Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 63

AFTER ALL is said and done, simple tune-up techniques for the finicky flintlock perform flawlessly when the time comes to “make meat” the old fashioned way.

thin sheets of lead around the flint. They both work. Does it matter whether the flint is installed with the bevel up or the bevel down? No. What does matter is that the flint is the correct size and is mounted properly. The size of the flint is determined by the width of the frizzen and the depth of the jaws’ throat. Undersized flints cut fewer sparks while oversized flints strike the side of the barrel and break, as well as create unsightly cuts in the barrel. If the flint is too long it will push up the frizzen at half-cock, accidentally releasing priming powder. A flint that is too long will also strike the frizzen too high, increase lock time, and actually have the sparks driven away from the priming powder by the slope of the frizzen face. Look for flints that do not have uneven thickness, or are too thick to be useable. Fat and uneven flints will never tighten properly. When they don’t hit the flint squarely across the frizzen face, poor ignition takes place. A properly mounted flint will leave just a little space between its edge and the face
JANUARY  2012 

of the frizzen. The flint will strike the frizzen in the middle with greater speed and force, and drop the sparks straight down into the priming powder. Correct installation also leads to longer flint life, faster ignition, and happy hunting memories. If you are still experiencing problems creating sparks, try hardening or replacing the frizzen. Hardening is an easy process for a blacksmith or gunsmith. The frizzen is heated red hot and dipped into Casenite, then heated again until the carbon-rich powder liquefies and sizzles. The Casenite-laden frizzen is then dipped into automatic transmission fluid to cool. This produces a several molecule thick, carbon-steel face on the frizzen that will throw an increased shower of sparks. Or, you can simply buy another frizzen. The last steps in tuning the finicky flintlock involve propellant. Flintlocks work best with black powder. The reason is simple; black powder ignites at the lowest temperature. Replica powders might work if you tinker with them, but they will not deliver the easy ignition of black powder. When priming the pan of the flintlock, pour only enough FFFFg or FFFg to fill half the pan. Close the frizzen cover over the pan and give the lock a smart smack from the lockplate side of the stock. This will push the powder away from the touch hole and give you faster ignition. After all is said and done, these simple tune-ups for the finicky flintlock will make your rock lock a real freischutz. So go forward into the snow fields and forests . . . and make meat the old-fashioned way. 
63



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2012 - Cover4
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