Flintlock misadventures... So many!

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by DaveC, Dec 1, 2019.

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  1. Dec 12, 2019 #41

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    I have an Ingersoll Rand 60 gallon single stage compressor in my garage. It maxes out at 135 psi. Still, more than enough to push a stuck ball. As I said I used a 5 gallon portable tank set at 90 psi to dump balls from my .54 caliber. The trick is to get a good seal. If you get a good seal,I would think a small .32 or
    36 caliber ball would easily come out.
     
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  2. Dec 12, 2019 #42

    Britsmoothy

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    The smaller the bore a higher pressure will be needed over a larger bore. The larger bore benefits from the volume of air working on it, lose volume by losing surface area higher pressure may be needed to compensate.
    The above is a generalisation and may be of no practical application in this example. No lawyers were harmed and all facts are fictional and bear no resemblance to anyone.
     
  3. Dec 13, 2019 #43

    flntlokr

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    I hav known a couple of folks who have melted the ball out. Take the barrel off, and heat it gently in the srea where the ball is until the ball melts. That shoudnt harm the barrel, because it doesnt get all that hot. I suspect tha you will just end up drilling a hole through the ball with a screw and then your options are very limited. I cant imagine how you got a ball that tight to begin with.
     
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  4. Dec 13, 2019 #44

    Cowboy

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    If you pull the ball, and I think you should! I would anchor the rod handle and pull from the gun like that has already been mentioned.

    Also want to be sure the bore is extremely lubricated as have already been mentioned. I would personally lubricate with grease. A little messy but will clean up.

    Lastly, want to be sure your ball puller is steel threaded.

    Respectfully, Cowboy
     
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  5. Dec 17, 2019 #45

    DaveC

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    Well, I pulled it off! Uh, I mean, I pulled it out! :ThankYou:

    I used the clean and lube technique, but also managed pulled the steel threaded ball puller out of the ball itself a couple times, but I just let the range rod fall down onto the ball, then gave it a few turns.

    As predicted, it was a bit of a workout, but I can't complain, and I didn't give myself a hernia. I'll get in there tomorrow with a fouling scraper and do a thorough cleaning. Again, thanks!
     
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  6. Dec 17, 2019 #46

    smo

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    Sorry for poking the hornets nest Guys.....

    Geeezzz, What I should have said is....

    After many attempts with the co2 ball remover,
    I used my air compressor..

    With the co2 gun after several uses the tips started too close up, so I went too my tool box and got my hard rubber tipped air gun and used it.

    The compressor is only rated too 155 psi, but it worked like a Champ.

    Again, make sure the muzzles in a safe direction.

    Works great on a broken off , stuck jag as well....


    Congrats! I see you got it out!
     
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  7. Dec 17, 2019 #47

    kemart17

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    just sounds like you were having a good time, and learning a few things in the process. nothing like experience as a teacher
     
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  8. Dec 17, 2019 #48

    Whiterabbit

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    Meanwhile back at the flint problem..........
    I have the large L&R Durrs lock and if I set the flint out so it barely clears the frizzen at halfcock/frizzen closed the whole edge get busted off from the bottom of the frizzen/pan cover edge when the flint scraps it. This is with the edge on top. I have darn near the same problem if I set the flint edge back so it clears the lower edge of the frizzen when fired. Gonn'a try with the edge mounted on the bottom, can't get worse, I get a max of 3 shots then the the edge and flint are gone. Have you tried the flint with the edge mounted on top and on bottom? BTW, keep that pulled ball and pound it out thin to make you a lead sheet to mount your flint.
     
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  9. Dec 17, 2019 #49

    excess650

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    I'm a little late to the party, but.....mine is the Tn Mtn Rifle .50cal. It uses the same lock that takes the smallish 5/8" flint. At 1/2 cock the flint is fully 1/2 (one half) inch from the frizzen. With the hammer forward its 3/8" from the pan. It hits about 1/2 way up the frizzen, functions perfectly, and is easy on flints. I have the flint flat side up/bevel down.

    My lock's frizzen/pan fit was poor and it would leak powder through the gap. I used JB Weld to build up the top of the pan and then filed it down to a perfect fit. The JB does erode over time, so I should find someone with a TIG and skills to do the proper job. It has been shot quite a bit, the frizzen throws good sparks and has minimal wear, so I'm hesitant to replace the lock.
     
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  10. Dec 17, 2019 #50

    Pete G

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    I had the same problem with that lock. Feather spring was way too strong. Thinning it down solved the problem.
     
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  11. Jan 4, 2020 #51

    FlinterNick

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    Got my first flintlock when I was 15, forgot to put in the ramrod spring, the rod shot out like 10 feet in front of me.
     
