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Seems to me that the powder falling out of the pan would likely ignite and at least singe your eyebrows but it would be pure chance if any fire went through the touch hole. Why don't you try it and let us know how it works? A gas mask would be a wise precaution.
 

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Well Australia is upside down and I'm sure their flintlocks work. Seriously why would you want to fire one upside down?
exactly,, Aussies had not an issue with them,


remember the powder is held in the pan, with the frizzen closed should be no issue if you want to go all forshizzle on it
 

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Realistically, a flintlock can be faster than a comparable percussion model. Consider that, with a percussion rifle, when the hammer strikes the percussion cap, the flame travels thru the nipple, into a snail or drum, makes a couple of sharp turns, then finally reaches the powder, often in a patent breech, to ignite it.

With the same flint version, sparks strike and ignite pan powder before the frizzen is even completely open. Fire from the pan travels in a straight line thru the touch hole & into the powder-loaded breech.

People want to know why I put $150 worth of micrometer adjustable rear aperture sight & globe front on a flintlock instead of one of my caplocks. All my flinters seem to be more accurate, even though they are made by Investarms & have the same 1:48" barrel, and hooked patent breech.

I've tried firing one upside-down years ago & it does work, there is a tiny little delay and I did end up with some speckles & burned hair on one arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AZshooter, thanks for answering my question. it was something i had wondered about. if one was in a dire situation when hunting and a life threatening situation should arise, could it work? i did not expect the answers of why? and why don't you try it? i was quierious for the reason stated. thanks.
 

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My brother drilled the touch hole too low on his, and experiences an ignition delay. The powder in the pan has to burn down before the hole is exposed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i also thought that any quality lock worth anything would work. i also would think that the great lock makers in the late 1600's early 1700's would have tried tried there locks in many positions up side down, side up, side down, barrel up barrel down, etc. like quality watches with 7 position movements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jv puleo, WOW!! just when you think you have heard it all a flint lock under hammer. so they will work upside down, an answer to my original question. who's laughing at my question now? thanks.
 
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While I have no intentions of holding myself out as an expert on flintlocks, I'll simply say that all I've ever used in the last 35 years or so were my custom made flintlocks. Have everything in fine tune with the lock and it will fire in any position you want to hold it! But remember----the LOCK is the heart and soul of a flintlock, and you will probably never get quality ignition with a cheaply made "commercial" variety that comes on most "factory made" pieces. Quality locks made by Roller or Jim Chambers and a few others for example will give you what you need. (Pedersoli may be an exception with commercially made flintlocks....I've been favorably impressed with the few of these I've fired).

Tuned up with the flint properly sharpened and striking the frizzen correctly, will have the ball at the flintlock's muzzle BEFORE the flint reaches its lowest point in the pan. High speed photography will show what happens, and from the flint initially touching the frizzen until total combustion in the chamber is something like six to ten thousandts of a second. Holding the piece up-side-down will have NO effect on a well tuned lock!

The high speed photography also shows some interesting things that take place with the lock when the charge goes off. For example, the frizzen will usually partially open and close 2 or 3 times after reaching the pan position in these thousandts of a second, and the cock will even rebound maybe a forth of the way to the cocked position then dropping back down to the fired position. Ever break a flint when firing? (I did so once busting a 237 pound black bear up a tree :-0) The photography shows you how it happens and how a flint can be broken!
 

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Also going to chime in. If you are filling your pan so the powder burns through the touchhole then you are using too much powder. That is when you get the click-woosh-boom. The heat of the powder burning in the pan should touch off the main change without a physical connection of flame. For the brother mentioned above try staging the powder away for the touch hole. Should still ignite. Woodesy has it right. Good tuned flintlock, sharp flint, hard frizzen, just the right amount of powder and it will beat a caplock everytime. So, back to the OP. if it will spark and set the priming charge off, the heat will ignite the charge.
 

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Totally agree with the last 2 posts-quality locks from Jim Chambers, L And R, and a few others are the key. Muzzle loader magazine did a lock test a few years ago with about a dozen different modern locks and one of the tests was firing upside down. Most of them passed. Vent liners or inside coning and touch hole placement are all important to fast ignition. As was stated, less priming is better than too much. I have fired some scary fast flintlocks.
 
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Fella named Ron Ehlert, one of the classic builders, and I spent a fair amount of time together hunting, etc, and Ron put me onto a practice that works about positioning the SMALL amount of priming powder in the pan. His suggestion: when you come up to your shoulder to take the shot, learn to subconsciously snap your wrist to the right to throw the priming 4f powder all the way over to the right side of the pan. I do it without realizing that I am doing it! Yea, coning---forgot about that---do it!

And "Jug-Choking" on a smooth bore barrel! Not connected with speed of the lock in any way, but if you want to about double the range of a fowler jug choke that sucker about thirty thousandts!
 

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Fella named Ron Ehlert, one of the classic builders, and I spent a fair amount of time together hunting, etc, and Ron put me onto a practice that works about positioning the SMALL amount of priming powder in the pan. His suggestion: when you come up to your shoulder to take the shot, learn to subconsciously snap your wrist to the right to throw the priming 4f powder all the way over to the right side of the pan. I do it without realizing that I am doing it!
Ron and I had a lot of discussions on that very thing. We were both believers in that most people prime about 3 X as much as they need. Too much slows it down. Has to burn through the powder to open the touch hole. Totally aside, I hosted a shoot where I warned everyone that there was a timed shoot. Start with loaded gun and 90 seconds to get as many shots on target as possible. Ron, myself and one other shooter got five shots off, most on target, using loading blocks and powderhorns. I still have a tape from a local PBS show featuring Ron where he talks about that.
 

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A fast lock, a sharp flint, and 3F or 4F in low humidity can yield a REALLY fast flintlock.

I've seen videos where you cannot hear a distinction between the frizzen strike and the report of the main charge. Instead of the normal "chik-boom" it's more like "choom!"

Do a Google on fast flintlock videos. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FqdTw5bFBQ
 
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