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Flint bevel up or down

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Pacobillie

40 Cal.
Joined
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Got my first flint lock rifle a few weeks ago. the flints arrived in the mail today from TOW. I am going to use a lead wrap

I have a few questions:

Should the flint bevel face up or down?

How tight should the jaw screw be?

Where on the frizzen (top, middle or bottom)should the flint hit?
 
User choice Lead or Leather. As a Newb with a flintier, I would try both, at least 50 rounds each. Bevel up, bevel down the answer is yes. The reason I say that is the edge of your flint, at HALF-COCK should be about 1/16" from the frizzen 1/3 to 3/4 of the way up. Since knaped flints vary in shape it may vary whether they are up or down. There's no hard fast rule, beyond what works best. As for lead/leather the same rule applies. Lead is more rigid, and though malleable tends (for me) to work loose sooner. Also some lock warranties are void if you use lead. That said on my fowlers, and rifles I use only leather, and on my muskets (military) I use lead, large locks, and flints. You need to work it out at the range. Take tools, extra leather, and lead, and figure it out at the range, and have fun. The correct answer will come to you. My real recommendation is don't make a decision under 50 rounds of trial and error. The fun is in figuring it out. How's that for being vague!

Bill :)
 
As you will discover, some BP questions do not always have definitive answers. Re your post:

Lead & leather flint wraps both work & both have proponents. I use leather on smaller locks & lead on musket locks. The best solution is to try both on your gun & then choose.

Bevel up, bevel down - for most guns that I have shot or seen, the bevel is up - but the geometry on some locks is such that they prefer bevel down. I suggest starting out with bevel up & if there is an issue, try switching. The correct answer is whichever works best in the lock at hand.

How tight should the jaw screw be? - tight enough to keep the flint from moving - which is generally pretty tight. Be sure to use a screwdriver which correctly fits the jaw screw. I grind a turnscrew to fit for each of my guns & keep it & a pair of spare flints in that guns' shooting bag. One builder I know files all his jaw screws for a #2 screwdriver as he figures that is what the average guy will have & use.

Where the flint will hit the frizzen will vary a bit with lock geometry and with the flint installed bevel up or down. If you get good sparks, life is good.
 
On my guns I let the shape of the flint be my guide.I like my flints to strike the frizzen about 2/3 of the way up , and end with the flint pointing directly into the pan or as close as I can get it.
 
I think most of the questions have been answered. I've been shooting a flintlock a little over a year now, and I descovered a a few things, just as others have described. Good flints are the heart and soul of a flintlock rifle. I found the size and shape that gave me the best results, and bent a piece of aluminum, to make a gage that I carry in my pocket, to sort thru a box of flints and pick the one's that fit. I'm trying to keep things consistant, so when I change out a flint I can put one back that's very similar. Also a sawn flint is very consistant, and can be sharpened with a diamond file, should you chose to go with it. Flintlocks are addictive, and fun. Welcome to the club.
 
Differant guns will dictate which position the flint goes. Pretty much when the cock is at rest, I try to have the edge of the flint pointing towards the center of the pan. How tight? Tight enough so it won't wiggle out and be lost.
My guns seem to work best with a strip of leather.
 
ive found on english flints bevel down ...on the agate flints bevel upon the english they seem to break at bevel up ... and your flints should be snug firmly but not tigt
 
For tightening the jaw screw, I like this combination flint knapper tool w/ top jaw wrench that I got at Dixie Gun Works. For me, this is easier to knap with and I like the wrench much better than screwdrivers, it seems to give a better "feel". The hole on a couple locks were not big enough, so I just used a 1/8th drill bit to open them up a little.
MT0811.jpg
 
Well, I'll disagree with the Furtrapper, your flints should be tight not snug and the way to get them that tight is with a hole thru the top jaw ,as tbarnes66 says, rather than a screwdriver.
If mine didn't already have a hole I drilled one.
I use leather and have never had a flint get even slightly loose,coarse whatever works for you.
Deadeye
 
Leather, flint real tight in jaws. With the bevel UP,close your frizzin and let the lock off half cock holding it. See where it initially touches the frizzin. I like mine to strike well above half way. If it doesn't ,I switch the flint to bevel DOWN. I have 3 different locks and each has it's own preference.
I see you are relatively new. When you mount your flint,especially bevel UP,make sure it doesn't crash down on the barrel by having it too far in.Makes a nasty scar on your barrel or vent /liner.Ask me how I know.
 
Pacobillie said:
Got my first flint lock rifle a few weeks ago. the flints arrived in the mail today from TOW. I am going to use a lead wrap

I have a few questions:

Should the flint bevel face up or down?

How tight should the jaw screw be?

Where on the frizzen (top, middle or bottom)should the flint hit?

