Author Topic: Priming the pan with your load powder  (Read 914 times)

Offline JohnnyFM

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Priming the pan with your load powder
« on: September 16, 2018, 12:22:11 PM »
Howdy folks,
How many here have tried priming their flintlock with the same fineness grain of powder as what comprises their load?
How many do it on a regular basis?
Have you seen any distinction between brands of powder, in re Lock hang time etc?

I have only tried it with Goex 3f as well as Goex 2f.  I like the 3f mo bedda.(with a .54 cal rifle)
Havenít tried other brands yet like Swiss, Sheurzen, etc.
What are your experiences?
Thanks,
Johnny (I wanna be a 1horn man) 8)

Offline Don Steele

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 01:11:22 PM »
I've gotten decent results priming with 3f Goex. One time..only ONE time...I found myself shooting 2f for my main charge, and did not have anything finer to prime with so I tried using the 2f. That was definitely not a good experience, and won't happen again.
I've read other folks reports that they prime with 2f, and "...it don't matter".  That's good for them, but my own experience showed it does matter, in my rifle.
If it "don't matter"...dontcha have to wonder why most top offhand flintlock shooters go with at least 4f or Null B...???? ::)

 
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Offline Cory McArtor

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 03:44:50 PM »
I've primed with GOEX 3F so that I only had to carry the one powder.  I couldn't tell a difference in speed with 3F as opposed to 4F.

Offline Turtle

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 03:50:12 PM »
 I have used 3f for both for 20 years--no problems

Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 04:24:37 PM »
3F is all I use for both.
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Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 04:24:56 PM »
Some time ago, I recall seeing some ignition time testing results of different priming powders done by Pletch but I don't recall where I saw it.  There were significant differences between some of them.  Perhaps someone else can recall seeing those tests and where they saw them.

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Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 04:33:09 PM »
Some time ago, I recall seeing some ignition time testing results of different priming powders done by Pletch but I don't recall where I saw it.  There were significant differences between some of them.  Perhaps someone else can recall seeing those tests and where they saw them.

Mole Eyes


A little bit more coffee and I recalled where I saw the data.  Here it is https://www.blackpowdermag.com/priming-powder-timing/

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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 04:39:50 PM »
I've never used 4F to prime apart from with a matchlock.

To see how it was, I hunted 9 or 10 years straight with a flintlock, (With a good lock, a Chambers R-Faced English or Early Ketland) and loaded and primed with 2F and never anything else.  I always seemed to bring home the bacon, and was out all weathers.
2F will not soak up moisture half as fast as 4F will.
So, for me it works and I won't change a thing!  :-)

Offline PPatch

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 05:15:27 PM »
I use FFFg regularly and can't tell the difference between FFFFg for priming.

dp
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Online WadePatton

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 05:52:47 PM »
I hunted exactly one time with 4f in the pan.

I've used 2f ever since. I prefer one powder.  I might consider two powders if I was to get into shooting for score.

It stays put better, and is always there when I pull the trigger. At the end of my 4f hunt I opened the pan and my prime had gone AWOL!   Yes I check my prime more often now, that was my first Flinter hunt ever.

And there's a ton (maybe two) of prior discussion on this subject, if'n you poke around here a bit. shickboom.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 07:21:05 PM by WadePatton »
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Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 08:03:02 PM »
I hunted exactly one time with 4f in the pan.

I've used 2f ever since. I prefer one powder.  I might consider two powders if I was to get into shooting for score.

It stays put better, and is always there when I pull the trigger. At the end of my 4f hunt I opened the pan and my prime had gone AWOL!   Yes I check my prime more often now, that was my first Flinter hunt ever.

And there's a ton (maybe two) of prior discussion on this subject, if'n you poke around here a bit. shickboom.

The same experience I had, except I had a nice buck in my sights and it went click when I pulled the trigger. All the prime was gone. I never bought 4F again.
Pete

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Offline T*O*F

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 10:08:37 PM »
Quote
There were significant differences between some of them.
That depends on how you define significant.  On paper, it appears to be so.  In actuality, the differences are only milliseconds hardly detectable in real lock time.

What you prime with depends on the game you play.  If you are a range shooter or hunter who only shoot once in a while or a target shooter with all your accuracy crapola stacked on a shooting bench, by all means use 4f or Null B.

The other game is trekking or shooting in situational woodswalks where to need the ability to load and fire rapidly at multiple targets in timed scenarios.  All the hardcore guys load and prime from the horn.  I shot these events for over 20 years using 4 guns over that time:  .58, 20 ga., and .72 cal. smoothbores and a .62 cal. rifle.  I used both 2 and 3f grades over various powders to prime and had no problem in any of those guns.  None had Chambers locks or White Lightning liners.  You carried your gun over the weekend in all types of weather, slept with it, and kept it ready to shoot.  No wiping the bore between shots either.  If you can't do that, you lack the experience to do so and you don't really know your gun.  It's a shame that Randy Hedden and some of the AMM guys aren't here to respond.
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Offline heelerau

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 01:45:49 AM »
Guess I have been shooting my flintlock for the last 15 - 18 years and only use FFFg which is my main charge. The Brown Bess uses Fg as main charge and prime, as I use paper cartridges that works fine to, but look at the size of the lock !I mostly hunt with my flintlock and in all weathers. I did not want to be bothered with a separate priming horn.
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 02:03:53 AM »
I've never used 4F to prime apart from with a matchlock.

