Need advise on Lyman GPR flint kit rifle I just completed.

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by Shiloh1944, May 31, 2019.

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  1. May 31, 2019 #1

    Shiloh1944

    Shiloh1944

    Shiloh1944

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    I completed my GPR flint rifle kit a few weeks ago but just haven't had the opportunity to get to the range due to weather conditions. I was able to finally take the rifle out to the range yesterday to see how she performed. I will confess this was my first time in attempting to shoot a flintlock rifle in over 30 years. I have spent most of my time shooting either percussion or cartridge black powder rifles.

    I was really anxious to try out my new GPR flint kit rifle. I had a difficult and frustrating time getting the rifle to shoot. At first I couldn't get the rifle to spark enough to ignite the powder in the pan and when I finally did get it to spark and ignite there was a delay from the time the powder ignited in the pan to when it ignited in the breach so the rifle would fire. By then I had pulled off target. I spent at least two to three hours at the range trying to get the rifle to shoot. I never could get it to spark consistently, more often not than would, and I never could get the rifle to fire without a delay when I could get it to fire. I was all over a 10" target at 25 yards.

    I have said all of this to ask do I need to harden my frizzen more and do I need to enlarge the flash hole and if so how much? Will doing these two things improve the firing of my new GPR kit rifle.

    I also shot my recently done TOTW Kit Carson percussion rifle and ate up the middle of the target but the rifle goes off when the trigger is pulled. No delay.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Please accept my apology as I am really a novice to flintlock rifles and I am certain these questions or similar ones have been asked before.
     
  2. May 31, 2019 #2

    Trot

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    Generally the Lymans are pretty good sparkers. What kind of flint are you using?
     
  3. May 31, 2019 #3

    jdw276

    jdw276

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    Are you using real BP or black powder substitute?
     
  4. May 31, 2019 #4

    Shiloh1944

    Shiloh1944

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    The one that came with the kit. I couldn't get it to spark hardly at all so after numerous no sparkings I switched to another one I had that I assume is made of flint. It sparked a little better for awhile and then got to where it wouldn't ignite the powder in the pan either.

    How much powder do you need to put in the pan? I have a brass powder primer and I would push it twice and get a little pile of powder about 1/4 " to 3/8" in size. Is that enough?

    In all my years of shooting BP I have never used BP substitutes.

    Also, do you put the long point of the beveled edge of the flint up or down?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  5. May 31, 2019 #5

    jdw276

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    How your flint is held, bevel up or down, is based on how well it sparks to get realiable ignition. I use rich pierce, black english and french amber. I have the factory agate cut but don't use them. I use leather to wrap around the flint to hold it secure in the jaws.

    Good on the no bp substitutes.

    The brass primer i have throws about 3 grains of bp. I use 4f but any can be used. It does not in my rifles have to be heaping in the pan. Level with the top of the pan or a bit less.

    If you get a flash in the pan, i have been taught to run a touchole pick in the vent. This is because it maybe clogged, or gotten clogged from a less than complete ignition.

    Good luck with it. Once it gets up and running reliably, it is a really fun way to shoot. It does take some tinkering and fiddling with the flint and riffle.
     
  6. May 31, 2019 #6

    jdw276

    jdw276

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    There is a great article in the how to section on how to shoot flintlocks. Runs through a lot of ways to to shoot more gooder.

    10 minute read and a great reference area.
     
  7. May 31, 2019 #7

    Zonie

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    Shiloh
    Try sticking a 1/16" drill bit shank thru the vent hole. If it doesn't go thru the hole, IMO, you definitely should use the drill bit to drill out the vent hole.

    You didn't say what the caliber is but (here again, in my opinion) if it is a .50 or larger you can go up to a 5/64 size drill for the vent. Try the 1/16" first before you consider going larger.

    Do not try to reharden the frizzen unless you are seeing really deep gouges on its face caused by the flint biting chunks out of it.

    A slightly dull flint won't produce good sparks. The edge of the flint should be razor sharp. If it's not, learn how to knap the edge to get it to work like it should.

