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 Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion

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PostSubject: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 4:35 am

I have shot with a CVA .50 Percussion Hawken that I have owned for more than two decades. 
I have never owned any other BP rifle. I shoot it in friendly matches.

I have placed a 'buy' offer on a gunsamerica set of two Hatfield Squirrel Rifles in .50; one flintlock, 
one percussion. I did this even though I find 'squirrel rifle' to be a silly name for a .50 calibre (Anyone 
enlighten me?). They are beautiful in the pics. I like double triggers and I am a sucker for nice looking 
wood. It was buy both or nothing. The seller would not budge. And, nice looking long rifles seem harder 
to find below the thousand dollar mark these days.

I have wanted a Kentucky long flintlock for a long time. There are mixed reviews of the Hatfields on-line. 
But, Muzzleblasts speaks well of it. I want to use it for my friendly competitions. I want it to be as consistent 
on the range as my CVA and a bit more accurate with the longer barrel. And, I want folks to ogle it a bit. 
I have been restrained in my purchases over the years, and would not mind somebody else drooling for a bit.

1st. How do you think I did?

2nd. What do I need to know about tending to flints?

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Last edited by Kentucky Colonel on October 29th 2015, 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 5:07 am

Both the L&R lock and Green Mountain barrel are good components. Those and a hardened frizzen are the only real qualities that matter in a flintlock.
I have found the French amber flints to last much longer than the black English ones which is helpful if you don't have down the knack of sharpening flints.

I agree with you that .a ".50 cal. squirrel rifle" makes no sense. .32 through .40 is more in line with squirrel hunting.

The touch hole on many flintlock rifles needs to be opened usually. I used a 1/16" drill bit on mine and it is reliable now. You will need to buy real black powder to get reliable ignition. I suggest both 3F (for the main charge) and 4F (for priming the pan).

Have fun but let's see some pictures.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 5:17 am

Thanks for this! I have been trying to figure out how to paste a pic here.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 10:37 am

go to www.photobucket.com and start an account. Once you upload your pics there you can share it by copying the [IMG] code photobucket will provide, paste it here where you type, hit enter to star a new line and keep adding pics or text.

Hatfields are damn nice rifles. Not all of them however use GM and l&r locks however. They got busted filing off pedersoli name stamps and calling them "uniquely American" rather than American made. A great deal of them came with the italian barrel and lock. You can remove the barrel from the stock and look under it and find file marks along with italian [PN] stampings with proofing and all the other stuff they mark on the barrels.
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 1:28 pm

Let me try...


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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 4:52 pm

oh if hes out of town or not able to get to the computer i'd say 2 - 3 days is reasonable amount of time to give the fellow.
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 5:28 pm

Nice looking "squirrel" guns. Laughing 

That business about counterfeiting Hatfields by using Pedersolis would make me get a money-back guarantee from the guy before surrendering your hard-earned dollars. A certificate of authenticity would help too.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 5:30 pm

Thanks. Good to know.

I wish I could, patocazador. When I offered him my phone number, this guy told me that talking on the phone was not necessary because 
keeping a written record of the exchanges was safer. I would not describe the exchanges as warm or flexible. I would describe them as brief and infrequent. But, I figured I did not need to be friends with the guy to do business. His description of the care of the guns was impressive and detailed. I am having some second thoughts caused by his behavior, now. Think good thoughts. Lord knows I am thinking all the bad ones.

I have discovered that buying this way makes me feel like I really should have just flown to Las Vegas. Shocked 
I never was overly fond of gambling, but I enjoy the shows.


I assume the squirrels weigh in around 50 pounds. Sumo-squirrels.Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 6:12 pm

On the up side, I did learn about French Amber. Track of the Wolf has them. 


I thought FFF was what I might need for the pan. I use that in the rifle, too? Or a different grade. I use FFF in my CVA. I only shoot with Black Powder.

And, finally, a back up plan. 

