Flinter fun & futzing (SUCCESS!)

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Here's the place to chat about off-topic stuff, hobbies, and other toys you got. No political posts, they will be deleted and the poster warned. We're not always "politically correct", but the Steeds site is apolitical.
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sagerat
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Flinter fun & futzing (SUCCESS!)

Post by sagerat » Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:18 pm

Rode in friend’s Dennis’ fancy Ford 150 truck (10-speed automatic tranny, surround sound, heated seats!) to plink yesterday with my .32-caliber flintlock. High 30s to low 40s, but Dennis probably wouldn’t let me shoot from what is known as the Opera Truck as it’s swank enough to drive to one.

Part of muzzleloading, especially the small-bore rifles, is playing with bullet size, patch thickness, and amount of powder. I was shooting my normal .310 roundball, but going up in patch thickness from 0.10 to 0.15, and playing with 20 and 25 grains of 3F powder instead of 25-30. 4F in pan. Swabbed barrel with spit patch after every shot as these squirrel rifles foul quickly.

50 yards to three targets: gallon water jug; 45-oz V-8 bottle (both filled with water); plastic lemon. Started with jug and worked my way down. Dennis was an ace spotter as I couldn’t see due to clouds of smoke after each shot. Shot from kneeling position after one try offhand. Yeah, not good enough for offhand, yet.

Finally got the water jug at its lowest left edge after several near-misses. The V-8 bottle took about five or six tries, but drilled it dead center. First two shots at lemon , perfect windage, but just under it.

Then it all went sideways.

Several flashes in pan, but main charge didn’t fire. Previously, I had used the vent pick on the touch hole after every shot as well as blowing barrel clear. Hmm. Dribbled 3F into touch hole and put some in pan. Again, pan flashes, but nada for main charge.

So Dennis got to watch me break out the bullet puller. Screw goes on end of ramrod, then you twist the screw into the roundball and pull the ball and patch out. Swabbed barrel with cleaner, see liquid squirt out of flash hole. Dry barrel. Reload. And again pan flashes, but that’s it. Dennis gets to watch me use the bullet puller a second time.

We called it a day. Tried using Dennis’ air compressor on the flash hole back at his place. Point barrel at leaf on ground, it doesn’t move. Somethings blocking the breech.

Dennis drops me off at home. I pulled the lock, removed the flash hole liner, and went at it with black powder cleaner/lube from Hoppe’s. Put my peashooter vertical and poured more down the barrel and let it soak. Then it was more cleaning jag, patches, picking flash hole with dental tool, and vigorous ramrod action. Finally, the dam broke. Black liquid spewed out the flash hole.

Evidently, a bunch of old crud and/or fouling had clogged my patent breech. (Flash hole goes into breech of barrel, then makes a 90-degree turn to the right into a small chamber, which sits below the main charge. That small chamber is the patent breech.) I kept at until the liquid was clean. My final test was laying flinter on work bench, flash hole aimed at ceiling, clean patch covering flash hole. Then I blew down the muzzle and the patch flew up into the air.

Now, I have a score to settle with a plastic lemon.
Last edited by sagerat on Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by jvan1954 » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:12 pm

Mainly because of a now deceased friend who was involved with reenactments I played around with black powder for a few years. Not nearly as nit picky as a flinter but there was still plenty of $#!+ to go wrong. While I did enjoy it with him my main take away was a tremendous respect for the men out running around back before the invention of modern firearms. It took a real bad a$$ to survive out in the wiliwags, alone, with those primitive guns. I have a lot of respect for anybody who has the patience and skill to operate one well.

When I got my first one put together, a 36 Navy colt kit, I loaded that dude up, strutted out like Jeremiah by god Johnson, and shot at a plywood target 10 yards away. Ball bounced back and hit me in the leg. It didn't do anything but give me a bruise, probably hurt my pride more the the leg. LOL. However, it was well balanced and felt like it would make a dandy club.
Jerry Van

there is no problem so complex, nor situation so dire, that its solution can not be found in the skillful application of high explosives.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by Lmo » Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:23 pm

:lurker:
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by PhilJet09 » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:55 pm

jvan1954 wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:12 pm
Mainly because of a now deceased friend who was involved with reenactments I played around with black powder for a few years. Not nearly as nit picky as a flinter but there was still plenty of $#!+ to go wrong. While I did enjoy it with him my main take away was a tremendous respect for the men out running around back before the invention of modern firearms. It took a real bad a$$ to survive out in the wiliwags, alone, with those primitive guns. I have a lot of respect for anybody who has the patience and skill to operate one well.

When I got my first one put together, a 36 Navy colt kit, I loaded that dude up, strutted out like Jeremiah by god Johnson, and shot at a plywood target 10 yards away. Ball bounced back and hit me in the leg. It didn't do anything but give me a bruise, probably hurt my pride more the the leg. LOL. However, it was well balanced and felt like it would make a dandy club.
:lol: I just about choked on my drink. I wish I could say that I’ve never done something similar to that.

I just got in to flintlocks this year when I assembled a Traditions Hawkins Rifle. I also decided that paper cartridges would be more convenient to take to the range, so after some experimentation, got a bunch of those made up. I’ve taken friends to the range on several occasions with that rifle and it’s been great fun. I also found the need to swab it out after every shot to make loading easier/possible. The only failure I’ve had so far is the cheap trigger mechanism wore in a bit and the sear stopped working, resulting in an unexpected firing of the gun. Fortunately my friend was following firearm safety rules and had it pointed in a safe direction.

