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Flint Leather, Side Fit

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Idahomie

40 Cal
Joined
Apr 12, 2024
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I know that flint position has been discussed ad nauseam, but I visited October Country yesterday and got a chance to speak with the owner (John). I was expressing my frustration with the fact that the flints I’ve purchased (despite being the proper width for my frizzen) are often far too short and get swallowed up by the cock’s jaws; the flint’s tip often will not extend past them. John explained that he’ll often put his flint leather in from the side and adjust the flint in or out on the jaws accordingly (to achieve the tiniest amount of clearance between the frizzen face and flint at half cock). He told me it’s not necessary to have the flint up against the jaw screw, and that you actually want there to be a little give to help cushion the impact. This is all news to me, as I’ve seen a lot of guys go to great efforts to notch their flint leather so the flint will rest against the screw just so. Does anyone else follow this methodology?
 
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A properly sized flint will fit back in the jaws and nearly touch the closed frizzen. Many folks notch out the leather so the flint can sit back in the jaws for the best grip. The flint by no means has to touch the jaw screw. Flints are sized by both width and length.
 
A properly sized flint will fit back in the jaws and nearly touch the closed frizzen. Many folks notch out the leather so the flint can sit back in the jaws for the best grip. The flint by no means has to touch the jaw screw. Flints are sized by both width and length.
Thanks for chiming in here, rafterob. I measured my frizzen and ordered some 5/8” flints from October Country, only to find they were also short. I went with the next size up (5/8”) and found they were also far too short. It would appear as though the flints John offers are all square, and I needed something more rectangular. I ended up going with Tom Fuller’s 3/4" x 7/8 flints through Track of the Wolf and I think they’re going to work out great.

Still… I’m confused about the whole “flint not touching screw” thing, as it was my understanding you’d need to have a spacer behind the flint to keep it from sliding back during impact. John didn’t mention any such thing.
 
Thanks for chiming in here, rafterob. I measured my frizzen and ordered some 5/8” flints from October Country, only to find they were also short. I went with the next size up (5/8”) and found they were also far too short. It would appear as though the flints John offers are all square, and I needed something more rectangular. I ended up going with Tom Fuller’s 3/4" x 7/8 flints through Track of the Wolf and I think they’re going to work out great.

Still… I’m confused about the whole “flint not touching screw” thing, as it was my understanding you’d need to have a spacer behind the flint to keep it from sliding back during impact. John didn’t mention any such thing.
The flint doesn’t need to touch the screw, but cutting “teeth“ in the jaws helps with flint retention if that is your problem.
 
So… anybody put their flint leather in from the side of the jaws, or is this an obscure hack?
 
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So… anybody put their flint in from the side of the jaws, or is this an obscure hack?
IMG_0660.jpeg

This is the only flint hack I know.
 
I've used a small piece of wood behind the flint to space it forward if it's too short. If too long, notch the leather, knap off some flint, flip over, etc. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Each lock geometry is unique, except for Kibler's which are held to CNC grade tolerances. Those fantastic locks are plug 'n play!
 
I've used a small piece of wood behind the flint to space it forward if it's too short. If too long, notch the leather, knap off some flint, flip over, etc. Improvise, adapt, overcome. Each lock geometry is unique, except for Kibler's which are held to CNC grade tolerances. Those fantastic locks are plug 'n play!

Again, I think that’s what has me so puzzled about John’s recommendation. He made it sound as though you don’t need (or want) a spacer behind the flint… that it should be able to give somewhat. I think the claim was that this would help reduce flint breakage and frizzen damage. Then again, perhaps I misunderstood and need some clarification. 🤷‍♂️

Insofar as installing the flint leather from the side of the jaws, John’s told me that the technique is in use by more than one member of our local muzzleloading club. As some of these guys have been engaged in the sport for decades, it’s got me intrigued. I simply haven’t been able to find a single thread on the matter.
 
