View Full Version : I need another totally useless range toy...Flintlock pistol

12-28-2010, 10:59 PM
Since this is the Black Powder sub-forum but with very little black powder discussion I'll ask:

What is the best way to get into flintlock pistols?

Which manufacturers are best?

Any recommendations as far as which locks or patterns?

12-29-2010, 12:07 AM
I built a small percussion Derringer, back when I was a kid. The project was a ton of fun. Barrel, stock, lock. Done.

Dixie Gun Works or the like.

This is similar to the kit I got.

I didn't pay $149, I think it was more like $50.

Edit: At least it's a cheap way of trying black powder, as there is a lot to learn, balls, mini-balls, patches, paper, cloth, flasks, rods, rams, measuring powder, percussion caps, flints, flashes, and the infamous..... fisssshooooootttttt-pop-bang. With clouds of smoke. Sweet.

12-29-2010, 12:12 AM
But then again, you probably already done all that kind of cool stuff.

12-29-2010, 7:03 AM
If this is your first BP pistol, I'd suggest starting with a percussion-lock gun. They are much easier to get shooting and usually quite a bit cheaper too.

Cabelas has some great deals on classic BP guns like the 1860 Colt and 1858 Navy. Dixie Gun Works has an even better selection, although usually a little bit more expensive.

12-29-2010, 8:06 AM
If this is your first BP pistol, I'd suggest starting with a percussion-lock gun. They are much easier to get shooting and usually quite a bit cheaper too.

Cabelas has some great deals on classic BP guns like the 1860 Colt and 1858 Navy. Dixie Gun Works has an even better selection, although usually a little bit more expensive.

Yea, Flints have to wait too long when you pull the trigger !!! Click, snap ..... fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .. BOOM !! :D

12-29-2010, 5:24 PM
I would like to build a flintlock, but will likely do a percussion pistol or rifle first. I have a Pietta 1858 New Army revolver...very enjoyable to load and shoot!

It would be nice to see more BP interest in here. Perhaps a dedicated forum instead of lumping it in with the C&R milsurps?


12-30-2010, 4:02 PM
This isn't necessarily so.

Yea, Flints have to wait too long when you pull the trigger !!! Click, snap ..... fizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .. BOOM !! :D

A properly built, timed, and maintained flintlock can ignite and fire very very quickly, with almost negligible difference in lock time compared to a caplock.

It is very easy though, to build/maintain/load a flintlock that will perform like crap.

I support the OP's interest in building a flintlock pistol.
They're fun, neat, and in the right caliber -- smashingly effective on whatever you point them at!!


12-30-2010, 7:00 PM
Oh man...I'm doomed...

I just ordered the "Track of the Wolf" catalog (http://www.trackofthewolf.com/categories/partdetail.aspx?catid=4&subid=38&styleid=135&partnum=catalog-17).

432 full color pages of flinty pr0n.

Also ordered Torston Lenk's, "The Flintlock: It's Origins, Development and Use"

The Flintlock is in all actuality an amazingly simple device. No wonder it was the gold standard for 200 years. I have absolutely no concept of that kind of longevity. In an age where the ShotShow presents the shiniest, new, must have baubles every year imagine seeing the same rifle for 3 or 4 lifetimes.

I can't wait to sink time and a fortune into rebuilding something that was commonplace 150 years ago.


12-30-2010, 7:20 PM
You're not doomed, you are simply exploring history and expanding on the possibilities.


12-30-2010, 8:34 PM
Go Pete Go!!!

I love black powder.
Do yourself the favor of completely side-stepping the fake-black-powder crap.

I think you'll really enjoy the learning curve on the flintlock.
The Track catalog is great.
You won't regret a thing, won't miss a dollar you spend there.

Go with .62 caliber or bigger with your flint pistol.
Make it useful.
Go long on the barrel too.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!


12-30-2010, 9:13 PM
I would suggest getting a flintlock rifle instead. You'll have all the fun of running a flintlock, and you will have way more accuracy. It will simply be much more fun to shoot.

I have a Great Plains .54 percussion. It is one of my favorite guns to shoot. And the damn thing can print cloverleafs out to 75yds when I am up for the task, and is good for 120yds. I think if all I had was a BP pistol, it would me more of a novelty gun, and not such a dedicated shooter.

Now I gotta start shooting that Pietta 1858 I have sitting on a shelf:D

12-30-2010, 9:27 PM
Take a look at Dixie Gun Works also. They have a great selection of flint and cap lock pistols and rifles, and their customer service is supposed to be excellent.

