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Testing the flintlock?

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Greg Blackburn

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New to flintlocks and a bit worried I might not get mine to shoot. Is it a good idea to put in a charge of 2F, prime, and drop the hammer without a projectile?

I could do this off the back porch. Then clean as usual.

What do you guys think?
 

SDSmlf

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New to flintlocks and a bit worried I might not get mine to shoot. Is it a good idea to put in a charge of 2F, prime, and drop the hammer without a projectile?

I could do this off the back porch. Then clean as usual.

What do you guys think?
Depends where your back porch is. Next to city hall? Or in the middle of your private 200 acre plot of land? Or something in between?

Not sure it’s a good idea, but I’ve done similar on the 4th for neighborhood kids, young and old, topping a light charge of powder with an olive oil soaked cotton ball. Smoothbore much easier to clean up compared to a rifled bore when the party is over. I’m sure someone will explain why this is bad idea.
 

Griz44Mag

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A powder only discharge leaves a lot of crap in the barrel you don't need to deal with.
All the way up to .54 I use 3f powder for main charge and prime - keep life simple - it will work like a charm.
If you have a place to shoot - load it up and shoot it.
Make sure it's clean first - get all the oil out of the barrel and make sure the breech is clean and dry.
Measure the powder - drop it in - give the butt a couple of good taps to get the powder into into the breech.
Load your ball -
Point it in a safe direction and prime the pan.
Let 'er rip..... The first one going bang will will break the ice for you.
Next week you will be an old hand at it.
Have fun and don't overthink it.
 

Greg Blackburn

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I live next to Rosie O'Donnell....well....one of her houses anyway.

Just kidding. Decently "rural" area, very pro gun, the illegal fireworks that went off this July 4 were one for the record books.

How about I just prime the pan and let the hammer drop?
 

Art Caputo

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Given your flash hole size, and location relative to the pan is correct, at home, and prior to actual shooting I’d initially focus on the mounting the flint in the lock and visually checkIng the spark(shower) and frizze function in low light. IMO, proper flint positioning and napping is generally the area of most difficulty for newcomers.
 

Griz44Mag

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I live next to Rosie O'Donnell....well....one of her houses anyway.

Just kidding. Decently "rural" area, very pro gun, the illegal fireworks that went off this July 4 were one for the record books.

How about I just prime the pan and let the hammer drop?
No harm in that - I did that once on the ground in a small pile of grass to start a fire cause the truck was a mile away and I did not want to walk in the dark 2 miles to get a lighter...
 

Greg Blackburn

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I installed the later TC larger vent hole, product #7327. I dropped the hammer the other night, lights off, dad said it sparked a lot.

I think I'll try this soon, then clean it hard core. I now have everything I need to run the the .45 Pre-Hawken (TC).
 

ohio ramrod

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I always "shoot" a powder only charge when getting the rifle out after storage. I oil my barrels heavily when stored and like to make sure all of the oil has been cleaned out before putting a ball on the powder. It is much easier to get oil fouled powder out if there is no ball on top of it!
 

SDSmlf

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I always "shoot" a powder only charge when getting the rifle out after storage. I oil my barrels heavily when stored and like to make sure all of the oil has been cleaned out before putting a ball on the powder. It is much easier to get oil fouled powder out if there is no ball on top of it!
Would seem easier to quickly remove excessive oil with a solvent before loading if you insist on a heavy oiling for storage. Plus burning off that heavy coat of oil with blackpowder is typically problematic. And around here with our high humidity, any residue from a fouling shot will attract moisture throughout the day while hunting and turn to soup. Prefer a clean gun and bore.
 

Sidney Smith

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Firing a powder only charge will do no harm to a gun whatsoever. The firearm is under a lot more stress when it has to push a ball down the pipe than with just powder. Might have to clean more soot but thats about all.

We've fired powder only charges topped with just a patch in the back yard many times.

Reenactors fire powder only charges all the time.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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I always "shoot" a powder only charge when getting the rifle out after storage. I oil my barrels heavily when stored and like to make sure all of the oil has been cleaned out before putting a ball on the powder. It is much easier to get oil fouled powder out if there is no ball on top of it!
Lots of oil for me too!!
If it works for you I am not going to criticize. I will make a suggestion to omit that process of using precious powder, which in fact fouls the barrel more. Just before you are ready to shoot, drop a cleaning patch with some alcohol on it. Let is set there for about a minute. Pull the patch and wait another minute and you are good to go.
Flintlocklar 🇺🇸
 

Zonie

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If "lots of oil" is going to be used during storage, it is a good idea to store the gun, "muzzle down" to prevent an accumulation of oil at the breech.
This is especially important if the gun uses a "patent" or "chambered" breech which has a small flame channel (hole) connecting the bore with the vent hole.
Many of the currently made guns use this type of breech.

If "lots of oil" is used in the gun and the gun is stored muzzle up, that oil will accumulate in the flame channel. This usually contaminates the new powder charge and forms a dam, blocking off the flame channel. If the flame channel becomes blocked off, the fresh powder can't make it all the way to the vent hole so in effect, there will be no new powder at the vent hole for the flash from the pan to ignite. I might also add, even if some powder does make it thru the flame channel, if it is fouled with oil, it won't ignite easily which will lead to "a flash in the pan" and no ignition.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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If "lots of oil" is going to be used during storage, it is a good idea to store the gun, "muzzle down" to prevent an accumulation of oil at the breech.
This is especially important if the gun uses a "patent" or "chambered" breech which has a small flame channel (hole) connecting the bore with the vent hole.
Many of the currently made guns use this type of breech.

If "lots of oil" is used in the gun and the gun is stored muzzle up, that oil will accumulate in the flame channel. This usually contaminates the new powder charge and forms a dam, blocking off the flame channel. If the flame channel becomes blocked off, the fresh powder can't make it all the way to the vent hole so in effect, there will be no new powder at the vent hole for the flash from the pan to ignite. I might also add, even if some powder does make it thru the flame channel, if it is fouled with oil, it won't ignite easily which will lead to "a flash in the pan" and no ignition.
Thanks Jim for the good info, all my main shooters are just a flat faced breech plugs. I forgot to think about the other styles.
Flintlocklar 🇺🇲
 

griffiga

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I live next to Rosie O'Donnell....well....one of her houses anyway.

Just kidding. Decently "rural" area, very pro gun, the illegal fireworks that went off this July 4 were one for the record books.

How about I just prime the pan and let the hammer drop?
If you live next to Rosie O'Donnell you'll need to ram live ball, an extra dose of powder and make sure it's pointed in her direction before you let the hammer drop! Accidents do happen and when they do, lets make the most of it!
 

toot

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hope this is not off subject, but can a flint lock fire upside down? and under water? rely curious about it.
 

toot

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if so, to the pervious question, is there any film's of them taking place?
 

Zonie

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Flintlocks usually fire easily when they are held upside down. This has been proven thousands of times.
The sparks from the flint hitting the frizzen and the opening of the pan cover happen so quickly that the priming powder only moves tiny bit before it ignites.

A flintlock won't fire under water though. The water will wet the priming powder making it useless and it will cool the sparks long before they can reach the now, wet, priming powder.
 

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