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PostSubject: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 1st 2016, 2:32 pm

Flintlocks & Poor Weather
This is and always will be a touchy subject to the die hard flint lock hunter. Any time you talk flintlocks with a croud, you will hear the typical, Flintlocks in snow! No way, its hard enough to get them to fire when its dry out, you are just asking for tag soup.

Tag soup, is of course, where you draw your big game tag, go hunting and come home with nothing but sore legs, a stiff back and not one piece of meat to show for all the effort you put into your hunt. Tag soup keeps you warm on a cold winter day while you sit out a snow storm and reflect back to that hunt and how you got skunked.

Some like to make a  big issue over flintlock's in poor weather. Die hard fans go to the most extreme to make sure everything is just right, but in the end, it boils down to plain common sense and a little ingenuity.
What causes a Flintlock to be so unreliable in poor weather conditions?



Flash Powder: What is flash powder? Flash powder, or more commonly called, Pan Powder, is typically 4fg grade black powder, that is super fine and ignites very rapidy, setting off the rifles main charge.

Pan Powder should be used strictly as just that! Never load the barrel with 4fg powder due to the high pressures it builds up.

Pan Powder in poor conditions ( Snow - Rain ) LOVES to suck up moisture like a sponge and turns to goop in as little as an hour, depending on moisture levels in the air.

While hunting hogs for the first time in Oklahoma with a friend and family, I used my brand new flintlock, which I had received only 6 days prior to my hunt.

On the first real day of the hunt, I was sitting in a 13' tall ladder stand and with the fog and a  amount of mist in the air, I changed my pan powder Four times due to the moisture in the air causing the 4fg Goex powder to turn soft and gooey.

After the second time of changing pan charges, it got to the point, that it was so bad, I had to go through my possibles bag and take an Alchol swab packet and wipe down the pan, frizzen and flint because they were completely wet with dew.
Once I re-primed, I took that alcohol swap and wrapped it around both the flint and frizzen to help keep moisture out. It worked extremely well, until the swab eventually dried out.

Keep half a dozen Alcohol Swab packets on you at all times while hunting! They do a very fast job at removing moisture from the pan, flint and frizzen.

Part Two
Covering your Frizzen/Pan
A pan cover is designed to cover the entire lock and protect it from the elements.  This item is typically referred to as a "Cows Knee" and is a semi-round piece of leather or waterproof Canvas that wraps around the lock/stock and has a long piece of leather thong to wrap around and hold it in place tightly.

When attaching the cows knee, I like to make sure my leather thong wraps around behind the Flint Cock and in front of the Frizzen to ensure the cover does not work up while hiking, exposing my Lock mechanism.

This is one item I did NOT have with me on my hog hunt and if I had had it, it would have made a big difference and would have cut down on a lot of the moisture problems I had encountered during that hunt.

Think of the cows knee as a rain coat. Its water proof, it sheds water/snow away, it keeps you dry.

If you are a Flintlock Hunter/Shooter, this is one MUST HAVE item to carry in your possibles bag at all times! Those blue skies can quickly turn foul as soon as your back is turned and you are hiking up the mountains through thick timber. Also think of the trees, plants, that are can be covered in dew as the night turns to day light and the plants are covered with a dewy mist that ALWAYS finds a way to drip down our neck as we walk past that cedar tree.

Hunting with the Cows Knee:
It seems crazy to be hunting with a piece of leather that limits how quickly you can engage the game you are hunting.

While hunting with the cows knee in place, I normally leave it loosely tied into place or not tied at all. Still hunting with the cows knee isn't difficult, but when taken by surprise, it can come as an adrenaline rush, trying to untie it and get ready for the shot.

When I am watching a field or water hole, the cows knees is just draped over the lock, easily removed at a moments notice. This can also be done while slowly stalking through the mountains as long as the hunter pays attention and holds the cows knee in place.

The Unknowns:
Yes, we have the "Unknowns" to worry about as well!

What are these Unknowns?
How does the lubricant that I applied to the internals of my lock perform when Cold weather hits? Will it gum/thicken, causing my locks "Fly" to stick, causing the lock to not engage full cock( ready to fire postion)?

Will the lubricant that I applied to the Frizzen Spring, freeze, gum/thicken, causing the frizzen to fail to fully open?

How will the lubricant that I applied to the barrel and metal parts perform under wet/cold conditions?

