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Alright, Help Me Out...


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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:48 PM

My father purchased his first PA muzzleloader stamp last week and borrowed an older Traditions Deerhunter flintlock (with the 1 in 66" twist - NOT the 1 in 48") from a fellow he works with so that he could go with me to the Erie hunt (which we ended up canceling on 'cause of the weather).

Anyway, we had some technical difficulties the first day we took it to the range. (The gentleman who owns it literally hadn't cleaned it in two years since the last time he used it. That's right, Goex powder fouling eating away at that poor rifle for TWO YEARS!) I wasn't let in on this little tidbit of information until we were already on our way to the range. So, there I am trying to field clean the dirtiest firearm I've ever encountered. My bore brush got so stuck in the sludge inside the barrel that it broke off in there. (Took a few hours back at the house to fish that out. :doh2: ) But, I digress...

Back on point, this has to be one of the most accurate patched round ball flintlocks I have ever shot in my life. For starters, with that short of a barrel it needed 3F instead of the 2F the owner had been feeding it. I had shots touching consistantly at 75 yards with .015 spit-patches over a .490 ball like it was nothing. (The best my T/C Hawken can do at that distance with PRB is about the size of a baseball. Usually it's more like a softball.) The problem, however, is that every other shot was a hang-fire or no shot at all! Half the time the flint wouldn't spark and it was one of my "secret stash" White German flints. (I literally had to clean the flint and sand the frizzen after each shot to have any chance.) It was SO bad that I insisted we buy an aftermarket touch hole liner (with a concave back and larger hole) even though dad would only have the gun for another day. Surely, that helps over the stock Traditions touch hole liner (which is GARBAGE!!!). But, honestly, I think the entire lock is junk. It's certainly nowhere in the same league as my Thompson (which itself is bested by a couple aftermarkets I've seen.)

So, here's where the help part comes in...

After spending an afternoon with the gun today my dad really wants a flintlock. I believe that with a little TLC (probably a new lock to go with the new touch hole liner) that this little rifle could be made to shoot. (It already lays the lead in there WHEN it feels like even firing.) So, I would like to make the owner an offer since he clearly doesn't seem to even care for it. (I wouldn't either if I didn't have sense enough to clean the thing once every year or so! :blink: ) I am thinking that since this rifle tends to sell for no more than $250 brand new that $100 would actually be a generous offer given the shape it was in and the work that must go into it. What say any of you? (I honestly think I'd open the "bidding" at $50. You'd just have to have seen this rifle!)

Secondly, assuming I am able to land this rifle to give to my father, what aftermarket lock should I consider investing in? Or, are there some "tricks" I can use to make the stock Traditions lock even worth having on the rifle? (Seriously, I think you'd be better off lighting a fuse.)

Thanks in advance for all of the wonderful opinions/views/advice folks!

PA IHEA & NBEF/IBEP Instructor

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#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:36 PM

Jeremiah first I would look at the whole lock mechanism. I would be certain that nothing is rubbing where it should not be. Check the hammer travel for spots that may be rubbing. Take the whole lock out of the rifle and check for powder fouling on the moving parts. Scrub it up real good and lube it at all moving points. It may be that the hammer needs to be bent for a better strike on the frizzen. Definately a flashhole liner that tightens with an Allen wrench will give better ignition. I once borrowed an old model CVA Flintlock and never got it to ignite the powder. I just gave that puppy back.
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#3 cayugad

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:25 PM

deluxe frizzen

If you can get it cheap enough, get a new touch hole liner and I put this on my Tradition's Hawkins Woodsman Flintlock. It is now as fast as any flintlock I have ever shot. Very dependable.

You might want to pull the lock and clean the back of it real well. And then if the frizzen is too damaged replace it...
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:44 PM

Second thing I did once back at the house (right after fishing out the broken brush :doh2: ) was pull the lock and scour it. Truth be told, I disassembled the entire gun and cleaned every inch of it. (Including the BLACK MESS that was even inside the stock. I'm convinced this gun had never been cleaned! I think the guy bought it, had trouble even getting it to fire and threw it in his closet.) The lock had no signs of damage and neither did the trigger. Everything seemed to fit as intended and there were no indentations anywhere inside the stock that might indicate something hanging up. YET, the trigger on this thing is ridiculously heavy. (Heavier than my T/C Hawken when I do a straight pull instead of using the set trigger.) Well, scratch that, it's not the trigger it's the lock. (Because it's still hard to trigger even when I had it out of the gun.)

My father talked with the gentleman yesterday and he (for reasons I still can't imagine) says he isn't looking to sell. So, I completely disassembled the rifle again tonight (as my CO2 unloader ran out of steam and dad and I both had to fire our arms) and cleaned the gun thoroughly once again. I did buy an RMC touch hole liner for it and decided to leave it in the rifle. (I also gave him a homemade lock stall.) I figure it's just right to give things back in better shape than you found them whenever possible. Besides, I hope with a bit better ignition that SOMEONE will use that little gal from time to time as she can sure lay the lead in there. :( :)

Thanks anyway, fellers. (I'll be sure to pass along the deluxe frizzen info.) :bigthumb:

I reckon now I'll just be greedy and buy myself a Green Mountain 1 in 66" barrel for my T/C and let dad worry about getting his own rifle. At least one of us will be really happy. :lol:

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#5 cayugad

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:40 PM

Well its amazing how much the flintlock rifles have jumped in price. I really think that the more companies stop building them the more my collection will be worth. I have a niece that is begging me for a flintlock. She's a real hunting nut. BUT her husband makes good money and could afford one, so I keep turning her down.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."




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