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Discussion Starter #1
After shooting a buck last year with my flintlock, I'm getting fired up for the late season. I got my T/C Hawkens 50 cal out and getting her tuned up for the upcoming season. I have a snuff can full of black flints I've had forever and was wanting to see what flints people think are the best. Thinking about also replacing the frizzen this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I bought this Hawkens new back in the late 70's and it has the old style lock assembly and it's always been an average sparker. Seems to be mixed reviews about replacing the frizzen to increase sparking, I've read where several have replaced their frizzen and the spark got worse.
 

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I bought this Hawkens new back in the late 70's and it has the old style lock assembly and it's always been an average sparker. Seems to be mixed reviews about replacing the frizzen to increase sparking, I've read where several have replaced their frizzen and the spark got worse.

Judgement call. This is just my opinion for what its worth, but I don't think there is any where near as many "soft" or bad frizzens out there as there is just other minor things hampering good spark.

First thing i see is that some shooters don't realize you ought not to just put the flint in the cock and tighten it up. The flint should be adjusted so that when your rifle is on half cock the flint should just about but not quite be touching the frizzen. Some rifles do better with the flint bevel up, some do best with it turned down. The flint ought to strike your frizzen on the top two thirds of the frizzen so it gets a good long strike.

Another thing that slows down locks is over tightening. When you tighten the bolt that holds the lock on it should only be snug enough that there is no sideways play and no gap or crack between pan and barrel. Over tightening the lock bolt can slow the strike way down. Some of these locks are not over thick or strong and can actually flex a little when over tightened causing drag.

And clean your frizzen up often. I use alcohol an give it a polish often. While your at it clean your flint edge.
I do this every 5 or 6 shots and when I'm hunting I dry my frizzen every time I check or change my pan powder.
Last, keep a edge on your flint. A small brass rod works well for this. If adjusted right you ought to get dozens of shots from a flint. Actually many more than that. It aint so much the"kind" of flint as the placement and shape.

Hope others with more knowledge than I can help.
Good luck. Good hunting.
 

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English flints work best for me, I always rough up my frizzen with 80 Grit sand paper, I also make a flint sharpener with a brass rod or square piece of brass. Just file a L shaped notch in the end about 1/16 deep, Cover or block the touch hole so no spark can light it. oooooo___ 1/16 from top of o to the line the 00's are the rod
A screwdriver handle works good as a hammer. When the flint dont spark good, just put the rod on the top of the flint and gently tap all across it. The flint must be in with the flat side up. You will be amazed how much it changes.

Good luck, Stant
 

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I'm using English flints from Dixon's. I agree that setup is key and with the setup description above. A flint striking low makes less spark and the frizzen coversion the pan too long. Top half of frizzen strike makes more spark and pushes it out of the way sooner so spark can drop into the pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There's a muzzleloader shop in Beaver County called Shablesky's and I plan on stopping by on Friday to see what flints they sale. Also need some 4f powder and plan on putting a sling on my flintlock this year. I shot that buck last year from a tree stand and plan on hunting more this year from a tree. Just plan on adding the lace up boot kind for pulling the flinter up and hanging off my bow hook once in the tree.
 

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There's a muzzleloader shop in Beaver County called Shablesky's and I plan on stopping by on Friday to see what flints they sale. Also need some 4f powder and plan on putting a sling on my flintlock this year. I shot that buck last year from a tree stand and plan on hunting more this year from a tree. Just plan on adding the lace up boot kind for pulling the flinter up and hanging off my bow hook once in the tree.

Once again this is just my opinion for what its worth. But I don't use or recommend 4F black powder for priming while hunting. I charge my fifty cals and prime with 3F. 4F powder does just one thing well for you. It speeds up your pan ignition. That is not to say its more reliable, it ain't. But it does burn faster, couple hundreds of a second faster than 3F. So the time between trigger pull an the rifle firing is faster. But the downside is how fast 4F powder absorbs moisture from the air. Much faster than 3F. Hunt a damp humid day and use both you'll see what I mean. 3F for priming works just fine and you wont notice the difference in lock time unless you shoot an awful lot. Also if your frizzen and pan aren't mated just right you can lose a lot of 4F powder while the rifle is carried and handled. 3F solves that problem and if it don't you have some work to do any ways.
 

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Sorry BD but I respectfully disagree on the 3f vs the 4f priming. 4f for almost 40 years and never an issue in damp conditions and I do like the faster ignition. But like many things in this hobby/game, its whatever works for the person doing it.

No worries PB. As you said what ever works best, well use it. :smile_big:And I'm sure most would agree with you. I burned a little powder today and used both as a matter of fact. I can hardly tell the difference. The important thing is if the rifle fires for you. :wink2::smile2:
 
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I've used black English flints and French amber flints, and like them both. The French amber flints coordinate better colorwise with curly maple stocks.:wink2:

As far as pan powder, again, I've used both 3F and 4F, and my senses are not fine tuned enough to detect much of a difference, if any. My can of 4F is probably from the 70's, and in the pan it still responds as if new. When it's gone, I'll switch to 3F for priming, and not feel disadvantaged.:thumbs:

Good luck to all smokepolers anxiously awaiting the late flintlock season.:smile_big:
 

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Buckskin Dave pretty much covered it all, only thing we differ on is priming powder. I use FFFFg and make sure the pan/frizzen mates up flush.
 

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I know Swiss 3f granules have a light glaze making it somewhat resilient to moisture. My pan only sees 4f in cold dry weather which seems few & far between.
 

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A TC frizzen is made of soft non=sparking steel that has been "case hardened" with a layer of carbon infused into the surface. No matter what flint is used, the flints will eventually scrape through the carbonized surface leaving mild non-sparking steel. What was said above about flints is good for a frizzen with enough carbon in the steel to spark. Once through to the non-carbon steel, no flint will make sparks except by divine intervention. One fix that is rarely considered is putting a "Half sole" on the frizzen. A thin piece of clock spring from an old wind up clock is ideal for this. It can be epoxied directly to the frizzen face, the edges slowly ground down to match the frizzen and the sparking will be better than factory. But the piece of spring must be thin.
 

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There's a muzzleloader shop in Beaver County called Shablesky's and I plan on stopping by on Friday to see what flints they sale. Also need some 4f powder and plan on putting a sling on my flintlock this year. I shot that buck last year from a tree stand and plan on hunting more this year from a tree. Just plan on adding the lace up boot kind for pulling the flinter up and hanging off my bow hook once in the tree.
Get the swivel that attaches to the ramrod barrel for attaching the front of the sling.. You'll get tired of the sling continually slipping up the rod and the rod working its way out if you don't.
 
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