Author Topic: poor cold weather flintlock ignition  (Read 563 times)

Offline Turtle

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poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« on: December 06, 2018, 01:15:25 PM »
  3 times this deer season I have had slow ignition on my 50 cal flintlock rifle in temp below 20deg. I have This gun hundreds of times in warmer weather and it goes off instantly. Anybody ever test ignition speed on a cold flinter?

Offline Dphariss

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 05:51:39 PM »
  3 times this deer season I have had slow ignition on my 50 cal flintlock rifle in temp below 20deg. I have This gun hundreds of times in warmer weather and it goes off instantly. Anybody ever test ignition speed on a cold flinter?
What powder are you using for priming? I never had this problem. What lube are you using on the lock?  Does the lock action seem normal?
You might want to go with something that is more fluid at cold temps.

Dan
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Offline Lobo

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 06:23:52 PM »
Pick the vent to make sure it's clear

prime with 4 and you'll have dead deer

Offline Daryl

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 07:38:29 PM »
We used to shoot at any temp on the trail in the winter. No ignition trouble. Since very few guys came out at -30F besides, as well as being really hard on springs and so the cut-off was declared at -20F. Then we went metric.
As we got older,  the cut-off temp got higher and higher to where we don't shoot now if colder than -5C which is about 23F. This picture was taken on a New Year's Day shoot, about 9 years ago, with the temp sitting at -14C, which is about 7F.
No ignition problems at all. I do not recall anyone every having ignition problems that were not attributed to water in the pan in the summer time. Dry weather (winter) is when ignition is best.




 
I took this picture, so the big lad's wife held my rifle- rather strangely.

Yeah- no gloves. Took them off for the picture. lol



Daryl

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Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 08:33:01 PM »
Please tell me you took off the gloves for the picture?

No gloves would make my hands useless.
Pete

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Offline L. Akers

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 10:21:53 PM »
Turtle, I too have had this experience.  I remember one January club shoot with the temp somewhere south of 0F and we flintlockers could not buy a spark.  The sparks we occasionally did get were very cool--orange instead of the usual white.  I attributed it to the low temp of the steel and the air.  They combined to suck the heat out of the spark to the point they were not hot enough to ignite the prime.

Offline hanshi

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 11:07:05 PM »
Interesting!  Cold does suck the heat out of me but not the sparks, at least that I've noticed.  I can tolerate shooting in fairly cold temps but can't tolerate any wind that may come with the cold.  But my guns have fired just fine in cold and rainy weather.  I'm sure something else is at work to cause those ignition problems.
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Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 12:05:06 AM »
As I got older my hands can't take the cold. I don't know if it's poor circulation or something else. The older I get the higher the temp to cause it.

I remember one time I got my hands cold and when I got back to my Jeep I couldn't turn the key to start it. I had to get my hands warmed up to leave.

That's when I decided to only hunt Sept from now on. I can't function in the colder months.

Anybody else have this problem?
Pete

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Offline thelongrifle

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 02:33:07 AM »
My dad is 82 and has poor circulation and he can't hunt in the cold any more.

Offline thelongrifle

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 02:34:52 AM »
I expect the lube on the lock is getting stiff in the cold and slowing things down to where you are not getting good sparks.

Offline Daryl

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 03:39:04 AM »
As I got older my hands can't take the cold. I don't know if it's poor circulation or something else. The older I get the higher the temp to cause it.

I remember one time I got my hands cold and when I got back to my Jeep I couldn't turn the key to start it. I had to get my hands warmed up to leave.

That's when I decided to only hunt Sept from now on. I can't function in the colder months.

Anybody else have this problem?

That is why out limit cold temps are getting warmer and warmer. I do not think I've ever seen the guy in the red Capote - ever wear gloves or mitts n the trail. And he's an Ink Artist, now retired.

I had my older daughter make me a pair of woolen gloves with the end of the right thumb and end of the right index finger exposed. Those work very well at relatively mild winter weather of -5C.

Pete, as noted above that picture, we took the mitts and gloves off for the picture except for Hatchet Jack(Red Capote) who did not wear gloves.

I think thelongknife is pretty close to the poor ignition reasoning. My locks are almost dry - only residual WD40 in them.

The sparks still sizzle in the pan for me, and especially with the re-harden and temper Taylor did on my squirrel rifle's frizzen - an L&R Durr's Egg lock that LC Rice Tuned, according to JimC.
We felt it should do better, so Taylor did the work for me. What a SPARKER now, especially with Rich's River Rocks!
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Daryl

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2018, 03:40:35 AM »
Need someone to break trail.


