Gun flints - just for interest.

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DaveP
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After discussing gun flints I found out that one of the lithics experts I chat with has also published on them. When he said "would I like some examples" I jumped at the chance.
The three below are (from left to right) French circa 1700, British post 1800 and one from The Invincible 1758. The more I've looked in to these the more I appreciate the different making techniques and styles.

Just thought it might be of interest.
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Blackadder43
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Interesting tech for sure
Is there a reason that the 3rd one looks totally different in design from the other 2?
It cant be an age related design progression as it sits in age between 1 and 2 on the image
Maybe a bigger gun perhaps?
I am not known for my ID skills, but i make a cracking brew :thumbsup:
DaveP
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Blackadder43 wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:35 am Interesting tech for sure
Is there a reason that the 3rd one looks totally different in design from the other 2?
It cant be an age related design progression as it sits in age between 1 and 2 on the image
Maybe a bigger gun perhaps?
The third one is call a D shape. I've asked and searched but I can't find a reason for the difference as they all work. It may have been fashion or what was supplied by the local industry. There are different sizes for different guns and each of the three also come in different sizes. Gun flint making was an established business in many locations and countries over the years.
It turns out the flints were used both ways up i.e. bevel up or bevel down. When fitted into the jaws of the cock the flint is seated in either leather or lead sheet - I wonder if that accounts for a little of the thin lead pieces we find.
stanslad
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Here’s a few found over the years,
The lovely dark middle one Dad picked up while collecting pottery over the top of the field after a good shower,
the other two found near to a civil war skirmish site, one because it’s got the lead wrap on it & the other was inside a lead powder measure when cleaned out.
Clint :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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@DaveP - great post! How did you date them? I am really interested how you know how old they are as I was told they were difficult to date but that felt wrong to me. Surely gun technology and flint production techniques changed over time?

@stanslad - I’ve only one gun flint and it was on a site with no civil war history. Never found one on my civil war site though and am very jealous you have. I need to look a bit more :D
chill…karma will fix it

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DaveP
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Oxgirl wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:49 pm @DaveP - great post! How did you date them? I am really interested how you know how old they are as I was told they were difficult to date but that felt wrong to me. Surely gun technology and flint production techniques changed over time?
They were given to me with the background information. The D shaped from The Invincible is dateable as that's when it sank!
The British and French flints are also made by a different technique and, from what I gather, the French favoured the lighter brown coloured flint whereas the Brits the darker grey/black colour.

Typically the dates are found by provenance of associated material, similar to stratification on digs. But all lithics are difficult to date. When folk say "oh, that's typically Mesolithic" they seem to forget that covers several thousand years! Luckily, with gun flints there are written and pictorial records and it covers a relatively short period; a few hundred years (see pic).

You can still buy the different types of flint today as the flintlock followers still make and use them. https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categori ... 8/1/FLINTS
The gun technology may have changed but the ignition technology for a flintlock stays much the same until it is surpassed by the percussion primer.
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alloverover
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DaveP wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 8:30 pm They were given to me with the background information. The D shaped from The Invincible is dateable as that's when it sank!
The British and French flints are also made by a different technique and, from what I gather, the French favoured the lighter brown coloured flint whereas the Brits the darker grey/black colour.

Typically the dates are found by provenance of associated material, similar to stratification on digs. But all lithics are difficult to date. When folk say "oh, that's typically Mesolithic" they seem to forget that covers several thousand years! Luckily, with gun flints there are written and pictorial records and it covers a relatively short period; a few hundred years (see pic).

You can still buy the different types of flint today as the flintlock followers still make and use them. https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categori ... 8/1/FLINTS
The gun technology may have changed but the ignition technology for a flintlock stays much the same until it is surpassed by the percussion primer.
Screen Shot 2022-01-08 at 20.26.51.png
Brandon was the center of gun flint making for the British, sent allover the world by the barrel load :thumbsup: That area was a center for flint for thousands of years beforehand also, see Grimes Graves just up the road :thumbsup:
DaveP
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alloverover wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:18 pm Brandon was the center of gun flint making for the British, sent allover the world by the barrel load :thumbsup: That area was a center for flint for thousands of years beforehand also, see Grimes Graves just up the road :thumbsup:
Yep, and noted as one of the first areas for an industrial disease - knapper's rot - a form of silicosis.
The middle flint in the picture is from Brandon but via the Royal Armoury in Kathmandu.
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alloverover
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DaveP wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 9:33 pm Yep, and noted as one of the first areas for an industrial disease - knapper's rot - a form of silicosis.
The middle flint in the picture is from Brandon but via the Royal Armoury in Kathmandu.
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Blimey , that Frenchman’s wife looks like a bloke in a dress!
Maybe that’s why he’s on the wine!
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