.

Samuel S. 
32 Cal.
Posts: 17
01-23-18 08:06 PM - Post#1665485    

    In response to M.D.


I like your idea and I think I'll try it.

The way I understand it, you put the wire in the touch hole before you load the barrel with powder? Correct?

Also, what kind of wire? Would copper work? Is it soft enough?

Thanks, I am fairly new to flintlocks, and trying to learn

50 Cal.
Posts: 1139
01-23-18 08:21 PM - Post#1665489    

    In response to Samuel S.

I made mine out of coat hanger wire. Should be a detailed description somewhere in the replies above.

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