New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760. Armidale,NSW AUSTRALIA.

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 Post subject: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:20 am 
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Journeyman Woodsrunner
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The flintlock is probably the hardest thing to choose. It has got to be right and for me it better shoot and shoot well. I have looked and non firing replicas and just don't see the point. A working firearm is the only way for me to go but boy do they get pricey real quick. I don't want to spend almost a grand on something that my wife would club me to death with If I did.

It seems a kit is cheaper and I'd like to build one. I have a fair hand at gun repair and wood working. I already have a .50 cal with a side caplock, she's a honey of a gun, but well it's a cap gun. Everybody seems to poo poo them but I have had great success with mine,

Best I can find is a traditions kentucky in .50 cal as a kit, Might be the way to go but if ya'll have suggestions I'd be much obliged. Thanks.
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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:20 pm 
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glennallen wrote:
The flintlock is probably the hardest thing to choose. It has got to be right and for me it better shoot and shoot well. I have looked and non firing replicas and just don't see the point. A working firearm is the only way for me to go but boy do they get pricey real quick. I don't want to spend almost a grand on something that my wife would club me to death with If I did.

It seems a kit is cheaper and I'd like to build one. I have a fair hand at gun repair and wood working. I already have a .50 cal with a side caplock, she's a honey of a gun, but well it's a cap gun. Everybody seems to poo poo them but I have had great success with mine,

Best I can find is a traditions kentucky in .50 cal as a kit, Might be the way to go but if ya'll have suggestions I'd be much obliged. Thanks.


Don't dismiss the idea of a secondhand flintlock. I don't know what it is like there, but here I have found that some people not understanding the works & quirks of a flintlock tend to give the whole thing away & trade it in for something easier to use (for them).
Personally I prefer a smoothbore, I find it more versatile, lighter to carry & easier to load ( a Brown Bess would be heavier though).
Keith.

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and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:47 am 
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This post will probably make you lose sleep for the next few weeks, but I'm certain based on the fact that you being in Tennessee, there is a beautiful longrifle or maybe its smoothbore equivalent within 150 miles of you on display at a gun store, pawn shop, gun show or some other place for a price of $600.

If you're willing to take a chance there are online gun auction sites that will have secondhand flintlock longarms that pop up every few weeks well below $1000. That is how I got mine. Just be very careful; study the photos, the dealer, and use your own discretion.
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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Thanks gentlemen, this forum is a great help.

One thing I am concerned with is I am a left handed shooter. I have never shot a flintlock, always had a cap gun. How much of an issue is a left handed shooter using a right handed flintlock. With the pan in front of my face is there a flinching issue and a safety issue? What would period correct safety glasses be like?

In the 18th century, I have read, that being a lefty was rather frowned upon. Would somebody have just used a right handed weapon? It was common, I have read, that lefties were taught to write with their right hands? Would they have made you shoot right handed? Most military weapons are right handed. One lefty in a line of righties kind stands out. Would a militia unit or line unit have allowed that? Would it have been an issue with loading and firing in a line?

I am going to be with the Over mountain victory trail association this coming weekend and I hope to be able to get to shoot one then and get some first hand experience, perhaps find a trade deal or something from one of those fine gentlemen. I have been looking at the gun safe and thinking who goes and who stays? There is one out there for me and I will find it. The hunt is up!

Yes indeed the are some great guns here in East TN. William Bean the gun maker lived just up the road. There is a museum in Knoxville that has one of Crockett's guns on display. What an incredible piece of art and design. Be of good cheer!
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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:57 am 
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glennallen wrote:
Thanks gentlemen, this forum is a great help.

One thing I am concerned with is I am a left handed shooter. I have never shot a flintlock, always had a cap gun. How much of an issue is a left handed shooter using a right handed flintlock. With the pan in front of my face is there a flinching issue and a safety issue? What would period correct safety glasses be like?

