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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a little bit of a fascination with flintlocks for sometime now but don't know a lot about them. But I've had this whacky idea that I'd like to cast my own balls and make my own powder.

Anyone have any experience making their own gunpowder to use in their flintlock?
 

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You can make your own black powder for the inlines also along with sidelocks. Nothing says that you need to use factory stuff.

I played around making my own when I was just out of highschool but you have a problem with keeping it uniform from batch to batch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ha ha ha Ridgetop,

I'm just crazy I guess. I just thought it would be cool to essentially have a firearm that isn't based off any modern technology and introducing a primer into the mix kind of defeats my goal.

I always liked the idea of hunting like a true frontiersman where almost everything I hunt with was made by hand.

A bow would be pretty cool to make by hand too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Critter, that makes sense. I'd imagine that having scales to try and keep mixtures as uniform as possible would help somewhat?
 

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I bought a box of reloading stuff and these round ball molds were in there (.50 and .54cal). I have no intentions of using them so if you decide to make your own balls let me know and you can have them free. They don't look like they have ever been used. Just let me know and I'll send them to you.
 

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I don't but have always wanted to. I often look at the kits you can build in flintlock and find myself drooling a bit. There's a flintlock dueling pistol kit I saw a few years ago that I still want to build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't but have always wanted to. I often look at the kits you can build in flintlock and find myself drooling a bit. There's a flintlock dueling pistol kit I saw a few years ago that I still want to build.
Those are what tickled my fancy too! I just thought it would be so cool to shoot a firearm I built, with bullets that I cast, with black powder that I made.

Longbow,

thank you for the offer! That is super kind of you!
 

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Ha ha ha Ridgetop,

I'm just crazy I guess. I just thought it would be cool to essentially have a firearm that isn't based off any modern technology and introducing a primer into the mix kind of defeats my goal.

I always liked the idea of hunting like a true frontiersman where almost everything I hunt with was made by hand.

A bow would be pretty cool to make by hand too.
How about a large rock or a spear? ;-)
 
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Thompson Center made a "Black Mountain Magnum" flintlock a while back. It had a max charge of 150gr powder, fiber optic sights, special "flame channel" designed to ignite pellets, used special flints that have magnesium embedded in them for reliable ignition, composite stock, barrel with 1/28" fast twist for sabots and drilled for scope mounts.

It was that specific gun that made me give up on the whole sidelocks are more primitive than inlines argument, and why I would never support a muzzleloading gun hunting season restriction based on which direction the hammer moves. Technology benefits both styles equally.

Restrictions on muzzleloading should be via the components, sabots, pellets, optics etc etc. Gun style just doesnt matter anymore, they are all accurate and reliable.


-DallanC
 

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I have shot a flintlock competitively for many years. They are a blast to shoot and with the right barrel just as accurate as a caplock. There is a need to follow through on each shot and there are tricks to make sure it doesn't hang fire. That being said I wouldn't mess with making my own powder. I shoot only 3f in the barrel and prime with 4f. There is a valid reason why they have the nickname "flinchlock"
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Boly

Thanks for the input. Is there a reason you wouldn't want to try making your own powder?

Just trying to understand if there is something I'm missing.

As a younger punk, I made my own powder but never tried firing it out of a weapon so I'm not entirely in the dark on making black powder. The only thing I need to learn about it is evaluating burn rates.
 

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I have been told by those with earlier experience than myself that to get the rifle to go off consistently and without delay that 3f is the powder to shoot. I don't remember even trying 2f. In my mind homemade would end up being coarse like 2f. Not knowing anything about homemade I wouldn't try it myself. I've had great success using the Goex and guess it doesn't appeal to me to change anything. If you can do it that would be cool. Shooting a flintlock by itself especially in competition or hunting is tough but rewarding.
 

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have assembled and sold a lot of ML using blank stock wood, barrels and finishing rough cast parts. I have also a made a few flint locks and have shot elk and deer with the same. Right now am shooting a 62 cal. full stock Hawken. I am using 2F powder with this large of a cal, but I'll bet 3F would be better. There is certainly an art to preparing to shoot and shooting a flinter.
I am using 4F for the frizzen.
A lot of years ago in the late 50's, I was making my own black powder cake, pounding them to bits on a board with a brass hammer, and screening the powder. We were then making bombs out of them, fused with dynamite fuse to blow carp out of the river. We also had a black powder marble gun. We were lucky we didn't blow ourselves to pieces and in this day and age we would be in prison. I have studied some on the internet. Leave it alone!! Buy it.
 

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The Traditions Flintlock I'm Working on will be my favorite big game rifle. I have put 3 caplocks together.
Take some time and you will be proud of the results.
 

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Excellent advice.

However, I just bought a Hawken flinter and I'm having a helluva time finding Goex black powder in Utah. Do you or anyone else know where I can get Goex in Utah without having to by 25 lbs. at a time?
There are two black powder dealers in Utah. Smith & Edwards and Gunnies.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have attempted to make some black powder (making potassium nitrate was an odd process) and it actually worked. There are a few challenges that I'm not keen on as I really want to make this 100% on my own (I don't know how to make alcohol just yet, and definitely don't know how to naturally produce sulphur). So it kind of takes the luster out of the experiment but it's been fun so far.

The problem I am facing right now is burn rates. Some sections seem to burn slower than others which seems indicative of unequal mixtures so I will need to try and mix better.

Once I feel like I have created a consistent burn rate, I will test fire out of a little cannon I have.

If I can truly make this work, I will do a write up on the whole experience.

Otherwise.... You want hear from me. Possibly because I blew myself up. Or because it just didn't work.

Ps- telling me that it can't be done felt more like a challenge that I have been working on for some time now.
 

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I got into a little bit of trouble when I was in Jr high school and a home chemistry kit.

It had all the ingredients for black powder except for the charcoal but that wasn't hard to come by.

I never did shoot any of it out of a black powder rifle but I did load up quite a few 06 shells with a piece of home made fuse in it for a nice firecracker.
 
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