Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

I was hoping to gain some insight into techniques and flintlock modifications to minimize hang-fires. My rifle is very reliable with regard to firing; however the delay between pulling the trigger and firing the patch and ball can sometimes seem like forever. I have noticed that some flintlocks fire almost simultaneously. I have not altered my gun at all since I bought it. Are there modifications that I could make (ex: larger touch hole) that would shorten the time between pulling the trigger and the barrel going off? Should I try to put more powder on the side of the pan farthest from the touch hole? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 05:36 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

Can you get us some pic's of the pan & touch hole area so we can see how the vent is positioned in relation to the pan? Is it a patent breech firearm (Like a TC). What size is the vent liner hole (standard).
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 05:39 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

Use as little pan powder as you can get away with, and make sure you poke out your nipple hole after loading to make sure no chunks on barrel powder are blocking the hole. Problem solved.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:29 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

When I put powder in my pan I tilt the gun just a bit so the powder trickles down into the touch hole. depending on what brand of flinter you have you can pick up a touch hole liner that have a larger opening than the one you currently have

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

It is a traditions deer hunter. I always load the pan just before firing the gun. I usually fill the pan half full. I also always clean the touch hole before pulling the trigger. The gun shoots consistently (with the rare exception). I was just wondering what could be done to make it fire more quickly. I cannot get pictures at this time (sorry). I was just wondering if people have modified their guns by replacing nipples, etc. There is nothing wrong with the way the gun shoots now. I am just wondering how some people get their guns to fire almost instantaneously.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:40 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

what type of powder do you use? I noticed that real black powder burns faster than the other stuff. I have a Lyman deerstalker that 90% of the time fires very quickly

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 07:02 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

And herein lies the mighty frustration of flinchlocks.

Learning just the right amount of prime powder and whether it should be away or close to the touch hole. The configuration of the touch hole and consistent loading are the hobgoblins of rockknockers.

Alot of folks here disagree about various stages of the procedure.

I want powder granuals from the charge to be showing in the touch hole and that the main charge powder in the touch hole liner be as close to the pan as possible. It is that powder that must ignite and send the ball down range. And the faster the better. A touch hole liner should be coned on the inside so main charge powder can get to the opening.

The amount of pan powder varies with the size of the pan. a light even coating of prime powder maybe two or three grains deep is all that is required.

Some speed is affected by the geometry of the lock. A fe poorly designed locks just bash the frizzen and sparks have to fall into the pan. Others are designed to strike the frizzen at a special arc, which drives the sparks into the center of the pan.

Not sure what type touch hole liner you have. I have seen so many different configurations that it is hard to remember them all. CVA used some allen wrench type that were wider at the surface of the barrel and then necked down. They were slightly coned on the outside and not really coned in side. Almost the exact opposite of whhat should be used, IMO.

It is possible to drill out the hole and rethread for a properly touch hole liner. I've done it. It isn't brain surgery.

I'd suggest that you make sure the lock is tight up to the barrel with no gaos for powder to fall between the barrel and lock. Pick your touch hole between firing and loading. load the same every time. and experiment with the amount and place ment of prime powder. a half pan full could be alot in a Brown bess, or next to nothing on a CVA frontier flintlock.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 07:08 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

I agree.Use real blackpowder and you don't need a whole lot in the pan.Some Traditions I saw,had very low touch holes.Almost in the bottom of the pan.Should be about 1/8"or a shade more from bottom.I would advise not to drill the touch hole larger.You just are letting more out the back instead of out the front.Make sure at 1/2 cock your flint just barely clears the frizzen.(1/16")Have a good frizzen on you gun along with a good flint.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 08:45 PM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

If your touchhole is close to the bottom of the pan on your lock, your options are limited. I made this mistake on a recently built rifle, and asked Greg Dixon at Dixon's Muzzleloader Shop if I had any options to improve ignition.
His suggestion was to grind the bottom of the pan lower with a Dremel tool and the proper grinding bit. It improved ignition immediately. Good luck to you.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 11:22 AM
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Re: Suggestions for minimizing hang-fire

Almost forgot. I was told to assume that prime powder, when it burns, sends sparks and flame up and away from what ever surface it is in. Which is why you want the touch hole slightly above the bottom of the pan. may an 1/8 inch to 3/16. The shape of some traditional pans seems to have an effect on the speed of ignition. Some are square depressions, some are cylindrical and some are slightly egg shaped. When the pan area immediately next to the touch hole is round, the walls of the pan depression seem to direcct the fire and sparks back toward the touch hole. Think of it a bit like reflecting light back off a mirror. if the mirror if flat the light just goes back in one direction. But is the mirror is concave like a bowl, the light is concentrated into one area. you want the pan surfaces to reflect/direct the spark and flame to be more concentrated at the touch hole. For that reason, I prefer the cylindrical and egg shaped pans rather than the square ones.

If you need to resort to grinding some away as Berks indicates, keep the shape of the pan area next to the touch hole in mind and try to keep the sides where it meets the barrel flat in a rounded or slghtly oval type shape.

I would caution you against just grinding an small area just next to the barrel flat, or you will create a funnel to channel the prime powder down between the barrel flat and the pan. You still need the powder spread slightly across the bottom of the pan to catch as many sparks as possible. If the powder is just concentrated in small hole you ground, there is less chance of sparks hitting it.
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