Failure to fire rate

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GoodRabbitPilgrim

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Reasonable round ball loads can take thousands of shots to wear/erode the touch hole liner.
In my current 54 caplock, I shot 90 gr FFG with a patched .535 ball. Don't feel any need to go hotter, can't see myself doing so with a flinter either so that sounds good for me.
 

Snydly

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What's the difference between bevel up and down (other than the literal difference) does one generally throw more or less sparks? Or is it just personal preference?

What is the deal with touch holes? Are they kind of inverted caplock nipples that screw in and out? Do they need regular changing?
Check out Mike Bellevue’s newest video on loading and shooting flintlocks. Makes all of this make sense.
 

sussexmuzllodr

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gday gentleman,

i tried finding this through a search with no luck though I’m sure it’s been discussed.

im keen to get into flintlocks, truth be told back in 2013 when I bought my first BP gun (an inline) I lamented the fact that I went that way and not a flinter. But I was nervous about the learning curve given there are so few flint shooters around here to help (none that I know of).

one thing I am curious on is, in a well tuned flintlock what is an acceptable misfire rate or rather how often can I expect it to go bang and not fizzle?

bear in mind I am not a target shooter, I hunt with my guns. It’s really the first few shots off a clean bore that count for me. I do hunt in inclement weather but in those cases I’d probably take a caplock or centrefire anyway.

As an aside, because I have no one local, when I do delve in and get one I will be relying on the knowledge and willingness of people on this forum to help me through the challenges. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider it if I didn’t think the help wasn’t there so take that as a sign of my view toward the members here. It is a great bunch.
Whats a misfire rate?
 

Grenadier1758

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@GoodRabbitPilgrim, in a well tuned flintlock, there is no acceptable misfire rate. If there is a failure to fire, delay to fire or flash in the pan, then there is something out of tune in the lock. This may be a dull flint, a blockage of the touch hole, fouling internally or wearing of the frizzen. These may not be far out of tune. but they do require maintenance of the lock and the internals to keep everything functioning. It means that while shooting, one must continue to monitor the edge of the flint, keep the touch hole clear and wipe fouling from the pan to maintain reliable firing.

That being said, misfires do happen, but should not happen on the first shots while hunting. The same sort of misfires can happen with percussion lock firearms also.
 

GoodRabbitPilgrim

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@GoodRabbitPilgrim, in a well tuned flintlock, there is no acceptable misfire rate. If there is a failure to fire, delay to fire or flash in the pan, then there is something out of tune in the lock. This may be a dull flint, a blockage of the touch hole, fouling internally or wearing of the frizzen. These may not be far out of tune. but they do require maintenance of the lock and the internals to keep everything functioning. It means that while shooting, one must continue to monitor the edge of the flint, keep the touch hole clear and wipe fouling from the pan to maintain reliable firing.

That being said, misfires do happen, but should not happen on the first shots while hunting. The same sort of misfires can happen with percussion lock firearms also.
I'm currently in the market for a flinter but haven't been able to find one for sale. Tuning will be a challenge so I'm hoping when I find one it's relatively good in that regard.
 

smoothshooter

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gday gentleman,

i tried finding this through a search with no luck though I’m sure it’s been discussed.

im keen to get into flintlocks, truth be told back in 2013 when I bought my first BP gun (an inline) I lamented the fact that I went that way and not a flinter. But I was nervous about the learning curve given there are so few flint shooters around here to help (none that I know of).

one thing I am curious on is, in a well tuned flintlock what is an acceptable misfire rate or rather how often can I expect it to go bang and not fizzle?

bear in mind I am not a target shooter, I hunt with my guns. It’s really the first few shots off a clean bore that count for me. I do hunt in inclement weather but in those cases I’d probably take a caplock or centrefire anyway.

As an aside, because I have no one local, when I do delve in and get one I will be relying on the knowledge and willingness of people on this forum to help me through the challenges. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider it if I didn’t think the help wasn’t there so take that as a sign of my view toward the members here. It is a great bunch.
Virtually 99% when It is really important to not have a misfire, like in a match or deer hunting because I will use flints that are either new, or have been struck less than 5 or 6 times. For target practice and casual shooting I will use and re-sharpen the flint several times to get the most out of the cost of the flint.
If I have a misfire rate of one out of 7 or 8 shots when out shooting starlings or casual target practice, I don’t care. If nothing else, misfires are good practice for not flinching.
 

smoothshooter

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@GoodRabbitPilgrim, in a well tuned flintlock, there is no acceptable misfire rate. If there is a failure to fire, delay to fire or flash in the pan, then there is something out of tune in the lock. This may be a dull flint, a blockage of the touch hole, fouling internally or wearing of the frizzen. These may not be far out of tune. but they do require maintenance of the lock and the internals to keep everything functioning. It means that while shooting, one must continue to monitor the edge of the flint, keep the touch hole clear and wipe fouling from the pan to maintain reliable firing.

That being said, misfires do happen, but should not happen on the first shots while hunting. The same sort of misfires can happen with percussion lock firearms also.
I would not consider a misfire due to a worn flint or vent hole blockage the fault of the lock.
 