Black Powder is pretty addictive. And yes, the real stuff is more fun than the substitutes.

Anubis Laughed
01-01-2011, 3:52 PM
Pedersoli (Italian maker) has the best reputation that I know of for replica black powder muskets, rifles, and pistols. More pricey than some other makers, but their quality is usually worth the extra expense.

Dixie sells them, as do some others online. Just shop around for the best price.

Loyalist Arms here has a big selection of flintlock arms, but some of the Indian-made guns have a dodgy rep for quality. http://www.loyalistarms.com/mainpage.html

01-01-2011, 7:19 PM
Good call!

Loyalist Arms here has a big selection of flintlock arms... http://www.loyalistarms.com/mainpage.html

Sweet .62 flint pistol!!! (http://www.loyalistarms.com/1720%27s%20french%20pistol.html)
And it's priced at just over $300!


01-02-2011, 6:58 PM
When I was a wee lad, long ago, far away, on our family farm in Ohio, I also, sent away for several Black Powder pistol gun kits. At the time, I had a copy of an old shooters bible catalog, which, was all rabbit eared and grimy from endless hours of turning the pages and dreaming about all the wonderful CHEAP guns I could have LEGALLY, as a kid.

When it came to black powder gun kits ordered from mail order suppliers located in Brazil, or Honduras, or some such remote location, quality and craftsmanship were the last thing on my list. CHEAP was the order of the day....

So, I purchased this flintlock pistol kit, from god knows where, and it was supposed to be a faithfull reproduction of a 69 calibre flilntlock pistol as was "Commonly used by the American revolutionaries".... Or some such thing that a kid stuck on a farm would go absolutely nuts over.

At the time, I think I paid about 20 dollars for the gun kit, and 100 69 calibre lead balls.

It took me about two weeks to fully assemble that first gun kit, I had to blue the barrel myself, I had to temper the frizzen myself, by heating it with a blow tourch, and dunking it into an empty coffee tin filled with 40 weight motor oil... Polish the brass fittings, all by hand, finish the stock... and finally get the thing in actual working condition.

I sent away for flints and powder, which I don't rmember what I paid for them, but it wasn't much, my family were not rich, and the money I earned by doing extra chores, and doing odd jobs for the other farm families in the area didn't amount to a whole heck of alot.

So, basically, the deal was, CHEAP...

All I can tell you, is that, the first time I leveled that pistol properly loaded with 69 calibre ball, at about 5 feet from this old oak fence post, and that damn thing actually fired and kicked like a mule, blowing a flame about 4 feet out, and blowing a 69 calibre hole right through the entire fence post, as if it had been drilled by an auger....

I was sold.

It was the best 20 bux I ever spent in my entire life.

When it comes to black powder, and a flintlock smooth bore pistol.... forget accuracy, if you get near the target at all, your a damn good shot !!!

My point being, its not the cost of the weapon or the manufacturer that really matters, its the skill of the shootist, and the fun of the sport.

As a side note, being an industrious lad, member of the local youth NRA, and having access to all kinds of weird old farm tools and dies and such.... I found out, that by stamping out my own cork wads, from sheets of cork, available at most hardware stores at the time, with a modified old antique apple corer tool, carefully hammered out to the right diameter... that, my 69 calibre pistol, when loaded with powder, a cork plug, shot, and another cork plug, made a damned good duck gun !!!

01-02-2011, 7:11 PM
Great story ElvinWarrior!

I have quite a few black powder handguns and long guns.
All great stuff, including an orig sea service tower pistol with belt loop - it's a family heirloom.
Also, I have a Pedersoli .62 SxS howdah pistol. I run 70gr FFg and tightly patched roundball, and it puts them right next to each other, right over the single bead sight at 35 yards. Accurate and consistent at that range.

The tip is to run tight patches and plenty of the right kind of patch lube.
For medium to big balls (.62 and up) we're talking denim patch material of at least .025" thickness.

The website noted above also carries a Tower sea service replica for about $300, and I'm tempted.
I'm sure it'd be a total ripper!

BTW, Welcome to Calguns!


01-02-2011, 7:35 PM
My private fantasy at the moment is a reproduction folding trigger .31 calibre Wells Fargo pocket pistol, 5 shot...

