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Serious flintlock question #7130983
01/10/21 09:56 PM
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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
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east central WI
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k snow Offline
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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
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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
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east central WI
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k snow Offline
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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
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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
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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
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Marty B Offline
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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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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
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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
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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
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williamsburg ks
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Mike in A-town Offline
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134353
01/12/21 11:30 PM
01/12/21 11:30 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Originally Posted by g smith
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 ?


I honestly don't know...

The touch holes on my guns are so small I cant get a feather quill in them... At least not one from a chicken. smile I also never leave my gun loaded long enough to necessitate using a feather.

As far as the feather keeping the frizzen open enough for your prime to trickle out... Hard to say. It might keep the frizzen open a crack but if you're just leaning the gun against a tree while you work, it might stay. I also doubt they used 4f to prime back whe the feather trick was popular... They probably primed with the same powder they had in their horn that was used for the main charge. So a larger granulation might not seep out of a gap in the frizzen.

I think a lot of the stuff we take for granted as part of muzzleloading came later on... I quit using 4f in a separate primer and just use the 3f in my main horn... Less crap to carry and keep track of. Also the 3f fouling left in the pan doesn't seem to get soupy as fast on a humid day.

It's hard to say, "This is how they did it..." Very little has survived from the 18th and early 19th centuries. We just know what we know from the few surviving specimens and what little info was jotted down for posterity.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134361
01/12/21 11:39 PM
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Mike that is a very honest answer and I thank you . I wonder if the lefties suffered with any powder in the face ? That is the only thing that is keeping me from getting one.


You can ride a fast horse slow but you can't ride a slow horse fast .
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134362
01/12/21 11:40 PM
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when you place the , pick, feather , tooth pick it is typically to keep the flash channel open. an open channel with 1/3 of the pan filled gives good fast ignition.

a pan with a trail of powder through the channel works more like a fuse Flash,,,,,boom

when loading a patched ball the powder is compressed some , the ball is seated on the powder and not moving. once the powder column is compressed a little it is less likely to trickle out

an uncompressed load with a ball just rolled down the barrel under it's own weight i a very different type of loading, there is the potential of having the ball get stuck half way down the barrel on fowling your creating an explosion with a barrel obstruction. being there isn't much for resistance it probably works but could go wrong.

in safe muzzle loading you always make sure the ball or projectile is down on the powder without air gap , you don't have to compress it hard but you want it touching the powder column.
starting and explosion with an air gap means pressure builds then runs into resistance and can spike

if the ball is down on the black powder the ball starts moving right away with the explosion.


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134367
01/12/21 11:46 PM
01/12/21 11:46 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Originally Posted by g smith
Mike that is a very honest answer and I thank you . I wonder if the lefties suffered with any powder in the face ? That is the only thing that is keeping me from getting one.


I've seen several instances of lefties shooting a right hand gun... Most seem to handle it well.

You can open an account at most places... Track of the Wolf for instance... And watch the guns that come through. You can probably even email them and request that they notify you when a left handed gun comes in. Might give you time to save up to buy a nice one too.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134404
01/13/21 01:15 AM
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Mike, I use 2F in my smoothie and prime from the horn. Don't seem to have any issues.

Never used a feather, either. Never needed to,

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7134495
01/13/21 06:52 AM
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Late to this discussion, but my 2 cents worth. The reading that I have done was concerning shortened North West guns. These were loaded as mentioned and carried muzzle up until the moment of discharge and then tipped down and almost against the bison. A slightly undersized ball in a smoothbore will just roll down the barrel when loaded. I have seen many original flintlocks with an oversized touch hole from heavy use that would indeed self prime.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Woodsloafer72] #7135074
01/13/21 04:41 PM
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[quote=Woodsloafer72]Mike, I use 2F in my smoothie and prime from the horn. Don't seem to have any issues.

Never used a feather, either. Never needed to,[/q

I was running 85 gr of 3f in my .62 smoothie and couldn't hit the broad side of the barn while standing inside of it.
grin

I went to 2f at 110 gr and things are starting to improve... But I think I can do better. Also less punishing to shoot 2f.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135846
01/13/21 10:56 PM
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I'm running about 80 gr of 2F. 6 to 8 inch groups at 50 yds. Won't take home any prizes, but it makes meat.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Woodsloafer72] #7135860
01/13/21 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodsloafer72
I'm running about 80 gr of 2F. 6 to 8 inch groups at 50 yds. Won't take home any prizes, but it makes meat.


You forgot to tell them ..your shooting a Smoothbore Flinter ...with no rear sight...lol


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Woodsloafer72] #7135865
01/13/21 11:03 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Originally Posted by Woodsloafer72
I'm running about 80 gr of 2F. 6 to 8 inch groups at 50 yds. Won't take home any prizes, but it makes meat.


