Suddenly started getting pan flash ?

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Rock Home Isle

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Still new to flintlocks, but I've had a couple range sessions with my traditions Kentucky rifle and things went well firing about 20 shots each time. Today I put a fresh flint in, an English flint from TOW. First few shots fired fine than began to get "flash in the pans". I picked touch hole after each shot and wiped pan, frizzen, and flint. I would keep picking and repriming pan till it fired which could take up to three trys. I even tried filling the pan full over the hole once and that didn't work. Then I started to get a few "click" with no flash. Flint looked pretty dull and beat up for only a few shots. Put a new flint in and next five shot fired as they should. What would has cause the low ignition rate ? Would a dull flint cause a pan flash ? Humidity was about 65% with a 10 mph cross wind, using 2F in pan if that matters. -Thanks
Once you reach the point where you are getting flash-in-the-pan…over and over…attach a breech plug scraper to the end of your field rod and scape the face of the breach plug. Then up-end the barrel into the palm of your hand, and see what comes out.

You should only be getting a small amount, that looks like course ground “pepper’…if a bunch comes out, that’s probably your problem…
 

kyron4

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Once you reach the point where you are getting flash-in-the-pan…over and over…attach a breech plug scraper to the end of your field rod and scape the face of the breach plug. Then up-end the barrel into the palm of your hand, and see what comes out.

You should only be getting a small amount, that looks like course ground “pepper’…if a bunch comes out, that’s probably your problem…
Yes, since this is an older post I have discovered the issue was fouling in the small hole of the patent breach. I have since been using a .22 brush, mop , and scraper to keep it clean; and tapping the stock to settle the powder . The problem has all but gone away.
 

Rock Home Isle

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Yes, since this is an older post I have discovered the issue was fouling in the small hole of the patent breach. I have since been using a .22 brush, mop , and scraper to keep it clean; and tapping the stock to settle the powder . The problem has all but gone away.
Those patent breeches can be a real issue. Glad you found a remedy…

I had a .54 calibre CVA Big Bore Mountain Rifle…very accurate gun. Different breech design, but same type of problem. That gun would shoot 1 1/2” to 2” groups from the bench all day long…but pick it up and carry it for a spell, misfire every time. Cost me several huge elk. Talking with a local gunsmith, recently, he was saying that CVAs breech design was the likely culprit…easy fix, but unfortunately the gun is now long since gone…
 

bldtrailer

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with traditions you have a breach like this , you need a smaller brush(30 cal) to clean this area . when you wipe between shots you might push fouling into this area blocking spark. use a cal smaller jag 45 in 50 with damp patch rides over the fouling on the way in turn to the right the patch expands and now pulls the fouling out
the other problem is powder bridging you need to tap the barrel to settle the powder into the smaller breach area
 
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The symptom of feeling the powder picking the vent for the first few shots and then not feeling it after a number is exactly what happens on my flinter. I get a pretty solid ring of fouling that grows about where the ball initially sits. After it builds enough (15 shots or so) the powder gets bottlenecked by the fouling and is not compressing well at the vent and the ball starts seating higher. Yes, there is a 'gap' between the ball and the powder charge starting to form after each shot (in MY flinter.. YMMV). The powder is not compressing near the vent so it's a bit harder to catch a spark or flame from the pan flash. After a brief brush session and a few swipes of some dampened patches followed by a drying swipe, I am usually back in business.
Good way to ring the barrel.
 

flntlokr

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Good way to ring the barrel.
I agree. That is why I use water based lube for range shooting; the fouling gets wiped with every load, and a ring never develops. When I (briefly) used greasy or oiled patches, The guns 'ringed up' after only a few shots and it became very difficult to fully seat a ball. If that does happen, hammer the ball down through the ring, then clean the barrel above the ball with a water based solvent (or a few slobbery spit patches), then fire away! Wipe the barrel out aftger it has been cleared to get the last bit of ring where the ball rested. (don't push the cleaning patch all the way to the breech face to avoid wetting your next charge or pushing fouling into the flash channel.)
 

smoothshooter

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Hole is .067".
Yes, has patent breach.
Thanks

My guess the rear of the patent breech ( I hate those things ) antechamber has some hard crust fouling in the rear of it.
Plug the vent well with a toothpick. Pour the equivalent of about two thimble fulls of water with two or three drops of dish soap in the bore. Keeping the muzzle up, let the gun stand for a few hours. Pour it out of the barrel, remove toothpick, put bore brush that is as close to the ID of the antechamber on end of rod, run it down the bore and twist it clockwise a few times.
Flush barrel with water or diluted Ballistol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. If you use alcohol, dry bore and oil it. If using Ballistol run a dry patch or two down the bore to wipe out the excess. Then you are done.
Make sure the small chamber in the breech is dry too.
 
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My guess the rear of the patent breech ( I hate those things ) antechamber has some hard crust fouling in the rear of it.
Plug the vent well with a toothpick. Pour the equivalent of about two thimble fulls of water with two or three drops of dish soap in the bore. Keeping the muzzle up, let the gun stand for a few hours. Pour it out of the barrel, remove toothpick, put bore brush that is as close to the ID of the antechamber on end of rod, run it down the bore and twist it clockwise a few times.
Flush barrel with water or diluted Ballistol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. If you use alcohol, dry bore and oil it. If using Ballistol run a dry patch or two down the bore to wipe out the excess. Then you are done.
Make sure the small chamber in the breech is dry too.

If you are "twisting" a brush in the barrel make sure it is a captured type. If not you may twist one off deep down in the bore. Don't ask me how I know........................................
 
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