How Much Spark Needed - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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How Much Spark Needed

I'll hear people talk about a "shower of sparks", or "a lot of sparks" to ignite the pan. I shoot a lyman Great Plains and purchased good flints from Dixon's near Hamburg, PA. The gun shoots, but it seems like it isn't as instantaneous as people describe on different sites. I've stood in the dark and dry fired the gun to see how much spark, and I see a couple of sparks but that's it. Rarely does it NOT fire, but just seems a little slow.

1) Do you always see a shower of sparks when you pull the trigger?
2) How do you increase the amount of spark?

Thanks
Jay

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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:30 PM
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Assuming that you wipe the frizzen and flint clean after each shot, spark should be very consistent. As the flint chips and shortens, things will certainly change.

Instant ( fires faster than my percussion!! ) talkers are normally just that. Talkers with no realistic thinking. No flintlock fires faster than a percussion.

This is one of my flintlocks firing. instant? it sounds like it, but in truth, its the fastest flintlock ive shot but i still shoot better with a percussion.

You just have to play around of the amount of pan powder.

Some say 3fg is faster to ignite, i highly disagree, my ignition slows down using 3fg. I now fully use 2fg goex in my flintlocks.
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
Some say 3fg is faster to ignite, i highly disagree, my ignition slows down using 3fg. I now fully use 2fg goex in my flintlocks.
You're talking main charge, right? Or are you saying you use 2f in the pan as well?
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 02:04 PM
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I use to try and fill the touch hole full of powder. I now find if I just charge the pan the dang shoots pretty quick.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 02:58 PM
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Set your flint up so it has slight clearance at 1/2 cock with the frizzen.
Wipe your frizzen with alcohol to remove any oils.Won't hurt if you do the flint also.
FAST ignition also depends on the location of the touch hole.Is it in the bottom of the pan or from the bottom about 1/8"?
Black English,French Amber,and American Chert all give excellent spark and last 60-80 shots.

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:00 PM
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I'm far from an expert, but was told years ago by a very knowledgeable shop owner to put just enough powder in the pan so that when you tilt the lock side down and bang on the lock plate side you end with powder only in about the out side 1/3 of the pan. Do that before you shoot also. It supposedly encourages the explosion towards the touch hole, and avoids a fuse like situation. I've been doing it and very seldom get a misfire.
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by loridr View Post
You're talking main charge, right? Or are you saying you use 2f in the pan as well?
2fg main change and 4fg in the pan.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 05:45 PM
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I have a T/C and it seems slow as well. My grandson has a pedosoli and its reaction is quick. I looked both guns over and notice his fire hole is a little large than in the T/C. I dont plan on changing mine but it apparently the larger hole makes a diffence.
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay Y View Post
I'll hear people talk about a "shower of sparks", or "a lot of sparks" to ignite the pan. I shoot a lyman Great Plains and purchased good flints from Dixon's near Hamburg, PA. The gun shoots, but it seems like it isn't as instantaneous as people describe on different sites. I've stood in the dark and dry fired the gun to see how much spark, and I see a couple of sparks but that's it. Rarely does it NOT fire, but just seems a little slow.

1) Do you always see a shower of sparks when you pull the trigger?
2) How do you increase the amount of spark?

Thanks
Jay
Quality flints, such as those mentioned by 410-er below, and the quality of your frizzen are the most important factors when it comes to a, "shower of sparks". You might consider having Greg Dixon test your flint/frizzen combination for sparking quality. This is just one more factor in making flintlocks respond "nearly" as instantaneously as the mentioned percussion piece above.


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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hsimmons6351 View Post
I have a T/C and it seems slow as well. My grandson has a pedosoli and its reaction is quick. I looked both guns over and notice his fire hole is a little large than in the T/C. I dont plan on changing mine but it apparently the larger hole makes a diffence.
Many liners used in customs have a 1/16" hole. That, or 5/64th are what is mentioned most often on the muzzleloading forums I am on. Smaller is sometimes iffy, like on moist days. And 6/64th is large enough for 2F and 3F powder to dribble out.

As for sparks, More truely is Better. If you can watch the shower, make sure it is directed into the pan. More sparks should hit the interior of the pan vs. outside the pan. If not, shimming the flint for a bit more or less angle, just might make it spark better, and hit the pan. Or flip the flint.

Additionally, sometimes the frizzen could use some hardening, more in factory guns, as opposed to customs. If the flint is doing more than scratches, the frizzen is soft, or angle of strike is too blunt. Scratch the frizzen with the edge of a file. If scratches show, it is not hard enough. Either use Casenit (sp?) with a torch, have a Smith harden it, or in the case of TC and Lyman, get another frizzen. If your frizzen doesn't scratch with the file, chances are it is angle of flint.

Remember, the spark is a very fine shaving of steel, heated to high temps during the shaving. If the shaving is too thick (blunt angle), it slows the cock, and heat is not generated as hot. And too much angle, the flint can't purchase any metal.

All of this, AND the need for a sharp flint! :-)
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