What flintlock tools do I need?

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Armando

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I've been shooting with my Hawken's percussion for a couple of years and am finally getting to shoot a flintlock with an old beat-up Miruko rifle I just acquired.

Got to shoot it today.

Wondered what set of tools are a must have?

I set lots of tool sets sold by different vendors but I don't really know what are the real essentials and which tools are the ones I should get.

This set from October County looks really nice and period but pretty pricey.

 

Stumpkiller

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"Need" is a relative term.

You should have a screwdriver/turnscrew that fits all the sidelock bolts and top jaw screw of your lock. A vent pick - soft metal, thorn or proper sized feather. That's the whole of it. I make "iron" vent picks out of clothes hanger wire heated orange with a propane torch and twisted for ornamentation and allowed to cool slowly (you do not want a tempered vent pick because it is then a vent reamer).

You can add other things - I never got the knack of a flint hammer and like a nibbler style tool or the spine of a knife to freshen the edge. I use a bit of dry patch instead of a brush - better at wiping off fouling.
 

Spikebuck

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Usually the vent picks in those "kits" are too big in diameter. A vent hole is probably 1/16" or so in diameter. I like to just take a piece of small gauge solid copper wire, cut off a 3" piece and use that. A pan brush is OK, but as stumpy said, a dry patch works just as well. A turn screw is nice to have in your shooting bag in case you need to change a flint, but make sure it fits the screw slots well so you don't bugger them up.

Frankly, if I were to suggest something, I'd recommend to get a flint wallet. This little item will help you keep a few spare flints and your turn screw (or other small tools you may acquire along the way) secure in your shooting bag. You can buy them commercially, or I recommend Cutfingers on this forum as a source (he usually has things for sale in the classifieds).

Here's a commercial example.

https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/45/1/POUCH-TOOL
 

Rifleman1776

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Congrats on the new rock lock rifle. Part of being a flintlocker is learning to do it yer self. All those tools can be handy but can be made a home. Not only do you get the tools needed for almost no cost you gain the satisfaction of doing it yerself. Experience will show you what you need/want.
 

Grenadier1758

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smo

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You will need a spring vice if you don’t have one....
 

Ames

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Just a wire for the hole, dry patch to wipe the pan AND flint edge. Keep a spare flint with you. Change out as needed. Learn to knap it in the comfort of your home rather than at the range. You can knap in the field after you get used to things.
Don't forget a brass primer for the pan and NEVER fill the pan from your main horn.
 

jdw276

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Just a wire for the hole, dry patch to wipe the pan AND flint edge. Keep a spare flint with you. Change out as needed. Learn to knap it in the comfort of your home rather than at the range. You can knap in the field after you get used to things.
Don't forget a brass primer for the pan and NEVER fill the pan from your main horn.
Took the left over wire from the last july sparklers with the grands. Find some left over stuff in the workshop, drill small hole in it, glue wire in hole, cut wire to appropriate length. One box of sparklers equals 30-40 vent picks.
 

jdw276

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Kansas Jake

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I'm cheap. I don't have a priming horn or a gadget to prime the pan. You can put a bit of powder in your measure to prime the pan. I have also used a piece of unmentionable rifle bottle neck brass picked up at the range and capped it with another pistol brass to hold priming powder at the bench to prime the rifle. Our range does not allow loading at the bench but behind the bench at a stand they provide. If it is a tight fit the two pieces of brass work okay in the hunting bag too.
 
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Armando

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One of the best of the single tools is Larry Callahan's Flinter's Tool.

https://contemporarymakers.blogspot.com/2011/05/larry-callahan-vent-pick-screwdriver.html

http://www.bagmolds.com/UNZIPPED/htdocs/1.shtml

Larry has lots of other products, but this is a great tool. It has the two turn screws, a flint knapping notch and a vent pick. I like the notch over the hammer as you can be more precise with the notch.
That is great! Is it from a period model? (says it was from something found in an "Appalachian bag"?)
 

hanshi

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Actually you don't need much at all. When I started I only had a screwdriver, powder measure, powder horn and extra flints. Things like picks, knapping hammers, pan brushes and such came later and I didn't embrace them all even years later. Wiping of the pan can be accomplished with your thumb, dry patch or your shirt tail. You will, like everyone else, accumulate lots more stuff and learn more skills. You'll learn to knapp/sharpen flints and much more.
 

Enfield58

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I like to use this Thompson Center vent hole tool. The ribbed design makes short work of any fouling in the hole.

 

Zonie

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IMO, those pan brushes are useless. They don't do a thing to remove the fouling that is left in the pan after the powder burns.

Years ago, I did an experiment to see if 4f powder would "turn to soup" if it was left in the pan for very long.
It turned out that leaving 4f in a clean pan did not cause it to turn to soup even after it had been in a pan for hours, in a warm, 100% humidity environment. When left in a fouled pan under the same conditions, it didn't take long for the 4f powder to become water soaked to the point that it wouldn't fire.
The moral of the story is, the fouling is the stuff that needs to be removed and a brush simply won't do that.
 

Enfield58

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IMO, those pan brushes are useless. They don't do a thing to remove the fouling that is left in the pan after the powder burns.

Years ago, I did an experiment to see if 4f powder would "turn to soup" if it was left in the pan for very long.
It turned out that leaving 4f in a clean pan did not cause it to turn to soup even after it had been in a pan for hours, in a warm, 100% humidity environment. When left in a fouled pan under the same conditions, it didn't take long for the 4f powder to become water soaked to the point that it wouldn't fire.
The moral of the story is, the fouling is the stuff that needs to be removed and a brush simply won't do that.
I polished the pan to a mirror finish. A dremel tool, felt polishing bit and rouge was used.

The fouling from previous firings is easy to wipe away; especially with a little alcohol.
 

Grenadier1758

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Use shreds from patching material of a precut patch to remove fouling from the pan. The hair bristled brushes are pretty useless. Larry Callahan's tool, a scrap of cloth to wipe the pan, frizzen and flint will basically be the only special tools needed. I think a good range rod with muzzle guard, a properly sized cleaning/ loading jag and a ball puller should be part of the kit as well.
 

Ben Meyer

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I have a vent pick, pan brush, brass priming flask and a 80g antler powder measure around my neck when shooting. Short ball starter. You'll want a powder horn but I only use mine sporadically. And a possible bag. I have a cleaning jag, ball puller and patch worm attachments, along with a forged screwdriver/knapping hammer in a Flint wallet with extra flints and leather flint holders.

That's all the tools. In the bag, I also have an adjustable brass powder measure, 2 tins with shooting and cleaning patches, a bag of roundballs, and a little bottle of Mr Flintlocks patch lube/bore cleaner.

That's all I need to go shooting. That said, when I plan on hours of range time, I take my wooden "muzzleloading box," which has a bunch of stuff. And I take my wooden powder box, with 6-8 things of different powders.
 

Col_Houston

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Great little multi tool.
I have seen one similar to this tool and W really liked it. The main difference was, it had an opening (can’t remember now if it was round or square) to be used as a ramrod puller. I guess I should have taken pictures or asked more questions about it.
 
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