wool felt in flintlocks
Picture of JackAubrey
I need some help. Several years ago, I was reading about an archeological expedition in a river near the Canadian border. It was frequently traveled by the HBC traders, and they knew from old company records that a canoe was lost at a certain spot.

Divers went down and found thousands of musket balls, many flints, and surprisingly, a couple of amazingly well-preserved trade musket, both of which were still loaded.

Based on the common musket ball size & these two trade guns, it was determined .58 calibre was a common calibre. What I found most interesting was the loaded trade guns still had their flints in the cocks, held in place not by leather, not by flattened lead, but by wool felt.

It makes perfect sense! Wool felt is spark resistant, has a spongy "memory", as it were, it would be a very common item for people in the outback.
I'm pretty sure I saw this article in an old Muzzleloader Magazine. Does anyone recall anything like this? I would love to have that article again.
As a matter of curiosity, after I read that article, I started using wool felt to hold my flints in the jaws of my flintlocks and they have worked wonderfully! My very best regards to all, JA
Posts: 36 | Location: Texas,USA | Registered: 14 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
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I never heard of that, I would like to fined out also. Mark
Posts: 161 | Location: Burlington, Wisconsin | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Stophel
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I often see European guns displayed with flints held in place with red wool cloth.
Posts: 48 | Location: Kentucky | Registered: 02 August 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Hanshi
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I've never actually seen felt used nor used it myself but it should certainly work very well.

*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
Posts: 3542 | Location: Maine (by way of Georgia then Va.) | Registered: 26 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
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I have seen several original guns displayed with colored felt used. Always wondered if it was just for show.

I once lost the leather wrap on a flint I was using and didn't have a handy replacement. I did have a piece of fairly coarse grit sandpaper. Folded it where all the grit sides made contact with both the rock and the lock jaws.

It held up very well for a full day of target shooting!
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Picture of JackAubrey
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Strophel, as soon as I read your post, I started noticing this! Haha!
Posts: 36 | Location: Texas,USA | Registered: 14 January 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always leather. I tried lead wrap on the flint but went back to leather. As far as wool felt in the lock, I don't think it would be a good idea. I use wool felt wads and they seem to be pretty scorched when I find them. I would think pan flash would scorch a felt wrap on the flint.
Posts: 552 | Location: SC | Registered: 03 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of JoeM
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I've used leather and lead, and a combination of both - but never felt... In the end I just stuck with leather in the jaws of my flintlock rifles. Though I will say that with my small L&R John Bailes Flintlock - a lead & leather wrap seems to work best, but that's just my opinion. Smiler

Ohio Joe / Chadron Fur Trade Days
Posts: 69 | Location: Nebraska | Registered: 05 August 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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