Still getting a clack...bang!

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Sparkitoff

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OK guys and gals, this is not easy to admit but I am not getting the instantaneous ignition that I hear about. My barrel is a GM and I am pretty sure it has a patent breach. My lock is an L&R. L&R has tuned the lock and supplied what they say is the best flint for it. My touch-hole is the threaded kind, it has an octagonal front so it can be removed with proper bit. The hole is 1/16th or a bit bigger as a 1/16th bit fits in the hole. The back of the liner is coned/tapered like the most commonly recommended configuration. I am using Goex FFFg in the barrel and FFFFg in the pan. The touch-hole is in the sunset position on the pan like is recommended. I have tried anywhere from a light dusting of powder in the pan to a full pan of powder. No noticeable difference. The rifle is clean-clean-clean before the first shot. After I load with a pipe cleaner in the touch-hole I withdraw the pipe cleaner slowly and a tiny amount of powder comes out. The rifle does go off - no failure to fire on first shot and can shoot a string of several shots without failure to fire. It is accurate. I have practiced holding and following through. Nonetheless, I hear about "instantaneous" ignition, "no discernable delay" and "as quick as a percussion …". Well I'm not getting that. There is a slight delay. Sometimes the delay is slightly longer and more noticeable than other times. I like the rifle and again it is accurate. I am at a loss as to any action to take to speed up ignition time. Am I asking too much? Maybe this is normal? What else can be done? Thanks in advance......
 

Cruzatte

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I wish I could help. Without me being there to observe, I have to admit sadly there isn't much I can offer except questions, and platitudes.

I take it this is your first flintlock rifle. I am uncertain how long you've been shooting traditional muzzle loaders. Have you any experience with percussion locks? Or, are you doing like I did and starting out with a flintlock and only books and online forums to offer advice?
 

Boomerang

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I have both percussion and flintlock. You can do a few things to speed up the ignition on a flintlock, but I have never seen one as quick as a cap lock. It will however teach you to follow through and be a better shooter.
 

Sparkitoff

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I have been shooting percussion traditional muzzleloaders since 1988. I have had one previous factory flintlock, but I did not have the patience as a young man to get it perfected and moved it along. I can open the touch-hole to 5/64 if consensus is that it may make a difference.
 

russellshaffer

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Instead of a pipe cleaner try a solid wire. Don't pull it out until you are ready to prime. That should leave a tunnel through the powder charge and let the pan flash get all the way into the charge. It works on my matchlock that was very prone to pan flashes until I found out about this trick. It's worth a try at least.
 

Grimord

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Another thing to try is to not pack the powder too hard. Use just enough pressure on the ram rod to seat the patched ball on the powder. don't lean on the rod to pack the powder down. The loose powder by the breech has more voids (air pockets between the powder grains) for the fire from the pan to penetrate the powder charge and ignite.
 

Flintandsteel

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The secret to fast ignition is getting the main charge closer to the priming charge. A liner with an Allen wrench hole puts the charge that much further away. The flare from the primer is what sets off the main charge,
I'd suggest a white lightning liner. They are FAST, because it's puts the main charge only a few thousandths away from the primer.
That's all I will use. They work!
 

Sidney Smith

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I insert the touch hole pick after I load the barrel and just before I prime. Insert the pick until you can feel slight pressure from it contacting the powder then give it a slight push deeper into the chamber. Not until you touch the other side but just enough to insure that you've moved powder out of the touch hole and a little way inside.

If you see powder coming out into the pan that tells you the touch hole is full and that powder needs to be out of the way.

Also check the flint. Is it dull or too far back from the frizzen while on half cock? Now on large locks you won't get a flint real close to the frizzen like on some of those dinky little locks but still it can sit too far back as to cause a delay. Maybe turn the flint the opposite way it sits now I.e. bevel down instead of up and vice versa. There are a lot of reasons why a lock will hangfire. More so than just powder in the pan our flash hole.
 

Stony Broke

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My first problems with a delay came with me putting priming powder too close to the touch hole and creating a fuse sort of situation...but you probably already know about that situation. I started putting the priming powder to the far side of the pan, and it sure seemed to make ignition faster.
 

SDSmlf

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White Lightening Liners are great, but the OP already has a barrel setup for a removable liner, which can also work very well. I also believe that the hex wrench hole acts a small funnel and helps quick ignition. The replaceable liners are cheap so no big deal if one or two get messed up.

  • Going from a 1/16” to 5/64” diameter increases the touch hole open area by 56%.
  • You get a little more powder in the pan while loading if you don’t plug the touch hole.
  • Make sure the liner does not protrude into the barrel. It’s length must be shorter that the thickness of barrel.
  • I like to make sure the actual touch hole diameter’s length (between the bottom of the hex hole and the chamfered hole on the powder side) is as short as possible. I use a #2 center drill (the small tip on it happens to be 5/64” diameter) and hand work it until I have the chamfer I want.
 

Sparkitoff

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Great info - I will try all of them. Do I have to have a full charge and an actual ball loaded to try these? Can I load about 30 grains and a cork so I can do this in my backyard?
 

smo

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You should be ok with the small charge and a cork.

The touch hole enlargement should make ignition better for you.

Good Luck
 

SDSmlf

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Great info - I will try all of them. Do I have to have a full charge and an actual ball loaded to try these? Can I load about 30 grains and a cork so I can do this in my backyard?
I would not use a cork. Maybe paper wading or a cotton ball seated on the powder. And you and your neighbors may be surprised how loud 30 grains of BP can be.
 

