priming the pan

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tenngun

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Some say pile it opposite the touch hole. But I doubt it stays there when you move the gun. I fill to the bottom of the touch hole. Tap the lock with a knuckle to even it out.
It the woods as I walk when I check the pan it usually lay about like that.
 

Daveboone

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I find my Pedersoli GPR is quite forgiving as to amount. My priming horn dispenses about 4 grains of 4 f, which coats the bottom of the pan. With a good flint, that is plenty. After priming the pan, I just give the side of the gun a bit of a swat, and it spreads the powder pretty evenly.
 

Versanaut

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Every smokepole is different... Different breach, different vent-hole sizes, different breech chamber sizes, etc etc.

I work up from still seeing the pan through the powder adding a little more each time until it fires reliable, every time. Too much powder will work, but you will slow ignition.

As to where in the pan.... I don't find it nearly as important as the gun moves around anyway from the time I prime to shouldering it, even at the firing line.
 

JB67

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I have a small lock. I do 2 pumps from my primer, using 2F, evenly spread in the middle of the pan. The amount is not even equal to a packet of pepper from a fast food joint. Much more than that and there's a slight delayas the pan powder burns.
 

flntlokr

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how much powder do i put in pan & wher do i locate in pan
I use about a half pan (FF or FFF usually). When I close the frizzen, I turn the gun so the lock is up, and give it a couple of mild thumps with the heel of my hand to shake the powder into the flash hole, after which I rotate it so the lock is down, and give it another thump to shake the powder back to the outside end of the pan, and it's ready to go. I believe that this method leaves a fine dust of powder into the flash hole (NOT a fuse trail), and the flsh is enhanced a bit thereby. If you leave a fuse trail, it will be slower because the flash has to burn thru the powder plugging the flash channel, rather than flashing through at the speed of the explosion expansion. If in a hurry, I leave out the thumps part, and just place the prime at the outer end of the pan. Try it all; find out what works for you.
 

Flintlock

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Less is more (within reason) it really doesn't take much and while carrying in the woods powder will shift around anywhere so don't worry over location.
 

Brokennock

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Sorry, misread the o.p.
Thought it said, where do I locate the pan. Was thinking you were still building the gun.

The common "wisdom" has always been that banking the powder away from the flash hole results in faster ignition and that piling it up against the hole causes a fuse effect and a delay.
Some very high tech, high speed photography, testing by Mr. Pletcher poves the opposite is true, but also proves that the differences in ignition speed between different powders sizes and position are pretty much insignificant compared to our honest ability to detect them.
 

Steve Martin

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I also use 3F and fill till just below level of touch hole (vent). Banking too much powder toward the touch hole usually will SLOW your ignition due to fuse effect. I also think the size of the lock and the flint plays a role because all my flintlocks seem to like less priming rather than more, EXCEPT for my Brown Bess which seems to use all the priming powder I can put in the pan and ignites just as fast as using less priming powder. I can only guess it's because my Bess uses a very large flint and produces HUGE amounts of sparks. I use Swiss 3F as my charge and my priming powder for all my flintlocks for what that's worth. Ultimately you do have to just experiment to see what a particular flint gun likes!
 

troy2000

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I fill up the pan till the powder meets the bottom of the flash hole while the pan is level. 3F is what i use.
That's what I've been doing with my Kibler .45 SMR, but I suspect it's overkill. Next time I'm out alone instead of babysitting friends and coworkers, I'm going to start bringing the amount down and see how much I really need. And yes, I also use 3F for both the prime and the charge.
 

beyu

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A smaller amount does just fine — I put just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

More powder than needed just makes a bigger flash. AND I have noticed, once or twice when I did that, I got hit on the cheek with a hot grain of powder — no injury, but I would not want it in my eye. One more reason to wear shooting glasses!
 

Sidney Smith

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I fill the pan about half full and don't care where it sits once in the pan. It's going to fire no matter where it's sitting in the pan, and you won't know the difference in ignition even if you do know where it sits.
 

sawyer04

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how much powder do i put in pan & wher do i locate in pan
When I first primed a pan I filled that sucker plumb to the top and a big swish and no boom. Took a while to learn, but I accidently discovered a grain of powder will set the charge off.
I put very little priming powder in the pan but make sure it is sitting by the touch hole, about half of the hole covered or even a little less than half, distributed evenly across the pan. If the touch hole is open I have fired a weapon without priming powder, the spark from the flint hit the touch hole and I suppose the charge powder had sifted through the hole. A good sign to quiver the hole if not going to fire immediately.
 

45man

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My friend just finished a Kibler and another neighbor was over. I primed the pan and the neighbor asked "is that all", then stood back and said absolutely no delay! I was about level with the bottom of the insert.
 

deerstalkert

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many times using fffg i can slap the side if my flinter with the pan covered, and enough powder will trickle out to fire. normally i just cover the bottom of the pan. always with the powder in my charge. haven't used ffffg for years.
 

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