New Muzzleloader

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Nipty, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. Nipty

    Nipty Member

    Jun 30, 2021
    North Eastern Pa. Bradford County
    So I bought a Lyman deerstalker flintlock 54 cal last year right before late season started here in northeast PA. I wanted a 2nd deer so very badly. LOVE the meat. Would love a trophy. Anyway , never got time to practice or shoot it. Last week I have made time. About 30 shots I think I have managed. Yesterday a bullseye made me pretty happy at 100 yards. This Goex thing is heartbreaking. I got a pd of it and the 4f . Would like anyone's input from experience with flintlock, what type of flint works well, ? Can one just trim it back to make it sharp again get fresh surface. Knap the flint? And any b.p
    Other then goes that works well? I just dont ever want to run out. Its alot of fun shooting.

    Attached Files:

    Zulch likes this.
  2. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

    May 31, 2019
    Central CT
    I use Black english flints and sometimes the french amber flints. I think the english flints give me more shots per flint than the amber ones, but both spark really well in a well tuned flintlock. I used to knapp flints when they became dull, but I was never very good at it. I now use a diamond file from Harbor freight to dress up the flint. It does a great job, and doesn't remove as much of the flint edge as knapping does, so the flints last longer. You don't need to have 4f to prime the pan. You can prime with whatever powder you are using in the bore. There may be a slight delay if you prime with 2f, but you can always put some 2f in a mortise & pestle to grind it finer for use in the pan.
    Nipty and Zulch like this.
  3. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

    Apr 23, 2020
    Altoona, PA
    I'm pretty new at black powder shooting myself but I've shot a little over 1500 balls through my flintlocks these last 5 months or so. I use mostly french amber flints that I buy from Stone Creek Outfitters and they've worked well in both my rifles and my pistol.

    Usually after about 20 shots I need to knap my flints and I try to take as little off the edge as possible, just enough to get a new sharp edge. When a couple knappings shorten the flint to the point that it's too far away from the frizzen I move it forward in the jaws a tad. I can often get 100 shots out of one flint this way.

    The only powders I've used so far have been Goex and Schuetzen, and can't say I've noticed any difference between them.

    These guns are so much fun to shoot I've really cut back on shooting my modern guns lately.
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    Order your flints from or other reputable outfitter that deals in blackpowder gear. You should get 50-60 shots per flint, and another two dozen shots if you're a good Knepper. After that, they are getting too dull for my use.

    Use only REAL black powder like Goex, Swiss, Olde Ensford....not pyrodex or other substitute unless you have to. The substitute has a higher flash temp that isn't great with just sparks from a flinter. Also, it is known to be more corrosive than real I'm told....?

    A pound of 4f will last a long time and ignite quicker. It flows into the flash hole better. There's a reason we use it in the pan. Also, don't fill the pan with powder. Fill it to the flash hole. That's enough. Tip or tap the rifle in effort to get the powder to slosh into or nearest to the flash hole. Filling the pan full will make the powderburn down to the flash hole before ignition can happen. There is an unnecessarily large flash in front of your face as well! The optimum amount of prime will result in quicker, less distracting ignition.
    Study your lock/frizzen/flint. You want to order the right width flints. Tune your flint so that it strikes down the length of your frizzen, not just chop into it. A nice long strike should cause a shower of sparks.

    The real question is: bevel up? Or bevel down?
  5. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    I use black English flints from Track of the Wolf. Typically get a good 30 to 40 shots per flint before refreshing the edge. (The number of shots per flint will vary with each gun.) There are plenty of videos on Youtube about refreshing a flint. I found them helpful. Sounds like you won't be using the rifle all the time so that pound of 4F will last for many years. And even with a 54 caliber, two or three pounds of Schuetzen or Swiss would probably get you through several seasons of hunting. I use my flintlocks for recreation so they get more use than hunting only. I buy flints by the dozen.

    Just a suggestion. Install a fresh flint before your hunt and test it a few times for good spark. No surprises. Even with practice rounds, a two or three flints would likely last you for a year.

    Good luck with the late season hunt.

    Nipty likes this.
  6. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Goex is fine, but Swiss powder is generally considered the best. Although you pay for it. I expect someone will buy the Goex plant and resume domestic production of powder.

    WRT priming, you want a thin layer of priming powder across the entire pan, so that the first spark from the flint hits priming powder. When loading, insert your touchhole pick into the touchhole as far as possible. Load the gun, remove the pick. This will leave a cavity in the main charge for the flash to get into...which will speed ignition.
    44 Dave likes this.
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