Ultra High Speed Flintlock Movie

It's finally ready! Flintlocks with multiple variables at 5000 frames/second. This movie will run at GunMakers' Hall this spring. Here's your chance to see it early. See if you can see individual blackpowder grains ignite.

Larry Pletcher | May 28, 2007 | Comments (1)

The accumulation of my high speed flintlock videos is finally finished. Because of over all size the movie is in two parts. Part A includes experiments with my old faithful large Siler lock using chipped English flints, sawn agates, Swiss Bull B and Goex ffg priming powder. A video of a Chambers Round Face lock without a frizzen spring has also been included. Of particular interest is the trial with Goex ffg. The grains of powder can be seen flying in the air above the pan. The first ignition takes place above the flint almost even with the top jaw.

Part B includes a pair of high speed videos of a large Siler lock firing up side down. The lock is tried with chipped English flints bevel up and down. Swizz Null B is used in both trials.

Also included in Part B are three tries at video taping a flint rifle firing. The camers used was monochrome are 15,000 frames/second - three times faster than the rate used on the locks. Lighting was a tough problem. We used 3000 watts on the gun and wished for double or triple that amount. The frame rate means a very fast shutter. In the first two tries, we started the camera on the sound of the trigger. In the last we simply let the camera run and fired the rifle.

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Great videos! In particular, I was stunned by how long it took from pan ignition to barrel ignition. It seemed to be far longer than the lock time and looks to be the major contributor to the delay from hammer-fall to 'bang'. Are you going to try studying this? Perhaps speeding up this phase of the ignition cycle would do much more than any amount of lock tuning.

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