NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

Hi all, I just won a Traditions Hawken Woodsman. I have not shot a flintlock since I was 12 in Boy Scouts.

I know what I read in the packaging and from watching a couple YouTube videos.

So I need to buy all the accessories. This is where I would like your help.

It is a .50 cal with 1/48" rifling.

I think I have a handle on cleaning supplies. Looks like most attachments screw into the ramrod. Looks like you can't clean it enough.

Flint - a 5/8" flint is recommended. I assume this will be easy enough when I get to the store. Are there different types? Do I want one over the other? I assume leather comes with it or sold right beside it.

Recommendations for the Frizzen Pan is "4F" I assume this is a measurement of how finely ground the black power is?

Measuring the Frizzen Powder? I see that brass canisters are made with a spring loaded measuring device. Is the amount of powder to use in the pan equivalent to one pour? does this change with different Flintlocks? I did not read the amount to use in any of the information.

Propellent - For a .50cal Traditions recommends "2F 55-80 grains" or "3F 45-75 grains" So, what is better? Should I use Black powder or Pyrodex? Do I use a patch and round ball, conicals, Sabots?

I am going to continue searching the internet before I go shopping for the things I need.

Sounds like flintlocking is just as much about cleaning the gun as it is shooting it.

I hope to stay safe, get accurate, and maybe take the gun for a walk after the new year.

Thank you for all of your expertice and advice in advance.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 04:06 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime
Hi all, I just won a Traditions Hawken Woodsman. I have not shot a flintlock since I was 12 in Boy Scouts.

I know what I read in the packaging and from watching a couple YouTube videos.

So I need to buy all the accessories. This is where I would like your help.

It is a .50 cal with 1/48" rifling.

I think I have a handle on cleaning supplies. Looks like most attachments screw into the ramrod. Looks like you can't clean it enough. Warm water and maybe a little Dawn is all it takes. The big deal is after cleaning is to dry, then dry some more, and protect with gun oil, barricade, or another.

Flint - a 5/8" flint is recommended. I assume this will be easy enough when I get to the store. Are there different types? Do I want one over the other? I assume leather comes with it or sold right beside it. Any scrap leather usually works. As for flints, knapped flints are best, but Traditions will work with a cut flint, like the box stores sell.

Recommendations for the Frizzen Pan is "4F" I assume this is a measurement of how finely ground the black power is? Common blackpowder comes in FFg, FFFg and FFFFg granulation. FFg or FFFg in the bore, FFFg or FFFFg in the pan.

Measuring the Frizzen Powder? I see that brass canisters are made with a spring loaded measuring device. Is the amount of powder to use in the pan equivalent to one pour? does this change with different Flintlocks? I did not read the amount to use in any of the information. The spring devices are 1-3 gr. of powder per push. Some people fill the pan full, some just enough for a reliable ignition. A good start would be half full pan.

Propellent - For a .50cal Traditions recommends "2F 55-80 grains" or "3F 45-75 grains" So, what is better? Should I use Black powder or Pyrodex? Do I use a patch and round ball, conicals, Sabots? Use blackpowder, if you have a place to purchase. Propellents (Pyrodex, etc.) are not quite as reliable with a flintlock as with an inline or caplock. Ball and patch, sabot, bullit...it is all on what your particular rifle shoots best, what you prefer, along with powder granulation and volume amount of blackpowder.

I am going to continue searching the internet before I go shopping for the things I need.

Sounds like flintlocking is just as much about cleaning the gun as it is shooting it.

I hope to stay safe, get accurate, and maybe take the gun for a walk after the new year.

Thank you for all of your expertice and advice in advance.
A few extra things...
1. Do not use FFFFg (4Fg) in the barrel.
2. 3Fg will work in some guns for pan powder, not as well in others.
3. Both 2Fg and 3Fg will work in your 50 cal. You just have to find the right combo of ball, patch, powder, and amount of powder.
4. 1:48 twist is a go between of a round ball barrel (1:56+) and a sabot gun (1:28-32) barrel. It will shoot PRB (patched round ball) good, and it will shoot bullits and sabots good.

Last but not least... You are entering the dark side, and will find that the "workin up a load" for accuracy is as enjoyable as bagging Bambi.

Next will be making your own priming device out of an antler piece, or a powder measure... shooting bag...haversack... even deciding you want to build a first rifle! And all of that, together with the shooting, is what blackpowder and flinters is all about!

Good Luck, and enjoy the Journey!


