The Flintlock Rifle.

Discussion in 'Pre-1900s Guns and Ammo' started by Keith H., Oct 27, 2016.

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  1. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Popular Flintlock muzzle-loading rifles vary in caliber size from .32 caliber to .54 caliber for off the shelf rifles, including .45, & .50 caliber. Rifles can not fire bird shot without leading the lands/grooves in the barrel. Only round ball or conicals should be used in a rifled barrel. Rifles are heavy in the barrel compared to a smoothbore, even the little .32 caliber has a heavy barrel.
    Rifles are a little harder to load than a smoothbore. Rifles use a patched ball, but originally they used only a round ball of the caliber size, & this was driven down the barrel with a hammer. An undersized patched ball is much easier to load, but repeated shots get more difficult because of the build up of black powder residue in the barrel. Cleaning between shots is recommended, though you can usually get 2-3 shots without too much trouble. Alternately you can load a round ball without a patch when the barrel becomes fouled. Patches should be greased (you can use a spit patch but these can freeze in the barrel in extreme cold weather), & conical slugs are greased by do not require a patch. Conical slugs are much easier to load (conical slugs in flintlocks is not traditional).
    Conical slugs are heavier than the round ball, & have more knock down power. They are also very accurate in a rifled barrel.

    PMbCXiJOfgT3QIjnaoJGB9CoIlvHuI_n.png

    This is my .32 caliber flintlock rifle, it has fixed sights & double set triggers. It is very accurate & has more power than the .22 rimfire.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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  2. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    I have always admired everything about the flint lock rifle. It's made with such care an detail that today's plastic pistols just don't have. I have never fired one myself but I have seen them loaded and shot and it was way more accurate than I expected. It almost looks like a event... The loud thunder and smoke, the huge balls that it fires. I guess it must be the same feeling that I get when shooting a fine bolt action rifle... You just feel so much more involved.
     
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  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I always used to load my own ammo for my side arms & long guns, but it was never the same as crafting each load for a muzzle-loader. I have carried & used a variety of different caliber handguns in my time, but my favourite is still the flintlock smoothbore.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    I don't blame you. A true firearms enthusiast collection cannot be considered complete without one these beautiful pieces of art.
     
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  5. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    Without sounding like an idiot, is there a difference between a musket and a flintlock rifle? In the way they operate for example.
     
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  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Well the musket & the fusil are of course smoothbores. Because there is no rifling in the barrel, the smoothbore is easier & faster to load. But the flintlock mechanism works the same on both musket & rifle, except that smoothbores usually have a much larger lock. Both can fire round ball & slugs, but only the smoothbore can fire small shot such as buckshot or bird shot. If you fire bird shot from a rifled barrel, the lead catches in the rifling lands in the barrel so you can't use it for loading round ball again until you can clean all the lead out of the rifling!!!
    Keith.
     
  7. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    Thank you for clearing that up! I was not aware that rifling was already invented at that time. Were these barrels made using casting methods or forged. I once saw a guy making a barrel with a piece of flat steel which he shaped over a round tool and anvil... The thing was though, that wasn't nearly as long these barrels.
     
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  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Both I think. Mostly forged, but I would assume that brass & bronze barrels would be cast. Modern made barrels as far as I know are bored or drilled from a steel bar.
    Just for your interest though, there was/is a gun known as a smooth rifle. This is basically a musket with rifle sights. I first heard of this gun when I was writing for Muzzleloader Magazine, one of the other writers had one. I have not been able to find any info on this gun. "Smooth Rifle" is also a term used to describe a Fowler (shotgun) built in the stock style of a rifle, but I am not sure if these have rifle sights or not. Perhaps rifle sights were an option.
    Keith.
     
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  9. Mekada

    Mekada Expert Member
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    I see, I guess the brass and bronze are easier to work with, due to their lower melting temperatures and malleability making it easier to shape and finish. Yes you are correct about the modern production method. They use what is known as a vertical CNC laith to drill them out of steel billets. It then moves to a 5 or 7 axis CNC machine to mill of the excess material. Smooth rifle... I am going to check it out! Fowlers I have heard of but I have no idea what their sight configurations are. I do know that strictly speaking rifling would have been unnecessary for a scatter gun due to the small pellets being loaded.
     
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  10. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    upload_2017-4-6_14-15-39.png

    Thar she is.

    Premium +++ Striped Maple Stock (Solid, hard, dense maple)
    .40 cal. 42" Swamped "B" weight Colerain barrel
    Barrel and Breach is 100% bedded and realeased (no bedding is visable)
    Siler Flintlock from Jim Chambers lock shop (Browned)
    Chambers "White Lightning" Vent Liner
    Davis Single Trigger, customized pull (3/32" pull length at 6 oz. pull (smooth)
    Length of pull is approx. 13 3/4"
    Drop at heel is approx. 3 1/2"
    Weight is 9 lbs, balance point right at the rear of the entry pipe
    Brass sideplate, trigger guard, nosecap, and buttplate
    Over 20 coats of hand rubbed Tung Oil, rubbed to glass smooth satin


    I LOVE her!
    I can load with a mere 10 grains of 4fg and hunt small game.
    Or 80 grains of 3fg and take a deer.
    I have no illusions about the .40 being light on deer.
    I'd take shots broadside at 50 and under and only at a standing deer.
    I did take a deer at 80 yards with a .50 and a 325 grain sabot boolit.
    Not traditional but very effective.
    Deer dropped dead in it's tracks.
    Boolit hit in the brisket and I found nicely expanded boolit in the rear ham just under the
    skin.
    Boolit went the length of the critter.

    The muzzle loader isn't a survival weapon in this day and age.
    It's fine hunting tool however.

     
  11. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    Aw, go ahead and tell me how beautiful she is.
    Please, will ya, huh? Please.:p:p:p
    Cost me $900 bucks and Keith (maker) threw in a dandy 12" blade hand made knife
    that will never, ever get used.
    To darned nice!
    Today IF I could find one as nice it would cost at least five grand.
    Go to www.trackofthewolf.com and check out what's on the market in hand built
    rifles.
     
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