Many Klatch

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If you want your flintlock to be reliable you need to shoot it often so you learn the quirks of your particular gun. Flint up or down? Thickness of Leather around flint? Size of touch hole? Prime from main horn or 4F? Every gun is different.

I've been shooting flintlocks since the 1980's. If I'm serious about a first shot going off I can do it. 100% ignition. If I'm shooting a woodswalk with a fall of the hammer rule, I'll be a lot more careful about the state of my flint than if I'm shooting where Klatches don't count against you.

Just shot an 18 shot woodswalk with my Bess at Friendship. No fall of the hammer rule. The first 14 shots went off every time. Then the flint got dull. Had to mess with the flint and sharpen it. Didn't want to change the flint. Had a couple a Klatches but eventually the gun went off and I finished the match.
 
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LME

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gday gentleman,

i tried finding this through a search with no luck though I’m sure it’s been discussed.

im keen to get into flintlocks, truth be told back in 2013 when I bought my first BP gun (an inline) I lamented the fact that I went that way and not a flinter. But I was nervous about the learning curve given there are so few flint shooters around here to help (none that I know of).

one thing I am curious on is, in a well tuned flintlock what is an acceptable misfire rate or rather how often can I expect it to go bang and not fizzle?

bear in mind I am not a target shooter, I hunt with my guns. It’s really the first few shots off a clean bore that count for me. I do hunt in inclement weather but in those cases I’d probably take a caplock or centrefire anyway.

As an aside, because I have no one local, when I do delve in and get one I will be relying on the knowledge and willingness of people on this forum to help me through the challenges. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider it if I didn’t think the help wasn’t there so take that as a sign of my view toward the members here. It is a great bunch.
Both flint and percussion will fail eventually regardless of the care and knowlege of the shooter . Do you think flintlocks would have been replaced if they were better? I have even seen modern rifles fail ,although it is a rare thing. Bottom line is you are more apt to have a misfire with a flinter than a percusion and even less with a modern weapon. There is nothing wrong with with either just remember that it is different and requires having all the needed gadgets to shoot. I love old cars but I know they are not as good as a modern one and weapons are the same. Get what you want and don't look back. The sport is to be enjoyed ,agravation and all! LOL!
 

Whughett

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I shoot 20+ pounds of black powder in a years time, but all through percussion revolvers for the most part. Don’t know the OP’s hunting opportunities but I know what mine were and looking over the front sight at a potential trophy animal I’d want the assurance of the gun going bang. Modern in lines provide that assurance.
The OP also said he doesn’t target shoot, more reason to stay with that in-line. Just saying😜
 

EC121

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Not being a trophy hunter I enjoy the little bit of doubt about the gun going off. Fortunately, I have never had a misfire hunting. A clean barrel and vent plus a sharp flint are the ticket. I have a gun that will go off every time and shoot 300yds. rain or shine, but it stays in the closet 99.9% of our 2.5mo. season. Popguns don't have a place in my stand. I don't feel that I need a crutch to hunt with a muzzleloader.
 

Spikebuck

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A few years ago, two of us at our lease were getting ready the evening before opening day of deer muzzleloading. I was putting in a new flint, making sure the barrel was dry and ready for a new load, etc. The other guy, who hunted with an unmentionable muzzleloader, was just messing around and not really doing anything to his gun. I asked him if he was going to get his gun ready to which he replied that with that kind of gun, no prep was necessary as they always fired off.

When we got back to camp the next evening, I had a Flintlock deer hanging on the pole and he had a sad story that his unmentionable failed to fire when the opportunity presented itself.

Proper preparation and care is the key! I ALWAYS put a new sharp flint in before the deer season. If the air is damp or it's precipitating, I check the prime frequently to see if it's clumping and replace it as needed. I use a cows knee if precipitating to protect the lock from moisture. Practice is the place to find out any limitations of your lock like poor sparking, how long a flint "should" last, is the touch hole the right size for consistent firing, how much prime is needed, etc. If one has all that worked out and cares properly in the field, the fire rate is 100%. Personally, I've never had a misfire while deer hunting. I have had two while hunting small game because I usually leave a flint in until it's barely sparking since it's just not that important to me and with squirrels I can usually sit there and change out or knap a flint in the lock while the squirrel is still up there in the tree. Another time I was just playing around with my newly built Kibler SMR seeing just how little powder I could put in the pan and still have ignition! :p The rabbit was stupid to sit around while I added more powder to the pan after the first try! So, those misfires were definitely self-induced and completely avoidable if in the situation that really requires every shot to be perfect.
 

PastorB

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On my stock Pedersoli Frontier Rifle (.45), I have been trying to get a mis-fire for the last three times I have had it out. I have not knapped the flint, nor cleaned it at all, including poking the vent or even wiping the frizzen, during a shooting session of about 20 some shots. I am currently at 67 shots without even a slow ignition. Gonna keep going until it misfires. I learned to shoot a flint long before the internet. A mentor told me to position the flint so it hit about 2/3 of the way up the frizzen, and to fill the pan about 1/3 full. It works. When deer hunting, I use a new, sharp flint.
 

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