Making a fast flintlock

One of the challenges a hunter faces when hunting with a flintlock is maintaining his aim through the slight delay between the ignition of the pan powder and the barrel.

“A flintlock has often been called a ‘flinch lock’ because of the tendency to flinch when the pan flashes,” Harry Goldman said.

The trick is to tweak your gun to get the fastest ignition possible.

Using a sharp flint is essential. Jones uses English-made flints, and can get 15 to 20 shots before having to resharpen the edges.

“You can just take a knife blade or screwdriver and tap along the edge to sharpen it,” Goldman explained.

But make sure the gun is unloaded before doing so, because the flint and steel might produce a spark that could touch off the barrel.

To be absolutely safe, Goldman suggests using a small brass hammer because it will not produce a spark.

One should also avoid overloading the powder pan. If too much powder is used, it takes longer to burn down to the touch hole leading to the barrel charge.

Jim Gleason uses a charger to get a consistent prime in his frizzen.

“I only fill the pan about one-third full, and then flip the gun over so the pan is facing the ground,” Gleason said. “That shifts the powder away from the touch hole and makes it faster. The powder doesn’t have to burn down to the hole — the fire just blows through it.”

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About Terry L. Jones 93 Articles
A native of Winn Parish, Terry L. Jones has enjoyed hunting and fishing North Louisiana’s woods and water for 50 years. He lives in West Monroe with his wife, Carol.

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