What can I do to prevent Rain/Snow from entering the bore? Most commonly, a Finger cot, balloon, Muzzle Cot is slipped over the end of the barrel and does a good job. Remember that these are very thin and made of latex which rips very easily. My personal way of carrying a rifle in wet weather is cradled in my arms and pointed at a slight toward angle.

Its basically simple techniques to keep your flintlock dry and reliable in all weather conditions.
Cows Knee
Alcohol Swabs
Rag to mop up dew
Barrel pointed slightly downward
Light grade lubricant inside and outside of the lock
Wax the stock channel & lock in-letting to prevent wood swelling

Plug touch hole with Tooth Pick to help seal out moisture that may contaminate main powder charge while in camp

Extreme Flintlock Shooters/Hunters,

Have been known to seal around the pan with beeswax to prevent water from seeping into the pan, ruining the pan charge. This is a great extra step to prevent your powder from becoming contaminated.
 NEVER! melt the beeswax and pour it around the frizzen. Allow it to gum up and  then apply it by hand as thin as possible.

MORE TO COME



Last edited by FrontierGander on May 11th 2016, 3:07 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 1st 2016, 6:27 pm

No muzzle cover when hunting in snow? Shocked

Yeah I know, it was just for the picture, Laughing and they were good.

John
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 1st 2016, 7:43 pm

Hey Jon that was a very interesting article, very informative. I don't shoot a flint lock but I did enjoy the read.
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 1st 2016, 7:51 pm

@Huntin_Dawg1215 wrote:
Hey Jon that was a very interesting article, very informative. I don't shoot a flint lock but I did enjoy the read.

You should try it. Fun.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 1st 2016, 7:59 pm

Been thinking and studying on, just saw that new Traditions rifle that is coming out, soooooooooo, maybe. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 2nd 2016, 8:58 am

@Huntin_Dawg1215 wrote:
Hey Jon that was a very interesting article, very informative. I don't shoot a flint lock but I did enjoy the read.


I have used a "cow's knee" for years whether being a flintlock or percussion, moisture is moisture keep it away from the ignition system, period.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 2nd 2016, 3:24 pm

I have a method that will solve that potential problem!!
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 2nd 2016, 6:29 pm

It is beautiful. 

Don't shoot Brandon! I am sure he is sorry.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 3rd 2016, 11:06 am

scratch scratch

Jonathan,
Are you sure you didn't have a part in that DiCaprio movie with that out fit on Question Question Question Looks pretty cool. You could have fit right in with them fir traders.

Ray........... :rtup

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 4th 2016, 7:23 am

@hawgslayer wrote:
scratch scratch

Jonathan,
Are you sure you didn't have a part in that DiCaprio movie with that out fit on Question Question Question Looks pretty cool. You could have fit right in with them fir traders.

Ray........... :rtup

Background actor's work is very boring after one or two movies, seeing one shot done a half dozen times at a mimium. Gets old about the third take. Have done this a dozen times plus and we always asked ourselves afterwards why we excepted the work? In the "Mountain Men" 'rendezvous shot' several of my friends and myself were in front of the camera many many times. Once the cutting room got done and we saw the work, you had to really watch to see yourself. In other words 3 weeks worth of work went by in a few minutes, so much for fame.   Razz   Very Happy
Jon wouldn't like what they would do to his gear, way to new looking, the prop folks would muddy everything so it looked well used. Saw them tell a friend "Plenty Whiskey" Harlow Wood they wanted to darken his brain tanned quilled jacket with a product that would wash out. They used Tandy leather dye, that one cost them several thousand dollars when the dirt settled. The prop people don't get a crap about you or your goods in these movies, so beaware.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 4th 2016, 7:38 am

Did you want an Oscar for standing in the background?

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 4th 2016, 7:48 am

No just a pay check Muley, on vacation pay - so this is always like double dipping $$$... Plus they feed you good food that the actors eat too, that's always a plus. Have made some pretty good sales to these folks, they like good custom muzzleloaders with accessories and have deep pockets... Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 4th 2016, 8:33 am

@conner wrote:
@hawgslayer wrote:
scratch scratch

Jonathan,
Are you sure you didn't have a part in that DiCaprio movie with that out fit on Question Question Question Looks pretty cool. You could have fit right in with them fir traders.

