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Thread: Flintlock Pistol

  1. #1

    Flintlock Pistol

    Attached you will see a short (6 second) video of me shooting my new (relatively) flintlock pistol. I purchased it not too long ago from Track of the Wolf. (Look here for Track of the Wolf URL and pictures of the piece:

    Probably not too many here interested in muzzle-loaders, and clearly from some of the posts I read recently, there are a few that consider them "unethical", "unsportsmanlike", and "inhumane". This particular thread isn't about hunting with them, so if you feel the urge to wax rhapsodic about "ethics", "sportsmanship" and "humane", I politely ask you to start your own thread and discuss those issues there and not here.

    The primary purpose of this thread is to show "the sequence of events" that occur upon shooting a flintlock firearm. While this is a pistol, there would be absolutely no difference in a rifle 'sequence'.

    I got this pistol to accompany a .58 caliber muzzle-loading rifle I built. The rifle is a caplock (or 'percussion') gun, and as such doesn't provide the same opportunity to parse the firing sequence.

    Finally, if this topic belongs in another location, any administrator that wants to move need not worry about complaint from me.

    Here's the short video:

    Now here are six stills that cover the firing sequence from "hammerfall" to "recovery".



    The pan igniting:

    The bullet (round ball) being launched:


    And finally, recovery:

    Among the elements I found noteworthy, was the position of the muzzle at "launch" of the bullet. It is still 'level'. The reason I mention this is that there are many misconceptions about muzzle-loaders, and especially flintlocks. Among those misconceptions is that the "lock time" is so long that they "can't be accurate". For competition with modern arms like .338 Lapuas at 1000m targets, I would agree. For hunting I would most certainly disagree.

    Anyway, this thing is an absolute riot to shoot. It is impossible for me to shoot it without grinning from ear to ear. It is quite pleasant to shoot. No ear protection required and recoil, even with a .58 caliber lead ball is quite tolerable. My teenage daughters shoot it without complaint.

    I'm not a particularly great pistol shot, but even without sights, I can keep 5 shots inside 6" at 50 yd off-hand. I'm quite certain that better pistol shots than I could do much better.

    Here are a couple of close-ups of my particular pistol:


  2. #2
    a pretty looking piece

    heres a flintlock I filmed last year, it has a very distinctive firing pattern

  3. #3

    finally getting the hang of smaller posts my friend...
    one of yours i finally read top to bottom ha ha
    is this a rebuild an original or replica
    looks damn minted


    atb frank

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
    a pretty looking piece

    heres a flintlock I filmed last year, it has a very distinctive firing pattern

    ha ha

    great video,
    was that you firing.
    did the shoulder bruise

    atb f.

  5. #5
    great to see other type of shooting on here a couple of questions.

    1/ how old is the pistol
    2/ any idea what velocity the .58cal ball is doing
    3/ how much powder does it use to charge the load
    4/ does the flash from the pan burn your arm .

    centralbeltstalker the vid did make me laugh


  6. #6
    Holy smoke! That blunderbuss is a beast!


    1/ how old is the pistol - Brand new essentially. The originals - I am told - were made in the mid 1700s. This one probably made after 2000.

    2/ any idea what velocity the .58cal ball is doing - I have more than an "idea", I have chronographed a few of them. They leave the muzzle at average of about 780 f/s. Shot-to-shot variability is pretty high though with an extreme spread of about 50 f/s. However, the smoke from a BP firearm plays havok with most chronographs and I suspect some of the "spread" is from 'smoke inhalation' by the chrono. From the pistol it's a .620" ball - .58 from the rifle.

    3/ how much powder does it use to charge the load The above velocity figures were produced by 50 grains of ffg. A mild load. Some people tell me to use 80 grains. I say, "Why beat myself and the firearm up, when I shoot this piece for fun?"

    4/ does the flash from the pan burn your arm. It doesn't even get close. HOWEVER, I learned the hard way that you do not want to stand directly to the right (on a right-handed flintlock) of the pan. The flash-hole is a direct port to the main combustion chamber, and fire and burning pieces of gunpowder shoot out to the right for four or five feet.

    Track of the Wolf stated that the bore of this pistol was .620" and that one should get a mould that drops .600" balls and use 0.010" patches. So that's what I did while I waited for the pistol to arrive in the mail. When I got it, I did what I do with every firearm I receive - I took it apart into its elemental pieces and clean and measure. When I measured the bore, it was actually .638". Now I had a .600 mold, and 0.010" patches that were essentially useless for the this pistol.

    Trying to find a mold of about .620" (for a .638" bore using 0.010" patches) turned out to be a challenge. In the end, I ended up ordering a custom brass mold from a fellow there in England. Knocked my socks off. Great price, (the total, including shipping was less than $50 if I remember correctly), timely shipping (I think 3 weeks including shipping), and well-made. A 50:50 mix of rendered black bear grease and bees wax for patch lube, and I was in business.

    I will say this is not really much of a 'gunfight' weapon. There are those that I'm sure could reload maybe 3 times a minute, but I'm lucky if I can get two shots off in 3 minutes. You either gotta make that first one count or be a pretty good swordsman.


  7. #7
    Paul, you would like the Greensleeves club which i have just joined, they have a "Dark Side" (black powder section). I love muzzle loaders.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by centralbeltstalker View Post
    ha ha

    great video,
    was that you firing.
    did the shoulder bruise

    atb f.
    nope not me I was filming, it was at the Muzzleloaders GB stand at Mapledurham game fair, lots of smoke and a serious kick

  9. #9
    flytie - I've heard of the Greensleeves Club. Maybe there is a branch in The States?

    There is a muzzle loading organization up here in Alaska, but as you might imagine, muzzle loading arms aren't too popular so it isn't very big. We are a "young" state; chronologically and demographically, and therefore fairly politically immature. As a result, stupidity and mythology still prevail in the regulation of a variety of sociological issues, hunting among them. All the macho gun-writers (ptooey) of the last century wanted to make every hunting adventure, especially in exotic places like Africa and Alaska, appear to be a life-and-death struggle so they could look 'manly' and 'important'. Sadly that bullwash still pervades too many people's view of Alaska. It never was true, and it isn't true now. I'll not ride that particular hobby-horse any farther, but suffice it to say that muzzle loading arms are considered by many to be too "weak" for Alaska, where we all know that if you don't use the biggest 'magnum' you can hold, the animal 'behind every tree' is going to tear you limb-from-limb.

    Honestly, I can't figure out what makes me grin when I shoot these arms. I bow hunt too, and I definitely don't get the 'kick' from archery that I do from MLs, so I know it isn't the "primitiveness". It's something else. They just 'feel right' when you shoot them. I can't explain it.


  10. #10
    A 50:50 mix of rendered black bear grease and beeswax??!!?? You've got to be kidding.... Ordering all of that stuff and you couldn't toss in a $4 tube of Wonder Lube?? What! No Crisco around??

    I also shoot a bit of black powder and enjoy it quite a bit. I was out with one of my .58's and a "54" Hawken tonight. The Hawken is stamped "54" but actually takes a .528" RB wrapped in .010" linen. It's a bit of a pain get components (I make the balls) but it will cluster it's shots at 100 yards with hunting loads. Like you, I cannot quite peg the allure of front stuffers.~Muir

    PS: Why didn't you order a Lyman .610" mold and Switch to a .015" patch??? I think I have this mold if you want to borrow it to cast up a few hundred balls. I forgot to ask: Rifled or smoothbore, that flinter of yours?? ~m
    Last edited by Muir; 28-11-2010 at 04:46.

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