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Never stand close to the hammer-side of a flintlock firing

This happened to me once. I was facing the right side of the rifle; it was home-made and the touch hole was slanted so the side blast went into my face when it was fired. I suspect that traditionally the touch hole should be drilled so the hole is slanted up so the next shooter doesn't get the side blast. Does anyone know?


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    BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 13,529 ******

    It sounds like you attained a good lesson from the school of hard knocks with your experience LouieRvs. I hope your burn injury was not too severe. The touch hole on the lock side of a flintlock is just about always a straight hole into the barrel. Most are coned either on the inside or on the outside using a screwed in liner.

    There is a flash guard that can be used to direct the pan flash upward, but I have mostly seen these on military type muskets.

    For the most part, the majority of rifles and fowlers send the flash outward from the flash hole lock side. You need to stand away a good distance on that side of a shooter or keep behind them or to their opposite lock side while watching the shooting.

    My black powder club has plywood dividers at the shooting level where everyone stands at the firing line.

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    LouieRvsLouieRvs Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for your comment, Brookwood. Lesson learned; indeed, I think the rifle builder/shooter learned a lesson too: keep observers away from the lock side. I was not aware of the flash guard on military rifles, but it had occurred to me that a line of shooters of old were either extra tough or had some technique for protection.

    In my case the blast went right into my face, but no damage to my eyes; just a bit of irritation from the smoke. I had unburnt powder and other residue imbedded in my face for several months. That was in 1970, I learned a lesson, and am fully recovered.

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