Flintlock on a Rainy Day


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SammyIamToday
October 15, 2009, 12:15 PM
I've recently gotten a Lyman Deerstalker Leftie Flintlock and have been practicing with it. I think I've gotten the reliability down and definitely have it shooting well.

Anyways, Saturday is opening day of Muzzleloader here in KY. The weather forecast is predicting random showers. Any tips on keeping the flash pan dry?

I've read plastic wrap and a rubber band on the end of the muzzle can keep moisture out of the barrel. I've gotten a leather cover for the lock. I'm not sure the leather cover would be waterproof for long though.

A guy at work mentioned changing the pan's powder out every hour.

Any other tips? I've put a lot of effort and time into this and want it to be a success.

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NobleSniper
October 15, 2009, 12:17 PM
Not sure of what caliber your shooting but perhaps something like the tompions that fit in the end of the barrel. Like what they used during the war of northern aggression ;)

SammyIamToday
October 15, 2009, 12:19 PM
It's a .50 caliber. Never heard this term. I'll go look it up now.

NobleSniper
October 15, 2009, 12:29 PM
Click on the link below and scroll down. These are for .58 cal. butperhaps someone sells something similiar in .50 cal ;) Hope this helps .

http://www.fcsutler.com/fcfirearmaccessories.asp

Cap n Ball
October 15, 2009, 12:36 PM
Get a tompion and rim the flashpan with beeswax every three or four shots. I keep a wedge of the stuff in my possibles bag.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
October 15, 2009, 01:37 PM
Don't prime the pan until your ready for the shot.

SammyIamToday
October 15, 2009, 03:24 PM
Don't prime the pan until your ready for the shot.

That's not a bad idea. Do you put tape or something over the vent hole?

Ratshooter
October 15, 2009, 03:39 PM
I like the beeswax trick. I bought a block of beeswax from hobby lobby. It seems as hard as parafin wax. Where are you getting beeswax from?

A small ballon slipped over the end of the barrel will keep out water and you can shoot through it.

Cosmoline
October 15, 2009, 04:36 PM
How well the lock stock and barrel are fitted has a big role. On the higher end Jaegers and long rifles you'll notice they have very tight and water-resistant locks. You can also put a dollop of grease a few inches in front of the action to act as a gutter spout for any drops working their way down the stock and barrel. It's also customary to keep the barrel pointed groundward.

You can waterproof your cow's knee with wax to help keep the water out. I used a pine tar boot grease on mine that works fantastic.

Where are you getting beeswax from?

I picked up several big bricks of it from a natural food place. Apparently it's used for some fru-fru business. But it's genuine beeswax.

Cap n Ball
October 15, 2009, 04:44 PM
'Where are you getting beeswax from?'

Try the health food store or look up a bee keeper. Whatever you do don't try to get it from the bees. They hate that.:uhoh: Waxing up the knee is a good thing to do anyway to protect the leather and keep it soft. Sticking the quill end of a feather in the touch hole will help keep the charge dry if you load the pan just before firing.

mykeal
October 15, 2009, 04:50 PM
Priming the pan just before the shot is a bad idea. It won't keep the pan dry and it will be of no use to add dry powder to a wet pan. You need to keep the pan dry, and once you've solved that, there's no reason not to have the pan primed. In addition, it's one more action for the deer to trigger on.

Wax or otherwise waterproof the cow's knee; waterproofing materials can be had at any decent shoe store. Beeswax can be found at most craft stores, such as Michael's, albeit at outrageous prices. The Log Cabin shop, Dixie Gun Works and other outfitters sell it via mail order. Damming the joint between the barrel and the stock with grease/beeswax and carrying muzzle down are good practice as well.

Ratshooter
October 15, 2009, 04:50 PM
Well I went to ebay and bought three pounds of it for $25 with shipping. That should last me a long time.

BHP FAN
October 15, 2009, 05:11 PM
A condom over the end of the barrel is better than a tompion.If you should forget and shoot with it on,it's not as big a deal.

BCRider
October 15, 2009, 10:41 PM
You're not afraid of the bullet stretching it out to about 40 yards and then slinging it back at'cha? :D

azyogi
October 15, 2009, 10:57 PM
Cut the tip off a rubber glove for the muzzle.

SammyIamToday
October 16, 2009, 09:27 AM
Thanks for all the tips folks. Leaving for my uncle's farm in a bit. Tomorrow is opening day. Freezer is empty. Now hopefully the rain won't stop that.

bigbadgun
October 16, 2009, 09:30 AM
I've gotten a leather cover for the lock. I'm not sure the leather cover would be waterproof for long though.

The way to make that leather lock cover water proof is to seal the piece with bee's wax.
Just melt it to the flesh side and useing a knive spread it around until it is full cover and thin.

StrawHat
October 16, 2009, 10:19 AM
Good luck on the hunt.