    IMO, ALL flintlocks have a very slight hesitation between the cock falling, the prime lighting and the main charge firing. Someone who is use to a caplock or modern gun will notice it. Someone who is used to flintlocks won't notice it. It's the nature of the beast. :eek:
     
  8. Jun 1, 2019 #8

    Shiloh1944

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    Zonie,

    It is a .54 caliber. I will inspect the frizzen to see if there is any gouging. The flint is not razor sharp.

    Should the flint be adjusted out or pushed as far back in the hammer jaws as possible. I use the leather to hold the flint in the hammer jaws.

    I will also use a drill bit to check the hole size to see if it needs to be drilled out.

    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  9. Jun 1, 2019 #9

    jdw276

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    Close to the frizzen.
     

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  10. Jun 1, 2019 #10

    Shiloh1944

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    I read somewhere, can't remember where, that if a flintlock rifle is set up right that there should be very little difference if any in the ignition time as compared to that of percussion rifles. As I said, I read it somewhere but can't remember where. As stated previously I am a novice when it comes to shooting a flintlock, but I know I am going to have to improve the way my GPR flint kit rifle is functioning or I will never be able to shoot it accurately.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2019 #11

    SDSmlf

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    Are you using a sawcut flint? Last new GPR kit I saw I believe came with a sawcut flint mounted in the lock and ready to go. Could you post a photograph of your lock holding your flint? Someone may see something in your setup.
     
  12. Jun 1, 2019 #12

    Sidney Smith

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    Mount the flint in the jaws of the cock and snug the cock jaw screw. Go to full cock close the frizzen then slowly lower the cock until it touches the frizzen. This will square the flint to the frizzen and will push the flint back into the jaws so when you tighten the cock jaw it will put the flint at the right spot when at half cock like in the photo above. The tighten the cock jaw screw and you should be in business. Make sure to mount the flint so it will not hit the barrel when it falls. Sometimes a flint mounted too close on the inside can scrape the barrel an you don't want that to happen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  13. Jun 1, 2019 #13

    Shiloh1944

    Shiloh1944

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    Looks like a saw cut flint to me. Very smooth, even, and squared cuts. It is certainly not napped.


    Sidney Smith, thanks for the instructional post. Good info.

    Thanks to everyone for the information. I will make adjustments and go to the range again soon and see if my problems are resolved or at least improved.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2019 #14

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

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    Would suggest ‘real’ flints. Have never had any luck with the saw cut stones, even in the best of locks. Photograph is of a TC lock with the old design hammer and a nearly blunt (not sharp) flint. A dull saw cut one just does not spark well, if at all in my experience.

    upload_2019-6-1_17-15-36.jpeg
     
  15. Jun 1, 2019 #15

    MSW

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    I for one have never been able to get the cut agate "flints" to properly spark, so I save them to throw at passing politicians, If you have not already done so, I would try to get some black English flints (or some french amber... the amber flints don't work any better or worse, but look kinda cool).

    I will avoid the leather vs, lead flint wrap argument for now - give them both a try later... in the best of all worlds, your flint should strike the frizzen about two thirds of the way up, and it should be about an eighth of an inch from the face when the lock is at half cock.

    The amount of powder, as well as the grade, and whether it is banked toward the touch hole, away from the touch hole, or flat, is the subject of much discussion. If I remember correctly, Pletch did some pretty definitive testing on this with some really cool high speed camera work … if you can find the vid, it's worth a look. I would try several methods and see which one works best for your particular rig.

    I sympathize with your initial frustration, but if you hang with it until you get the flint thing, you will find the result well worth the trouble.

    Make Good Smoke (with flint).
     
  16. Jun 2, 2019 #16

    Sidney Smith

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    I have used cut agate flints and they do work when they're new. Once they've struck the frizzen a bunch of times and they dull up there is no way to sharpen them again. They're only advantage is they're flat on both sides so easy to install and you have a usable bevel on both sides. But they definitely don't spark or last as long as real flints. I personally dont like them and haven't used any in a long time.
     

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