Vent Pick Style -

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by Sparkitoff, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Aug 17, 2019 #1

    Sparkitoff

    Sparkitoff

    Sparkitoff

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    I have this T/C branded vent pick. It appears to be intended for a flintlock since it comes with a pan brush attached as well. Take a close look if you can:
    [​IMG]
    It has grooves or jags along it. It would seem counter-productive to have grooves that would potentially collect powder and drag it back through the vent hole. What do you think? After reading about the pros and cons of blunt vs. pointed vent picks this one is kind of a monkey wrench. Is it going to do what it is supposed to or make things worse?
     
  2. Aug 17, 2019 #2

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    I don't see where pulling a few granules of powder out with the pick would hurt anything. You know the hole is clear if a little powder can get to the pan. If I've been walking through the woods with the frizzen closed, and thus no pick or feather in the hole and for whatever reason decide to dump and replace my prime, I wipe the pan clean, close the frizzen and turn the gun lock side down, give a slight thump on the side plate opposite the lock, usually there are a couple crumbs of my 3f powder in the pan when I open the frizzen. Hole must be clear, and I speculate that if a couple crumbs can rattle loose through the hole, the powder must be still dry.
    I'm theorizing that the serrations are to scrape the edges of the hole. Probably over thought and over done.
    On the tapered wire coat hanger "pick" I use to plug the flash hole, or pick it if for some reason necessary, I did file a barely perceptible flat lengthwise to create two corners that will scrape the edges of the hole when the wire is turned. Not really needed since I started leaving the wire in the hole throughout the loading process.

    20190205_131555.jpg 20190205_131655.jpg
    As I've said before, the taper and length are adjusted so when the wire gets thick enough that it stops against the edges of the hole, the tip is just shy of the opposite barrel wall, maybe 0.20 to 0.40" at most.
    You can see how bent and squirrely it has gotten. Some day I need to make one of stiffer wire. Coat hanger bends from the pressure of loading.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2019 #3

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    My Germanic Flintlock has its vent pick installed in the rear of the cheekpiece.
    To make the hole for it, I burned it in. I used a piece of music wire repeatedly heated red hot and then shoved deeper and deeper into the wood.
    The pick was also made out of a piece of music wire.
    BastardGun-001web.jpg
     
    desi23, Ames, Pete G and 3 others like this.
  4. Aug 17, 2019 #4

    Walkingeagle

    Walkingeagle

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    Very cool sir!
    Walk
     
  5. Aug 17, 2019 #5

    Cjensen

    Cjensen

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    Bought a roll of piano wire which is springy and tough...doesn't bend much. Makes a good touch hole pick , but...so does one of those larger size paper clips when unfolded. To ck the proximity of the load of powder in the touch hole , if when the pick is inserted you get a crunching sound and feel , the load in the bore is ready to go. If no crunch , you might have to clear the hole a bit. Worked for me for 15 yrs. competition. Also , in even dry weather hunting in the Eastern woods ,change your priming powder every hour , and use the pick.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2019 #6

    Rat

    Rat

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    Prime should be checked often, but no need to dump it often, unless you have oil on the innards of your lock, which will lead one to believe that the prime is absorbing "moisture from the air". It's actually absorbing oil from between the barrel and lock. People who clean the lock with water, then hose it down with something like WD40, probably suffer the most. If you just sparingly grease the moving parts of the lock, one will be amazed at how the prime has ceased absorbing moisture from the air. Just a thought. :) I have hunted whole days without re-priming, and my prime was as dry as when I first put it in.
     
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  7. Aug 18, 2019 #7

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    Rat may be onto something there.

    Some time back, I ran a test and posted the results here in a topic called "Is it soup yet". https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/is-it-soup-yet.21066/

    In it, I tested how quickly loose powder in a pan absorbs moisture from a 100% humidity environment.
    I found that in a clean pan, the priming powder does not absorb enough wetness to cause any problems at all even after hours of exposure.

    I also found that if there was any fouling in the pan at all, it would quickly absorb the moisture in the air and transfer it to the priming powder making the priming powder basically useless. It won't ignite with the sparks from the frizzen.

