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I thought it would be cool to have a thread that lists some of the tricks of the trade of flintlock hunting. I've listed four below. Some of these tips, I got from others on this site. I hope they don't mind me re-posting them.

Please add your tricks and tips as well!

Place a toothpick in the touchhole until you're ready to prime. This will keep out mositure and keep the hole from getting clogged.

Take a candle and AWAY FROM ANY POWDER OR YOUR GUN, take a lighter and heat up the bottom end of it. When you get the wax half melted, take some of this wax and put in on the bottom side of your frizzen. When you close the frizzen over your primer powder, it will create a waterproof layer on top of the primer powder and keeps moisture out.

A visine bottle makes a good primer canister...

Place a balloon over your barrel in bad weather to keep moisture out. You can even shoot with it on and it shouldn't change your impact point.

Here's a few to get us started. Please join in!
 

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Go to your local Pharmacy and pick up a small box of those alcohol pads. You know, the ones that are individually wrapped that people use to give themselves an injection.

Once you have fired a shot (Let's assume you have missed....even though we all know your such an eagle-eye
). Use one of these alcohol patches to wipe down your frizzen pan, and your frizzen, and your flint. There is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) that will attract moisture faster than powder residue!

So, if you have powder residue on your gun from....oh say a early missed shot....and you reload, in half-an-hour that powder residue will "suck up" a bunch of the moisture in the air....and it could very well cause your next attempted shot to be a mis-fire. (Ask me how I know?)

Now, if your reloading quick for another shot....don't wipe it down...just reload. But once it get quiet again, dump your pan powder, wipe it all down with a patch, and then re-powder your pan.

The alcohol will evaporate in a few seconds. I can tell you since I started doing this, I've had very few "clicks" on my second shots....after my first "misses."

You can also use the alcohol patch to run a quick swab down the barrel if it's getting a bit fouled. Again, it will dry in seconds and allow you to reload quickly.

Dave
 

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Keep your grubby fingers off the frizzen, oil and dirt from your fingers will foul a frizzen!

Be sure your flint is tight in the jaws

Change or knap your flint after practice shooting so when that buck of a lifetime steps out you get a good clean spark.

Tie a very small piece of oiled buckskin in the channel where the stock meets the barrel on the muzzle side of the lock. Keeps the water from running down the groove into the lock.
 

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DaveT said:
Go to your local Pharmacy and pick up a small box of those alcohol pads. You know, the ones that are individually wrapped that people use to give themselves an injection.

Once you have fired a shot (Let's assume you have missed....even though we all know your such an eagle-eye
). Use one of these alcohol patches to wipe down your frizzen pan, and your frizzen, and your flint. There is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) that will attract moisture faster than powder residue!

So, if you have powder residue on your gun from....oh say a early missed shot....and you reload, in half-an-hour that powder residue will "suck up" a bunch of the moisture in the air....and it could very well cause your next attempted shot to be a mis-fire. (Ask me how I know?)

Now, if your reloading quick for another shot....don't wipe it down...just reload. But once it get quiet again, dump your pan powder, wipe it all down with a patch, and then re-powder your pan.

The alcohol will evaporate in a few seconds. I can tell you since I started doing this, I've had very few "clicks" on my second shots....after my first "misses."

You can also use the alcohol patch to run a quick swab down the barrel if it's getting a bit fouled. Again, it will dry in seconds and allow you to reload quickly.

Dave
wow - never thought of that - thanks for the great tip. Off to CVS over lunch
 

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I take an 8" to 10" piece of leather boot lace, and attach a homemade brass vent pick (2"-3") to one end. I make a 1" to 2" loop in the other end of the boot lace strip.

I then attach the lace to the front of my trigger guard which provides easy access to the vent pick. I check on, replace, or re-position my priming powder probably more often than necessary, and I always make sure my touch hole is open and is not clogged with priming powder.

If your touch hole channel isn't open to your main charge, you'll suffer a hang fire, flash-in-the-pan, or the kaaaaaa-boom flinches at the most unfortunate time.

I've been there, done that!
 

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BerksCoflinter said:
I take an 8" to 10" piece of leather boot lace, and attach a homemade brass vent pick (2"-3") to one end. I make a 1" to 2" loop in the other end of the boot lace strip.

I then attach the lace to the front of my trigger guard which provides easy access to the vent pick. I check on, replace, or re-position my priming powder probably more often than necessary, and I always make sure my touch hole is open and is not clogged with priming powder.

If your touch hole channel isn't open to your main charge, you'll suffer a hang fire, flash-in-the-pan, or the kaaaaaa-boom flinches at the most unfortunate time.

I've been there, done that!
I've never found a need to prime prior to a possible shot in the making. I wish more flint lockers would consider this. Eliminates many ignition headaches and IMO improves the safety of the activity. Especially while walking.
 

