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Serious flintlock question #7130983
01/10/21 09:56 PM
01/10/21 09:56 PM
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g smith Offline OP
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g smith  Offline OP
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In reading some history from the 1830 -1840s a journal he is writing he states a seasoned buffalo hunter is horseback and has several balls in his mouth ,then puts the powder charge in the muzzle and then hits the saddle with the butt to settle the charge and the wet ball keeps the ball from falling out ,(here is the kicker ) he states this rapid loading is not possible with the percussion guns only the flint locks ,he never addresses charging the pan . Could you fire a flint lock without putting powder in the pan ? By clonking the rifle on the saddle after putting the main charge in the muzzle is it possible for enough powder to trickle back into the pan to fire ? I do not have ANY muzzle loaders but did fire a flintlock 2 times .He states some hunters could get 5- 6 buffalos before their horse ran out of gas .


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7130991
01/10/21 10:01 PM
01/10/21 10:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,407
east central WI
K
k snow Offline
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k snow  Offline
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K

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Posts: 2,407
east central WI
Possible, yes. He's loading a very loose ball and relying on the fouling and spit to keep it in the barrel. Accuracy is not a concern when running buffalo, don't need to worry about the ball being tight.

I'd say his gun had a large touch hole and some powder would work it's way out into the pan when loading. I have a fowler that this happens on.

All that said, there is no way I would ever recommend loading like that. Good way to blow your head off.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131006
01/10/21 10:16 PM
01/10/21 10:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
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g smith Offline OP
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Thank you k . I have read the the the Indians preferred the flintlock partly for the caps becoming useless after wetting and this could be another good reason . One day I hope to get a fowler FL but I am a lefty and they are not many or affordable to buy.


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131019
01/10/21 10:25 PM
01/10/21 10:25 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,407
east central WI
K
k snow Offline
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k snow  Offline
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east central WI
Good luck finding a gun. Lefties do turn up and you definitely get what you pay for, especially the lock. Try to visit some blackpowder cubs or rendezvous in the area. You can find some darn good deals on used guns. My sister just picked up a fowler for 600, about half of what the parts would cost.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131025
01/10/21 10:28 PM
01/10/21 10:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
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New Hampshire
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Nessmuck Offline
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He was chewing on the lead balls in his mouth ....a way of making them “Stay” down the barrel a bit.


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131035
01/10/21 10:34 PM
01/10/21 10:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 39,124
Minnesota
330-Trapper Offline
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330-Trapper  Offline
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Interesting


NRA and NTA Life Member
www.BackroadsRevised@etsy.com




Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131078
01/10/21 10:52 PM
01/10/21 10:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,676
NE
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Marty B Offline
"arbitrary noob"
Marty B  Offline
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NE
You can do some incredible things if you don't know you cant.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131091
01/10/21 11:07 PM
01/10/21 11:07 PM
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Posts: 7,814
Green County Wisconsin
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GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
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GREENCOUNTYPETE  Offline
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he likely had a very loose flash hole

most production flinters now have a very small flash hole

a friend has a custom gun a local guy built , it he wife got it for him at Rondy even managed to surprise him with it

a 54 cal flinter , he gets very good ignition , it also shoots a 6 foot jet of hot gasses to the right every time he fired it

it is the most reliable ignition with the least fussing I have ever seen.

there was an Indian fighter who shot a muzzle loading pistol from the saddle that they wrote about he spit the ball down the barrel and was firing as he leveled the gun


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131115
01/10/21 11:41 PM
01/10/21 11:41 PM
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Northeast Oklahoma
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Mike in A-town Offline
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I have a .45 pistol with a touch hole eroded so much it will self prime... If you get to goofing around and move the gun around a bunch you'll get a squib or just a flash in the pan because so much powder is lost.

Just my own theory here... But I think erosion was one of the main reasons that feathers were used to plug touch holes... It also kept moisture/humidity out and was an obvious indicator that the weapon was loaded.

Mike


One man with a gun may control 100 others who have none.

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131368
01/11/21 07:55 AM
01/11/21 07:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,457
meadowview, Virginia
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EdP Offline
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Like others have said, some flinters will "self prime" due to a large touch hole. It's more likely to happen when a patched ball is pushed down the barrel pushing air out the touch hole and taking enough powder with it to prime the pan.

I can't imagine spitting a ball down a long gun barrel while riding a horse at speed without losing a front tooth or two or busting a lip. With a pistol it would be difficult enough. I think spitting the ball into a hand and loading it would be a better option.