Ray........... :rtup

Background actor's work is very boring after one or two movies, seeing one shot done a half dozen times at a mimium. Gets old about the third take. Have done this a dozen times plus and we always asked ourselves afterwards why we excepted the work? In the "Mountain Men" 'rendezvous shot' several of my friends and myself were in front of the camera many many times. Once the cutting room got done and we saw the work, you had to really watch to see yourself. In other words 3 weeks worth of work went by in a few minutes, so much for fame.   Razz   Very Happy
Jon wouldn't like what they would do to his gear, way to new looking, the prop folks would muddy everything so it looked well used. Saw them tell a friend "Plenty Whiskey" Harlow Wood they wanted to darken his brain tanned quilled jacket with a product that would wash out. They used Tandy leather dye, that one cost them several thousand dollars when the dirt settled. The prop people don't get a crap about you or your goods in these movies, so beaware.

This all quite true. 

I will say the 'caring' part varies a great deal from set to set. 
Some are awesome. Some are not.
(I have had the chance to be on several sets)

However, I always warn people to never loan or use anything 
on a set or in a theatre that they can not stand to have lost or 
damaged. 

This means never use or loan or even rent- items with sentimental 
or real value. 

Some folks will rent their homes to be stage sets. This can be quite 
lucrative! And, MOST are just fine if run by big budget films. But, there 
are some horror stories. I am not at all sure I would rent my own home 
to be a film set. It would require a bit of convincing and contractual back 
stops and insurance for me to say, yes.

But, I always find being on a set very interesting despite all the 
hurry up and wait. There are a lot of fascinating people and interesting 
activity. But, bring something to read!

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 4th 2016, 12:30 pm

Isn't that the truth, have seen items destroyed or come up missing at each affair.


I liked some of the camps we stayed in, always have the key actors show up at night after filming for the day to tell stories.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 11th 2016, 3:23 pm



This time, We'll get to all the stuff that seems to keep piling up until you get fed up, go through your stuff and figure out what you ACTUALLY need while out hunting in the mountains!

While I am hunting, I generally carry my shooting bag made of buffalo hide and a thinner, 1 3/4" leather strap. Depending on bag size and gear weight, some may prefer a 2" wide strap or wider to help ease muscle fatigue from the strap digging in over time. A heavy shooting bag, equals a Wider strap to make it more comfortable, so keep this in mind as hunting season nears.

The Shooters Bag may be of any size, as long as it is large enough to accommodate the necessary gear for your Flintlock.

The shoulder strap should be adjustable so it can be carried high, at elbow length so you can control it next to your body while you move, especially while stalking game to prevent it from dragging on the ground, or worse, bouncing around during a light jog, in hopes of cutting game off during a spot and stalk hunt. The hunter must be in control of the shooters bag as it WILL get caught up in branches, brush, etc if you are not able to hold it against your body with your elbow!

The Powder Horn is a great accessory for carrying spare powder with you on your hunt but it has its disadvantages.

The looks of the horn hanging on a shooter bag can be amazing, be aware that the extra thongs/strap holding it to the bag or over your shoulder, add more weight to your shoulder, and as I found out on many hunts, the horn is the first thing to get caught up in brush.

On one occasion, I was hunting and while adjusting my bag, I noticed the horn stopper had fallen out, and I was losing powder! The horn stopper is a simple piece of wood or bone shaped to fit the end of the horn to do just that, stop the powder from falling out. Over time as the wood dries, they tend to shrink and become loose. Most issues with the horn stopper is they simply just get caught up on something and are pulled out. If your horn stopper is loose, you can soak it in water until it swells up enough to fit the horn snug.


When I am out hunting in the mountain of Southern Colorado, I try to do my best and go as light as possible and this means ditching the powder horn and replacing it with 3 or 4 speed loaders or better yet, Lanes Powder tubes which have screw on caps and are 100% water proof. Having more mobility in the thick stuff is highly important to me and the less weight I carry into the woods, makes for a better hunt. But if you like carrying the horn, do so! Its all part of the Flintlock Romance.
Getting into some more Tools & Accessories which are mandatory for a Flintlock Shooter



Flint Wallet: A simple square piece of leather which may have individual pockets for up to 3 spare flints, one or more pockets for tools and extra Flint Leather which holds the flint in place. Flint Wallets sometimes are held closed by a button or simply wrapped and tied shut.

Flintlock Knapper tool set
normally includes:

Vent Pick, Knapping Hammer, Flathead screw driver & Pan Brush. If your tool set does not have a knapping hammer or if you chose to use something else, the back edge of your patch knife makes a great flint knapping tool to sharpen up dull or broken flints.

