Advantages Of A Flintlock Muzzle-Loading Gun for Long Term Wilderness living/Survival

Le Loup

Rüdiger Nehberg
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.32 cal flintlock rifle.jpg
.32 caliber Flintlock rifle with a set trigger.

Fusil Reduced.JPG
.62 caliber Flintlock fusil with a 42 inch barrel.

Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.
1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.
2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).
3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.
4) You can vary the load if needs be.
5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.
6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.
7) You can make your own gunpowder.
8) You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.
9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.
10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.
11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.
12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.
13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.
14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.
15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (only NSW is looking at this legislation at present).
16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.
17) Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.
18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.
19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.
20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.
 
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Howling Dingo

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Downside of smoothbore.. Slow rate of fire 3 round a minute,needs more cleaning being black powder,much lower effective range and the big one less accurate


Of coarse with any firearm in your scenario, big really issue is you will just run out of gunpowder/bullets one day.After you are out of ammo there is no way to replace it.
 

Le Loup

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Downside of smoothbore.. Slow rate of fire 3 round a minute,needs more cleaning being black powder,much lower effective range and the big one less accurate


Of coarse with any firearm in your scenario, big really issue is you will just run out of gunpowder/bullets one day.After you are out of ammo there is no way to replace it.
Well I only kill one animal for meat at a time, so slower loading is not an issue. Using a paper cartridge though is much faster.
I am not aware that larger calibers are less accurate, my .62 caliber is very accurate & it is a smoothbore. Smoothbore range maybe short, but rifle range is not.
Gunpowder weighs less than lead. Lead can be retrieved from shot game & remoulded. Carry less lead & more gunpowder. Will last for years. Other projectiles that will not damage the bore can be used. Gunpowder can be made from just charcoal & potassium Nitrate which is available in the bush.
Keith.
 

rurik

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There was an article around this topic in a recent Bushcrafting Magazine.
 

Howling Dingo

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Gunpowder can be made from just charcoal & potassium Nitrate which is available in the bush.
Keith.
Okay easy thing to say but very hard thing to do in the real world..As far as I know know there no record of bushman making there own gunpowder in the bush.If is I like to know about it please Keith!
 

Le Loup

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Okay easy thing to say but very hard thing to do in the real world..As far as I know know there no record of bushman making there own gunpowder in the bush.If is I like to know about it please Keith!
I did not say it was easy, I also said that you can carry less lead & more gunpowder. However, gunpowder has been made from just Potassium Nitrate & charcoal, though you will have to adjust the amount of gunpowder you use because without the use of sulphur, it burns much faster. Most of your meat will come from a trap line, so this too will save gunpowder.
Here are some links if you are interested: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272622419_Le_Sueur's_Saltpeter_Caves_at_Lake_Pepin_Minnesota_and_Wilderness_Gunpowder_Manufacture

http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/foxfire5.html

Gunpowder Bag #2 Reduced.JPG
This is one of three gunpowder bags that I carry in my knapsack. This method was used by woodsrunners back in the 18th century when away from home. When a gunpowder bag was empty, they used it for storing plant tinder for flint & steel fire lighting.
Keith.
 

Howling Dingo

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Can bushman/outdoors men make there own gunpowder in the bush.?If we look at over 200 years of history we can find no record of this being done.If it was feasible at some point it would of been done in the 200 years plus the flintlocks where in use..

It is easy to say something like that but to pull it off in the real word is a other matter..For a start where are you going to find Potassium in the ozzie bush?
 

Le Loup

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Can bushman/outdoors men make there own gunpowder in the bush.?If we look at over 200 years of history we can find no record of this being done.If it was feasible at some point it would of been done in the 200 years plus the flintlocks where in use..

It is easy to say something like that but to pull it off in the real word is a other matter..For a start where are you going to find Potassium in the ozzie bush?
Some people amaze me, they really do. Instead of seeing something that can be of use & see what can be done with it, they try to prove it wrong!!! What is the problem here. I share my knowledge in the hope that it may help, & yet people try to put me down, prove me wrong!!!
How do you think gunpowder was made 300 years ago? You think that it could be made then but not now? You asked for information, I sent you the links, READ IT.
Better still, ignore this post on flintlocks. You don't believe I am right, so why bother???
Keith.
 

