Firing a vintage flintlock

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Jackman, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    I have a flintlock that probly has not been fired in 100 years or more, sure would like to fire it............ I have no knowledge of flint locks so I don't even no where to start......... The flint lock is a US North Midl Conn 1833 its a breech loader , it appears to be in working condition , however I think it has the wrong Ramrod. The Ramrod appears to be too short or missing a piece, one end of the ram rod is mushroom shaped (like a golf tee) and the other end is threaded but I have nothing to thread on to it also when I drop the rod in to the barrell it falls all the way in as if its too short........... Anyway ideas are appreciated............

    Jack
  2. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    Is this a breech loader or a muzzel loader? The ram rod would be short, to fit in the channel. When you place the load in it would stick out past the muzzels end, if it is a muzzel loader. If it's a breech loader that is a cleaning rod. I am sure some of the others will chime in here. Please post a few pictures of it so we can help you
  3. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Rooster,Thanks for the reply......... Ill get my son to post a picture as soon a s possible. I think your right its probley a cleaning rod, it kinda makes sense now.. Just forward of the trigger guard is a latch spring loaded latch that when pulled rearward pops up the the top portion of the gun and I believe that is were you would load it........ I will absolutly post some pics soon........

    Thanks Jack
  4. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Please post some pictures, IF a breech loading flintlock, you have avery high dollar piece there if original! Once you post some pictures, I can probably walk you through the steps as to shooting it BUT will need to know the caliber. I am VERY interested in seeing pictures, VERY, VERy interested. I shoot a LOT of black powder guns with flintlocks being the majority of them.
  5. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    jjmitchel ,

    thanks for the reply, I am just learning to post pics I think I can get one on here later to night........

    Thanks jack
  6. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/....com/albums/hh123/Towe wrRat-95B/IMG_1388.jpg

    Well that did not work, still have lots to learn about posting pics
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  7. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    These should be pics of my Musket, I have found from internet serchs that it is a 52 Caliber breach loader made in 1833.
  8. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    GREAT piece and worth a g GOOD amount. Now to the shooting aspect, first of all you have a piece missing. Where the copper wire is, there is a top half to that piece that is not tehre. that holds the flint in place. Otehr than that it would probabloy go off by loading and shooting teh conventual method. Here are the loading procedures:

    1. open the breech
    2. make sure barrel is not obstructed.
    3. now you load the piece that pops up JUST loike you would any other BP gun, powder first and the patched ball or projectile. Then close the breech and it is loaded.
    4. Put priming powder in pan after breech is closed.
    5. close frizzen over pan
    6. cock the hammer with flint in it
    7. pull trigger and teh spark will set it off.

    NOW those were GENERAL instructions ONLY. You need to get the top 1/2 of the hammer OR get the exact deminsions and have one made. IF I had it in my hands I could tell for sure. IF you have found some info on line on it, do more research as to laoding sequence, but think I am correct on it, and if some one can make or might have the part you need. Contact these people about the part and other questions, I know they will be VERY interested and could find the piece you need:
    http://www.dixiegunworks.com
    They are located in TN and have dealet in black powder firearms of all types for MANY years.

    Hope what little I gave you helps, but you need that top 1/2 of the hammer to hold a flint in place. I know you will probably never sell it BUT if you do, PLEASE contact me. I love flinters and an in-line flinter from 1833 would be a great addition to my collection. By teh way, in-line flinters were being produced as early as the very early 1700s and posibly as early as the mid to late 1600s.

    By the way, according to my son ShotGunNEws had an article on that gun and the breech can be removed and shot like a derringer outside the stock of the rifle!
  9. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    JJmitchell60,

    Thanks super info, will be very useful to me this summer when I actually fire this Musket:)...... As for the missing piece I have it , the threaded bolt that goes through it and into the other half snapped in two, so I need to get a new bolt I will check that site you gave me the link to. I don't see myself ever selling this ,cause its been in the family for 80 years. I also have a Musket pistol probley from the same time period, however some darn fool turn it into a lamp by drilling a hole straight through the hand grip and into the barrel and then threading a cord and bolting a cast iron base to the grip:(,,,,,,,,,,,its a pitiful site but may it can be repaired........

    Sorry for the delay in responce, I was having trouble logging on here when I logged on here I got the green light but when I went to post a reply every time it took me back to the log on screen:confused:, it was confusing but I emailed the site and they showed me how to clear my cookies, so now I should be AOK..........

    Thanks again for your help
  10. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    JJMitchell,

    Just wondering if you look at the pic of the breach there are 3 large screws and to the right a just a bit down you can see a slight imprint , its hard to see and even harder to in the pic but there is some type of stamp there,,,,,,, Any Idea what that could be?
  11. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    As to the handgun, it can be fixed by a good BP builder. IF smooth bore the hole can be filled by modern welding, tig, and the wood can be fixed to almost not being noticable.

