Saturday, 26 September 2009

Flintlock Tools.

Vent Pick.

Showing vent quills, powder measure, pan brush and vent pick, and a ball board holding two patched balls.

A shot flask.

Left to Right: Gun flint, leather to hold flint in the jaws of the cock, screw, pin punch, turn screw, and at the bottom a container of tallow to waterproof the pan in wet weather.

Shot mould for swan shot.

. 60 calibre ball mould and copper lead ladle.


Mainspring vice.

20 gauge wad punch. This was my Father's wad punch and I am very pleased to have it.

If you own a flintlock gun or rifle there are a number of tools you might need to service, maintain and repair this arm.
The Vent Pick.
The vent pick is used to make sure the vent is kept clear of obstruction. Even the gunpowder itself can obstruct the vent and stop the fast passage of flame from the pan instantly igniting the powder charge in the breach of the gun barrel. Gunpowder in the vent will slow ignition. To prevent this the vent pick is pushed into the vent opposite the pan after loading the main charge, and before priming the pan.
The Pan Brush.
The pan brush is usually hung on a light chain or leather thong with the vent pick from the carry strap on the shot pouch. The purpose of the pan brush is to keep the pan clean and free of any gunpowder residue, as this will attract moisture and may wet the priming powder. You should use the pan brush to clean the pan before priming the pan.
If you need to reload fast do not bother cleaning the pan as there will not have been enough time for the residue to collect any moisture between shots.
The Ball board.
The ball board is a piece of shaped wood with holes bored in it the size of the bore of your gun to hold patched ball for faster reloading. This too usually hangs from the shot pouch strap. I shorten the leather thong with a loop like a bow so it remains out of the way but can be brought into use instantly by simply tugging on the board to bring it to full length and so reach the muzzle of my gun.
To use the ball/bullet board you simply place one of the patched balls over the muzzle of the gun and with your scouring stick/wiping stick/ramrod push the ball out of the board and into the barrel of the gun. Then simply drop the board and finish ramming the ball down the barrel firmly on top of the powder charge.
The Turn Screw.
The turn screw (screw driver) is used to tighten or loosen or remove gun screws for replacement or repair.
Mainspring vice.
The mainspring vice is used to clamp a replacement mainspring for fitting to the lock should one break.
The Wad Punch.
The wad punch is used for punching/cutting wads of wool felt or leather for use with shot in your flintlock gun.
A Pin Punch.
The pin punch is used to push or tap the pins out that secure the barrel in the stock.
The Worm.
The worm is used to clean the barrel of your gun. Tow or cloth is wound about the worm which is then pushed down the barrel to remove gunpowder residue. One a rifle this is often done between shots so that the ball does not get stuck part way down the barrel. It is also done when cleaning the barrel with water. If cold water is used the barrel is removed and the breach is placed under water in a stream or creek and the worm on the end of the ramrod is pushed up and down inside the barrel until the water that is being sucked in and pumped out is clean.
Most worms that I have seen have screwed onto the end of the ramrod. When I replaced my wooden ramrod with a metal ramrod I forged a worm permanently on one end.
The Screw.
The screw also attaches to the end of a ramrod and is used to remove a stuck ball or to “pull a load”. Pulling a load is to unload a gun without firing it for cleaning or in the case where the load has got damp and the gun will not fire.
The screw is made to screw into wads or the lead ball so it can be pulled out of the barrel.
Ball Mould.
The ball mould is used for moulding round ball for your gun as is a shot mould.
The Lead Ladle.
A lead ladle is used to pour moulten lead into the ball mould.

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