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Thread: Flint Help

  1. #1
    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Default Flint Help

    I just bought a used Cabelas by investarms 50 cal flintlock. I got to take it out and shoot it which was a literal blast. I have never owned a flintlock and I was enjoying the learning curve of making this thing shoot. I did some reading on how and where the flint should strike the frizzen and my flint strikes pretty low on the face. Evewn if I try to move it out a bit it still strikes it below half way up. My flint looks like it must be one of the sawn ones and after figuring that a dull flint doesn't work to good, I flipped it over and then had some good luck. It was while reading on how to knapp the flint to sharpen it that i saw that my flint strikes way to low. I want to buy some extra flints and don't know if anyone here in Anchorage area sells them or advice on where the best place to get them and if there are any flintlock shooters who would be willing to show me how to set the flint up correctly. I figured one conversation with an experienced shooter would save me a lot of head banging. Thanks

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Oh you are going to be so hooked...

    I get most all my firelock supplies, including flints, from Track of the Wolf. These are the flints that I use. Check view 3,4,5 on how to size flints.
    https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categ...S?PageSize=100

    There might be some flints to fit your flintlock at Cabela's.

    There is not really a good local source for flintlock supplies in Anchorage.

    Great Northern Guns has Black Powder quite often.

    The flint needs to be secured in the jaw screw by leather or lead. I personally use lead.

    I prefer knapped flints.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    I prefer knapped flints.
    Same here and I get mine from TOW too, though I always use leather because I'm a leather worker with scraps everywhere.

    Here's how I adjust flints. Close your pan and put the gun on half-cock. Now adjust the flint so it's about 1/8" off the frizzen.

    Here's a handy trick I use for knapping: Close the pan and hold it closed with one hand. With the other hand lower the flint down against the frizzen and press lightly. It squared the flint perfectly and avoids knocking off big chunks by accident.

    Another tip worth passing along for humid days and wet weather in general: The pan fouling after a shot turns to soup real quickly with even a little moisture in the air. And that soup will kill your prime in seconds. Get in the habit of wiping out the pan real thoroughly between shots, along with the frizzen and the flint itself.

    Be careful cuzz it's easy to DNA mark your new flintlock on the sharp flint!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great tips. Unfortunately they are out of the flints that I need. I saw some at other online stores for a little more so I might give them a try. There is definitely a learning curve to get it to fire with any reliability. I can't hardly imagine what it was like to be in battle or hunting dangerous game with one! I think those guys had to carry a second even larger possibles bag a lot lower in the front!

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    Another question on clamping the flint in the cock. How tight is tight? I just don't want to strip that screw. Right now my flint is wrapped in some sort of super thin material that I don't think is actual leather. Should I buy a piece made for it or would any piece of leather work? Does the back of the flint need to be up hard against that screw? One thing I read mentioned cutting a hole in the leather so it would, I guess, allow the flint itself touch the screw. How many shots should I get out of a piece of flint? How often does it need knapped? Sorry about all of the questions but the more I shoot it the more questions come up.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    For me the tightening is more by feel, snug enough to hold the flint, not tight enough to crush it. Sorry that is the best I can do on the question.

    For leather use somewhat thin suede. Cut so that it covers the flint and trim so that it does not hang out of the jaws. Yes you put a hole in the leather so the flint is against the jaw.

    I get at least 20-30 shots out of a flint. I just change out when it looks time. I save the loose flints for when I learn to knapp.

    You should come to the Project Appleseed Marksmanship clinic at Talkeetna this weekend. I will have my firelocks there and I could help you out then. (Shameless plug for Appleseed) I sent you a PM

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    Does the back of the flint need to be up hard against that screw? One thing I read mentioned cutting a hole in the leather so it would, I guess, allow the flint itself touch the screw.
    Depends on the length of the flint, in order to get the forward edge adjusted right in relation to the frizzen. I'll cut holes for long flints, but otherwise no. If too long, I knap a little off the back.

    A bud gets his best leather from the shoe bin at thrift stores. Find shoes with the thickness you want and cuttemup. I bet you won't pay as much as $5 for a lifetime supply of leather.

    Another bud has an even more innovative, if unorthodox, solution. He buys a big rawhide chew bone at the dog store, then soaks it overnight to soften. He sprays the jaws with WD-40 for short term rust proofing, then wrings the extra moisture out of the soft rawhide. He then puts it in the jaws, adjusts the flint for length and clamps it down. He cuts the rawhide a little wide and folds down the edges so they contact each other and adhere when dry, then lets it dry in the jaws overnight. Come morning he pulls that one out of the jaws and lays it aside for complete drying, while starts the next one in the jaws.

    He ends up with his "leather" glued to the flint at just the right spot, with jaw markings permanently imbedded so there's zero fiddling when he decides it's time to change flints, even in the field. Slick as can be, even if it takes a few days (or nights actually) to get a backlog of half a dozen flints ready to go on a moment's notice.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Thanks for the tips. I ordered some flints and I think I'll try both the lead wrap and leather. They were out of the ones I wanted and I am trying some that are close. It also sounds no one cares for the sawn flints like what came with my rifle, so I have high hopes for the knapped English ones. I am also itching to get that Lyman GPR in a percussion cap. Seems like it would eliminate this whole flint issue and might be something to try in my bear stand. Right now I don't think the rock crusher would be reliable enough for bear hunting for me. On the other hand, there is something special about shooting a gun with flint ignition! Maybe my best solution is one of each?!!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    Right now I don't think the rock crusher would be reliable enough for bear hunting for me. On the other hand, there is something special about shooting a gun with flint ignition! Maybe my best solution is one of each?!!
    There ya go. Reliability with flinters is as much about the shooter as the details of the gun. Tune them both up and they're reliable. But without the tuning (aka experience) they can be problematic. I shot flinters for a couple of years including a whole lot of snowshoe hare shooting before I felt ready to hunt bigger game with them. It's easier to get on top of a cap gun. I'm with you: The best answer is to own and enjoy both!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    If you're thinking about the Lyman GPR in percussion, I bought mine around this time last year. It's my first muzzleloader and I'm really getting to like it. I shot a flintlock for the first time today. One the guys I was shooting with generously allowed me to pop off a couple of shots with his. On the first shot he advised me to make sure to hold the target (a gong) as the flint was reaching the end of its service life and there could be a delay.. sure enough. There was a flash....bang and I missed. He said he said he saw my head move right before the rifle went off. He replaced the flint and let me have another go. That time the gun went off instantaneous, as far as I could tell and I got a satisfying "clang" from the gong. I could certainly be sold on a flintlock! Of course I would have a learning curve, taking into consideration the fact that the rifle I fired had the flint replaced and was loaded by a guy who knew what he was doing.
    Louis Knapp

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