As for weatherproofing the rifle, forget the tompion. Unless it is a real tight fit it will leak and you must remove it before the shot. Electrical tape or the rubber ballons, condoms, finger tips all work well and you can shoot through them.

The tips on using the cows knees will work also. When going out in rain, I use all those tips and also wear a poncho. I keep my longarm under the poncho until I present it for the shot. Everything helps to keep a flintlock dry.

Also remember to wipe the flint and the frizzen, less sparks when they are wet.

sundance44s
October 16, 2009, 10:34 AM
I always stick a feather quill in the flash hole and don`t prime the pan untill I`m ready to make a shot ....keep a dry rag handy also to wipe the pan before you prime ...
I know others that put tape over the muzzle , I just keep my muzzle down , useing a patched round ball ..the patch will keep things dry on the muzzle end .

desidog
October 16, 2009, 06:25 PM
I use a loose wrap of saran wrap around the lock, and a latex glove on the muzzle - you can fire without removing either...and the glove can be used five times.

Its not a pretty picture, but i've never heard a whitetail complain.

mykeal
October 16, 2009, 08:28 PM
I have to admit I'm puzzled by how anyone has time to:
1) remove the feather from the touch hole, then
2) wipe the flint and frizzen dry, then
3) prime the pan, then
4) close the frizzen, then
5) bring the gun up to aim, and then finally
6) fire.

What do you do with the feather, the cloth and the primer charger - put them in the possible bag or just drop them on the ground?

Do the deer just stand there and watch all that motion?

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
October 16, 2009, 08:39 PM
If you have to ask where you put the feather, you just don't understand
Flints and deer.

4v50 Gary
October 16, 2009, 08:55 PM
Some guns had two loops beneath the cheekpiece to stow the feather in when it was not in use. Soldiers carried an iron vent pick which could be attached to their belt or carried in the pouch of their cartridge box.

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
October 16, 2009, 09:10 PM
Go to a site called "Bob's Blackpowder Notebook.com". He has some real good stuff in there for you flinters including how to make a cover for the pan. Just some good reading all the way around....I couldn't make the site come up on Yahoo but got it easily on the 'Ask' toolbar and on 'Google' toolbar....

mykeal
October 16, 2009, 11:42 PM
TWIMC:

Ok, I'll try one more time, and maybe this time we can take a minute to provide a serious answer instead of a flippant wisecrack.

How does one perform a six step maneuver that includes discarding three objects without triggering both of a whitetail's two flight alert triggers?

If that's too difficult, or beneath you, just ignore it. But if you're going to take the time to respond, at least have the courtesy to be serious.

And GotC is right - a cow's knee is the answer.

Ratdog68
October 17, 2009, 12:01 AM
I have to admit I'm puzzled by how anyone has time to:
1) remove the feather from the touch hole, then
2) wipe the flint and frizzen dry, then
3) prime the pan, then
4) close the frizzen, then
5) bring the gun up to aim, and then finally
6) fire.

What do you do with the feather, the cloth and the primer charger - put them in the possible bag or just drop them on the ground?

Do the deer just stand there and watch all that motion?

After reading his reply to you (agreed, it did sound rather sarcastic and condescending in tone)... I've begun to suspect that you:

Wipe the flint and frizzen dry, then
prime the pan, then
close the frizzen, then
cover it all with a feather which (if you choose your feathers correctly) will shed water away from your mechanism while you're hunting, then

Remove the feather and store it in the ring behind the trigger guard and bring the rifle to bear as you're cocking the gun and preparing to aim.

Upon firing... reload and withdraw the feather and replace it over the mechanism once again.

How far off is my thinking?

arcticap
October 17, 2009, 01:38 AM
mykeal, I can answer that even though I'm not a flint shooter because I've had enough experience hunting deer.
The trick when hunting deer, especially when still hunting, is to see, hear or be aware of the deer first before the deer is aware of you. If the deer is not disturbed, or if the hunter waits until the opportunity presents itself like when the deer is not looking up, is feeding and not alerted, then the hunter can use good judgement and the stealth of cover to make the necessary motions to perform the tasks.
If the hunter/predator is forewarned and made aware of the deer's incoming movement far enough in advance, then the hunter can be primed and ready to fire once the deer is first in the fringe of the field of view.
There's all kinds of different scenarios where the hunter is allowed the opportunity to makes undetected movements to make ready to shoot.
The motions being described may only take 12, 15, 18 seconds? That's not such a long period of time for a deer to be busy feeding, looking away or walking through a wooded area unaware of the hunter's presence nearby.
I could relate some stories about myself being a dumb, novice hunter and still harvesting a deer because some deer were even dumber and sometimes successful hunting is just dumb luck. It's just about being in the right place at the right time and doing things good enough when the right opportunity presents itself.
And I don't even hunt from treestands like most bowhunters do and they can sometimes get away with a lot of movement because deer don't always look up. They can't see through trees trunks either. Nothing is better than a day when there's wet leaves on the ground for still hunting into the vicinity of a deer. :D

sundance44s
October 17, 2009, 02:30 AM
It is no harder than drawing a bow unseen .

