First time out with my flintlock

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Eterry, May 1, 2019.

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  1. May 1, 2019 #1

    Eterry

    Eterry

    Eterry

    45 Cal.

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    Ok, i bought a .395 mold a while back, ive been casting a while, i have a few 100. Today I loaded up for the farm, where my 75 yard range is.

    As i pulled up the dark clouds loomed, so i stood under the porch and loaded my rifle. 40gr fffg... then found out my .395 balls are too tight for my patches...

    Not to worry i found a 4 inch square of T shirt and made some patches to protect the riflings from the lead as a temporary fix.

    By this time it was sprinkling; so much for the 75 yards. There are some standing 1/4" steel plates from my brother's shop, i decided one looked like a red-coat.

    I pricked the pan, primed and held dead center offhand. Ka-boom, pretty much centered and a little low.

    My dad while plinking would shoot at a large target, then shoot at the bullet hole. It seemed like a good idea. I loaded and aimed at the splatter and Ka-boom. The shot was a little low.

    Now it's pouring... and i started getting misfires and learned some things.

    After a couple flashes i learned the flint was wore down and wouldn't open the pan. It had used about 20Xs, maybe more. I put a toothpick behind it and Ka-boom, but i flinched bad.

    Then the wheels came off; IDK what I did but all i got was flashes. I even wondered if i had dry balled. I measured with my RR, I had powder. I was using fffg for prime, i forgot my ffffg.

    In desperation i cleaned everything, filled the pan, took aim offhand, and Kaaaaaa-Boooom. I saw it hit low left.

    Something in my head said, your using the touch hole prick wrong.
    I had been shoving it in repeatedly and trying to pull some main charge into the channel.

    I loaded while it thundered and this time i pushed the prick home once, then primed. I held on my 1st bullet and Ka-boom, fastest ignition yet. A weed was covering most of my target, but i could see a few splatters.
    I loaded once more, used the prick once, and instant ignition.

    My rangefinder said it was 22 yards to the target, all shots were offhand.

    I flinched twice BADLY, both after a misfire.

    Screenshot_20190430-213137_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190430-213137_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190430-213221_Gallery.jpg
    The top hole was my 1st and my aiming point. Next 4 are fired aiming at top hole my finger is pointing at a faint bullet mark, you may have to zoom in... bottom left is a called flinch. The other flinch is a miss, or maybe landed in the 1st hole... it looks bigger than the rest. I strung a tape measure around the steel to show a group.
     
    Loyalist Dave likes this.
  2. May 1, 2019 #2

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

    50 Cal.

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    Excellent. I trust you had a good time. A clean pan is always important, but, SO much More so when it's wet out.
     
  3. May 1, 2019 #3

    BullRunBear

    BullRunBear

    BullRunBear

    45 Cal.

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    Flinters are fun, aren't they? You learned faster than I did about using the vent pick. It's not to have powder in the vent, which acts like a fuse and slows things down. It's to have a clear channel for the spark to get to the main charge. Once I figured that out (this was way before the internet) ignition speed improved a lot and so did accuracy.

    Fiddling with proper loading, flint placement and condition, and other matters adds to the fun of flintlocks for me.

    Jeff
     
  4. May 1, 2019 #4

    Eterry

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    I learned several things...i should've looked closer at the mold before buying it, i think i need a .390 ball.

    I learned here how to shim up a flint after its worn. I learned WHAT NOT TO DO with the vent prick, I may leave it in while loading and see what that does.

    And the biggest surprise was a mild charge of 40gr of fffg almost penetrated the 1/4" steel beam, cracking the steel and badly bulging it.

    Im going back Saturday, maybe i can use the 75 yard range and shoot off a bench. I'll take an extra flint and tools.

    BTW, I'm not crazy about using a tshirt for patches.... any tips on using the .395 balls?
     
  5. May 1, 2019 #5

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

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    I use .395 and .018 patch material w no problem but arthritis in my hands so usually a tap with a small leather mallet. No problems seating after popping the ball/patch in.

    Look for Daryl’s posts on smoothing the crown.
     
  6. May 1, 2019 #6

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Smooth the crown as suggested.
     
  7. May 2, 2019 #7

    Eterry

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    I looked on this section, no luck... where is Daryl's thread located?
     
  8. May 2, 2019 #8

    Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

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  9. May 2, 2019 #9

    hanshi

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    I think you started off well. Make sure the vent hole is drilled out to 1/16"; that dia. gives my rifles excellent reliability. By the way, 40 grains of 3F should be giving you somewhere in the neighborhood of 1700 fps, a powerful load.
     
  10. May 3, 2019 #10

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    A first experience with a flintlock is......well.....a first experience. Don't expect perfection. But, it, obviously, was a good learning experience for you. Shoving prime into the touchhole will only slow down ignition. If you have a good lock only a small dribble of primer in the bottom of the pan is necessary. In fact, many good locks will give ignition almost 50% of the time with NO prime in the pan. Your wet conditions might have, and probably did, affected your rifles performance. But, good on you for getting out and doing it. BTW, that target steel looks pretty soft to get so much damage from a lightly loaded rb ml rifle.
     
    Brokennock likes this.
  11. May 5, 2019 #11

    Griz44Mag

    Griz44Mag

    Griz44Mag

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    Pitted steel like this will act like a reflector and spit fragments back at you.
    Especially bad at short distances under 50 yards.
    Take a look at obtaining some quality AR500 rated steel targets.
    Some of mine have taken hundreds (some thousands) of high velocity jacketed stuff and show no wear at all.
    I got whacked in the cheek several years ago shooting at pitted soft steel, nice cut and 2 stitches later, I started my collection of rated targets. I was 50 yards away.
     

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