I found a basic Traditions flintlock Kentucky rifle in .50 calibre for 225. I ordered it so I could start bringing friends along to the shooting matches. That way they would have something to shoot. (My Dad gave me my CVA so I prefer to handle that myself) I ordered the Traditions at the same time as the Hatfields. But, I know this is on the way already. So, I will get to start flint locking regardless.

Sexy is over rated anyway. (Grin) 


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Last edited by Kentucky Colonel on November 16th 2015, 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 6:32 pm

3F may work as a pan primer for you. Some folks are successful with it, I wasn't. I have to use 4F if I want consistent ignitions.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 9:41 pm

4F. Gotcha!

Yay! I have good news.

My reclusive seller has become active, communicative, and helpful. I have had compelling explanations and assurances that leave me feeling satisfied and as confident as one can be that this is gonna happen without me being fleeced. I am fairly psyched!

'Sexy' rifles may be happening for me after all. sunny

The rifling is 1 in 66 twist. 



Wheee! 
(Confession: I was feeling like a real doofus. I am glad it seems to be working out. 
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than lucky to be smart!)

Oh, and if I am boring anybody? jocolor  Just shout. I shut up easy when asked. It is nice to 
be this excited about Black Powder again around folks who are active in it somewhere other 
than once a month at the range.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 10:35 pm

LOVE the french amber flints!
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 29th 2015, 11:18 pm

What is the soft material that wraps the flints and holds the steel and stone in a secure grip? Leather?

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 30th 2015, 4:44 am

Either leather or lead works but I like leather. The lead 'flows' over time with the pressure and the flint loosens.

A 1:66 barrel is right for round balls. Conicals may not stabilize in that slow of a twist.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   October 30th 2015, 11:34 am

I don't think swapping out locks will hurt the value at all. When they were new they came with both a percussion lock and flint LOCK that you could swap out on the same gun by removing the drum and screwing in the flash hole liner and of course the flint lock. Since you have one of each, thats even better as its less wear and tear on one rifle! I'd use a little anti seize on the liner and drum threads if you ever remove the drum. Always remove the liner for cleaning.

I also have a traditions kentucky, so when that comes in, I can give you a hand! I love mine. It does best with the 5/8x5/8" french amber flints.

You can certainly use 3fg for the pan on the flintlocks. If it gives you a hard time, grind it up a little with a wooden spoon and make sure you put it in a clearly marked container for PAN only!

With those rifles, I say start with 70gr 3fg, .015" patches, .490" round balls, and swab between shots. I think they will both start off very well for you with that load.

When you remove that barrel on the traditions, be very very careful with that tang. Its a soft area and can easily be bent out of shape during cleaning or barrel removal.
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 1st 2015, 11:16 am

 New detailed information about the Hatfields... if you are still interested.

"... was wrong about the twist; it's 1 in 77 which is even better for round ball stability. They are in great shape for their age and I just serviced the locks and polished the brass this Friday. The stocks have been hand rubbed, sealed and polished. They are by-the-way, Triple A Grade Fancy Walnut so you're actually getting each rifle for a lesser amount then they should be sold for."

(ME: I thought they were quality curly maple. I am intrigued. I have not heard of a Hatfield in walnut. I know these look nice. The gunsamerica original description of the wood was... 'Extra Fine Grade Curly Maple Stock in excellent condition'  I do not care as long as they look as good as they do in the photos. Just curious, at this point.)

"Firearms are a good investment and you'll have great pleasure in owning them."

"39-1/2-inch barrel that has been slow-browned by an old formula. 3-1/2-inch drop at the heel and a 13-3/4-inch trigger pull. Full 55 inches in length, fully rifled." 

"These rifles were procured from an individual who is no longer with us." 
(ME: the widow had no paperwork,)  

"The two rifles were never purchased for shooting, only display. One comes with the original Blue Hatfield Sock, However, they've been fully examined; percussion was capped and fired without powder, the flint was struck several times and provides a good shower of sparks to the pan. The breech plugs have never been removed or tampered with. I've examined the bores and they appear to be very clean and if at all utilized very little. Locks and trigger have been removed checked and cleaned then reassembled and function tested. They appear to be in great shape and should be excellent shooters."