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  12. Jan 6, 2020 #52

    DaveC

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    Well, another day and even worse problems! I put everything together careful like.
    Got out to the range, "OK, looks good, the flint in the cock is bisecting the pan in an un-cocked condition, everything looks good..."
    "I wonder if the flint is sharp?" "Ouch! Yes, it cut my finger quite well..." So I bandage my finger.
    First shot: flash in the pan.
    I re-prime several times, brushing off the pan, adding more priming powder (3f) each time the priming powder goes off, but not the main charge.
    I poked a bunch of powder into the vent hole with my vent pick, tried again. I hear a "clack...Psssssss!" which is the powder I trickled in, and the Engel going Prunst in the pfanne und zundloch!
    I poked a bunch of powder a few more times, and finally just lit a match and held it to the vent hole. Nada. Zilch.
    So I pulled the ball and the patch.
    I tried to clean out the bore, only to discover that all my attempts to fire it had created the "mother of all fouling cakes" inside the base of the bore! I used a brush, a fouling scraper, my ball screw puller, etc. Each time I'd pull up tons of fouling. At one point, I completely bent the brass screw-driver-looking fouling scraper into a corkscrew. I'm still getting fouling out. Some spectators proffered the suggestion that perhaps it was dry balled initially, and the powder went on top of that? But as I keep drilling with the ball puller, all I get is pieces of a huge cake of fouling plugging the end.

    For now, I've got the flintlock rifle detail stripped, and I'm putting boiling water down the barrel, followed by brushing.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2020 #53

    Britsmoothy

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    Boiling water every time. Keep tipping it in and out again. Hold the barrel with a towel, it's gonna get hot!
    Remember the oil you squirted in first time! That's caused this situation!
     
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  14. Jan 6, 2020 #54

    Loyalist Dave

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    You may find that you need a straight edged scraper to get the uber-crusty bits out, and the oil is going to resist the moisture.

    RAMROD TIP TOOLS C.jpg

    IF you have a patent-breech, your bore-fitting brush and the scraper may not get down into the "patent" area of the breech plug, but fear not, you can use a plain .22 bore brush to get the last bit clean, if it is a "patent breech".

    RAMROD TIP TOOLS D.jpg

    LD
     
  15. Jan 6, 2020 #55

    DaveC

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    It may well be a patent breech, since the straight fouling scraper got twisted out of shape? Perhaps it somehow snagged on that portion? How can I determine whether it is or not?

    The comment about the oil to loosen the patch and ball prior pulling those out seems like I should re-examine that. I certainly thought I'd done a lot to clean the barrel, including with wet patches and so on, followed by dry patches, etc. prior to loading it up again...

    Raises an interesting--well, to me at least!--conundrum: With a caplock, the rifle can be capped a couple of times to ensure that the vent between the cone and the bore is clear, and also to ensure that anything like condensation or what-have-you has been cleared from the bore prior to loading. With a flintlock, that's not exactly possible?

    I guess there was a "cake" of fouling built up that I'd been polishing instead of removing, even though I used a bristle brush, solvent patches (water and Ballistol/water). In addition to that, I suppose I should store these muzzle down for a good long while too? Incidentally, my other flintlock, a .69 smooth-bore musket, now refuses to go from half-cock to full cock! Maybe I should go see some sort of black magic person to see if I've been cursed by the gods of flint or something? Maybe the blood from my finger was enough to propitiate these evil grimlins and zundloch fouling Engels?
     
  16. Jan 6, 2020 #56

    Britsmoothy

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    Mr. All I use is boiling water, not warm, not hot. Boiling.
    I have been doing it for years.
    No scraping, just a soapy patch before the boiling water.
    After the boiling water I run one or two dry patches down.
    Now the gun stands for a while for the heat to dry it out.
    After ten minutes and still warm I run a greased patch down the bore and work some on the external parts that also have been washed with a damp cloth.
    The grease is a mix of beeswax and olive oil.

    Does the lock on your .69 cock if you loosen the lock plate screws that pass through the stock? If so you may just need to shorten the trigger bar.
     
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  17. Jan 7, 2020 #57

    DaveC

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    I see. Well, I did flush it out repeatedly with boiling water. First I had to remove the barrel completely, drifting pins out of the stock and so on. In the midst of a couple such flushes with boiling water, I actually did get the vent hole plugged up with crud. I discovered this by plunging the various bits of brushes and so on in Loyalist Dave's pictures he helpfully provided. I got a lot of very hot, very black water ejected onto my eye glasses, forehead, shirt front, moustache, etc. I then used my vent pick to clear the vent, which produced a stream of water onto my kitchen floor!

    Finally, with the vent clear, I poured additional hot water into the bore. Then I followed up with several dry patches to dry things out, which all came out black. Fortunately--I think?--the base of the patch that is pushed down by the jag was all white, while the sides were black. Then I ran some patches down the bore with a particular major brand muzzle loading bore solvent and patch lube. Then I ran several patches down to dry that out until they came out almost completely clean. Then I put a Ballistol patch over the exterior of the barrel, and another down the barrel. I have some grease, but it is mutton tallow and beeswax. I may have to try your olive oil and beeswax, albeit that is pretty much what I use on my moustache. I'll ensure that the bore is clean before I reassemble it, and I'll make sure I have it really clean and that the huge cake of fouling is gone.

    As for the .69 musket, it is still disassembled, but I'll check and see if it behaves the way you indicate. It sure worked before...?!

    In the United States, we have a saying "third time's the charm!" Hope so! In any case, I will also bring a second .32, a caplock! next range outing!
     
  18. Jan 7, 2020 #58

    Britsmoothy

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    Instead of trying to flush everything through the flash hole you should plug the flash hole and then tip the water in, tip the water out and repeat.
    No need to remove the barrel.
    If it leaks from the flash hole plug use the lock to hold some absorbent cloth there.
     
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