Pan Primer: Flintlock pan primers are operated by a simple downward push into the pan which dispenses 3 grains 4fg black powder. Not all brands dispense  the same amount of priming powder! Practice on the range to learn the perfect amount of prime your flintlock needs to fire off reliably. As you can see, my pan primer is made of deer antler with rose wood plug and brass dispenser, attached to waxed thread and beads to dress it up. This pan primer is hung around my next while I am hunting.

Patch Knife: I am recently new to cutting patches at the muzzle. I have no issues using precut patches you can easily buy from the store. There has always been the argument that cutting at the muzzle is more accurate because you have an even amount of material (perfectly centered) all the way around the ball VS using precut patches and loading the ball off center of the patch. I have had great accuracy doing it both ways, so use what ever works best for you. Take your time centering the ball on the precut patch, push down hard with your thumb to lightly start the ball into the muzzle and you'll have no trouble from that point on.



Another small accessory that I use is an Altoids tin. After the contents are removed, I throw the tin into the hot coals of a camp fire and allow the paint to burn off, remove it, wash and lightly oil the container. The tin should now have a nice blue/purple color and will be excellent to store cleaning patches, ear plugs, ball/patch puller, shooting patches and in my case, a small tin of Anti Rust & Patch Lube that I use inside and out of my flintlock. Rather than carry cleaning patches during a hunt, I carry enough TOW (Natural plant fibers) to swab my bore out after the shot. It also makes a great fire starter if everything else in natural is soaking wet. Another plus to having TOW in your kit is that it greatly helps reduce rattling of any small metal/brass items you may have in your tin container.
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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   May 12th 2016, 8:20 pm

I have sold many, many "kits" over the last 30 years to the buckskinners, trekkers and mountaineers because of being very little weight.



I am always looking for good documentation or recorded research before offering my kits as this is what is required by the serious guys like the AMM or NAF groups to name a few.


With this mixture we have sold over 1,000 cans in the period mentioned, which is only available in the winter months because of the period the buffalo are harvested. I'm always in touch with friends that still hunt buffalo or raise bees. The rendering takes some time to have clean pure tallow, but worth the effort. "Locks Bank" is a small village that my family lived in for a half dozen generations in Pennsylvania, their last name is Boyer and the good Rev. Nathan Boyer was family. The open book was one of his bibles carried when visiting his flock on horseback and later with roads by wagon or buggy.



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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   June 1st 2016, 10:48 am

I was invited to movie sets going all the way back to Centennial, but usually couldn't take time off of work. I did get invited to Bent's Fort for filming of "Dream West" which was a horrible mini series with Richard Chamberlain, Rip Torn. None of the big actors were interested in the extras....but I did meet "Bubba Gillian" who was a fairly busy character actor back in the 80's and he was a real fine fellow.

As to rain proofing...does anyone use a small/thin bees wax bead around the pan? I think it may have been Carney Pace who suggested that to me back in the 70's.....supposed to be an original period solution....along with cow's knee. I lost a nice bull one year due to a hang fir because I was hunting in rain the day before and didn't pull my load and reload the next day on nice dry day.

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PostSubject: Re: Flintlocks - Bad Weather - Tools & Accessories   June 1st 2016, 12:44 pm

One thing that needs to be done on a fairly regular basis is sharpening your flint, I made a "flint flaker" from a piece of copper ground wire set into a piece of antler. It was shaped into a sharp point to return the edge of the flint to a smooth, sharp edge. No matter how hard I tried, I never got a decent edge using it.

A month ago I read a post about sharpening the flint's edge and the poster described the same thing I was using BUT the end if the copper was not a sharp point. It was flattened on the end and a small step was filed into it. The miniature stair step was cut out about 1/8th of an inch.

The step was placed on the edge of the jagged flint while still in the jaws of the cock and pressed downward. This flaked off a small bit of the edge. Continuing across the edge on projecting spots, soon you have an even, sharp flint.

I tried it and it worked like a charm. You can even use a 10 penny nail with the step filed in. It's the shape, not the material, that counts.
This has now made it possible to just carry one extra emergency flint while hunting as you can refresh the flint until it gets too short to function properly.

If I knew how to use Photoshop properly, I could draw it but it's just a small step (90 degrees) cut into the front edge of a piece of metal.

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