StrawHat
October 17, 2009, 06:38 AM
mykeal

I have to admit I'm puzzled by how anyone has time to:
1) remove the feather from the touch hole, then
2) wipe the flint and frizzen dry, then
3) prime the pan, then
4) close the frizzen, then
5) bring the gun up to aim, and then finally
6) fire.

What do you do with the feather, the cloth and the primer charger - put them in the possible bag or just drop them on the ground?

Do the deer just stand there and watch all that motion?

I can't answer how the other gent does it but for me it goes like this.

I use my thumb and shirttail or coattail or sleeve to wipe the frizzen and pan, Nothing to drop.

Priming is done with a priming horn.

Closing the frizzen and cocking are usually one motion, done while presenting the piece.

I still hunt, you know, creep along in the woods looking for game. I can do all the above and not disturb the quarry because I know how they act. Watch how they are moving and what they are doing. I've never hunted from a box in a tree but I can imagine priming etc would be even easier up there.

mykeal
October 17, 2009, 08:07 AM
I've been a whitetail hunter for more than 40 years. I've used centerfire rifles, shotguns, longbows, compound bows, crossbows, percussion sidelocks and flintlocks. I've been successful with all but the crossbow, which I cannot seem to master. I've taken deer from ground blinds, tree blinds and simply walking/standing. I'm very well experienced with the whitetail's alert mechanism and how to stalk them in both dry and wet conditions. I'm a state certified hunter safety education instructor who specializes in muzzleloading. I no longer hunt due to a mobility problem; I can move about in the woods but cannot harvest the animal once I've taken the kill shot, so I fall victim to the old adage: those that can do, those that can't, teach.

The scenario I describe above is complicated and contains far too many unnecessary movements, in my opinion. If you've mastered it and it works for you, well done. I'm afraid I'm not that talented and simply couldn't imagine that it could be done reliably. I'll practice it and see if I can get there; it may be something my students will prefer.

sundance44s
October 17, 2009, 11:58 PM
Mykeal I`ve never done any jump shooting deer ...
My normal deer hunting ......I give myself every advantage as possible .
With all the advantages and range of my rifle ..I have plenty of time before I make the shot to do many things unseen by a deer .
On many deer hunts I`ve taken the time to put out my smoke , and whistle at the deer to make him stop dead in his tracks because he has reached range I feel comfortable shooting .
What you have described in your post asking( how anyone has time too )sounds more like a dove hunt than deer hunting to me.
I have never deer hunted anywhere but in the south .....do deer west of the Mississippi do things different ?

mykeal
October 18, 2009, 09:24 AM
The position of the Mississippi isn't a discriminant - the type of cover is. In general western US deer hunting involves longer range shots due to lack of cover, so yes, in a sense, the deer do act differently. But like any generalization, there are many exceptions to that.

My shots average less than 50 yards; I've taken several at less than 20 yards. Most of my whitetail hunting is done in medium to heavy cover; 'jump' shooting is almost never an option. I don't understand the perception that my description of the events means haste. You can do each of those steps slowly and carefully; if fact, I'd think you have to, to have any chance of being successful. I'm simply pointing out that there are several steps involving motion; the more motion, the more chance that you're going to trigger one or both flight alerts. Speed has nothing to do with it.

sundance44s
October 18, 2009, 09:41 AM
Mykeal your post # 21 says haste to me ........I have seen new hunters miss shots over haste ....if one does his homework before the hunt and plans his hunt , there is no need for haste in harvesting deer in my part of the country .
I would need tips on hunting open country for sure ...its always been an ambush hunt for me in the southern woodlands .

SammyIamToday
October 19, 2009, 12:52 AM
Well, it didn't rain but for a few minutes. I ended up picking up some beeswax on the way out of town and put it all over the cow's knee. Wind was blowing different directions constantly, so I did some stalk hunting. First successful one, which was great. I had been changing the priming pan every couple of hours because of the high humidity, but that might have been unnecessary.

Anywho, got me a doe at about 40 yards while she was feeding. The image of her running off with the blackpowder smoke everywhere will be a good memory and has definitely got me hooked on the muzzleloading hunting. She's now part ground venison in the freezer and some jerky marinading in the fridge. :)


Anyways, thanks everyone for all of the tips, this weekend was great. :)

Ratdog68
October 19, 2009, 12:59 AM
Congrats on the happy end to a hunt !! Mmmmm.... deer jerky !!!

mykeal
October 19, 2009, 08:39 AM
Congratulations, Sammy. That's what it's all about.

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