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flintlock ignition trouble what do you think please help.

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Mar 16, 2007
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Are you cleaning this way after every shot? Just curious, because if I had a gun requiring that, I'd make it work better or send it down the road. That doesn't add to my shooting pleasure to have to clean for 10 minutes after every shot. But, to each their own.
NO, but every time you clean the rifle.

Bill Bryan

40 Cal.
Aug 2, 2003
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Valdosta Georgia
I had a similar problem years ago and I solved it by drilling out the vent liner to the next larger drill bit size that I had. Also I sharpened my vent pick so it goes well into the charge in the barrel (over half way). The wider vent hole made my .50 cal flintlock almost self priming (using 3f powder) when I load a charge with the frizzen closed. I always pick the vent just before each shot. I never wipe the pan but I always run a patch down the barrel as I load each shot so that the barrel is consistently clean. I hope this helps. Bill
Oct 9, 2004
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St. Louis, MO
If you are going to drill out the touch hole, I recommend getting a set of number drills. There's 5 number drills between 1/16" and 5/64".

@Just-a-hunter, I would also like to know the diameter of the touch hole. If you are having ignition problems, you will find that a touch hole of 1/16" diameter is a significant improvement. The largest touch hole should be no greater than 5/64". Number drills can be your friend here as there are 5 numbered drill diameters between 1/16 and 5/64.


Some find success with the #51 or #50 drill.

Could there be a little bit of metal flakes left over from drilling the touch hole?
Most find the #51 or #50 drills open up the touch hole for reliable ignition and are small enough that self-priming doesn't occur.


Bug Hunter
MLF Supporter
Aug 6, 2014
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Vancouver Island
First, is this a White Lightin Liner or a close copy? If so, I can give you a good answer to the problem. Some of those (or copies) have the spark channel from the outside to the inside of the cone that is way too deep (long). I had the same problem on some of my custom builds and I knew everything was built right. It took a little trouble shooting to discover the issue. Take the liner out and when you put the next one in, deepen that liner cone from the inside. I measured some of the liners I had and found that channel to be almost three times the depth it should have been. I found that somewhere around .035 is about the maximum depth the channel should be.

It is not a design or manufactoring problem with those type of liners. The problem comes from the installation, when you put in the chamfer to allow the liner face to set down into the barrel flat. If you put in too much of a chamfer, the liner goes in deeper which in turn makes your spark channel longer. I would just put a "very small" chamfer in, then screw in the liner tight and then cut off the lug. You want to have to file off quite a bit of the face of the liner.

Another option is to go to the Allen Wrench Head liner that is sold by RMC. I hate the looks - but it works. I don't like the flash hole size (too big) - but it works.
I make my liners out of 5/16 1/4x28 stainless set screws. Allen wrench socket drilled through 1/16" and coned on the inside to create a venturi and shorten the flame path. Very few misfires.
Dec 26, 2022
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Mooreland Indiana
Grenaidier1758 I use tovhave bad ignition with a percusion but could apply to flintlocks too. Bottom line I was stabbing between shots but my patch was to wet just making mud down by the breech. I went to a damp I mead just damp patch and cured the problem. Good luck


Mar 6, 2007
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Could your main powder have absorbed some moisture from the atmosphere? Try using the main powder in the pan and see if it flashes easily.