    If the pan is damp with oil or water when you prime, I would expect the same phenomenon to occur. Mind you, I'm talking about damp or wet with oil. IMO, Wiping the pan before you prime with a dry rag should be good enough to keep any oil from contaminating the priming powder.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2019 #8

    NW Territory Woodsman

    NW Territory Woodsman

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    Thats a really beautiful rifle butt there! I love the idea of the vent pick in the stock! I'll keep that idea in mind.
    NWT Woodsman
     
  9. Aug 18, 2019 #9

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    Won't say I never use a vent pick but it is seldom. And, as I see it, a piece of wire is a piece of wire. No need to get complexcated. I have all kinds from forged to music wire to old paper clips to copper wire, whatever. Toothpicks and feathers work fine also.
    As Zonie pointed out, for a day hunt, a clean pan and fresh powder can be left alone and sparky will go bang when needed. One the range during humid days is when the mud bucket shows up.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2019 #10

    Dibbuk

    Dibbuk

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    The OP vent pick looks like a welders' tip-cleaning pick. I carry a set of them in my range box. Vent and nipple hole sizes vary too much for one pick to fit all of them.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2019 #11

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    I agree with Zonie. I've even hunted all morning in fairly heavy rain; and the gun fired off just fine when I got back to the car. But if the gun's been fired the pan has to be carefully wiped down along with the flint and frizzen. Failure to do so will lead to a bowl of soup in the pan. I always use an alcohol wipe on the lock to get off any oil that may be there.
     
  12. Aug 19, 2019 #12

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    The vent pick my son has used one of those kinds of grooves along it if you will. Doesn't fit his vent hole very well. The one I have is basically just a piece of piano wire glued into a brass base. Works well in my guns.
     
  13. Aug 19, 2019 #13

    Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

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    I had a misfire on a big doe about 25 years ago. When I opened the pan the prime was like thick soup. I wondered if my 4fg prime caused the misfire. So I started testing that lock every way I could think of. My conclusion was that I had caused the misfire by not properly cleaning my lock.
    After cleaning my lock I had been soaking it in oil and that oil had seeped out between the barrel and pan and soaked my 4fg prime.
    I prime with 4fg every shot I take. Not once has it absorbed moisture of any kind and failed to fire. Because I have learned how to prepare my lock. I always remove my locks after shooting. I clean the lock with hot water, soap and an old toothbrush. After I remove the water by a rag, paper towel or blowing it off with an air gun, I put a single drop of oil on the notches, I put grease on the contact points of the sear/spring, the mainspring/tumbler and the frizzen/frizzen spring. And I wipe the remainder with an almost dry oily cloth, just enough to help prevent rust.
    Before a hunt I remove the lock and with a alcohol dampened rag I wipe the bolster and the inside of the lock free of any oil. I also wipe the pan, the hammer/flint and the frizzen.
    I've never needed a pick and the rifle always fires.
     
  14. Aug 19, 2019 #14

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    Good idea, I have my hole punched inside the patch box. I like yours better as it is quicker.
    Flintlocklar:thumbs up:
     
  15. Aug 21, 2019 #15

    Rudyard

    Rudyard

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    Vent picks generally hang on flask or horn strap . Old originals often have wire loops under the Check piece too big for wire picks. But better suited to feather quills . If none Have a cheek piece, I drill three holes to admit the quills .These rifles mostly carried un primed until a shot is likely to present then I prime ..The NZ forests are often wet and I used to go for a week or so sometimes . Though admittedly a slight delay must occur ere you shoot the ever loaded gun will go off , Mostly , despite the occasional submerged rifle or sodden bush which amounts to the same . .These being newly made rifles not adding to any original of course .Obtaining the right size can be a problem but where you do find small sized birds grab them . the shed feathers at least . Rudyard
     
  16. Aug 21, 2019 #16

    EC121

    EC121

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    Keep using those tip cleaners and you will soon have an oval vent.
     
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  17. Aug 21, 2019 #17

    1911tex

    1911tex

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    My vent picks are made of brass, not steel! Just a thought.
     
  18. Aug 22, 2019 #18

    AlanG

    AlanG

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    Not good as a regular use vent pick, but a very useful thing to have is a drill bit the same size or one Number Drill down. The smooth shank part can completely block the hole without slipping out- very useful if you have to knap a flint on a loaded gun. The drill end will remove anything in the vent, from hardened fouling to the broken end of a toothpick.
     

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