"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 05:20 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

Good read here for you!

http://www.cherrytreefamily.com/muzzledixon.htm

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 05:41 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

where are you located?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 08:09 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

It seems like a lot but really it's quite simple once you get the hang of it. Here is my set up. I have a Lyman trade rifle 1:48 twist. I use agate flints. No real reason just what I started with and never had a problem and always got good spark. 70 grain of 2 down the tube and 4 in the pan. 240 grain pa conicals. They shoot great out of my gun. Something that is very important. Don't over prime your pan. I usually prime it half full. Never full and never hold it sideways or tap it to get the prime into the flash hole. I clean with butch black powder bores shine and I love the product. You have to practice shooting to get used to the flash and remember to follow through with your shot. Keep that head down and that cheek on the stock or you will pull your shots. The flash is very tough for some to get used to. I installed a v peep on mine and my accuracy increased ten fold. I highly recommend them. Look into one. Any place that carries muzzle loading supplies will carry them, made by rmc. As you progress you will learn from your mistakes and things will seem easier and easier. Good luck to you. It's so much fun and getting any deer with a flintlock is a real accomplishment.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 10:52 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

If you are near grove city then go to morris muzzleloading
http://morrismuzzleloading.com/
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 12:29 AM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

Retired Rusty gave you sound advice.
As a addendum.....I use rubbing alcohol for all my cleaning needs and I use bore buttered patches before putting it in my safe.
Good luck...Blackpowder is the best season!!
Dave

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:41 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

there are those things that are essential. Those things that are very nice to have, things that are useful sometimes and those things you might use once in a lifetime. The gun stores will happily load you up with everything they sell from all of those categories.

I would avoid cut flints. An English flint is a uniform dull gray color and when held to the light, should be slightly translucent and show no evidence of cracks or chips. If it looks like tan mud is swirled in it or has a crack, pass on it for another.

You can use 3fg in both the load and the primer pan. But 4fg in the pan is the best. A little bit faster ignition.

When loading the first time, clean the oil and grease out of it with denatured alcohol. Measure the powder. Hold the measure upright and tap it slightly to settle the powder. Sometimes it will settle a few grains below the top of the measure. Pour the powder down the barrel and then use the palm of you hand to give the gun a couple of bumps on the side. This settles the powder into the flash channel between the pan and the main charge. THEN load your patched ball. I prefer to see a few grains of powder inside the touch hole near edge of the pan. Your touch hole liner may not permit that. Then just enough powder to cover the bottom of the pan. Don't fill it Filling it in many guns seems to slow ignition by a fraction of a second.

A well tuned lock can fire in a few hundredths of a second. Sometimes in the movies you hear the lock go chunk, hisssssssssssss, booom. When the gun is set right and you have your loading routine down pat, it should just be cha-boom at most. If you attend a local black powder match you will see old timers and newbies loading many different types of guns. Some will go off as fast as a centerfire gun and others will have a noticeable but small delay between the chunk noise of the lock and the boom.

Some of the essentials are easily made yourself, some are easier purchased. A ball starter can be as simple as a piece of hardwood dowel stuck into a piece of branch or antler. Patches can be purchased by the yard at wall mart and cut out in circles while you watch TV. Get 100% cotton denim fabric. Or you can use the legs when you cut a pair of jeans into shorts. There must be hundreds of internet tutorials on making priming horns, possible bags and powder horns. For the time being you may want to just measure your charges into plastic tubes. You can buy the fancy speed loaders at the gun shop for several bucks a piece or go on ebay and buy 10 cc plastic test tubes with caps for 20 cents each. Even old fired shot gun shells with corks will work. (Plastic cigar tubes, if you know a smoker)
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 10:15 PM
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Re: NEW to Flintlock - Advise PLEASE!

My son has a Traditions flintlock. Why they didn't put a slightly larger lock on those guns is beyond me. The locks they have are ok, but are more suited to a handgun, and in fact are the same as on their handguns. The 5/8ths flints they require are sold by Trackofthewolf.com. They sell Quality English flints at reasonable prices. Whenever I place an order for something through them, I always buy a couple extra flints for my guns and for my son's rifle.

If you don't want to use a patched round ball, try a T/C maxi ball in your gun. My T/C Renegade, although a percussion, has the same twist barrel, and the maxi ball will turn in great accuracy for you. But being a traditionalist, I went over to patched round balls and never went back.

BTW - Do Not use Pyrodex in a flintlock. Its harder to ignite than black powder, and you will notice this immediately if you compare the two. Don't buy into that "you can place a little kicker charge of black powder in front of the Pyrodex to get it to ignite reliably". IMO if you're going to go to all that trouble, why not just use all black powder and be done with it. Pyrodex offers no advantage over black powder. I've used both, both are dirty, both require cleaning after so many shots, both require a thorough cleaning at the end of the shooting day,
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 11:21 AM
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Rusty, just a FYI, I for one cannot read any of your high liter responses. Old eyed, maybe just me but something you may want to consider. Even tho I didn't pose the question I thank you all for answers helped me a lot too.
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