My rifle is .50 cal, so I’m using .490 balls and .010 muslin cloth that I cut and lube and the paper from the cartridge along with 70 grains of FF. Overall, there are lots of things to criticize Traditions on with this rifle, but it still turned out nice and is a lot of fun.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by sagerat » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:51 am

My first muzzleloader was a Lyman Great Plains Rifle (their take on a half-stock Hawken) in .54. It’s a caplock and I still have it nearly 25 years later. I just drifted into flinters for the increased fun and historical associations. Also have an 1803 Harpers Ferry flinter in .54 as I’m big on Lewis and Clark. No idea who made it as there’s nothing on the barrel. Bought it through Cabela’s 20 years ago.

A flinter is like a Ural. Give it the required maintenance, use it within its limits, add TLC, and a flinter will be reliable and stupid fun.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by jvan1954 » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:13 am

sagerat wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:51 am
My first muzzleloader was a Lyman Great Plains Rifle (their take on a half-stock Hawken) in .54. It’s a caplock and I still have it nearly 25 years later. I just drifted into flinters for the increased fun and historical associations. Also have an 1803 Harpers Ferry flinter in .54 as I’m big on Lewis and Clark. No idea who made it as there’s nothing on the barrel. Bought it through Cabela’s 20 years ago.

A flinter is like a Ural. Give it the required maintenance, use it within its limits, add TLC, and a flinter will be reliable and stupid fun.
Great analogy
Jerry Van

there is no problem so complex, nor situation so dire, that its solution can not be found in the skillful application of high explosives.
Ride a 2013 tourist that I call "the ural"

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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by jvan1954 » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:20 pm

Well, did you kill that damned lemon yet?
Jerry Van

there is no problem so complex, nor situation so dire, that its solution can not be found in the skillful application of high explosives.
Ride a 2013 tourist that I call "the ural"

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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by Peter Pan » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:34 pm

with black powder cleaner/lube from Hoppe’s.
Try Ballistol :cheers:
Even Marvel Mystery oil works better then Hope's.
(got enough complaints from my quarter maker back in G3 times, why I used to smuggle Ballistol into the barracks and avoided the crap Nato supplied. :roll: once upon the time. :P )
Ya Sagerat, we want to see the mortal rests of the lemon :!:
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by sagerat » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:40 pm

I may give that a try. I also have cleaner/patch lube made semi-locally. They sell it at The Gun Works in Springfield, OR, about 120 miles W of me. The Gun Works is like a candy store for buckskinners. Muzzleloaders new and used; accruements; black powders of various makes; possibles bags; tins; flints; bullets; they have it all. Well worth the drive over and back.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by sagerat » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:44 pm

Shooting plastic lemon is on this weekend’s To Do list. Retirement is two or three years away, so lemon is safe M-F.

I have dry fired at it, just to let it know its impending demise.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by Joe123451979 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:58 am

I love shooting black powder. Never got to try a flintlock though.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by sagerat » Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:44 pm

Flinters are great fun and as they are a skoosh slower for the time between hammer’s fall and BANG! you have to concentrate on your hold and follow through. Benefit is that those skill sets will transfer to you’re modern rifles and you’ll be a better shot.

I was running a jag and dry patch down my .32 this morning to remove gun oil prior to going after the infamous plastic lemon. Frigging jag and patch got stuck in bottom of barrel. First time in 25 years of shooting BP that ever happened.

Plan A is to remove lock and touch hole liner and use buddy’s large air compressor and 100 psi to blow out the jag. Plan B is to go to where I shoot in the forest, dribble 5-10 grains of 4F powder through the touch hole and shoot the jag out. Either way, the muzzle will be pointed in a safe direction.

I did shoot the lemon offhand today, but it was with a Ruger Precision Rimfire and Crossfire II scope at 3x. I know, it doesn’t count until I hit it with my squirrel rifle.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by sagerat » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:36 am

Air compressor nozzle shoved into touch hole blew out cleaning jag. Now I have to order a new one on-line as they aren’t available locally. Threads on jag were stripped; ramrod threads were fine.

Dang lemon lives for another weekend.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing (SUCCESS!)

Post by sagerat » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:03 pm

Went out Sunday morning in 38F with the .32 flintlock to settle a score with a plastic lemon. Put lemon 50 yards away and shot the squirrel rifle while kneeling. Load was .310 roundball with 0.20 patch and 25 grains of FFF black powder. Swabbed barrel with a spit patch after every other shot, then about shot #9, started swabbing it after every shot. Wiped frizzen, flint, and pan after every shot. Also used nipple pick and picked touch hole after every loading. Pan was half full and I used FFFF for priming.
Lemon on berm at 50 yds.jpg
I was going after the lemon the far left. While small, at least the target was bright and there was no wind, plus sun was at my back so the sights were well-lit.
Zoomed in on lemon.jpg
Rounds hit consistently, which was good news/bad news. Elevation was solid, but windage was not. Held center mass (center citrus?), but kept hitting 2" to 3" to the left.

I finally held at 11 o'clock, but just on the right edge of the lemon...
Holed lemon.jpg
Success! I shot about 15 times and the score was 12-1-2, meaning a dozen Maggie's drawers (complete miss), one solid hit, and flipped it twice with near-misses. The hit came on my second to last shot. My plan is next to shoot from the prone at a paper target to see if I need to drift the front sight a smidge to the left to get the bullet impact to shift right. (Remember FORS, Forward Opposite, Rear Same for how you adjust sights to change from where a round hits currently to where you want it to strike.)

I had an absolute ball; only had to fiddle with the lock once and that was to move flint a skoosh inward and retighten jaws of cock a bit. Gotta love a day spend burning black powder.
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Re: Flinter fun & futzing

Post by RC20 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:02 pm

I admire the Black Powder guys. I had a BP revolver back in the 70s.

All it took me was one round of crud and smoke to determine.

1. I would have died in the wilderness back in the day
2. BP was no for me.
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