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Old 08-31-2017, 01:39 PM
Klbsa Klbsa is online now
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Default Which..... Flintlock or Primer Caps



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I am going to get a black powder rifle.... and a pistol to go with it.

I'm not looking to get a new looking fancy gun (like a lot of the black powder guns I see in the stores nowadays)

I am wondering if I should go for the flintlock or cap style.

Is there a shelf life on caps if they are kept dry and cool? My point is that as a prepper I would buy A LOT of them so as to not have to worry about them being unavailable after SHTF.

I realize that finding flints in nature is super rare but I would just be sure to buy a sack of them so that it wont be an issue (ive seen them on ebay for real cheap).

Also, how about black powder? Does it stay good forever if I make sure to keep it locked up tight? I would think so right??

If your answer is to look on the forum for previous posts then please don't reply... My time is limited and I am already spending way too much time "Sifting" thru websites and posts.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:46 PM
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Is this a tool or a toy?

If it’s a tool to collect game , a somewhat questionable choice but maybe , get a 209 shotgun primer fired model with a removable breach plug for easier cleaning.

If it’s a toy flint lock is challenging and interesting way to shoot. The challenge being to consistently keep the thing shooting! That said they’re quite a bit of fun and make you appreciate your tools for their comparative absolute reliability

Primes and powder last a long, long time if you ‘keep your powder dry’
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:34 PM
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Get the primer if you plan to hunt with it. Check the regs though. In PA you need a flintlock to hunt in muzzleloader season. The cap is 100% reliable and will go off every time. The flintlock is problematic and unless you really know what you are doing, be ready for misfires. I have seen shooters at the range who do great with their flintlocks. There, they go off every time but I can say from personal experience, my son had loads of problems with them on our local deer hunts, especially drives. I saw loads of clouds of smoke and lots of clicks but not too many dead bodies... and he is a crack shot that never misses with anything else.
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klbsa View Post
I am going to get a black powder rifle.... and a pistol to go with it.

I'm not looking to get a new looking fancy gun (like a lot of the black powder guns I see in the stores nowadays)

I am wondering if I should go for the flintlock or cap style.

Is there a shelf life on caps if they are kept dry and cool? My point is that as a prepper I would buy A LOT of them so as to not have to worry about them being unavailable after SHTF.

I realize that finding flints in nature is super rare but I would just be sure to buy a sack of them so that it wont be an issue (ive seen them on ebay for real cheap).

Also, how about black powder? Does it stay good forever if I make sure to keep it locked up tight? I would think so right??

If your answer is to look on the forum for previous posts then please don't reply... My time is limited and I am already spending way too much time "Sifting" thru websites and posts.

Thanks in advance...
I'm a huge fan of traditional muzzle loaders. I have several percussion cap rifles and one very nice flintlock. Now my flintlock is as nice as can be had and I had a local builder tune it for me. It is one of the most reliable flintlocks I have ever been around. The problem is getting used to the ignition system. Coming from shooting percussion caps to a flintlock was a massive adjustment. Getting used to a face full of smoke was hard for me. I have adjusted, but I still shoot any one of my cap guns better.

As far a flint being rare, I'm not sure where you live, but where I am in the Rocky Mountains it is all over the place. I have chunks the size of grapefruits piled in my back yard for decoration. So at least where I am it is quite common. Now it doesn't have to be flint either. Chert, obsidian and quartz will also work.

As far as black powder goes my suggestion is that you learn to make your own. I have made all of mine for years and when I need more, I just make another batch. Of course I use real black powder. If you use any of the synthetics such as 777, Pyrodex or Black Canyon as long as you keep the container sealed and in a cool place it should last for quite some time.