OK, at 50 yards I'm getting about a 7" group strung horizontally... That'll put meat in the freezer but I'm going to try to get it to do better.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Nessmuck] #7135868
01/13/21 11:04 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Originally Posted by Nessmuck
Originally Posted by Woodsloafer72
I'm running about 80 gr of 2F. 6 to 8 inch groups at 50 yds. Won't take home any prizes, but it makes meat.


You forgot to tell them ..your shooting a Smoothbore Flinter ...with no rear sight...lol


The lack of a rear sight doesn't slow me down nearly as much as the lack of rifling. Lol

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135909
01/13/21 11:24 PM
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[Linked Image]


50 yards ..off hand...Smoothy..no rear sight... need more trigger time...85 FFF...card...wad.....600 ball with .010 patch...can push it in with my thumb.

Last edited by Nessmuck; 01/13/21 11:28 PM.

It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135914
01/13/21 11:27 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Nessy, that's pretty much a 'ditto' of mine.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Mike in A-town] #7135920
01/13/21 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike in A-town
Nessy, that's pretty much a 'ditto' of mine.

Mike


Once we get in a groove...we’re good..right !


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135921
01/13/21 11:30 PM
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That's about how mine look, too. That's also about how my 12 gauge throws slugs. I think it's more the smooth bore than the load.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135928
01/13/21 11:32 PM
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Used a .45 flinter that my FIL made, one year. That thing was accurate! If you could see a squirrel you could take the head off.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Nessmuck] #7135964
01/13/21 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Nessmuck
Originally Posted by Mike in A-town
Nessy, that's pretty much a 'ditto' of mine.

Mike


Once we get in a groove...we’re good..right !


Yep. Lol

My main purpose for getting a smoothie was for turkeys... Then when I checked the regs the state changed the rules to allow ML rifles of .36 or bigger... So I may trade up the .32 for a .36 (or use my .45)

But I would like to push that smoothie and see just how tight I can get with RB loads... Almost a matter of pride now. Lol

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135973
01/13/21 11:55 PM
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Woodsloafer72 Offline
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I've wanted to make a .32 or a .36 for squirrel and coon hunting. Thinking the .36 might be better for coon.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7135981
01/13/21 11:56 PM
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Nessmuck Online content
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That’s the only gun I grab for when I go to the range....it’s the challenge!


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Woodsloafer72] #7135989
01/13/21 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodsloafer72
I've wanted to make a .32 or a .36 for squirrel and coon hunting. Thinking the .36 might be better for coon.



I have a percussion 40 cal...I’ve owned for years....shot a 48 3X offhand 50 yards with it. ....40 is a nice cal too !


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Woodsloafer72] #7135993
01/14/21 12:03 AM
01/14/21 12:03 AM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Originally Posted by Woodsloafer72
I've wanted to make a .32 or a .36 for squirrel and coon hunting. Thinking the .36 might be better for coon.


Loafer I bet either one would work fine on coons, even the bigger ones you have "up nort der"

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Nessmuck] #7136015
01/14/21 12:17 AM
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jctunnelrat Offline
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Originally Posted by Nessmuck
[Linked Image]


50 yards ..off hand...Smoothy..no rear sight... need more trigger time...85 FFF...card...wad.....600 ball with .010 patch...can push it in with my thumb.

That's pretty good shooting there Nessy. No, that's darn good shooting!


jim
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7136020
01/14/21 12:24 AM
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I have the same thing you do. Except for mine is a South Paw. .. Green Mountain barrel, custom built flint lock. Love it! It doesn't miss. When i die I'm willing this thing to Ray Charles so he hit something. smile


jim
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7136174
01/14/21 07:09 AM
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k snow Offline
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Here's my first 50 yard target with the new 54 cal rifle. The two fliers are definitely me, not the gun.
530 round ball, .018 patch and 85 grains of 3F Goex.
Off the bench it'll do 10's all day at 50 yards.

[Linked Image]

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7136604
01/14/21 02:41 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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Looking good there Snow!

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: Mike in A-town] #7136609
01/14/21 02:44 PM
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k snow Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike in A-town
Looking good there Snow!

Mike


Thanks. I have to work on the fliers though. I was averaging 42 to 45 points with 5 shots (50 yards) with my old 50 caliber rifle. Need to get there with the new rifle.

Re: Serious flintlock question [Re: g smith] #7136623
01/14/21 02:54 PM
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Mike in A-town Offline
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I'm trying to talk myself into shooting today, I've got some handloads I want to try... Wind is HOWLING right now but I think it's out of the south so I might be OK.

Mike


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

Vladimir Lenin
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