Stray Rounds: Flintlock Musket – 101

Screw It!

The most common source of misfires in flintlock firearms is a loose flint.

Any give will cushion the blow of the flint on the hammer and substantially reduce the flint’s effectiveness to strike sparks.

You should check the flint for tightness every time you handle a musket.

The simplest way is to grasp it between the thumb and forefinger and try to move it from side to side in the jaws of the cock.

If you can move it at all, it is too loose — and should be tightened.

New flints, regardless of whether you use leather or lead as a pad, will tend to loosen after the first few shots as the serrations in the jaws work their way deeper into the pad.

When installing a new flint snap the lock 2 or 3 times, and then re-tighten the cock screw again.

Jeffrey Edel
U. S. Park Ranger
Historic Weapons Supervisor
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Current Events:

October 22; Flintlock Musket Training
This one-day class on the introduction to the flintlock musket is open to those 16 and above. Class size is limited. There is a small material fee of $20.00. To enroll, contact Ranger Chris Leverett at (904) 471-0116.

Historic Weapons Demonstration Schedule:
The Historic Weapons Program Demonstrations are scheduled regularly at both Parks Weather and Personnel Permitting; note these times and dates;

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Friday, Saturday & Sunday; 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 (Cannon and/or Musket)
Other dates & times as personnel and conditions allow
Contact: Rangers Joe Brehm (904) 829-6506 x233

Fort Matanzas
Musket Demos Wednesdays and Saturdays on the 12:30 thru 3:30 Tours.
Daytime Cannon Firings –1 October (British), 5 November, 10 December
Contact: Ranger Chris Leverett (904) 471-0116

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