Author Topic: Flints stored in water  (Read 12851 times)

Offline walks with gun

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Flints stored in water
« on: December 13, 2017, 07:09:25 AM »
   It seems to me at one time I read something about keeping rifle flints moist or storing them in water will make them last longer.   Am I dreaming or anyone else ever heard or tried this.

Black Hand

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 08:01:08 AM »
Considering they are rocks and have been around for thousands/millions/billions of years - how much longer do you want them to last? Complete nonsense, in my opinion...

Offline wattlebuster

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 12:45:47 PM »
I would'nt worry bout them. Your flints and mine will be here long after both of us are gone
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Offline OldMtnMan

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 05:38:14 PM »
The only way to make them last longer is don't scrape them across a frizzen.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 05:57:15 PM »
I used to do that 35 years ago because all the cool flint guys did it. I don't think it makes any difference.
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n stephenson

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 06:34:04 PM »
Take a bottle of your favorite whiskey, put a handful of flints in it. Put it in your shooting bag. That way if you get lost in the woods , you will have some extra flints , and something to drink too!  ::)

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 07:29:04 PM »
   It seems to me at one time I read something about keeping rifle flints moist or storing them in water will make them last longer.   Am I dreaming or anyone else ever heard or tried this.

Old story long discredited. I think it popped up in the old Buckskin Report
back in the 1970's.

Bob Roller

Offline TN Longhunter

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 08:51:16 PM »

Old story long discredited. I think it popped up in the old Buckskin Report
back in the 1970's.

Bob Roller

What, everything in the Buckskin Report wasn't gospel? I'm shocked, I mean Shocked!

I have the three volume bound collection of the Report and take one down for reading once in a while.  Glad we have better information now then we did then.
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Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 08:51:49 PM »
 ;D ;D It was "the thing to do" back in the 60's & 70's. Did not do a hill of beans for the flint. :o
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Offline Robby

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 10:02:57 PM »
I don't know that soaking flints would make them last longer but flint knappers recommend heat treating flints in a very prescribed way for the removal of moisture so the stone will react to their knapping in a more predictable and favorable manner. That is for making tools and projectile points, probably has little impact on gun flints.
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 10:15:06 PM »
The XXXperts from back in those days went out of their way to make shooting muzzleloaders in general, and flintlocks in particular, as complicated as possible. Thatís were we got bullet weighing, rolling, and tumbling. Not to mention, that these guys are the source of most the crazy concoctions used to clean muzzleloaders, when cold water works just fine. Also the bullet lubes would fill a book, when tallow, and bear grease is about as good as it gets. Oh and letís not forget hammering the patch, and ball, down bore like a cobbler on speed, because if you donít, it wonít shoot straight at all. Itís a wonder the sport survived.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 10:36:38 PM »
I used to do that 35 years ago because all the cool flint guys did it. I don't think it makes any difference.

Well you just lost your 'cool' card for sure, dude.
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Offline T*O*F

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 11:07:21 PM »
Quote
flint knappers recommend heat treating flints in a very prescribed way for the removal of moisture so the stone will react to their knapping in a more predictable and favorable manner. That is for making tools and projectile points, probably has little impact on gun flints.
Flint nodules are like opals.  The moisture in them was compressed into them when they were formed under great pressure.  When they are knapped, you can see the water spurt out of the nodule.  This is also why they feel greasy.  They are not heat treated prior to processing.  Brittle flints have a very short life because they shatter and flake when fired in a lock.

Flint knappers who make arrowheads, knives and such heat treat them to make them easier to knap because it makes the rock brittle, but they are not knapping flint, they are knapping agate.  Likewise, they are working from spalls, whereas the British and French knappers drive off long rods of flint which are then worked into gun flints.  There is no native flint found in the USA, with the exception of a small area in the northeast. 
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 11:34:03 PM »
Store flints in water?  That's one I've NEVER heard; and I thought I'd heard them all.  ::)
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 11:50:04 PM »
There is this river about + or- 250 miles west of me called Knife River and it's noted for its flint. If its actual flint or another hard rock I don't know but it was traded between the natives for centuries. Called Knife River Flint you can still find it in that area quite easy. There is a National Historic Site about 50 miles north west of Bismarck, ND where you can learn all about the Knife River Flint trade.