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Again, I think that’s what has me so puzzled about John’s recommendation. He made it sound as though you don’t need (or want) a spacer behind the flint… that it should be able to give somewhat. I think the claim was that this would help reduce flint breakage and frizzen damage. Then again, perhaps I misunderstood and need some clarification. 🤷‍♂️

Insofar as installing the flint leather from the side of the jaws, John’s told me that the technique is in use by more than one member of our local muzzleloading club. As some of these guys have been engaged in the sport for decades, it’s got me intrigued. I simply haven’t been able to find a single thread on the matter.
I am going to do my broken record thing. Flints are 1 of those things that are difficult to order. I much prefer to look at them or better still have my gun with me to size them
 
I am going to do my broken record thing. Flints are 1 of those things that are difficult to order. I much prefer to look at them or better still have my gun with me to size them
I can certainly see where that would be advantageous, but it’s just not really practical (or even possible) for the vast majority of folks, myself included.
 
I have several flintlocks from different lock makers. These require different size flints which I buy from Track of the Wolf.
Yes, I notch the leather which holds the flint in the hammer jaws. The notch fits around the jaw screw and the flint does not touch the jaw screw in any of my locks.
Flints are unique creatures. I have used some that last until they become too short. Others have lost their edge after two hammer falls. Had one flint break into two pieces, front to back.
 
I am sorry I tho

I am sorry. I thought you were at October country.

October Country’s about 30 minutes away; however, I work during their business hours and virtually never have an opportunity to stop in. Yesterday was the first time I was able to do so in five months, and I had to be quick as I had my father and kids in the car.
 
Thanks for chiming in here, rafterob. I measured my frizzen and ordered some 5/8” flints from October Country, only to find they were also short. I went with the next size up (5/8”) and found they were also far too short. It would appear as though the flints John offers are all square, and I needed something more rectangular. I ended up going with Tom Fuller’s 3/4" x 7/8 flints through Track of the Wolf and I think they’re going to work out great.

Still… I’m confused about the whole “flint not touching screw” thing, as it was my understanding you’d need to have a spacer behind the flint to keep it from sliding back during impact. John didn’t mention any such thing.
If your leather is doing its job, the flint won't move. Some folks use very thick leathers, but I have found that trouser-weight (1/16") works best. Thicker stuff lets the flint squirm around, and eventually fall out often.
 
October Country’s about 30 minutes away; however, I work during their business hours and virtually never have an opportunity to stop in. Yesterday was the first time I was able to do so in five months, and I had to be quick as I had my father and kids in the car.
Your new rifle will be happy with both 7/8” and 3/4” and will shoot them long past the time you think they are worn out. I’ll put a few of each in the crate when I ship it to you!!!
I learned that a little excess leather on the top of the flint will protect it from fracture in case the frizzen happens to rebound.
 
Your new rifle will be happy with both 7/8” and 3/4” and will shoot them long past the time you think they are worn out. I’ll put a few of each in the crate when I ship it to you!!!
I learned that a little excess leather on the top of the flint will protect it from fracture in case the frizzen happens to rebound.
You’re the best of the best, Wayne! I appreciate your knowledge and generosity.
 
I know that flint position has been discussed ad nauseam, but I visited October Country yesterday and got a chance to speak with the owner (John). I was expressing my frustration with the fact that the flints I’ve purchased (despite being the proper width for my frizzen) are often far too short and get swallowed up by the cock’s jaws; the flint’s tip often will not extend past them. John explained that he’ll often put his flint leather in from the side and adjust the flint in or out on the jaws accordingly (to achieve the tiniest amount of clearance between the frizzen face and flint at half cock). He told me it’s not necessary to have the flint up against the jaw screw, and that you actually want there to be a little give to help cushion the impact. This is all news to me, as I’ve seen a lot of guys go to great efforts to notch their flint leather so the flint will rest against the screw just so. Does anyone else follow this methodology?
I have used Track of the Wolf flints forever no trouble. I stopped using leather long ago. I was doing some history reading and discovered the English used lead to hold thier flints because it’s not affected by weather. Take lead ball pounding into an oblong shape and trim to size works great.
 
I'm not at all certain the fall of flint needs to be "cushioned" by not allowing the flint to rest against the screw, unless we are concerned about the flint's longevity. Actually, I would think flint on steel is a good thing. I further believe the only purpose of the leather is to allow the jaws to more firmly grasp the flint. I mean without using leather or lead, the flint would be prone to slip out of position. To have a cushion between screw and flint is to lessen the impact. Why do we want that? Why do we want to hinder the spark-making strike? I suppose the same effect could be achieved by using a weaker spring. Does that make sense? So notch that leather and get the fastest lock time built already built into the design of your quality lock.
 
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