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 flintlock loading process, no fouling control

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rfd

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PostSubject: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 7:09 am

with the right thickness of patch and diameter of ball, a good patch lube, and a good loading process, no fouling control or short starter is required.  a lyman (investarms) hawken .50 kit rifle, .490" cast ball, .012" lehigh valley tight yarn patch lubed with "gato feo", english flint, 70 grains of swiss 3f down the tube and the same 3f in the pan.  this was the last 4 shots in a string of 27 shots - no pan flashes, no barrel swabbing.



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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 10:16 am

It's interesting to watch someone else load their traditional rifle. Looks like you have the right combination that works great in that hawken. Three F in the pan also. I've always used 4F. I'll have to try 3 now and would eliminate carrying another horn.
Thanks for posting buddy..........

Ray

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 10:59 am

i try as best i can to replicate the approach to firearms in the mid to late 18th century.  while at most, their long arm gun powder was 1F for both barrel and pan, i'll pass on that and use 3F for both.  i've even gone down to 1-1/2F and it mostly works, sorta, kinda.  there were a LOT of misfires and pan flashes back in the day!  as you can see from the ignition i get, 3F in the pan ain't too shabby.  and only one horn required.  and no short starter needed.  and no swabbing the bore ever.  yep, it's all about finding out what the firearm wants, and it needs what it wants. 

accuracy ain't too shabby, either.  i can hit  1 liter water bottles out to 50 yards and that's good enuf for me. :tup2

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 1:14 pm

You're saying they didn't use a ball starter because they didn't have a tight fit? All my GPR's used an .018 pillow ticking patch with the same ball you used.

I always thought they didn't have a tight fit back then, or used a coned muzzle. Maybe both huh?

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 1:37 pm

i've been long a student of american history as it was from the colonial settlement era and onward right past the rev war.  there is no documentation or examples of ball starters for that era. 

patched balls (using cloth, leather, tow, leaves, etc) weren't ever written as tight fitting, either.  i wouldn't want a tight tight fit, particularly when fast reloading might be required to save my life or my scalp. 

the short ball starter, 3f/4f/null-b priming powders, and hammering down loads, all appear to all have been 20th century "inventions".  

historical gunsmith documents reflect that the larger percentage of smooth and rifled barrels were coned, some as much as 4" deep.  the blunderbuss is an extreme example of a coned muzzle, made that way for easier reloading on a bouncing wagon or coach.

most of the long guns, and even pistols, were smooth bore out of necessity as such a firearm was dual purpose.  life in the early to late 18th century relied on a flintlock for sustenance, protection, and warfare.  rifles were rarely used for warfare.  even washington stripped morgan's rangers of their rifles and made them use smoothies ... and you know why, don'tcha?

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 2:04 pm

I'm a student of the MM era. I knew no ball starter were found. I knew most were coned. What I never ran into was the fit of the PRB to be on the loose side. I always suspected it, but had no proof.

I never even shot a loose fit to see if it was accurate. My bad.

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 2:22 pm

I have a friend in Indiana who shoots a .20 ga smoothie with (any old kind of) wad on top and consistently wins matches against rifle shooters......obviously a "loose" ball without a patch.....he calls the gun "The club" and it is truly one of the ugliest fowlers/trade guns I have seen.....however he is quite deadly with it. The Model 41 "Mississippi rifle" as issued to the US Mounted rifles, also shot a near bore size ball with a paper wad on top, not unlike smooth bore muskets of the 18th Century.

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 2:27 pm

well, i hear ya, pete.  like i said, in those dayze lotsa folks of both centuries were living on the edge and yer firearm needed to load fast and fire quick, and if some measure of accuracy suffered (as it probably did) so be it.  don't mean that a tight patched ball wasn't used, i'm sure it was, just was probably not the norm.  then again, cloth was at a premium and probably not to be wasted on a ball, so i suspect leathered or towed balls were mainly used in their smoothies.  i know there are records of a kinda short ball starter used over in europe for some unique military firearm, just have forgotten the details - but no records of such a device, or any method other than coning the muzzle, for here in the states. 

it still comes down to experimentation for finding all the "rights" of ball diameter, patch thickness, patch lube, and powder granulation and charge.  i use swiss powders exclusively, worth the extra bucks for its cleaner burning - only 3F for muzzleloaders (.32 thru .62 calibers) and 1-1/2F for loading my bpcr cartridges.

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 2:35 pm

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the British WHitworth (1860's) rifle with hex bore used a short starter.

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PostSubject: Re: flintlock loading process, no fouling control   August 9th 2016, 3:03 pm

in the early 1800's there are british documents that show the use of a mallet issued to the military to facilitate ball loading.  mid 19th century shows a british patent, and use of, a false muzzle to help in ease a ball and eliminate a "stick and hammer starter". 

in the long run, the type of flintlock long gun, and its immediate use requirement were all that mattered.  hunters could use a tight patched ball for added accuracy, and revert back to a loose ball for faster shooting during "trying times".

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