In the 18th century, I have read, that being a lefty was rather frowned upon. Would somebody have just used a right handed weapon? It was common, I have read, that lefties were taught to write with their right hands? Would they have made you shoot right handed? Most military weapons are right handed. One lefty in a line of righties kind stands out. Would a militia unit or line unit have allowed that? Would it have been an issue with loading and firing in a line?

I am going to be with the Over mountain victory trail association this coming weekend and I hope to be able to get to shoot one then and get some first hand experience, perhaps find a trade deal or something from one of those fine gentlemen. I have been looking at the gun safe and thinking who goes and who stays? There is one out there for me and I will find it. The hunt is up!

Yes indeed the are some great guns here in East TN. William Bean the gun maker lived just up the road. There is a museum in Knoxville that has one of Crockett's guns on display. What an incredible piece of art and design. Be of good cheer!


When you think about it the lock is fairly central. When shooting right handed whether pointing with a smoothbore or aiming with a rifle the face in my opinion is no more exposed one way or the other.
Left hand flintlocks would have to be custom made, & I can't see many of the middling sort forking out the extra cash for a left handed gun. They would either just shoot it left handed or perhaps learn to shoot right handed. One shot hopefully brings down one animal for food, you are not going to be shooting all day unless like Boone you were hunting deer for skins.
Military used smoothbores & they were trained not to aim, just point & shoot, in fact some military muskets were designed in such a way as to make it difficult to aim.
Image
These are my 17th century (copy) reading glasses. you can get any period style you want, & get your local optometrist to fit safety glass in them. I have a pair of safety glasses but don't wear them for hunting. I have taught myself to close my eyes on ignition, but only for a short time & I am still able to see the ball hit the target. I think I started doing this to stop myself from flinching at the flash in the pan.
No problem with military firing in a line. I can't say if anyone would fire a right handed lock left handed, but many would have just closed their eyes & pulled the trigger. I can,t see any problems loading left handed.
My eldest son is left handed & he learned to shoot on a right handed flintlock rifle. I think he tried using it both ways, & I don't recall which way he preferred now.
Image
My eldest son as a youngster in a hollow tree.
Keith.

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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:10 pm 
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I agree with Keith. The only real difference with the lock is that the smoke cloud is on the inside of the face not the outside.

Now, the only "issue" I would see with some rifles (including mine) is that the cheek piece is carved off center which allows for the eye to sit directly in line with the sites. Obviously, that is not an ambidextrous feature, so if you are after a rifle, you may want to watch for that.

Here is a video of the famous Hershel House firing one of his right-hand guns and as you can see, he is a southpaw too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGpa_SkxmvI&t=2s

P. S. the embedding feature was acting up, so sorry for only posting the link.
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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:27 am 
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glennallen wrote:
The flintlock is probably the hardest thing to choose. It has got to be right and for me it better shoot and shoot well. I have looked and non firing replicas and just don't see the point. A working firearm is the only way for me to go but boy do they get pricey real quick. I don't want to spend almost a grand on something that my wife would club me to death with If I did.

It seems a kit is cheaper and I'd like to build one. I have a fair hand at gun repair and wood working. I already have a .50 cal with a side caplock, she's a honey of a gun, but well it's a cap gun. Everybody seems to poo poo them but I have had great success with mine,

Best I can find is a traditions kentucky in .50 cal as a kit, Might be the way to go but if ya'll have suggestions I'd be much obliged. Thanks.


Another thought Glenn, I had forgotten about this earlier. For some makes of rifle that have a drum & nipple assembly, the maker may also have a flintlock in the same rifle. In which case you can purchase the flint lock & fit it to your cap lock. It may not be what you ultimately want to achieve, ie an authentic gun to the period, but it may tied you over until you can get what you really want.
More info here on my blog: http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/converting-drum-nipple-percussion.html

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

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 Post subject: Re: affordable flintlocks?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:25 am 
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Thank you both for your intelligent feed back. I will find the right gun in time. The old .50 cap lock will have to do for now.
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