 
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline EC121

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 05:21:03 AM »
No problem with my flintlocks in the cold, because I don't hunt below 35deg.F in Alabama.   :D

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2018, 05:35:41 AM »
Daryl, looks like you need a young guy with a good pair of snow shoes with a forward toe hole.  :)  ;D

Offline wormey

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2018, 07:02:02 AM »
Whatever you guys come up with, I`ll just have to take your word for it!  I don`t go to the range if the temperature is below 50 degrees.  Been there, done that, but I can`t take the cold anymore.  Winter time in Korea has a lot to do with it I expect Wormey

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 08:40:36 AM »
When I first finished my Chambers "Mark Silver " build, it was -20C, but went hunting anyway.
It always seemed to go off as fast in winter as any other time.
After a few years, "cold" lost its appeal.   I still hunt in cold, as it nearly always is in our hunting season,    But Real cold days I look out and think, "It'll be warmer when the sun gets up!".....................and check the forum instead!

My hands too. Permanently pinched nerve , and fingers fight me at the best of times, never mind when it's cold.
Mind, working outside today was -20 C, and I didn't bother with my coat. weskit yes.  Flat cap yes! LOL.

Offline gumboman

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2018, 03:32:29 PM »
Quote
No problem with my flintlocks in the cold, because I don't hunt below 35deg.F in Alabama

EC121, hunting only days 35 degrees and above will give you quite a lot of hunting. I too live in Alabama and love the cold to hunt with my flintlocks. I was beginning to think I was the only flintlock hunter in the state as I don't know any others.

On this subject of ignition, I find many times after a full day of hunting, when I blow out the priming powder it tends to hold together almost as in clump and will not blow out. But just barley touching the powder, it breaks up and then most of it will blow out. I suspect humidity has something to do with this. And I have noticed a delay in firing too when I shoot after a full day without changing the priming powder. That is why I now change my prime several times each day in order to keep it fresh and dry.

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2018, 04:35:16 PM »
True about priming.
I found that 4F soaked up moisture quicker, so now only use the 2F as in my main charge.  Seems to work better in my rifles at any rate.

Offline Lobo

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 07:40:24 PM »
Here in Michigan it can get mighty cold in the late season but I've never had a problem with my flintlock



Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 07:45:53 PM »
Santa never gets cold. :)
Pete

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Offline rich pierce

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 07:53:36 PM »
I think only cold grease would slow a flintlock. Use a lighter lube.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline retired fella

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2018, 10:08:58 PM »
years ago shooting in the dead of winter at the club my hands got cold.  never thought anything of it until, where did all this blood on my patch material come from.  I had barely shaved the tip of my finger with the patch knife.  even then it didn't really hurt until I went to the warming barrel.    OUCH!!!!   :o :o

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2018, 10:30:18 PM »
Everything shrinks when it's cold, so perhaps the wood is interfering with the lock function. If you have any moisture in the stock, or are bringing the gun from a moist environment, you may have actual frost build up on the lock internals. Or  it could be just the lube .  :)

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2018, 01:34:53 AM »
Couple of thoughts here.

Noted the comments about 4f priming powder and clumping.  That used to be a very common problem with GOEX 4f when they were using the old Vicksburg Chemical Company potassium nitrate.  But basically you might want to look at 3F for pan powder.  From my screen tests when the GOEX was made at Moosic the 4f was nothing more than screening tailings.  A lot of very fine dust in it.
When black powder starts to pick up moisture from the air it does so on the outer surfaces of the powder grains.  So the amount of surface area exposed to the air is going to determine how much moisture it picks up and how quick it does so.  Using 3F for pan powder really cuts down on the amount of surface area exposed to the air.

The other thing to look out for is what sort of flint you are using.  The flints that are cut from blocks or molded with the wide perfectly straight edge may not make the best sparks.  I remember such comments as showers of sparks from certain flints.  That meaning a large number of very tiny frizzen shavings.  Very quickly cooled once shaved off the frizzen.  Then you see comments about shavings that bounce around in the pan while still glowing very hot.  So if your sparks off the frizzen are very tiny, though numerous, they may not hold a high enough heat long enough to ignite the pan powder.  Natural flints with just a few "spikes" on the striking edge might give better ignition than a "sawn" flint.

Bill K.

Offline thecapgunkid

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Re: poor cold weather flintlock ignition
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2018, 03:11:20 PM »
OldMtnMan...As I got older my hands can't take the cold. I don't know if it's poor circulation or something else. The older I get the higher the temp to cause it.

Yeah.  Never used to bother me,




Now I can't do anything out there in the winter without my nose running incessantly or my hands behaving like they are on someone else's radio control...

Sad

Also...anybody got a new back or new legs I can borrow?...