MongooseDownUnder

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I guess if you knew you were going to run out of powder long in advance you could always build a Nitre Bed, another option from what I have read is using sodium nitrate instead, although it does burn slower. As someone who has done a lot of caving in the past I can definately say there is plenty of pottasium nitrate in some of them.
Thanks for the aticle on saltpetre mining it was quite interesting reading.
 
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pap11y

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OK gents lets keep this civil. This is an idea and while it may not be of interest/value to some it may be to others..
 

Le Loup

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Here is some more information on the procurement of Potassium Nitrate in the bush & the making of gunpowder. Personally I don't think I would ever have to go this far, gunpowder is not heavy & I can carry plenty of it. Most of my meat would be procured from a trap line so that would make my gunpowder last even longer. Spent lead can be retrieved from shot game & remoulded. I realise that there may be some loss, so you need to carry a reasonable supply of lead, but other projectiles from plants that will not damage the bore can be used for shot.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/backwoods-gunpowder-making.html
Keith.
 

Howling Dingo

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I really like to see a you tube film of someone making gunpowder in the local bush.Using what the just find there and a mortar and pestle .Historically gunpowder/black powder was made in a arsenal then sold or issued not made in the field.I think that is a fair point and I not being uncivil to point it out.

Good debate but lets keep it civil...:non sono stato io:
 

Le Loup

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I really like to see a you tube film of someone making gunpowder in the local bush.Using what the just find there and a mortar and pestle .Historically gunpowder/black powder was made in a arsenal then sold or issued not made in the field.I think that is a fair point and I not being uncivil to point it out.

Good debate but lets keep it civil...:non sono stato io:
This is what it says on the list:
7) You can make your own gunpowder. It does not say you can make your own gunpowder in the bush using natural materials. Yes it would be nice to see it on a video instead of reading about it. & if you find a video I would love to see it done myself. Meanwhile it is still a plus that we can make our own gunpowder if we have to from bought ingredients, & this fact does not lessen the usefulness of the flintlock gun.
Keith.
 
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Howling Dingo

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This is the Girardoni air rifle 1780–1815..

1024px-Girandoni_Air_Rifle.jpg

This air rifle was use by the Lewis and Clark expedition western part of North America in the early 1800s.The expedition very well funded and lead by experienced and battle tested army officers.The reason that the Girardoni air rifle was taken along is simple.Once the gunpowder was finished there way no way to resupply,the Girardoni need no powder.Lewis and Clark expedition was away for some three years..Girardoni was no toy and could kill a man or large game at 100 yards.

This was a realistic answer to the issue of running out of powder the bush by a man of that era..Again there is no record of any bushman/outdoors man or soldier forging and making powder in the wilderness.

We can learn from history we just have to listen to what it is trying to say to tell us
 

Thrud

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There was a tv show called "something" science, I remember one episode where they made a rocket or a distress flare out of some form of guano. I'll keep remembering....
 

okolicsa

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Hi Keith,

I have a number of question, I hope you don't mind.

This might be off topic, but I take it you still need a gun licence for a flint lock? As a city slicker I am not sure I would be allowed to shoot a flint lock at a range or where I would get one. I would love to 'play' with a flint lock btw. :)

You mentioned a number of times that other projectiles could be used. Are these projectiles that could be easily found in the bush? Eg; pebbles?

PS, thank you for sharing you wisdom. :)

Steve
 

apsilon

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This might be off topic, but I take it you still need a gun licence for a flint lock?
Most definitely plus the storage requirements and likely club membership etc. I've never once seen one used at a range. I'd be interested to see them first hand and handle one if possible. I've actually wondered if they're allowed at most ranges as they considered category B rifles or cat H handguns I believe and most ranges the template restricts calibres to below 8mm for rifles which is around .31 so all these .50 and .62 etc clearly exceed that.

I'm also curious if a high calibre permit is required for the pistols as a standard cat H licence restricts you to .38 calibre.
 
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