Offline TN Longhunter

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 01:08:47 AM »
Flint, Chert, Jasper, agate, picture stone, are all SiO2 or silicon dioxcide. The difference being the small trace to moderate amounts of other elements in it. Named different based on the additional minerals or where found or who found it.  Glass and Obsidian are also SiO2, just in a almost pure form. Both can be knapped into tools but too fragile for gun flints.  Slag glass is what most knappers use when starting out as it is uniform and fractures in a predictable pattern.  Just wear heavy long sleeves and eye protection.  The best material is broken commodes. Material knapps like a dream, doesn't cut you like glass and makes a nice white point. We made small triangular arrowheads and called them "Crapper Triangulars". 

Lot of evidence in the archaeological record that flint/chert was often heat treated. Exact method is unknown but is believed to be packed in clay, buried in the fire and allowed to slow cool. Testing indicates it improves the fractures (more predicable ) and thus less waste.

What does this have to do with flints in water? Not much, but the discussion was taking several turns so it seemed fitting to toss this out.  Plus it give me the chance to use two of my degrees that don't get used much.
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 03:20:00 AM »
Donít let the water freeze.  Itís better to store in rum, for emergency purposes.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2017, 03:37:11 AM »
I used to do that 35 years ago because all the cool flint guys did it. I don't think it makes any difference.

Well you just lost your 'cool' card for sure, dude.
You wouldn't believe how many times I have been told I "wasn't cool" since I started raising kids. I'm glad they are all raised and have found out how 'uncool'  they're kids think they are. ;)
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2017, 03:52:51 AM »
I once bought a lump of 'flint' said to have come from the Chilcotin area of British Columbia.  I knocked off some spauls and made a few arrow heads, but it was extremely tough, like English 'flint' to flake.  So I put some spauls in the BBQ in a tray of sand, and then let them cool overnight.  In the morning, the stone had become much more vibrant in colour, and it flaked much more easily, and with longer more predictable flakes.  I used some of the stone, prior to 'baking' for gun flints, and they threw excellent sparks.  After heat treating, they were useless.  So the flint needs to be tough rather than hard and brittle, to make a good gun flint.  Also, the scars made during flaking of the treated flint were greasy and smooth, whereas those on the untreated stone were more granular and dull (less reflective) looking.  Knapping stone tools is fun, and is a great way to collect scar tissue.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 03:54:26 AM by D. Taylor Sapergia »
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2017, 04:59:17 AM »
Thats a cool arrow head Taylor, it would be fun to make some but I already have as much scare tissue as I need. A guy might need one of those first aid kits if he made a lot of them.  :)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2017, 09:21:53 PM »
I used to do demonstrations at a number of historic sites - making arrowheads, and such out of flint and obsidian.  I dressed in my brain tanned skins, and placed a sheet of canvas from my first tipi on the ground to catch the chips, and one over my lap to keep the blood from ruining my leggings
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Offline L. Akers

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2017, 09:22:37 PM »
Quote
  There is no native flint found in the USA, with the exception of a small area in the northeast.

I am from southern Indiana where flint is found in great abundance.  In Wyandotte cave, west of Corydon, there is a room called "the cloud room".  The celing is covered with huge "cumulus clouds" which are limestone-covered nodes of black flint.  Natives came from all over that part of the country to get flint for their tools and weapons.  The man who was the sales agent for the Brandon knapper back in the 80s is a personal friend.  On one of his visits to the US I gave him a couple of nodules of Indiana flint I had picked up from a creek bed to take back to the Brandon knapper to be made into gun flints.  I received about 100 flints from those nodules and they worked well in my flintlocks but wore faster than Brandon flints.















Offline hanshi

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2017, 10:29:59 PM »
In a trip to "old" Jamestown some time ago, various craftsmen/women were busy doing what the Indians and Europeans accomplished hundreds of years ago.  I spent time with an arrowhead knapper and watched him work.  I talked with him about the stone he was using; can't exactly recall but it was some sort of quarts/granite or something like that.  I asked about flint as the stone being used must have been more difficult to knapp.  He told me that this was the kind of stone found in eastern Va.  He said the flint was farther toward central/western Va.  I do know that trade between Indian nations went back into the dim past with trade "alleged" even between Central American nations and North America.
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Offline TN Longhunter

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2017, 11:07:32 PM »
I do know that trade between Indian nations went back into the dim past with trade "alleged" even between Central American nations and North America.

Chonch shells found in Tennessee up through Ohio, Obsidian found in easter states from sites in WY, copper from the Great Lakes region found in the south, and corn from Meso America (southern Mexico) grown all through the US. Yea, they had a trade network.
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Offline sonny

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Re: Flints stored in water
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2017, 03:26:59 PM »
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha, you old bucks are the reason this sport will never die. I wonder how many Indians are flipping in their graves reading about gun flints an  arrow head point preparation. Crazy white man!!!!!.....ugg!!!!............sonny