To see how it was, I hunted 9 or 10 years straight with a flintlock, (With a good lock, a Chambers R-Faced English or Early Ketland) and loaded and primed with 2F and never anything else.  I always seemed to bring home the bacon, and was out all weathers.
2F will not soak up moisture half as fast as 4F will.
So, for me it works and I won't change a thing!  :-)

If the powder soaks up moisture from the air the powder is at fault in a CLEAN gun. Liquid water is bad regardless. I use FFFF since its easier to work through a vent than FF or FFF. FF is slower to me. FFF is OK... MY problem with priming from the primary horn is waste of powder. And its a pain to use a big horn for priming compared to a small one. But if it works.....

Dan
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Online Larry Pletcher

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 02:17:25 AM »
I agree with TOF that the purpose in your shooting may determine the type of prime that you use.  I use finer grade powder for 2 reasons that have not been mentioned. 

One reason is that 4fg or Swiss Null B is easier to trickle into the vent in case of dry ball. I don't dry ball more than others, but I have helped out other wood walk shooters who have ignition trouble. I don't mind hearing a fellow shooter say, "Pletch has some Null B if you're having trouble." (Notice I didn't say I never dry ball).

The other reason is that I have a bad hand.  It is easier to pull a flat horn primer from my hip pocket than to handle the main horn and stopper twice when loading. For someone with no hand issues,  this reason disappears.

In testing that I have done fine powder does ignite faster.  In 20 trials the fastest ffg time was slower than the slowest Null B time. However, my gut says that a clean vent and a well managed flint edge are bigger variables.  Manage these well and the grain size of prime becomes less important.

Regards,
Pletch
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Offline Cossack

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 04:43:02 AM »
I'm pretty new at the world of shooting flintlocks, but I'll share my experience for what it's worth. When I got my first flinter - a .32 - the only powder I had at first was 2f Goex that I had purchased in anticipation of a .54 that I had on order. I used 2f for both charge and primer in that .32.  It worked, but was inconsistent. I had a few patient gophers sit there while I flashed in the pan a couple times before killing them. Then I ordered some 3f and 4f Goex from Graf and Sons. I still like the 2f for the main charge in that .32, but the 4f is proving to produce much more reliable ignition.

 My .32 has a considerably smaller touchhole than my .54, though, so that might be part of the problem. I haven't experimented with 2f or 3f for priming in the big gun after my experiences with the little .32. In that squirrel gun, the 4f produced more reliable ignition of both the priming charge and the main charge - fewer clicks and foofs, if you will.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 05:27:56 AM by Cossack »

Offline Jose Gordo

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 04:47:30 AM »
I have not had good luck priming with 1F.

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 06:40:58 AM »
Jose,

It works well enough in a musket.  In a regular lock it might be a bit much!

Offline stubshaft

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 07:50:53 AM »
The local range that I shoot at is usually very windy (gusts from 15 mph to 20mph on a good day) which makes keeping 4F in the pan a chore.  The only thing that helps it stick is the "soup" in the pan because of the humidity.  Therefore I generally use 3F to prime with and haven't found it appreciably slower.
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Offline JohnnyFM

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2018, 08:22:40 AM »
Thanks to all for your replies.
Johnny

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2018, 08:47:21 PM »
When I was a young man in the 70's I lived and worked on Haida Quaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands.  They are called the "Misty Isles" for a good reason.  In those days I shot a T/C flintlock .50 cal "Hawken" rifle.  The only powder I could find was Meteor Cannon powder.  It had the consistency of rock salt.  I used 70 gr. of this as a charge and in the pan, and I shot the island deer for groceries, there being no season. sex, or bag limit.  Now that is not the best flintlock action as you must know, yet I rarely had misfires and since I didn't know any better, got along famously.
Now I use GOEX FFg for the charge and FFFFG for prime, living now in the interior in very much less humidity.  Wish I had access to that much venison again though.
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Offline alacran

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 09:56:34 PM »
When I'm in Arizona, specially when I'm hunting or shooting in the desert, I will use 4f powder. When I am in the Midwest rain forest, I use 3f powder. I have shot blank loads at Martins station using the same powder that's in the cartridges. Some times it has the consistency of rock salt. Goes of fine so long as you have a good rock.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2018, 12:23:51 AM »

[/quote]
The same experience I had, except I had a nice buck in my sights and it went click when I pulled the trigger. All the prime was gone. I never bought 4F again.
[/quote]


That exact same thing happened to me several years back!  The frizzen must have gotten bumped open.  Anyway it cost me one of the better bucks I'd seen in years.  I still mostly use 4F to prime but when I use 3F instead, it works just fine.
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2018, 12:47:43 AM »
I use null b for all line shooting and hunting from a stand but 3f when on the move hunting or trail walk type shooting. I have on a couple of ocations used 1&1/2 f swiss for prime and it worked well then.

Offline rfd

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Re: Priming the pan with your load powder
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2018, 02:20:02 AM »
i use swiss 3f for all flintlocks, from .32 to .62, for both tube and pan.  i get very fast ignition and easy fouling control.  it's a total pleasure to only have one horn and not two ... same as not wanting or needing a ball starter.  i prefer to load and shoot as close to what was done back in the 18th century as i dare.  don't care what others think or do.
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