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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a black powder magazine yesterday and there was a picture of a target shot by a person mentioned in the article. 54 caliber from the bench at 25 yds. Now it is always hard to judge groups without a ruler or some reference to compare sizes. However, judging that each hole was about a half inch. the x ring was then about 1.5 inches across and a shot was outside the x-ring, meaning he shot a five shot 2 inch group off a bench, with a percussion gun. Honestly, that doesn't impress me that much. On my good days, I could do that offhand with a rifle. I have seen guys do that well with black powder pistols. Many of the groups posted by members here are that good at 50 and even 100 yds. Maybe I am impressed the other way. Why would somebody print a mediocre group in a magazine?

At least they used a five shot group. Once read an article in which the author kept referring to groups, but there were only two holes in each "group." MAYBE I automatically consider five shots to be a group, because that is the number of shots normally fired in a competition at a target. Apparently back in the 1880's many target shooters felt a ten shot group was necessary

What do you consider to be a sufficient group to show what a gun and/or shooter is capable of, and why?
 

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Big diffence what a shooter or Rifle can do off the Bench or offhand. My late Uncle had a thick barreled .50 calibre that would almost one hole at, 50yds., off the Bench.But, was far too heavy to hold standing up. The best offhand shooter I`ve seen was Wes Noyne of the Altoona area. He was cool as a Cucumber and would not touch a shot off until He was ready. Seen Him shoot a few 50,5x`s.at 25yds. One thing I`ve noticed is that most of the Target shooters, strictly shoot paper targets. Rarely see them on woodswalks. George Sutton, Mr. Flintlock from Impossible shots. was at our Rhondy this year. Another cool as a Cucumber shooter......Yes, I`m jealouse!!!!
 

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Years ago I shot a FL in silhouette competition so accuracy is important to me.

However now I am just a hunter. So accuracy is still important. However group size means absolutely nothing to me. IMO the MZ is strictly a "One Shot Deal". So my only concern is where that first shot goes from a perfectly clean and cold bore.

Where four or five shots go from a fouled barrel means nothing to me. I want to cut the X with that first cold bore shot.

So my groups are groups of 1. When I am sighting in my MZ off the bench I will clean the rifle(barrel and flash hole or nipple or threaded parts). Then reloading and shooting another cold, clean bore shot. After I am satisfied where that cold bore shot is going then I do not spend any more time at the bench with my MZ. I practice in hunting conditions.

So for me I guess I could say I could care less where five continuous shots go from a single shot MZ, when the follow up shots are always going to be a bit different than my first cold bore shot-which is really the only one that matters for a hunter(not a target shooter). Tom.
 

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I shoot 3 shot groups at 50yds off the bench to get the rifle shooting the best it can with various combos of patches,powder,and ball size.Run a wet patch followed by 2 dry after 3 shots.After finding the tightest group,then offhand.Off the bench with sandbags will rule out opperator error.The shot I am concerned the most with is the 1st one.The 25 yrds shots are fine to get sights close but most of my hunting shots are around 50yds.All my muzzy rifles get less than 1 1/2" groups at 50yds off the bench.
The exception to this is my 32 and 36 cal that get sighted on at 25 yds for squirrel.
In my opion,a muzzy getting 1 1/2" groups or larger at 50yds,needs more work.
 

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Yea that seems pretty weak. huh.
In my brain its all about hunting deer. I want my gun to be able to shoot 5 times without much love. My realistic max shot is 50 yards. Offhand 50 yards 3 or 4 inches. Well if one bad one makes it 8, i don't get too excited. When I'm driving deer however I might as well throw it.
I do agree with you. Thats pretty weak.
 

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That would be just tollerably impressive if it were a flintlock. A caplock, at that range, and off a bench, should be delivering one ragged hole.
 

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i do a 3 shot group at 50 yrds and off hand they are most of the time touching all 3 holes but i have to disagree with hoghead because most ml hunters shoot more then 1 shot to get a deer ive seen and heard of guys 5-6-9 shoots and still no deer granted they dont practice and i have no dought they are just poor shooters .and 2nd i always fowl my barrels before i do any shooting because i might need that 2nd shot.i concider myself a hunter frist then a comp shooter 2nd because most of the shoots i do all trail walks that sinulate hunting shots buts that just my opinion
 

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jimsdad said:
That would be just tollerably impressive if it were a flintlock. A caplock, at that range, and off a bench, should be delivering one ragged hole.
May I ask why you would expect a caplock to shoot better than a flintlock?
 

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My flints group the same as my percussions in the same make and model guns.
 

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mountainman09 said:
i do a 3 shot group at 50 yards and off hand they are most of the time touching all 3 holes but i have to disagree with hoghead because most ml hunters shoot more then 1 shot to get a deer ive seen and heard of guys 5-6-9 shoots and still no deer granted they dont practice and i have no dought they are just poor shooters .and 2nd i always fowl my barrels before i do any shooting because i might need that 2nd shot.i concider myself a hunter frist then a comp shooter 2nd because most of the shoots i do all trail walks that sinulate hunting shots buts that just my opinion

I think we agree. I was not trying to say that you should not know where your second and third shots will go. I am only saying that the first shot is most important. And in all my MZ experience the first clean cold bore shot can be different from a second shot from a dirty barrel. I have seen it many times. So as a hunter I want to know where that second shot goes, but I still think the first shot is most crucial. But then I can honestly say that I have only shot a second shot twice in my life at the same deer.


