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Discussion Starter #1
I am kinda new to flintlocking and i have a question on what powder to use in the barrel and what powder for the ignition. Just want to make sure i am using the correct powder. I currently use 4f in the pan but not sure of the powder for in the barrel. I am picking up GOEX black powder tonight and want to get the correct powder. Thanks
 

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4F will work for the main and prime charges. But just remember that you measure the main charge by volume not weight.

I use 3F for the main and prime as it not only simplifies things but the 3F will not dribble out of a closed pan so easily as 4F. FWIW...........
 

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For patched round ball The old rule of thumb was 3fg for every thing under 50 cal and 2fg for everything 50 caliber and up. With a modern steel barrel, folks can use moderate charges of 3fg in 50 and 54 caliber guns. Moderate being 80 grains and less.

Shooting a conical or bullet changes the pressure curve and I would not be shooting 3fg in anything over 45 cal with a bullet.

You can get away with 3fg in the barrel and the pan, but 3fg in the pan, is ever so slightly slower to ignite the charge. Many hunters can't tell the difference in speed. Match shooters can notice right off.

Two things about loading. Pour the charge down the barrel and before the patch and ball, or bullet, use the palm of your hand and bump the side of the gun two or three times. It helps settle the powder into the area inside the touch hole. You should be able to see grains of powder inside the touch hole. Then load the PRB or bullet.

Filling the pan, usually leads to a hiss before the gun goes off. Put just enough powder to cover the bottom of the pan.

When the gun goes off, most beginners hear the classic TV & Movie reaction of kachunk-sssssssss-boom. When you get accustomed to your gun and lock and loading, your gun should just go ka-boom. with no ssss between. With many custom locks, the shooter does not even hear the ka, the gun just goes boom.
 

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4F will work for the main and prime charges. But just remember that you measure the main charge by volume not weight.
I use 3F for the main and prime as it not only simplifies things but the 3F will not dribble out of a closed pan so easily as 4F. FWIW...........
4F WILL NOT WORK for the main charge, this is EXTREMELY dangerous. 4F is ONLY for the pan.
 

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Thanks, i should have mentioned i am using patch with round ball on an older 54 caliber T/C
I suggest starting out with 80 grains of 2f as your main charge, and 4f in your pan. You do not need to fill the pan only enough for a speedy ignition.
 
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I have always use 3f goex as my only powder without any issues, no need to have two different powders....in my pan as well....
 

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I always use a wire to open a channel from the touch hole to the main charge, I think it really improved my ignition time. I also fill with 4f my pan to the bottom of the touch hole, If the touch hole is full of power it acts as a fuse.

Good Luck, Stant
 

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this is one of those questions you are going to get a lot of different answers for. I will throw in my 2 cents worth also. I shoot .32, .36, .45, .50, .62 cal. rifles and 20 gauge smoothbore. I use 3f in everything and 4f in the pan. 3f will imo, burn cleaner, you will use less and you only need one powder for shooting everything. if you do enough shooting, you will find that 4f is faster in the pan than 3f. 4f as a main charge is an accident waiting to happen and not recommended by any loading manual or powder maker that I have ever seen. it would be nice if you could hook up with someone in your area to help you along, local sportsman club possibly?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have used a Flintlock before only a couple times over the years, but from what i have been getting from you guys i have been using the wrong brand "pyrodex 3F' for the main and the pan. I really want to get into it this year so i stopped at some places in Harrisburg today and they were out of goex so i stopped at this little shop 7 miles from my house and wouldnt you know it they have it. Its a mom and pop type shop but they usually carry or have in stock what big sports shops dont. i asked their recommendation, they recommended on the safe side to use goex 2f for the main and 4f for the pan (recommended by most of you) I do have all the necessary tools for measuring, loading ect.. Thanks again everyone good luck for those going out in the late season. Going to practice a good bit before the season starts to get more comfortable with it.
 

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When I started shooting flintlocks, the old adage about 3f in guns of .50 cal and less, and 2f in guns over .50 was the norm. I started using 2fg because both my flintlock rifles are in .54 caliber, and my .62 cal/20 gauge also gets the same 2f. I get good results with 2fg in the barrel so never saw a reason to change. I have always used 4fg in the pan. Yes, only fill enough pan powder to cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the pan, but thinking 4f won't enter the touch hole is ludicrous, because from walking with the gun or simply holding the gun on your lap at some point you will tilt the gun and not even realize it and some 4f will enter the touch hole. Its not that big a deal. And sometimes if you get a misfire, an old trick is to use a vent pick to insert a grain or two of 4f into the main charge. Its just enough to kick start the ignition, and is a surefire way to get the gun to fire after you've had the proverbial "flash in the pan". You just don't want the touch hole clogged with powder. The you will get the fuse effect and you'll get what they call a hang fire, where the gun goes click....boom.

Yeah, don't use pyrodex in a flintlock. They're meant to be fired using real black powder. I got sucked into that idea that pyrodex is a cleaner powder, and I used it in my percussion gun. But its just as dirty as black and there's no advantage to using it over black. For percussion guns, ok to use Pyrodex, for flintlocks, no, but you're better off just using black in everything.
 

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The idea of seeing the powder inside the touch hole is because, because the immediate shower of sparks from the pan powder goes in every direction. sort of like a grenade going off. The closer the charge to the pan powder sparks, the faster and more certain will be your ignition. folks who push the powder back away from the tough hole are pushing the main charge powder further from the pan sparks. Slower and less reliable. The channel on the inside of the touch hole is usually a 1/4 inch in diameter at the smallest and often 5/16 or even 3/8 at the largest. . If packing the inner channel made the gun go off like a fuse, then a 28 caliber and 32 caliber flintlock would never go off instantaneously. They would just hiss and poof the ball out. I assure you that is not the case.
 

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folks who push the powder back away from the tough hole are pushing the main charge powder further from the pan sparks. Slower and less reliable.
Yep. I had an old guy tell me exactly this one time when I was new to the game. I bought it into the "put the pan powder to the outside of the pan nonsense, and when he explained it the way above, it made perfect sense. Now I just put the powder in the pan and don't worry about it.
 

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not all guns are the same, what works great for one may not work at all for the other one or the next one. the only way to find out what that particular gun likes is time at the bench. there are a lot of "general" things to do, but you will have to fine tune those things to get it just right for that gun.
 
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