Flintlock Ignition issues

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Everyone,

I have a N.I.B. Lyman Great Plains Hunter, Right hand, .54, Flintlock.
I cleaned and assembled it for the first time today. I do have a .32
flintlock that sparks just fine so I do have some experience.

The thing is that when the flint strikes the frizzen there is no spark.

The flint strikes the frizzen hard leaving an impression.

The velocity of the hammer is good and the flint is straight.

I have run it with the bevel up and down, with leather and lead holders.

The geometry is good and the flint strikes straight on.

I tried different flints and the effect was the same.

I then thought there might be grease or oil from the factory so I took the mechanism out,
washed it with warm soapy water, dried it, then took it outside to clean with degreaser.
It sparked once or twice but that was all.

Q:
I did note that the face of the frizzen was smooth and polished from the factory.
I remembered that I had a Dremmel tool in the garage. I was wondering about grinding
part of the face of the frizzen off so the flint gets better purchase to create spark.

Could the face of the frizzen be too hard?

My last steps are to replace the frizzen but I don't think I have a tool small enough for the
screw.

Replace the lock with another one.
L&R

Send it to Flintlock RX
www.cabincreek.net

Any Thoughts?

Long Beard.
 

Andy54Hawken

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Mmmm...
I wonder if the frizzen did not get hardened when the rifle was assembled.

What flints are you using...
I have never had any good luck with the cut agate flints....
I use either the English or French hand knapped flints.

I like the L&R lock since it has an actual leaf spring , like a real flintlock had in the 18th and 19th centuries and not some awful 20th century coil spring ...
Andy
 

Andy54Hawken

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You can harden the frizzen...with Kasenit....

But yeah it may be best to get Lyman to replace the lock since its a new rifle and all.
With that said....
I still say replace the lock with an L&R lock down the road.....
Andy
 
OP
L
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Mmmm...
I wonder if the frizzen did not get hardened when the rifle was assembled.

What flints are you using...
I have never had any good luck with the cut agate flints....
I use either the English or French hand knapped flints.

I like the L&R lock since it has an actual leaf spring , like a real flintlock had in the 18th and 19th centuries and not some awful 20th century coil spring ...
Andy
I have some hand knapped English flints.

LB
 
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Try running a file on the frizzen,if it cuts in then it never got hardened.Lyman makes a good rifle but their flintlocks have never been the same quality of the rest,I would try Lyman first but if they hesitate then go with the L&R lock.See if they will send you a new frizzen to replace that one with.Agree with Andy about the cut flints,never had any luck with them.
 
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L
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Mmmm...
I wonder if the frizzen did not get hardened when the rifle was assembled.

What flints are you using...
I have never had any good luck with the cut agate flints....
I use either the English or French hand knapped flints.

I like the L&R lock since it has an actual leaf spring , like a real flintlock had in the 18th and 19th centuries and not some awful 20th century coil spring ...
Andy
Well, now I'll have to update my question.

What is the most reliable flintlock action (for the aforementioned rifle), in the field, long term?

I'm slowly approaching retirement age and I hope to retire to the mountains of northern Idaho
in a fairly remote area. I'd eventually like to live as far off the grid as possible. Previous to
" The Thing " going on I was telling one of my co-workers that : "I don't like being at the end of
a 25,000 mile long supply chain..." now that seems quite prophetic. Also, if we engage in a war
with a Large, Populous, East Asian country , nuclear or otherwise ((at this moment there is a border
skirmish with India)) my plan seems quite reasonable.

As part of a long term plan I got a Great Plains Flintlock to match my percussion cap rifle in the
same caliber. It will not be complete but there will be some interchangeability between the two
even for balls, patches, molds, ramrods, etc.

As I can afford it I'll get a smooth bore barrel (I think the .54 bore is 16 gauge) for birds, rabbits,
etc.

If pushed to you can make black powder in the field, I can melt & pour round balls in the field,
I don't have the dependence in store bought caps with flint, etc.

On the recommendation of Suzi at the gun works I bought Lyman because of parts availability.
I'll eventually have replacement locks, barrels, etc.

Thank you in advance,

Long Beard
 
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I traded into the same rifle a few years back (my 2nd one), which had the same problem. Contacted Lyman, and they were kinda sorta not very helpful since I was not the first owner. Gunworks in Eugene helped me out. Had a new frizzen, and Joe (RIP) helped to install it.
Gun works is actually in Springfield, not Eugene, but if you already know Suzi I'd go with the advice and assistance you get there. I can think of nowhere better. Next time you visit with them tell them Hi from me.

Joe would have sorted you out in a gnat's far*.
 

Andy54Hawken

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@Longbeard
I'd replace that awful coil spring flintlock with a L&R replacement lock when funds will allow.

The L&R lock is more historically correct and far and away...more reliable than the factory one.

The Lyman percussion lock is reliable , even with the coil spring...( yuck )
A coil spring woks okay in a percussion lock..but in a flintlock , in my experience with them...they just don't have enough consistent "oomph" to work well.
But I cannot recommend a factory flintlock from Lyman...too much in the matter of cost cuts and historic cuts for my taste.

.54 caliber is closer to 28 gauge....not 16 gauge ...
16 gauge is .682 and 28 gauge is .559
Andy
 
Gun works is actually in Springfield, not Eugene, but if you already know Suzi I'd go with the advice and assistance you get there. I can think of nowhere better. Next time you visit with them tell them Hi from me.

