20 November 2011

How to fit a gun flint

You can secure the flint in leather or in sheet lead. I have tried both but prefer leather. With the hammer forward & the cock set at half-cock position, fit the flint in loose tightening the screw with just the fingers. Close the hammer [frizzen] over the pan. Release the cock by squeezing the trigger, but hold onto the cock & release it slowly. 
Text and photo from an impressively detailed and extensively photographed post at A Woodrunner's Diary, a blog of living history.  Reading the post will give you a much greater appreciation for the skills of soldiers and hunters using flintlock firearms.

1 comment:

  1. I have been reenacting for several years and own a flintlock musket like the one pictured. The blog you linked to provides a good description of the fitting process.

    Flintlocks are finicky things. Some flints provide a reliable shower of sparks for 50+ firings, whereas others seem to dull after three. I have participated in many a (mock) battle where the sharp drill of tightly packed ranks of soldiers, so often prescribed in military treatises of the time and portrayed in modern movies, breaks down very quickly as people change their flints and fix various other problems. I won't even get into the problems stemming from the mechanism's springs and black powder fouling that can further hinder the musket's use.

    While I've been able to reload a musket in 13 seconds under ideal conditions, after twenty minutes of manoeuvring and firing under the hot sun, the average delay can be one shot a minute. All this while the other army is shooting at you! And yet what I find remarkable is that the flintlock system was seen as a marked improvement over earlier methods of providing ignition to the gunpowder charge: a burning match (matchlock) or a spinning friction-wheel (wheel-lock).

    I'm glad I finally can respond to a post with some level of expertise. Thanks for such a stimulating blog.


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