Historical documentation says bevel down and it works best in most locks. However, recently there are a lot of locks with oversized cocks and these may require bevel up to keep the flint on the frizzen. Cocks that hold the flint at the wrong angle to the frizzen can sometimes be "cured" by an upside down flint.
I would not be surprised if this is the result of people copying the look of locks on rifles that were reconverted to flint using what ever parts the person doing the conversion had on hand. People tend to see "original" flintlock rifles as being all original. A great many are reconversions in reality and while they are flintlock, the lock parts cock/pan/frizzen and spring, may not be what was originally on the lock originally. This increases the possibility of the parts being out of proportion and thus requiring the flint to be upside down the work well. While there are surviving unmodified flint guns they are pretty rare.

The flint needs to be tight enough so that it does not move in relation to the cock when it strikes the frizzen. If it moves it will not spark consistently.

Lead wrap is a bad idea. Requires more pressure to hold the flint so its possible to spring something. It adds weight that can actually break the cock due to increased inertia caused by the extra weight of the lead wrap. Chambers locks come with a leather wrap for example.
I have used leather for decades (nearing 5 now) with no reason to dislike it. Tried lead long ago, waste of time IMO, does not hold a flint well.

Dan
 
Bill of the 45th Parallel said:
User choice Lead or Leather. As a Newb with a flintier, I would try both, at least 50 rounds each. Bevel up, bevel down the answer is yes. The reason I say that is the edge of your flint, at HALF-COCK should be about 1/16" from the frizzen 1/3 to 3/4 of the way up. Since knaped flints vary in shape it may vary whether they are up or down. There's no hard fast rule, beyond what works best. As for lead/leather the same rule applies. Lead is more rigid, and though malleable tends (for me) to work loose sooner. Also some lock warranties are void if you use lead. That said on my fowlers, and rifles I use only leather, and on my muskets (military) I use lead, large locks, and flints. You need to work it out at the range. Take tools, extra leather, and lead, and figure it out at the range, and have fun. The correct answer will come to you. My real recommendation is don't make a decision under 50 rounds of trial and error. The fun is in figuring it out. How's that for being vague!

Bill :)

Bill, sometimes vague ain't bad ... by the way i agree with your assessment.

For whatever it's worth, i have drilled holes in the cockscrews of all of my flintlocks. This allows me to use a small drift punch to tighten the screw down without running the risk of beating up the screw slot. this method allows you to get it down tight, but you needn't do the 'gorilla' thing ...

just be careful you don't over tighten the screw.

good luck, and make good smoke!
 
fur trapper said:
ive found on english flints bevel down ...on the agate flints bevel upon the english they seem to break at bevel up ... and your flints should be snug firmly but not tigt

Many times flint breakage is due to frizzen rebound. Putting a leather in with a longer upper portion may show frizzen tracks.
P1000936.jpg


P1000932.jpg


If the flint is struck properly it will break off large pieces.

Flints are flakes of flint. They have a "grain" that allows them to be flaked. I personally think that bevel up on flaked flint makes it more prone to wear and breakage (aside from frizzen rebound). But some locks will spark better this way. I also feel that this is a sign of something being a little "off" with the cock/frizzen relationship.

Dan
 
Pacobillie said:
Got my first flint lock rifle a few weeks ago. the flints arrived in the mail today from TOW. I am going to use a lead wrap

I have a few questions:

Should the flint bevel face up or down?

How tight should the jaw screw be?

Where on the frizzen (top, middle or bottom)should the flint hit?

The flint need only be tight enough that it can't move.
This lock, using parts from different lock makers and locks, is about as fast and reliable as they get though cock speed is not all that great.

P1010948.jpg


This is an L&R "Manton/Bailes" #1700.
These are very fast and reliable though most need tuning.
P1010152.jpg


This is a copy of an original Manton. It is fairly easy on flints, fast as they get and the flint virtually never needs to be knapped. When it stops sparking the flint is done, put in a new one. Knapping gains nothing.
P1000240.jpg


Note that they all strike high on the frizzen. Longer scrape makes more sparks.
Some locks will strike the frizzen with the top jaw screw if the flint strikes too low.

Dan
 
Pacobillie said:
Got my first flint lock rifle a few weeks ago. the flints arrived in the mail today from TOW. I am going to use a lead wrap

I have a few questions:

Should the flint bevel face up or down?

How tight should the jaw screw be?

Where on the frizzen (top, middle or bottom)should the flint hit?

Hi Pacobillie,

I don't really care if it's bevel up or bevel down, as long as my flint contacts the frizzen at a 55° to 60° angle. That angle makes a slicing motion on the frizzen which showers lots of sparks and gives very long flint life.

If you have too straight of an angle on it, it wil smash the front of the flint and stop sparking. If you have too much angle on it, it will break the flint off. But if you get that 55° to 60° angle of contact on the frizzen it will slice nicely, give you showers of sparks, and the flint will be self-knapping.

Besides messing around with the bevel, don't hesitate to move the flint forward or backward as needed to keep that angle. As the flint slowly wears, you may need to slide the flint forward a bit and perhaps put a small twig behind it to keep if from moving back with repeated use.

Twisted_1in66 :hatsoff:
 
Dan.
How about giving us a photo of the manton lock with the hammer down and the frizzen opened.
There is a point to want to make.
 
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