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What really solved my "flinch" when the pan powder goes off, was when Pa. finally changed the Regs. and allowed a peep sight on flinters. I happen to love peep sights. So I immediately purchased a Lyman peep sight for my T\C Hawken.

Now, in addition to having a longer sight picture, the peep sight actually blocks the frizzen from my eye's view completely. So, I don't flinch....because I don't see the spark 'n flash!!!!

FWIW

Dave
 

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That is amazing!


The Berks family would have eaten quite a bit less venison over the years of my flintlock hunting had I waited to prime when a shot presented itself. The only view of the last doe I harvested had I waited to prime, would have been her south end of her anatomy heading rapidly north.


I feel strongly that my attention to the priming pan and the touch hole has eliminated ignition concerns, and unless a flintlock nimrod foolishly hunts with the hammer at full cock, safety issues are basically of no concern, in my honest opinion.
 

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Carrying with a hammer at full cock is scary at the least!! Even with no powder in the pan, a flinter WILL go off if the trigger is pulled and the flint strikes the frizzen.

A fellow in Jeannette Pa. was killed about 12 years ago while putting his flinter in his truck like that. Barrel was loaded, no powder in the pan, frizzen was "apparently" closed, and they were unsure if the gun was cocked, or if while he was putting it in his truck, he caught the hammer on something and pulled it back just enough to let it hit the frizzen...spark, and that was it. Poor fellow made it back to his front porch in an effort to get help.

Hey....sad story. But...let's be careful out there!!!
 

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BerksCoflinter said:
That is amazing!


The Berks family would have eaten quite a bit less venison over the years of my flintlock hunting had I waited to prime when a shot presented itself. The only view of the last doe I harvested had I waited to prime, would have been her south end of her anatomy heading rapidly north.


I feel strongly that my attention to the priming pan and the touch hole has eliminated ignition concerns, and unless a flintlock nimrod foolishly hunts with the hammer at full cock, safety issues are basically of no concern, in my honest opinion.
Prior to preparing to take aim....A primed pan (or just a closed frizzen for that matter) in combo with a half cock notch on a NMLRA range is a safety hazard. I don't view hunting any different. Sorry if I offended anyone.
 

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Some obvious ones but maybe could help some newbies,after developing your load mark your ramrod when loaded to mark proper seating of bullet for future reference.And be sure to wipe inside of your barrel clean from oil or bore butter etc. before loading first time for season to prevent forcing all that stuff down barrel which could clog up touch hole.
 

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Have your muzzy sighted in and ALL the bugs worked out by September so you can enjoy all the hunting seasons knowing you are ready!
 

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Here are a few things I do:

Moisture in pan, used a dremel tool and polished the area where the powder lays. (NOT where the frizzen seals around the depression of the pan) Mirror shine condition. This seemed to all but eliminate the nooks and crannies where the moisture lays waiting to make 4f mud.

Snuff cans to carry, wet, dry and lubed patches. The metal lid eventually rusts in the wet can but easily replaced.

Film canisters: I carry 3 and 4f powder, jags, flints, leathers, liners, Tums and best of all....8 power belt 245gr aerotips fit in one canister without jingling!! Giant Eagle gives them away at the photo center.

Air compressor to unload: remove barrel, touch hole liner, wrap muzzle in rag, use a cheap air gun with a rubber tip and 90lbs of air.
 

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Here is an extra safety tip that makes that priming even safer. I always have a hammerstall or frizzen cover on all my guns. It is simply a piece of leather sewed to fit over your frizzen and attached to the trigger guard by a thong. Prevents the hammer and flint from striking the frizzen until you want them to. Takes a milisecond to pull off before the shot.

I also keep a pick and pan brush with me at all times. When the snow falls, that brush really comes in handy.

GBJ
 

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get some denatured alcohol and put it in a mist/spray bottle. And some q-tips. When the weather is wet/humid change the primer power every 30 minuts or so, but clean the pan with the denatured alcohol sprayed on an end of a q-tip. Use the other end of the q-tip to "dry" the pan.

Don't count on a flinter not going off half-cocked. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. I was with someone who had a problem with his lock. The gun would go off half-cocked.

Get the CO2 dispenser to remove your black powder, patch and ball from the gun. It is a downer to realize you just stuffed a patch and ball down the muzzle without a black powder charge. The CO2 dispenser allows you to clear your gun and then load the gun properly.
 

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When at the range, shoot from different positions, not just the bench, try prone, kneeling, squating, etc...

Try and shoot during dusk at least once. My first shot at a deer was at dusk, only few minutes left of legal light. Well, all my range time was during the daylight. When that pan went off i thought the main charge blew up in my face!!! We still laugh about how I reacted.

Primer in the pan, less is more!!!
 
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