    As to the stamp, is there anyway you can get me a closer and clear picture? IF so please either post it or send it to me to:
    jjmitchell60@msn.com
    I will do my best to give an idea what it is or where to find out what it means.
    I will say one thing, you have a real piece of history there, one I am very envious of being a Historian (one of my degrees is in US History) and a re-enactor. Like your family, mine too passes down items that have been in the family, sadly that is a dying practice being many want to sell it upon a death to get the money ASAP.
  12. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    JJMitchell,

    I'll get some close up pics tomarrow. The imprint is an oval shape and either has 3 numbers or letters in it, I was think may be a serial # if this was a military Musket or someones iniths ........

    BTW my family has always had an interest in early American History, my father was History teacher for 35 years and that is the why we have these 2 muskets cause it fits so well in to my fathers career and past time and also his fathers interests. I will never part with these the only thing differant I will do is actually fire them again , which is something that I always wanted to do but my Dad was worried that I might damage the Musket.


    Thanks for your help I do appreciate it.
    Jack
  13. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    Hi
    I have been looking through a few books and found some info for you.

    If you can see a copy of "Guns and rifles of the World" by Howard L Blackmore (he was the curator of the Tower of London gun collection and is pretty much the authority on antique weapons) plate 379 and 378 shows you the same weapon. It is decsribed as U S Rifle model 1819 with J H Hall breech action. Made at Harper's Ferry Armoury in 1838. It says the photos are from the West Point Museum (No. 5552) so I guess you could contact them.

    I will try to scan the photos next week and see if I can attach them

    It looks an absolute gem and with the missing parts should be good to shoot with a sympathetic charge. I have a British India pattn. Brown Bess Flintlock from 1805 that I shoot from time to time

    All the best

    Enfield in NZ
  14. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Enfield, the Brown Bess is an item that is over looked in history as to guns that have helped shape teh world. The Brits ahve sent the Bess all over the world, every corner that the Brits had a colony or any where they wanted one even, they sent Brown bess Muskets by the ship full. We today remark that the AK-47 is teh gun that is every little conflict on this earth but many do not realize the Brown bess was the 18th, 19th and even early 20th century's version of the Ak-47. They were every where you went. I have areproduction which is better for my re-enactments but always wanted an actual one from teh 1770s. I missed my chance several years ago when a man was selling some at a re-enactment I was at for $3000 US. These had been found in a house in PA in teh United States back in 1991. They were found on teh second floor of a old colonial home that was under renovation. They measured the down stairs and then measured the upstairs to find a hidden room upstairs that was the full width of the home but only about 4 feet wide. Inside was a cache of muskets, ball, and powder from teh American revolution!!! they ahd to have the US Army come in and remove the kegs of powder. All the guns were sold off as well as some otehr unique items in that room, enough money was raised to put the house and whole farm back in 1770s condition. What a find but at the time I was broke as usual.

    As to this inlne musket, one thing I found VEY interesting ws taht the breech unnit could be removed and carried hidden as a hide a way gun for when the soldiers went into bars or taverns. It could be shot as a hand gun so to speak. Many thing that in lines are a modern invention yet here is a piece that proves they were around in the early 19th century and have seen other types from as early as the 17th century!

    As to the Brown Bess of yours, shoot it with pride and joy. They are a huge part of world history.
  15. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    I am pleased to here that you appreciate the bess, I know I do.

    You just have to wish it could talk, it has full british Military marks including Tower on the lock and the board of ordanance mark with 1805 on the stock and as an added bonus it has regimental marks on the top of the buttplate for the 85th Foot (Kings own Shropshire Light Infantry)

    I have to agree with you about them going all over the world as I have even done my bit by emmigrating from England to New Zealand 5 yers ago

    I do shoot it now and again as its' in semi retirement- the guys at the club always gather round - you can see it in action in my avitar

    Cheers and good shooting

    Enfield
  16. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    As Enfield says, you have a Contract Model 1819 Hall U.S. Breech-Loading Flintlock Rifle. It was made by Simeon North in Middletown, CT. between 1830-1836 with a total quantity manufactured at 5,700.

    If you go to your local library, ask for Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms, 8th Edition. Full information on your rifle is on page 453-454.

    BTW, Flayderman values your Hall Flintlock in Fine Condition (which it appears to be) at $3,500.

    This is a rare and valuable firearm, so you may want to reconsider shooting it.
  17. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Thanks all for this great info, I really do appreciate it. I am still trying to post some pics but my digi cam does not do well with a very close shot. I really want to learn what that imprint on the stock is all about, I tried a pencil rubbing but the imprint is not deep enough to show up on the rubbing. Enfield , that is interesting that you mention the West Point museum, cause West Point borders the town that I grew up in and I had been through the museum quite a few times but don't recall seeing a musket like mine, I will look up that photo # and see if I can gather more info.

    JJMitchell, on removing the breach to use as a hand held if I push the locking mechanism rearward and up the breach almost comes out but I can feel that it is still held in by something firm. Do you have any pics of the breach removed?

    Xracer I will find that book that you mention and read up ........ I also share you concerns with firing such an old piece cause things can go wrong but I do intend to fully know what I am doing before I actually do it and hopfully I will have some seasoned veterans of vintage firearms present at the time.


    Thanks again for all the help
    Jack
  18. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    Hi Guys
    as promised I have scanned attached the photo from the book

    The photo of the gun is quite poor but the close up of the lock on the left is not too bad

    All the best

    Enfield

    Attached Files:

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