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Thread: Flintlock smith?

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Default Flintlock smith?

    I recently acquired a smooth bore flintlock musket and would like to have it checked out prior to firing it.

    Any suggestions for a gunsmith that specializes in muzzle loaders?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    The only one I know by name is Ron Paull in the village of Port Lions here in Kodiak. He's a renowned builder more or less retired up here, but still building a few custom guns- all very high end. Dunno if he'd take on your job or whether you could afford his rates if it's only a checkup, but that's the easiest without a little digging.

    If you want to dig a little, it will require you to register for The Muzzleloading Forum (free). There's a guy there with the online name M.D. from Anchorage that's a step above hobby smith, building a few guns and machining many of his own parts even as he earns his living at another job. He long ago graduated North American School of Guns, and through years of posting on The Muzzleloading Forum, has demonstrated that he clearly knows his stuff. Wish I could provide a name, but if you'll join up and send him a private message, you should be able to hook up.

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    Thanks BrownBear!

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    What is it about the gun that you need to have checked out? I suggest that you start by determining if a previous owner left it loaded! You'd be surprised how many are actually found to be still loaded. If you are looking for a gunsmith locally who specializes in traditional sidelock muzzleloaders, good luck with that. I'm not aware of any good local smiths but there are plenty of folks out there in the hobby who can check it out for you. Is it a modern reproduction or an original vintage gun? If it's an old vintage gun, you'll want to look for rust, pitting or dark spots in the barrel and of course obvious damage on the outside of the barrel. Other than that, you just want to be sure that the lock and triggers function properly. Just about any experienced traditional muzzleloader shooter should be able to help you. If you determine that the lock does not work properly, I do know a couple of great smiths in the lower 48 that you can send it out to for repairs.

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    Muskeg Stomper,

    Thanks for your suggestions. Definite yes on making sure it is truly unloaded. I have read of antique BP firearms found to be loaded.

    The musket is a '60s Italian made reproduction in nearly new condition. (With proof mark).

    I recently ordered it from a reputable dealer in the lower 48. I have seen detailed photos of the musket. I have several days to inspect it and can return it if I don't like it. I was hoping to have it checked out during that time.

    Having shot muzzle loaders I think I can determine how well the lock works by sparking it.

    I was thinking that I should get the barrel checked out. Of course I could just load 'er up and let 'er rip, (just joking), although that is how they are proofed. An acquaintance that is an experienced musket and BP shooter suggested that with "modern" barrels it is hard to get one to fail with standard powder loads.

    I'm wanting to be cautious as my kids and wife will want to fire the musket also.

  6. #6

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    you should be able to mark a ram rod and drop it down the barrel. If its metal on the end you should hear it, if not, you might even see it in the touch hole. Shine a light down the barrel and look in the touch hole is another method we've used. Marking is the dead give away..if its loaded its going to start well short of your hole.

    we've had brushes stuck in barrels so we know your problem well. I'm pretty new to the co2 method, but you could try that as well. They work well in percussions, I don't know about flinters but I'd guess they would. I wish I had found the co2 method before this last one...gave me all kinds of fits.

    As for the barrel you should be able to see the condition of the barrel pretty easily. You can proof it yourself as well. I would doubt that being a 60's its a true Damascus or any other form of laminated steel though I could be wrong. Don't quote me on it, but I believe a proof load is double the max powder with the max load, or double the max load with the max powder.

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    I see no reason to proof a modern barrel and for most folks without the accurate means to measure the barrel for bulging, changes in barrel wall thickness or to maganaflux the steel, it serves no purpose. Inspect as I stated in my first post and then stick with reasonable loads of black powder. Of course, you can't use black powder substitutes in a flintlock (althought some will offer alteranate opinions). The important thing is to stay away from modern smokeless powders which produce much higher pressures and you'll be just fine.

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    Thanks Muskeg Stomper!

    Thanks to all that have offered advise!

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    It has been quite a while since I have had to buy black powder.

    So what store has it in Anchorage?

    Who carries flintlock supplies, like ball, patches, accessories, &c?

    Or do most order, (other than B/P), from the lesser 48?

    Thanks.

  10. #10

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    BP is usually at GNG, though seldom if ever anyplace else that I know of. Dunno my way around Los Anchorage much any more, but at one time the only place I saw an array of flinter supplies was Sportsman's. With the addition of Cabelas and Bass Pro, I'm sure that's changed a little.

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    GNG is the only store I have ever found to have BP. They get orders in and have till sold out. Call to find out when their next order might be arriving. May want to buy enough to last for some time. Remember to store in a safe place - I keep mine in a waterproof container in a building away from the house - in the unlikely event of fire. Would you be looking for FFg?
    You will find some supplies at Sportsmans as well as GNG but the best right now is Cabelas. Remember to check the catalog as well as you can ship to the store for free.

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