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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a heck of a delay for the time my pan goes off to the main charge igniting most of the time. Shooting a traditions deerhunter. Any good tips to reduce this?
 

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Could be too much 4F in pan and powder being too close to touch hole------That is an easy fix and is a large offender.

Dave
 

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Make sure you run a touch hole pick in the touch hole after you charge the Flinter. Run it in until you hit the charge. This will insure a direct path to the Powder. As was stated, try not to fill the pan to the top. A little is better than a lot.A well tuned Flintlock will fire as fast as a Pecussion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I know I fill the pan as full as it will go. Got into muzzleloading a few years ago by myself so haven't really had anyone show me little tricks like that. I'll try putting less powder in and see what happens!
@Ron pa: You say a well tuned flintlock.... is there anything to "tuning" them I should know about?
 

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exactly.....spark/fire should actually jump through the touch hole. alot of people turn the gun to the side and tap the powder into the touch hole. that actually slows down the ignition of the barrel powder because your waiting for the pan powder to burn through insted of jumping through. picture this, if you have two piles of powder in front of you wich way would be quicker to ignite them, a line of powder to one or a spark thrown at one. not sure of the name of them but theres a touch hole that is wider cone shape also helped with mine. They are fun guns, but can be frustrating sometimes.
 

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DCabets28 said:
Could be too much 4F in pan and powder being too close to touch hole------That is an easy fix and is a large offender.

Dave
Agreed. I put maybe 1/3 pan full at most and then torque the barrel hard to the right and stop dead to stack the flash powder away from the hole. I also switched to FFF instaed of 2F - I think that helps as well.
 

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make sure before shooting that the flash channel from the touch hole to the main charge is clear.

After pouring the powder into the bore, smack the gun a few times on the side with the palm. (Settles powder into the flash channel and up to the touch hole.

Grains of powder should be visible in the hole.

The hole should be middle of the pan and elevated about even with the top of the pan.

only enough primer powder to cover the bottom of the pan. Not half full or 3/4 full.
 

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Deuce
Don't be afraid to ask questions about your flintlock........There are MANY people on this board with loads of knowledge and willing to share!!!
Good Luck!!
Dave
 

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Drilling out the touchhole or even replacing it with a White Lightening or coned liner is an excellent idea. As to tuning,probably would be a good idea to send it to the Log Cabin Shop or Dixon`s, during the off season, and have it done right.
 

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I put a white lightning liner in a Lyman GPR and shot it for the first time today. I couldn't see any difference in delay time between it and the other two guns I had with me. Both custom guns with Chambers Golden Age locks. It was a big, big improvement. I was using Rich Pierce's Missouri Chert for flints in all three guns.

As far as tipping the powder away or toward the flash hole, check out the link posted below. You will be surprised.

http://www.blackpowdermag.com/featured-articles/filled-vent-test.php
 

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Deuce

First off welcome to HPA. Secondly, Welcome to the wonderfull world of smokepoles. You got great advice, especially to not overfill the pan. I learned by myself and had to learn at a slow pace, as i didnt have the HPA experts to help me, but have found I am still learning due to this site. Best of luck.
 

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Check out the link provided by tobyje. It will be an eye opener for most guys.

I widen the pan on all my flinters and fill to the point that the powder is not being crushed when the frizzen is closed. Larger surface area catches more spark = faster more reliable ignition. I shoot about a thousand rounds or so thru my flinters every year and cant remember the last time one of my flinters went Clatch.
 

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there is a bit of a debate over touch hole liners. Originally they were found on high end guns and as the touch hole on lower end guns eroded they were replaced by bushing them with a liner.

Guys who remove the touch holes to clean the guns, want the hex wrench type or screw driver type. There is a theory that a touch hole liner that is coned on the outside "funnels" the flame to the charge. That removes the grains showing in the touch hole a few millimeters from the pan. ie extra distance for the sparks and flame of the primer in the pan to jump to ignite the main charge.

I like an inside coned liner that brings the main charge grains as close to the exterior of the barrel flat as possible. If grains are hanging out the touch hole at the surface of the barrel flat at the pan, there is less distance for the flame and sparks to jump to ignite the main charge.