As was stated in a earlier post if this is going to be your main meat getting tool I would go with one of the new inlines that use the 209 shotshell primers. You can't beat them for reliability and they cost a lot less than percussion caps.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:23 PM
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a inline with 209 primers will be your most reliable weapon. however that being said most have a much faster rifiling twist made to shoot saboted bullets. most don't shoot a plain patched round ball very accurately at all. they would probably be fine with round ball at bow ranges or out to 50 yrds.

my choice would be a caplock.shorter learning curve to reliability. most have twist set up for round balls. just about any non synthetic cloth can be used for patches in a pinch.

if yu have a bullet mold and some type of iron pot you can scavenge lead and have bullets forever. for instance any junk car with a battery and battery terminals will provide several bullets. use the posts and terminals only though. the lead plate inside the battery are often alloyed with zinc and don't cast well.also some heatlh risk from acid fumes when casting.

ball lube can be spit or rendered animal tallow. if you have caps its very likely you could keep a caplock running for a long time.

ive nothing against a flinter at all. they can be very reliable as well. the one thing I don't like is they are more prone to problems in wet weather. this can be worked around as well but the learning curve is going to be much longer than the other two type weapons.

whatever you get become familiar with it and what it likes. even a inline or caplock needs to be cleaned properly and the nipples and flash holes must be clean and clear to fire.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillzee View Post
Get the primer if you plan to hunt with it. Check the regs though. In PA you need a flintlock to hunt in muzzleloader season.
PA now has a Percussion muzzleloader season. They still have flintlock only seasons too.

http://archery.biz/pennsylvania/hunting-seasons.shtml
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:43 PM
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Awesome info guys.... I do figure it will be more of a toy for now but if shtf I would go to it first for deer and turkey in order to save my real ammo fir possible bad guys.

Probably easier to use one of my bows but I have always wanted a Penn long rifle..... I think I will get both. Im gonna need a bigger gun safe (grin)
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:47 PM
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a rock lock can be both frustrating...and rewarding...on the same day. But once you get the technique down...you will really see the value of such a simple design. I have been at a BP shooting event.....that those who know what they are doing.....with their flintlocks....have very quick ... reliable...ignition and hit what they are aiming for....its almost borders on an art form...
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:00 AM
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I'd recommend you start with Cap & Ball revolver - learn the addiction then move to a rifle.

Here's my collection of Pietta C&B revolvers. I won't see my .54 cal percussion Lyman Great Plains Rifle till Christmas.





If nothing else - there are cartridge conversion cylinders available for most C&B revolvers.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:05 AM
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I'd recommend you start with Cap & Ball revolver - learn the addiction then move to a rifle.

Here's my collection of Pietta C&B revolvers. I won't see my .54 cal percussion Lyman Great Plains Rifle till Christmas.





If nothing else - there are cartridge conversion cylinders available for most C&B revolvers.
I intend to get at least one BP revolver....... If not for any reason other than the fact that they are so beautiful, noisy and intimidating.

How is the accuracy on those beauties?
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:20 AM
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I have owned both. Lyman Great Plains 54 Cal. and a Lyman 54 Ca. Single shot pistol cap fired. I also had a 12 gauge side by side cap shotgun. All were extremely accurate with an effective range on the rifle out to 100 yards. I also had a Tennessee Valley semi-custom Flint lock in 54 Ca. It was extremely reliable and every bit as accurate as the Lyman. It was a little temperamental in damp conditions and not suitable for use in the rain.

I have also owned four cap and ball revolvers. Very reliable, but you need to know what you are doing to avoid unintended problems. When you load the revolver you need to grease the bullet side with lube to prevent a chain fire when you fire one round ND the rest go off from the sparks created. Other than that they were reliable, accurate and lots of fun!

My flintlock would cause the outdoor rifle range to shut down with people trying to figure out where the canon was along with a smoke screen. I called it my friend gun, because lots of guys wanted to shoot it.

You will really enjoy black powder. Keep the caps dry and store the powder to keep it dry and it should last you a long time.

The inline rifles often use a 209 primer and much hotter powders that should not be used in a cap and ball rifle, pistol or shotgun.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klbsa View Post
I intend to get at least one BP revolver....... If not for any reason other than the fact that they are so beautiful, noisy and intimidating.

