Proper Flint Setup

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Aug 21, 2008
This is for you who either already have a Flint or thinking about one for the new
year. I heard questions on how should the flint be positioned in the cock. First
use leather and cut a small "V" in the back so as the flint to rest on the jaw
screw. Bevel up usually works for most locks, but don't be afraid to try bevel
down to raise the contact point on the Frizzen. What you want is sparks in the
pan, not flying all over the place. As you can see in the pictures as the flint
scrapes down the Frizzen the pan begins to open. What you have is the flint
moving downward at high speed and the Frizzen moving upward. Very fast
action going on here. People wonder where to put the priming powder in the pan
Spread a thin layer out to just cover the pan as shown. Don't heap it. Also the
touch hole should be .060 dia and coned on the Inside as to bring the main
charge close to the priming powder. The touchhole should be slightly above the
pan and centered. When fired the edge of the flint should rest over the center
of the pan as shown. If the flint is down any lower the blast from the touchhole
will dull it quickly. Three F powder will work as a priming powder but 4f and the
Swiss Null B are best. Only use Black Powder in your Flint. Study the pictures.
I know this doesen't cover everything, but it might answer some of your
questions and get you off on the right foot. Properly set up a Flint is just as
reliable as any percussion, plus you can pick up flints along side a creek bank
where as you can't caps. If the good Lord had intended for us to shoot percussion he would have scattered caps along the ground and creek banks;)



This is my flint sharping tool. Hold it on the edge of the flint and strike it with a small hammer. Move
it all along the edge of the flint striking it. This will give you a even edge and your flint will last a
very long time.
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Great posting! The only thing I would add is to be careful (especially those of us relatively new to flinters) not to get any type of lube on the frizzen as you will have a hard time making sparks. I use the Hornady One Shot dry lube (a silicone based cleaner) on my black powder rifles and pistols and accidently got some overspray in the frizzen of my flint rifle. It took me a few minutes to figure our why I could not generate a spark the next time I went shooting. Fortunately I had some emery cloth in my truck and was able to use it to remove the silicone and get a good clean steel for my flint to strike.
I second the motion for sticky.

How do you use the flint sharpening tool? I presume you tap it with a hammer, but what direction?
On the tool the sizes shown will produce a 1/16 wide chipping ledge. Don't you feel that this much would be a little overkill? Especially since it would shorten the flint by so much?

I think 1/4 outside diameter with a 3/16 stub to provide a 1/32 chipping ledge would be more suitable. Or is the issue that something this narrow would just skip over the edge and not knap any flint away?
You know you might be right. I will get my tool out tomorrow and measure it.
I made it, but I don't remember just what the size is. I was just showing the
shape of it mostly .
Packman, I might need to be corrected but this is what I saw when a friendly fella knapped my flint using a similar tool. And yes, the end is given a smart tap with a little knapping hammer. The one he used was a small screwdriver hammer where the head was made from about a 2 inch length of 1/2 inch sq steel.


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Very nice set of posts. Yeah, should be a sticky.

PS - I lust after that pistol. Have since I first saw it.
If you run into a percussion like your flint, let me know I am looking for one.

Also looking for a pair of Yazel's as well.

Thanks for this post. What do you think of using lead to hold the flint rather than leather? After getting tired of reseating the flint no mater how hard I tightened the nut down I removed the leather that came on my Pedrsoli ( it was solid) used a leather punch on the center of the leather to allow the flint contact with the screw and it was better, but still slid around on occasion. Finally I pounded a ball flat on the anvil and produced a lead strap with which I replaced the leather and it seems to hold much better. Am I setting myself up for some problem in the future?

Yes you are. Lead will cause the flint to strike the frizzen harder causing more
stress on it. Some frizzens have broken. Also very hard on flints. The best is
to cut a dimond shape out of the leather so as the back of the flint will rest on the screw. Then tighten it down.
So the idea is to allow for a little bit of float for the flint? I can certainly see the "why" of it. And so far using leather is working for me after going through two flints of wildly different shape and thickness. Yes, I can twist the flint in the jaws of the cock but it stays in place when shooting so I figured that it was fine.
I just had a thought. For a flint that might want to kick around and walk sideways out of the jaws what about using a round diamond hone to put a slight notch in the rear that "saddles up" against the cock's screw? That should encourage it to stay in place.
Yes, that would work, but you wouldn't be able to turn the flint around and use
the other end. I use both ends of my flints. Only use knapped flints. I get at
least 150-200 shots out of a flint.
As high as they are you ought to try and get the most shots you can. The sawed
ones don't knapp very well. You can sharpen them on a stone like you would a
knife. The English knapped ones are the best. The white one you see in my lock
is a Missouri chert. They were sold for 10.00 for 13. They are hand knapped .
They come from the St. Louis area. The guy that was making them is retired.
I was lucky to get a hundred of them. I also have quite a few of the black English. Also some ones made from gemstone. You have to sharpen them on a
stone. In the 50 years I've been shooting flint I have tried just about everything
that come down the pike including blue tip matches cut to length.
No, I can't sell my Flint. It will go to my wife, then daughter. Daughter is 15 and
she has already told me she wants it. Man, there counting the O'boy out already
I'm still using it.
I don't need a flint, I need a Lewis percussion to match to my flint.
Oh, well I'm sure Rob would make you one. I sold one about three months ago.
Give him a call. He only works during the winter months.
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