For those of us that use the older Traditional Black Powder Rifles.
Here are some tips to help keep you on target.
How to cure the Flintlock flinch.
You've just received your first flintlock. WOW! This thing is just too cool. It's got the frizzen and a pan and just looks so different. You look at it and realize; This is the gun that fought the Revolution and won the battle of New Orleans. It opened the frontier. It was carried over the Cumberland gap by Daniel Boone and opened the way into the Rocky Mountain fur trade. Can't wait to shoot it.
So off you go with a screwdriver or file and punch to sight your new Flintlock in off good sandbags. Finally, the sights are set and your shooting tight groups and think to yourself, what's all the fuss? These things shoot great.
Then you shoot a few offhand and all your shots are low and to the right (for righty’s), in a tight group or not. Back to the bench, dead on. Back to offhand, low to the right. WHAT is going on here?
Congratulations. You've just developed a flintlock flinch and now you know why they call them flinchlocks.
There is a lot neat stuff going on right in front of your face, the sound; ker-latch-sss-boom. The hammer hitting the friz and flipping it up. And this cool flash. You just can't not look at it. If it didn't get your attention, you’re not normal. But when you look at it, you’re not looking at the target. So now you've got to train yourself to ignore that neat stuff and concentrate on the front sight and target. Simple.
1) Whittle a little piece of wood just like your flint and clamp it in the jaws. Be doubly sure your gun is not loaded and go outside. PUT NO POWDER IN THE PAN!!!
2) Now cock your rifle and pick a spot on a fencepost or something and aim at it. Concentrate and pull the trigger. Take note of where your front sight is. It's not on the target. You have let your eye get distracted and watch the hammer. So do it again. And again. And again......
3) Now go back tomorrow and do the same thing. Depending on the person it might take a day or a week before that front site stays locked on the target and you ignore the hammer. Don't stop. Keep doing it for several more days. I'm not kidding. Do this right the first time and get by it.
4) Next clamp a flint in the jaws with NO PRIME. You have just added a new distraction; different noise and sparks. So you continue doing this for several days until that front sight stays locked on the target.
5) At last we are to the neat stuff. Plug your vent hole with a toothpick and put some prime in the pan. You guessed it. Keep doing the same thing over and over and over.....
6) Until finally you graduate to a light charge and ball. If you did this right your flinch should be cured. If not, just go back and keep doing it until it is. This is the easy way. All your shots should go to the same place whether off a bench or not. No excuses.
If haven't shot your new flinter yet it is much advised to complete this process before you ever start. If you get discouraged you’re more likely to quit and buy an inline or something. So don't get discouraged.
Just cross one bridge at a time until you reach your goal and you'll wonder why you ever shot anything but a flintlock to begin with.
It may take some time, but will be worth it in the long run.