I don't believe
Quote
He was chewing on the lead balls in his mouth ....a way of making them “Stay” down the barrel a bit.
because the ball would also have stuck on the way down. I do know folks that rough up their roundballs by rolling them between two files to make them stick in a smoothbore without patching, but they still need to be rammed down the bore.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131388
01/11/21 08:11 AM
01/11/21 08:11 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,334
williamsburg ks
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danny clifton Offline
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williamsburg ks
Horse on a dead run is actually real smooth


Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7131398
01/11/21 08:20 AM
01/11/21 08:20 AM
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williamsburg ks
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danny clifton Offline
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I know it goes against everything published and told as gospel BUT I have a good friend that runs a lab. They test powder. They test firearms. I am willing to bet he has shot more blackpowder and substitutes than anybody alive as part of that testing. One of the things that testing involves is finding out what it takes to destroy a firearm. He told me he never managed to get a BP gun to self destruct by not seating the ball on the charge. not even if two or three balls are loaded at the same time. None of them on the charge.

I would think shooting buffalo off a horse the biggest fear would be horses reaction to a gun shot while running alongside stampeding buffalo.

I would think you would load 3-4 times as much powder as you normally would to make sure there was powder against the touch hole when you pointed your rifle down into a buffalo chest to make your 7 foot shot. It all sounds real likely to me.


Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7132958
01/11/21 11:05 PM
01/11/21 11:05 PM
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g smith Offline OP
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You folks are obviously well informed on this issue ! The story did not say he actually spit the ball in the muzzle ,I bet he put them in by hand .I had never heard of a eroded touch hole ! This story is by Edward Harris ,"Up The Missouri With Audubon " Circa 1843 .The short story I read is from the large book "The Last Best Place " A Montana Anthology by Kittredge and Smith Published by the Montana Historical Society. Could be that when they got ready to do some serious buffalo running they grabbed a certain gun that was suitable for the job . Thanks to all of you who "splained it to me ".


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7132959
01/11/21 11:08 PM
01/11/21 11:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 790
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g smith Offline OP
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Mike explain the feathers and where they were placed .


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7133081
01/12/21 01:32 AM
01/12/21 01:32 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 854
Minnesota
Woodsloafer72 Offline
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The shaft of the feather was placed in the touch hole to keep moisture out of the charge. The touch hole is a hole in the barrel next to the pan.

Mike might be able to explain it better. I find it difficult without being able to show it..

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7133086
01/12/21 02:21 AM
01/12/21 02:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
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Northeast Oklahoma
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Northeast Oklahoma
Originally Posted by g smith
Mike explain the feathers and where they were placed .


The whole video is worth watching. But Bob explains about the feather starting at the 7:35 mark...



The touch hole is the hole in the center of the silver spot... That's where you would poke the feather quill in. Then you would close the frizzen on it to keep it in place...

[Linked Image]


Mike


One man with a gun may control 100 others who have none.

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7133087
01/12/21 02:27 AM
01/12/21 02:27 AM
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Northeast Oklahoma
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Mike in A-town Offline
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BTW if you are new to muzzleloading, especially flintlocks, Bob has a New Shooter series... Just search Black Powder TV on YT.

Mike


One man with a gun may control 100 others who have none.

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7133139
01/12/21 06:40 AM
01/12/21 06:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 756
Tug Hill, NY
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Squash Offline
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Nat Foster, Adirondack trapper and mountain man, circa 1800, “ Life and Adventures of Nat Foster.”, Byron Curtiss, author. For rapid reloading Foster carried his lead balls between his fingers. He also poured the powder down the barrel of his flintlock, then tapped the stock on the ground to charge the flash pan. In the book it states he could load and fire his flintlock 6 times a minute. But when he wanted greater accuracy he loaded with patch and ball and charged his flash pan with his powder horn. It even states that he would sometimes for greater game getting proficiency, he would load 2 balls back to back.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Nessmuck] #7133377
01/12/21 10:58 AM
01/12/21 10:58 AM
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rogers city mi.
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jeff karsten Offline
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rogers city mi.
Originally Posted by Nessmuck
He was chewing on the lead balls in his mouth ....a way of making them “Stay” down the barrel a bit.

Wasn'nt hunting in Cali. was he??


olden tyred
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134281
01/12/21 10:52 PM
01/12/21 10:52 PM
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g smith Offline OP
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If you did the feather would you have to wait to pull it Before you primed the pan ? Could you put in feather ,prime then close the frizzen ? would it spill out of the pan if you closed the frizzen with powder in it while the feather was in the touch hole ?


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
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