Fun With Flintlocks

Inexpensive flintlocks are great project guns to learn how to work on a host of gunsmithing tasks. Here’s how to hone your skills with one of the oldest firearm types.

by Paul Mazan

The novice gunsmith is faced with learning many skills that can only be perfected through practice. Be it stock repair, refinishing, bedding a stock, adding a forearm tip, checkering, adding a recoil pad or an inlay, they are all woodworking skills that must be mastered. Then there is metal work including polishing, rust removal, filing out pits, and refinishing, not to mention the mechanics of trigger work and repair of broken parts or the fitting of new ones. For anyone that wants to work on guns and do a good job – whether it be on just his own and a few friends guns or in a commercial shop – the beginner has a lot to learn.

Probably the worst way to learn is to work on a perfectly good gun and mess it up. Next in line for worst is to only practice on a flat piece of wood or a piece of metal that, when finished, inspires no real confidence. Beyond early, initial practice, I have always been an advocate of learning on an inexpensive gun where the monetary loss of poor workmanship is negligible.

For example, I have a…

Erratum from Paul Mazan.

After the article “Fun With Flintlocks” went to press I discovered that I made an error in terminology regarding the sideplate. In the article, I referred to it several times as the lockplate The lockplate is part of the lock while the sideplate is on the opposite side of the stock and acts as a decorative washer for the screws that secure the lock in place. The correct term for the part I was discussing in both the text and picture captions is sideplate. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

– Paul Mazan

Read more in the May 2018 issue.

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