High Speed Video of a Flintlock

High Speed Video of a Flintlock

The high speed flint video project is done. BPM, working with Grant Ferguson from Olympus, captured video of a flintlock using different grades of black powder as well as flint configurations.

The process was more complicated than I expected. We got some decent stuff with lighting our biggest problem. The higher the frame rate the more light is necessary. With over 3000 watts of halagons going, we still were limited in the frame rates we could use.

The shot of the rifle firing a ball worked at 15,000 fps. With more light we could have more options. As it is you can see the pan ignite, pause, barrel ignite, pause, then the ball exiting the muzzle. The cool thing here is that we could see the jet exiting the vent hole, then wait for evidence from the muzzle. On this shot we had to use monochrome instead of color camera because of the frame rate and lighting.

We did the locks at 5000 fps in color. We did chipped flint – bevel up and down, ffffg and ffg priming powder, sawn agate flint, lock upside down, and one with no frizzen spring. With the playback software I’m using I cannot count frames. Without a frame count I can’t make the comparisons I would like to make, but I’m still pleased with our first try. (A frame count would tell us how long it took the ball to exit the barrel after the barrel charge was lit.) In other sessions I will be prepared with another couple thousand watts to add to what we used.

The video below is a large Siler lock with a new chipped flint, bevel up. The priming powder is Swiss Null B. The video was done using a color high speed camera at 5000 fps. This lock has been timed many times by computer over the last 20 years. It averages .0388 seconds from the time the sear trips until the pan ignites.

There is much more to add. We will be posting prehaps a dozen more videos, most using this lock with different flints, priming, etc.

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