The difference in ignition may be imperceptable to some. The shape of the pan can help channel the sparks and flame from the prime toward the touch hole. whether you bank the prime in the pan toward or away from the touch hole makes a slight difference. (A Guy named Pletch has done some scientific measurements on this, the only question I have about his studies is that he used a single hot wire to ignite the prime, instead of a line of sparks from a flint falling against the frizzen)

In the old Davy Crockett series and some other movies flintlock guns go kachunk - hiss - boom. Even a lower end lock should result in a simple boom if prepped right.

Nealy all top flint target shooters use a touch hole that is coned from the inside and is not removeable for cleaning.

As an oldtimer explained to me, the prime powder burns up and away from the surfaces in the pan. it does so in a radius of every direction that does not block the sparks and flame. Now I do not know if the main charge is ignited by flame or sparks jumping in all directions or both. But to me it makes perfect sense to have the touch hole hold the grains of the main charge as closely to the pan as possible. having a small amount of powder evenly cover the bottom width of the pan makes sense because the flint should be throwing a line of sparks down ward into the pan giving multiple points of ignition along a line directly leading to the touch hole on the barrel side.

The tough hole should not be so large that your main charge falls through the liner into the pan.

Drilling out the touch hole presents two problems. first, if it lets the powder work it's way into the pan, you may not have any in the flash channel ending up with no ignition. Second, main charge pressure escapes through that touch hole regardless of size. with a small touch hole very little pressure escapes. When you get up to openings near 1/16 or 3/32nds (3/32nds is far far too big) you lose substantial pressure out through the touch hole. Lower point of impact on the target, less velocity, more ball/bullet drop etc. More importantly, less ft/lbs of energy down range.

There are little things you can do to improve lock time, such as lubricating the bearing surfaces of the lock. Where the frizzen arm rubs on the frizzen spring, where the tumbler rotates in the lock plate etc. If using a grease or thick oil, make sure it doesn't sludge up and slow the lock in cold weather.
 

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After experiencing a delay yesterday at the range for the first time in years of shooting, I also noticed that fresh 4f in the priming tool is also important. I had last years 4f in the tool.
 

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Excellent advice on here so far!!!!! I spent almost 4hours at the range yesterday. Black powder is the only way to go for these flintlocks. Having a jug of Pyrodex along with me I tried the same 80gr charge as my Goex 2F just to see if accuracy stayed the same. All else being equal the delay for the Pyrodex to ignite was extremely noticeable! I used 4F Goex in the pan for each and the Black Powder ignition time was darn near instantaneous while the Pyrodex took a lot longer to fire. Clearly these BP substitutes are great for modern inlines with hot ignition systems but nothing beats good old Black Powder in a flintlock. I believe these modern BP replacements need another 200 or so degrees to ignite compared to BP.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the info guys! Y'all came up with some great stuff for me to try... Here's my complete specks on what i'm using now. I actually have 2 flintlocks: A traditions I've had for a few years and a TC I picked up this fall and have yet to shoot at the range.

1.) Traditions Deerhunter. I shoot 85 grains of Pyrodex and 4F goex in the pan. Shooting roundballs with a .010 patch.

2.) TC Penn Hunter Carbine. Bought it off a buddy this fall and think it will be my main gun from now on when flintlock hunting. It is setup to shoot 95 grains of 2F goex and 4F goex in the pan. Shoots what i believe are mini maxi's with no patch.

Pan on the TC is much deeper and wider than the Traditions. TC also has an oversized touchhole liner.

I have had the same powder in my priming tool and same Pyrodex in my main charge flask since I got the gun. I'll have to dump that out and try fresh stuff from the keg.

Also, I'm a machinist.... so if you guy have any ideas for widening or tapering the touchhole or modifying the pan I can do all that.

Thanks a bunch guys! Was going to take my slug gun out for late season but I think I'm getting pumped up just to use the flintlock now!
 

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Switch to black powder for all your flinters. Not only is pyrodex harder to ignight but the fouling is much more corrosive than real black powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Will do... only reason I bought it when I first got the muzzleloader was that I heard it throws less smoke and is cleaner.
 
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