How is the accuracy on those beauties?
I like em. They all shoot a little high but you can account for that.



I've yet to put grease on the front of my balls...
and have yet to have a chain fire. I use a felt wonder wad between the ball and powder which prevents any errant flame from getting into another chamber and causing a chain fire.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:48 PM
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Sorry about a bit of drift.
I like flint.
Any idea where I can get real BP in N.CAL.
I am in Sonoma county.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:23 PM
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Sorry about a bit of drift.
I like flint.
Any idea where I can get real BP in N.CAL.
I am in Sonoma county.
You need to call around and ask if a gun shop carries it or knows where it can be found. According to this 2011 thread on Calguns - CA residents are limited to 1lb of black powder.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-499276.html

Not sure what limits are on the substitute powders - Pyrodex or Triple Seven - neither of which work all that well with flinters.

Easiest place to find it would be at a local range that has a BP club / shoot.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:05 PM
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Caps are better in every way except two:

1 - Making reliable caps is tricky (I would almost say "impossible," but there are kits you can use that may pretty much work ... though the kits require chemical compounds, so you're back to square one when you run out of that compound)

2 - Flintlock can be more fun or rewarding depending how you look at it

If you're thinking in hardcore prepper terms ... a flintlock can feasibly operate for any length of time in a low-tech scenario. Making powder is feasible. Melting lead into bullets is feasible. Cleaning and lubing it is feasible. Knapping flints is feasible. Not to say easy ... but feasible.

Having said that: caplock will be more reliable and is faster to prime and shoot. So it depends what you are prepping for to some extent.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:27 AM
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Finding a retailer with real BP is next to impossible. Stocking it requires an explosives license which most cities and towns will not issue, period. I now get mine from a fireworks display company. It's a two hour drive each way! Used to be a supplier in Maine that I could hit when there for summer fun, but they've gone out of business. In the east here we have a couple of re-enactor sutlers who will bring it to events. Only other option is buy online from Track of the Wolf or Buffalo Bore. But that requires a 20 pound minimum order. Swiss (brand) powder is the best by far. GoEx is lousy, IMHO, although it will go bang it burns very dirty and isn't as powerful.

Here's a site that will tell you more than you ever thought you needed to know about black powder. Guy is a chemical engineer, and his day job is sewage treatment. Don't laugh, just read. http://www.musketeer.ch/index.html

BTW my only flinter is a kit gun that somebody made years ago. Bought it at a gun show in Muncie, Indiana. I don't shoot it a lot, but I (or it) must be charmed. It has never once missed fire.

Track of the Wolf has some decent books on the care and feeding of the flint-lock.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:45 AM
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Here's a site that will tell you more than you ever thought you needed to know about black powder. Guy is a chemical engineer, and his day job is sewage treatment. Don't laugh, just read. http://www.musketeer.ch/index.html
He is a great resource, I've had his site bookmarked for quite a while.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:59 AM
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The Bass Pro near me sells Goex black powder, but you have to ask for it. They don't put it on the shelves. Of course, you'll pay a Bass Pro price: $30/pound plus tax, iirc. Gotta pay the rent on that building. There is also a pawn shop that sells a lot of guns and gun-related supplies, not as close, but I go by occasionally anyway. Also $30/pound (but they haggle a little so I can at least get it for $30 out the door) and also stored in the back, available upon request only.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:03 PM
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I would say go with a flinter. When you run out of primers, you are out, unless you have a way to manufacture more of them. You can always find flint, chert, or quartz.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:16 PM
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I would say go with a flinter. When you run out of primers, you are out, unless you have a way to manufacture more of them. You can always find flint, chert, or quartz.

$250 + shipping and hazmat gets me 5000 #10 Remington caps. That's going to last awhile.
https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.c...ps-and-primers

Re-priming powder & cap maker.
https://sharpshooter-22lr-reloader.m...iming-compound

https://sharpshooter-22lr-reloader.m...sion-cap-maker

This is all in addition to umteen 1000's of rounds I have for my cartridge firearms.
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