And at the trail walks you are absolutely right. Tom.
 

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5 shot groups when shooting "paper", when you are shooting "junk", X strings, split the ball etc most are 1 and done unless you pay for extra targets.

Back in the 70's some friends and myself witnessed a young man ( I think he was 15 ) shoot a 5 shot group at Friendship. .45 cal flintlock, off hand, 25 yds, you could cover the group with a quarter!!! They had 2 guys with spotting scopes watching his target to be sure he didn't put any rounds into the hill. They did a story, with photo's, in the muzzle blast mag.

As for flints shooting a little wider than a percussion, must guys never get over the "flinch" in flinchlock. They either were never taught or don't take the time to understand all the little things that it takes to make a flinter "sing". Proper flints, good quality frizzens, taking the time to "pic" the touch hole and I'm sure some on here could add a bunch more tips to get rid of the yips.
 

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srry hogghead want picking on you, the way i see it is alot of guys only pick up there guns just before hunting season so i guess the more shots for a group may help ill bet 10percent of the guys who hunt flintlock are like you and me we shoot all the time and thats why it only take 1-2 shots for our deer
 

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You would be amazed at the number of people who are thrilled with getting "paper plate" size groups at 50yds from a flinter. I agree with Hogghead, for hunting, one must pay duty to the "cold shot" but the gun must also be capable of producing decent groups or it won't be consistent with the cold shot either.
 

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Yes you may. Because of the lock time difference between the 2 ignition systems. In a flinter there is a delay between the ignition and the actual discharge of the gun. During that delay there is also a large fireworks display right in the face of the shooter. With a caplock, the "lock time" is almost (almost) non existant abd there is no real explosion just in front of the shooters nose.
 

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Hate to differ but, a PROPERLY tuned Flintlock is just as fast as a Caplock... Now, the flash thing...is a different story, but can be overcome.
 

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Properly tuned or not, the time between the sear release + the scraping of the hot metal off the frizen face, the ignition in the pan, the fire through the flash hole and the discharge of the main charge is slower than a caplock. As for the flash in a flinter, other than just getting used to it, please explain. I' am ready to hear about this as I have been shooting flinters for 40 years, and to this day that pan flash still gets to me from time to time.
 

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i think we all agree that weather its 3 or 5 shot group it all comes down to practise and knowing where your gun is hitting weather its a frist shot or 5th shot
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There's been some experiments to measure lock times, but I didn't keep track of how to find the results. A really well tuned flinter goes off almost as fast as a centerfire rifle. From hammer fall on a flinter to charge ignition is only a matter of about .028 second. That is imperceptable to most humans.

Old fashioned motion picture ran about 16 frames a second. That was .0625 seconds, more than twice as long.

All that being said, my fliint groups generally run about 20% larger than the percussion groups.
 

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If the groups are larger in a flintlock over a percussion,its because of the guy behind the stock and not the fault of the gun.
 

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There is so little time difference between a sidelock percussion and a properly functioning & loaded flintlock that no human can tell the difference. Some years back there were a couple fellows who griped on "lock time" claiming that the M-700 Remington was far superior to others, especially the k98 Mauser. After having enough of the BS, we blindfolded them in the gunshop and put them to the test and neither one of them could tell the difference between the k98, M-700, 91/30 and some others thus proving the fact that it was pure BS.

If you're looking at the pan flash, you're not looking where you're shooting. If you focus your vision on the target, you'll never see the flash just as you won't see the hammer dropping on any other sidelock. It's not the flash, it's the pre-conceived notion of the flash that causes the flinch and I've proved it. Get a flincher on the firing line and load the gun for the shooter so all the shooter is doing is shooting. After a few shots, replace the flint with a piece of wood and the shooter will still flinch every single time. It's the same with a hard-kicker, I had a featherweight .308win that kicked like a PO'ed mule, give someone 3-5 shots with it then hand it to them without a round in the chamber and they'll still flinch every single time because the shooter is anticipating the recoil just the same as the flintlock shooter anticipates the flash.

I've been shooting flinters for 31 years. I was a flincher until I learned how to shoot correctly. If you keep your vision focused on the point you want to hit, you'll never see the hammer falling or the flash just the same as when you're out there knocking down steel plates or bowling pins with the .45auto, if you're paying attention to what your shooting at, you'll never see the slide moving nor the empty cartridge case being ejected. Matter of fact, when you're "in the groove", even the muzzle coming up is ignored because you're already focusing on the next target. On average, most of my clients with flinching issues can be broken in 2-3 hours - couples are the toughest to work with because typically the female half is almost always the easiest to break so I've learned to work with the male first.
 
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