Joe would have sorted you out in a gnat's far*.
Semantics (but you are correct). Though, when I head north I never say I am going to Springfield, I always say I an headed up to Eugene. :D
It was a very sad day in the firearms community when we lost Joe (but that is an aside to the Op's issue).
 
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@Longbeard
I'd replace that awful coil spring flintlock with a L&R replacement lock when funds will allow.

The L&R lock is more historically correct and far and away...more reliable than the factory one.

The Lyman percussion lock is reliable , even with the coil spring...( yuck )
A coil spring woks okay in a percussion lock..but in a flintlock , in my experience with them...they just don't have enough consistent "oomph" to work well.
But I cannot recommend a factory flintlock from Lyman...too much in the matter of cost cuts and historic cuts for my taste.

.54 caliber is closer to 28 gauge....not 16 gauge ...
16 gauge is .682 and 28 gauge is .559
Andy
I'm not too concerned with historical accuracy; I really need a functional field piece.

I've already sunk to many funds into this project to not have it work. I'll take the rifle
the the gun works in a few weeks and pick out an L&R lock.

When I say reliable I'm looking for "The bear is at 10 paces and I'm pulling the hammer
to full cock..." reliability.

LB
 

Andy54Hawken

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I'm not too concerned with historical accuracy; I really need a functional field piece.
At the risk of beating a dead horse...
My point was and is....
The Lyman factory flintlock is not historic or as reliable as made out to be.
A L&R lock will be both historically correct and far more reliable.
One can be both historically correct and have reliability.

Coil lock springs and flintlocks are not a good idea for reliability .
Leaf springs ( which the L&R lock has ) have worked for centuries.
Andy
 
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Everyone,

I have a N.I.B. Lyman Great Plains Hunter, Right hand, .54, Flintlock.
I cleaned and assembled it for the first time today. I do have a .32
flintlock that sparks just fine so I do have some experience.

The thing is that when the flint strikes the frizzen there is no spark.

The flint strikes the frizzen hard leaving an impression.

The velocity of the hammer is good and the flint is straight.

I have run it with the bevel up and down, with leather and lead holders.

The geometry is good and the flint strikes straight on.

I tried different flints and the effect was the same.

I then thought there might be grease or oil from the factory so I took the mechanism out,
washed it with warm soapy water, dried it, then took it outside to clean with degreaser.
It sparked once or twice but that was all.

Q:
I did note that the face of the frizzen was smooth and polished from the factory.
I remembered that I had a Dremmel tool in the garage. I was wondering about grinding
part of the face of the frizzen off so the flint gets better purchase to create spark.

Could the face of the frizzen be too hard?

My last steps are to replace the frizzen but I don't think I have a tool small enough for the
screw.

Replace the lock with another one.
L&R

Send it to Flintlock RX
www.cabincreek.net

Any Thoughts?

Long Beard.
I'm not sure if I can reply to my own post but here is an update.

#1: I sent a letter to Lyman with a photo of the frizzen and a list of things I tried. Upon
receipt Lyman emailed me that they would send me another frizzen ( I must have
diagnosed it well for the quick response).

#2: I made yet another 2 1/2 hour drive, one way, to The Gun Room in Springfield
(Joe's grandson (?) was at the counter). And I picked up:
A: An L&R lock.
B: A German silver front sight blade
C: A modern ram rod and Jag (sorry Andy); I hate the Ash ramrods. I can shoot several
hundred round balls a year; an Ash rod just wouldn't stand up to that. I know I can get
a Hickory rod or something more authentic but with the volume of my shooting I'll use
something more durable.
D: I'll replace the buckhorn sights with the factory short notch that came with the rifle.

#3: I spoke with my local gunsmith about the installation of the sights & lock but he
said he is "A month and a half out on starting anything and may stop taking in new
gunsmithing jobs." Gun sales are so busy he had two dozen guns to be picked up
and I'm hearing about background checks taking 10 days.

Blessings All,

Longbeard
 

Andy54Hawken

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i am glad that your rifle is on the mend....
Tapping out the old sights and installing the new ones isn't that difficult...you may be able to this yourself.

Replacing the lock can also be done at home...if you are handy with wood working tools

I would also say that I shoot hundreds if not closer to a shade over a thousand shots a year...
Lots of black powder shoots , rendezvous and demonstrations as well as many hunting practice shots...
A Hickory ram rod properly used , works well ...for me at least.
Andy
 
OP
L
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i am glad that your rifle is on the mend....
Tapping out the old sights and installing the new ones isn't that difficult...you may be able to this yourself.

Replacing the lock can also be done at home...if you are handy with wood working tools

I would also say that I shoot hundreds if not closer to a shade over a thousand shots a year...
Lots of black powder shoots , rendezvous and demonstrations as well as many hunting practice shots...
A Hickory ram rod properly used , works well ...for me at least.
Andy
All I have on hand for tools are steel punches (no brass), a nylon head hammer, non-gunsmithing
screwdrivers, and a Dremel tool. I don't even have a vice let alone a padded one. I need to do my
cleaning/gunsmithing sitting on the bedroom floor. If at all possible I'll try a gunsmith first. I emailed
Allison & Carrey to see if they are taking new gunsmithing work.
I'll get a Hickory stick later; its just that I'm at about $1,000 and I've never touched a round off
yet...

LB
 

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