They used to be issued to the Wells Fargo riders, as a personal defence pistol, most of whom, I am sure you know, were orphaned or estranged teen boys, making a living as riders. The kids were light, of course, they were kids, but also, they were smaller than most men of the time, small hands, so, Wells Fargo specifically requested a small, compact pistol, with an easily removeable cylinder, that could be used by small framed boys (jocky sized boys, as their primary job was as riders, Wells Fargo specifically hired smaller teen boys, they were light, and the horses could be run longer and faster.)

The model I am looking for, may not be in reproduction manufacture at this time, but perhaps, their are stockpiles of them around someplace. It is a very small pistol, 5 shot, no raming lever on the barrel, you had to remove the cylinder to load it, and generally, the riders carried more than one pre-loaded cylinder, so they could reload very quickly by popping the barrel pin, pulling off the empty cylinder, and ramming down a loaded one... the process was in fact, very quick.

NE Ways... I digress....

Thanks for the Welcome !!! Glad to be here !!!

01-03-2011, 12:50 PM
Kind of like this (http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,5514.html)?


01-03-2011, 1:16 PM
I have several Black powder guns and after shooting BP for 40 years have settled on Thompson Center guns. They are simply the best quality there is, as good or better than fine original guns (that I have too) There are a lot of flint TC's for sale around, Usually by people that are replacing them with percussion lock guns. I really like the guys and products at Track Of the Wolf, Pedersoli makes the best import guns and has a wonderful selection. Several other import guns have had trouble, Lyman has a class action suit against it for there Italian made Plains rifles blowing up. There are some magnificent hand made guns around and if you are a craftsman, it would be fun to build a custom one for yourself. Dixie is a revered old supplier, also, get a Buffalo arms catalog from Northern Idaho, they have great stuff. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new (antique) 3" 750 lb cannon, this years restoration project.

01-03-2011, 1:27 PM
I never got into barrel making, but I've made a handful of locks over the years. Matchlocks, a wheellock (still fitting parts), snaplocks, flintlocks... I need to find the box they're in so I can get some pictures.

I think I like the matchlocks the best. They're what allowed us to get our foothold on this continent even though better technology existed. They're dead simple, easy to build and repair and they rarely break. Now keeping your match dry...

01-04-2011, 2:37 PM
Wow !!!!

You guys are GREAT !!!

And I thought I was a historical gun buff !!!

I am amazed !!!

Do you guys ever have conventions or things like that??? I would love to meet some of you experts in this field !!!

Deepest Admirations....

Elvin Warrior !!!



Thanks for the link, Close enough... very close, although I had wanted the folding trigger version, that one would work JUST FINE !!!

Thanx !!!

gun toting monkeyboy
01-04-2011, 2:59 PM
It was too rainy this year to take the matchlock out for deer. The last two muzzleloading seasons were too dry, and I didn't like the idea of taking it out with a burning match in the kindling that passes for woods around here. One of these days though...

As for inexpensive, these guys got several positive comments on some of the oddball boards I have visited. I have never bought from them, but I figured I would pass the information on.


01-04-2011, 5:54 PM
bp cannon and Berdans shooting their .54 's

bp is VERY addicting and not terribly costly..........unless you buy a cannon.

Flintlock Tom
01-06-2011, 7:24 AM
My very first gun was a Kentucky flintlock pistol kit from Dixie Gun Works.

01-06-2011, 7:48 AM
I purchased a cheap (Spanish?) kit for .44 derringer that was supposed to be a replica of the one that shot and killed Lincoln. I had a blast putting that thing together! I ended up doing quite a bit of customizing, fancy carved stock, trimmed the brass fittings to look cleaner, about 15 coats of finish. I experimented with 'browning" the metal finish. Then built a leather covered / purple velvet lined box with places for balls, patches, powder, primers, etc. It is pretty dammed cool! Did I mention a hoot to shoot! I know worthless without pics.

BTW: When I was buying the large purple velvet dress at the local thrift store it was pretty funny... sure its for gun hobby... "Sir, that large still might be a little tight on you at the midrift, we have a real nice one in pink" :rofl2:

01-06-2011, 11:02 AM
Thats too funny !!!

But it sounds like a really fun gun to toy with !!!

I would never have the patience, or the proper cabinette making tools, to make my own wooden display case, but I do purchase them for all of my pistols !!!

However, I am not above rummaging through the old leather purse section of a thrift store, looking for shoulder bags that can be readily adapted to carry all the crap you have to carry around with you to load and maintain a BP weapon.



01-06-2011, 11:49 AM
Here is a link to some of the nicest cases available .
He is a first rate case maker . I have one around my 1860 Colt Army.