Never prime your Fire Storm until you are ready to fire it. Your Fire Storm should remain unprimed (absent of any priming powder in the pan) until the instant before firing. After you prime the Fire Storm, your full concentration should be on the target and the act of firing. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THIS RULE CAN RESULT IN AN ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE WHICH MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY AND/OR DEATH TO THE SHOOTER OR BYSTANDERS AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.
T/C recommends that you carry the Fire Storm with the touchhole pick inserted into the touch-hole, the pan empty, the frizzen closed, and the hammer at half cock. Tying a thong to the touchhole pick and attaching it to the trigger guard will prevent its loss.
Many pioneers and frontiersmen often used a feather this way; inserting the quill into the touch hole, with the frizzen closed, holding it in place. When it was time to load, they opened the frizzen, pulled the quill and primed the pan. Fill one-half the pan with FFFFG (4F) black powder.
Flint Installation - Reliable ignition of your Fire Storm, like any flint lock, is of utmost importance. Many variables affect a flint lock's ignition and need to be addressed to provide reliable ignition. But, then again, that's what makes using a flint lock so much fun. Here are some factors which will affect ignition, and some tips to eliminate as many of the "demons" as possible for positive ignition.
1. Insert your flint into the jaws of the hammer, BEVEL DOWN. Make sure that the flint is cushioned by a leather pad, surrounding the end of the flint which goes into the jaws. The flint should be held firmly in the jaws, and, bevel down, it should come to within 1/16" to 1/8" from the face of the frizzen when the frizzen is closed and the hammer is at half-cock. If it is inserted all the way into the jaws, and it comes in contact with the face of the frizzen, your flint is too long. Acquire a shorter one. If it does not come to within 1/16" to 1/8" from the frizzen when fully seated, your flint can be moved forward in the jaws and then tightened securely.
Top View Of Flint in Jaws
When the flint is well secured in the jaws, bevel down (see diagram), you will get maximum surface contact with the frizzen when the flint strikes the face of the frizzen. The higher the initial contact, the more surface area is used to create the sparks. The more sparks there are, the better the ignition potential.
2. After the flint is securely locked in place, trim off the excess leather around both the top and bottom jaws of the lock.
3. Make sure the surface of the frizzen, the pan, flint, and the leather cushion is free of any oil or lubricant, and as dry as possible. Never wipe down these parts with any type of lubricant. If, in the process of cleaning your rifle, a lubricant comes in contact with one or all of these parts, use a good degreaser to remove this oil. Dry is the key to good ignition.
5. The ignition time of a flint lock is slower than a cap lock. Hold your sight picture steady, despite that "flash" that is going on in the pan. Its a test of true marksmanship to remain on target during the ignition of the priming powder. A flinch at this time will mean you are off target when the main charge goes off.
6. Use your touch hole pick after each shot. When the flint lock discharges, powder and fouling is also blown out the touch hole. This debris must be cleared before loading the next projectile. A partially or totally plugged hole will result in a misfire or "flash in the pan".
7. Always wear eye protection and hearing protection. Protect your arms from flying particles as well as by wearing a shirt with long sleeves. Those wearing long hair or beards should use extra caution when firing a flint lock. A flint lock can torch hair.
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