Rifleman1776

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After re-reading your original post, I don't see a problem. There is no "secret" to good ignition but there are a variety of factors involved. For starters, quit doing the pipe cleaner in touch hole thing. Don't fret getting primer close to the touch hole. Just prime and shoot. Very likely the "delay" is more of your perception than reality. Focus on the target and shoot. You will probably soon forget you ever had a "delay".
 

Zonie

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...
Well I'm not getting that. There is a slight delay. Sometimes the delay is slightly longer and more noticeable than other times. I like the rifle and again it is accurate. I am at a loss as to any action to take to speed up ignition time. Am I asking too much? Maybe this is normal? What else can be done? Thanks in advance......
The following is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.

As Pletch has proven after many experiments with flintlock ignition, a flintlock is slower than a percussion system. Even his very best original English lock (I think it was by Manton) was not as fast as a percussion.

While the flint is busy making sparks and the sparks are busy trying to light the priming and the priming is beginning to burn, the percussion hammer has already fired the cap and the main powder charge. That's just the nature of the beast.

IMO, the people who claim their flintlock fires instantaneously are either so in love with their flintlocks they are willing to overlook its faults or they have been shooting flintlocks so long they forgot (or never knew) how fast a percussion gun can fire. (Yes, I know, many of you have seen percussion guns have misfires.)

I've shot flintlocks for well over 15 years and although my flintlocks are very fast, I still do notice the delay in ignition. It's not something that I could put a number on but it's there.

By the way, it is because of this delay and the need to concentrate on follow thru with a flintlock that you will become a better shooter. Once this is mastered, all of the shooting you do with any kind of gun will improve noticeably.
 

Brokennock

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Instead of a pipe cleaner try a solid wire. Don't pull it out until you are ready to prime. That should leave a tunnel through the powder charge and let the pan flash get all the way into the charge. It works on my matchlock that was very prone to pan flashes until I found out about this trick. It's worth a try at least.
What Russel has said is essentially what I do. And, while I'm sure using Pletch's testing equipment my ignition is not as fast as a caplock, I don't really notice the delay others expect and had told me to expect. And, neither do other people at the range, most are surprised and impressed how fast she goes boom.
I've posted on this before, this is what I use,
20190205_131655.jpg 20190205_131555.jpg
It is made of coat hanger wire. The taper is such that when the thicker part hits the edge of the touch hole preventing further penetration, the tip is about the thickness of a piece of construction paper away from the opposite barrel wall. Placed in before I pour powder, not removed till it's time to prime.

Some say it doesn't make a difference, but, I also polished my pan where the powder lies to mirror bright. Some say it reflects the heat and flash better, some say not, I don't know. What I do know is that a clean pan makes a difference in how well a flinter functions, and the mirror polished pan is easier to wipe clean.
 

SDSmlf

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There is a slight delay. Sometimes the delay is slightly longer and more noticeable than other times.
The OP’s ‘sometimes the delay is slightly longer’ comment catches my interest.

What I perceive if I concentrate on it is a longer report with a flintlock than with a percussion gun. Think about the series of events that occur. You have the flash from the pan very close to one ear. You then have the touch hole exhaust from the main charge close to the same ear. Then a couple feet away from your other ear, you have the louder main charge blast out the end of the barrel. No matter matter how fast everything occurs I believe our minds will sense the two different blast locations, or at least a longer almost two part blast, possibly related to the Doppler effect. With a percussion gun you only have the blast out the end of the barrel.

What I have found with a 1/16” diameter touch hole, at least for me, is a much longer, and at times a varying blast time or delay, that is just not there with the larger touch hole. My groups also tighten up with the larger hole. Just a personal observation. I pretty much always settle on a 5/64” diameter, but one could step their way up from 1/16” by using #52 through #48 diameter drills.

With a replaceable liner and a drill index it is an easy test or experiment to do. Or leave as is and work on other suggested variables.
 

Loyalist Dave

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FOLKS...,
He is reporting a "Clack..., Bang", NOT a "Puff…, Bang". (Pardon the technical jargon)

But if he's reporting something accurate then he's not talking about a slow ignition from the pan to the powder of the main charge..., which many of the above suggestions would help to cure or completely cure...a wire not a pipe cleaner in the touch hole, and a teeny bit larger touch hole....:thumb:

He's seems to be reporting a slow ignition of the spark in the priming powder of the pan. He seems to be saying he can physically hear the lock mechanism make noise (clack), and THEN the rifle goes off, in what appears to be a fast manner (Bang).

So while the lock has been "tuned", was it in the rifle and test fired by L&R or was just the lock sent back? I'm thinking there is a problem with the lock when it's in the stock and against the barrel ???

I would've thought the flint was "rebounding", hitting the frizzen and coming off the frizzen face for a tiny distance without making sparks, then coming back into contact with the frizzen farther down which then causes the sparks but of course is late and thus is obvious to the shooter. YET the lock has been "tuned". So that shouldn't be the problem.

I should think that if the side of the frizzen was rubbing against the barrel it would cause a different problem...,

Has the OP tested the lock outside of the rifle with primer in the pan to see if the same situation, the delay happens? Might verify if the "tuning" really had been properly done. Can we see a photo of the frizzen face ?

LD
 
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