GA Description... "appear to have been fired very little in the past, if at all. The bores are rust free and shinny with strong lands and grooves and no leading. The locks on both rifles operate quickly and cleanly. The nipple and frizzen are in as new condition. Both are equipped with full dovetail buck horn rear and dovetail brass/silver front sights. Triggers are adjustable double set with a very clean on let off. The stocks on both rifle are free of dents, scratches or marks and in outstanding condition and examples. Browning and brass on both rifles are as new with no scratches or thin areas. Both rifles are in pristine condition for their age."  

"They are oiled regularly and the barrels are bees waxed at least 4 times a year. They're maintained and stored in a climate controlled safe. They're regularly checked for operation, cleaned and adjusted as necessary. Both are kept in protective rifle socks and wiped down after handling. "

Shipping... "Each rifle will be cotton gun socked, bubble wrapped separately, then together to preclude any damage from movement with in the box. Box will be marked; "Fragile Handle With Care" & "Do Not Stack!" USPS will know it is two Antique Rifles and will be handled accordingly. The box will be padded inside and thick."


(ME: I anticipate 5-7 days before arrival. I feel like a kid waiting impatiently for Christmas!)

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 1st 2015, 5:16 pm

Sounds good to me!
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 1st 2015, 7:41 pm

Hmmm... posting as I learn.... 

Hatfield .50 calibres in flintlock require a largish flint. 7/8 by 7/8 is apparently ideal. 
I have found a French Amber Flint in 7/8 by 1. So, we will try that. 

I have also ordered leather for flint jaw pads. This was more difficult than expected since the name of these things were so difficult to ID. I thought this would be easy. Wrong.

Also ordered a leather frizzen cover just for fun. 



I keep finding references to claims of uneven Hatfield manufacturing depending on when the Hatfields were produced. Troubling and intriguing. I won't know till I lay my mitts on mine. But, most claim a lot of consistent function with a small window of minor trouble. So, odds are good for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 1st 2015, 7:58 pm

frizzen stall as ive heard them called.
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 1st 2015, 9:05 pm

@FrontierGander wrote:
frizzen stall as ive heard them called.
Really? Cool!

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 16th 2015, 6:12 pm

Today was the day. They finally came. 

Both Hatfields are absolutely beautiful. 







They both have silver bores. They both have deep, rich wood and gleaming furniture. The flintlock has clearly been fired, but been exceedingly well maintained. The percussion cap seems dang near pristine. For decades old Black Powder rifles, these are about as good as I could hope for. While both have wood figures to die for, the percussion has an even deeper, richer tone. I feel like I just won the lottery.

I may never fire the percussion. It is thirty some years old? I do not know if I can bring myself to shoot it. It may be meant for the next generation to enjoy. 

But, the flintlock, as beautiful it is, will be used... gently and carefully. 

I am very happy with these. Thanks for all the help and advice.

PS. Oh, the sights on these... I have never seen this style before. It feels good snugged up to the shoulder and those sights seem like they will help me target sharper than my Hawken sights. We shall see.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 16th 2015, 6:59 pm

The sights are buckhorn sights. Some hate them, some love them. I prefer the semi-buckhorn because the horn tips on the full buckhorn tend to snag on stuff when you least expect it.

You can use different spots (usually 2) to determine proper hold at a couple of distances.

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 17th 2015, 11:26 am

I can see why Hatfield had success with his rifles early on. Nice!
I have a Remington 1816 commemorative rifle that most likely was made by Hatfield. It looks very much like yours, right down to the wood (and has a patchbox). (Remington never did make a complete flintlock in 1816) It also has the grooves that run beside the ramrod, on both sides of the stock.

Have fun with them!
Ron

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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 17th 2015, 12:05 pm

beautiful rifles indeed! They should shoot as good as they look. Thats 100% maple and not walnut, thats a good thing IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: Hatfield Flintlock & Percussion   November 17th 2015, 12:12 pm

Pretty much the same gun as the Pedersoli Frontier model. I had one. Not what i'd call a friendly recoil.

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